Tuesday, August 31, 2010

A Lightfastness Standard for Pastels: current status

This post is about the progress to date in developing a lightfastness standard for Soft Pastels.  It highlights how pastel artists can get involved
Unison - Yellow Green Earth Pastels

Recently in the Pastel Talk Forum over on Wet Canvas there has been a thread discussing the lightfastness of NuPastels - see Re: Nupastels (archival / lightfast?).  The discussion was proceeding with no reference to the current lack of a lightfastness standard for soft pastels - so I highlighted this issue as follows
So far as I am aware Pastels are one of the few art media without an ASTM standard relating to lightfastness

Thus we have........

ASTM D5383 - 02(2010) Standard Practice for Visual Determination of the Lightfastness of Art Materials by Art Technologists details the technique to be used for artists paints

ASTM D4302 - 05 Standard Specification for Artists' Oil, Resin-Oil, and Alkyd Paints

ASTM D 5098, Specification for Artists’ Acrylic Emulsion Paints

ASTM D5067 -05 Standard Specification for Artists' Watercolor Paints

ASTM D5724 -06 Standard Specification for Gouache Paints

ASTM D6901 - 06 Standard Specification for Artists' Colored Pencils details the standard for coloured pencils - which, in turn, has resulted in a lot of development in terms of lightfast pencils. They've not got it right yet but if turn up the heat in terms of exposing pencils that don't make the grade you can expect to see them withdrawn from sale! I saw the blue wool tests for some of the pencils that CPSA tested and it was utterly shameful what some of the manufacturers were doing in terms of selling pencils which were in no way lightfast. The excuse of course was that for years they were sold for illustration work and since that was photographed and/or put away in dark drawers there was no incentive to create lightfast pencils

and absolutely NOTHING for pastels

except maybe ASTM D4303 -10 Standard Test Methods for Lightfastness of Colorants Used in Artists' Materials ?

The Coloured Pencils standard was achieved through the initiative of the Colored Pencil Society of America - but I've never heard of whether or any of the Pastel Societies have tackled this thorny topic.
Subsequently there were responses indicating what I'd heard - that a lightfastness standard for soft pastels was in development.

ASTM Lightfastness Standard - an update

This is what Maggie Price, President, International Association of Pastel Societies had to say
You are correct but a standard is being developed by ASTM. It has been in the works for a year or more and hopefully will be completed within another year. It is a long and arduous process of testing for lightfastness and safety, and many of the people on the committee are volunteers. IAPS has a representative on the committee that is discussing the standards for pastels.
This response by Michael Skalka, the current Chair, ASTM D01.57 Artists’ Materials was particularly illuminating! I've written to him and also reproduced his response in the forum below for the education of all pastel artists - and as an invite to get involved! :)

I've highlighted in bold what I think are the MUST READ parts in his statement below.
I hope I can shed some light on the discussion of lightfastness, ASTM and related issues that have been brought up. Let me briefly go over the thread and comment on some of the issues.

No lightfastness standard from ASTM exists yet. Manufacturers, not consumers, have been the driving force behind getting oil paints, watercolors, gouache, acrylics to have lightfastness standards. Standards create a level playing field and that brings out the best from all concerned. Companies that can’t conform stand out when a standard can be used as a yardstick to determine overall quality. In recent years, the colored pencil folks worked hard to craft a standard so that is why D6901 exists today. We have never had a group of organized pastel artist or organizations representing them put their full force behind an effort to create a pastel standard.

Sanford was not coping out. No requirement (or better put, a standard) exists for anyone to use for lightfastness testing. Someone mentioned that European manufacturers post lightfastness ratings on pastels they sell. That rating is based on the blue wool fading test that the raw pigment manufacturer conducts to give some rough indication as to the fastness of a colorant. This is nowhere near the robustness of any of the existing lightfast test methods used for art materials that have existing standards.

If the words “earth colors” in the red, yellow and orange families of hues were paired together, then yes, it would be correct that iron hydroxides are a common material found in these pigments. However, many hues in the yellow, red, orange range discussed do not rely on iron as the common element. Be happy that many do come from iron origins. They are the most stable lightfast materials in any media.

Nobody has the edge on lightfastness for pastels yet because no standard exists. You can argue that some manufacturers knowingly put fugitive materials in pastels but without them conducting a well -formulated testing protocol, they cannot know if the colors they use are lightfast. So for right now ignorance by the manufacturers is bliss. They don’t have to lie to you and say any of the colors they make are fugitive because they really don’t know for sure. However, preliminary testing conducted by ASTM indicates that many colors do have lightfastness issues. Some very predictable colors like violets and red-pink colors can be notorious for fading. But in looking at the bulk of the testing, colors fade across the entire hue family.

In summary, ASTM has provided the art materials world with quality standards for many forms of art material. These standards focus on the quality of the ingredients used, the proper labeling of materials, important health and safety labeling and lightfastness of the pigments. ASTM lightfastness tests are very stringent and if a material passes the test, it has good lightfastness qualities. The exposures are severe and enough duplication and redundancy is built into the test to assure that the results are valid.

We need volunteers to participate in testing. Artists and manufacturers meet together and work cooperatively to create test protocols, conduct the test to see that it works correctly and then publish the standards for industry to use. Help by artists is a critical component to the process. We really need pastel artists to attend meetings, become involved and in effect, push the manufacturers of pastels to adopt an ASTM lightfastness standard. Once a standard is developed and passed, manufacturers will want to follow it because a competitor will use the standard to proclaim that what they make is superior to that which is produced by other pastel manufacturers.

The ASTM subcommittee called D01.57 Artists’ Materials has around 60 members and another 20 interested parties who follow the work of the subcommittee. If you just want more information and wish to get involved visit the ASTM website to see what a standards making group actually does. If you want to know more about the work of the Artists’ Materials subcommittee D01.57, email me at dcl@nga.gov and I will answer your specific concerns. I am the current chairman of the subcommittee and am eager to make contact with those who wish to know more.

Michael Skalka
Chair, ASTM D01.57 Artists’Materials

Michael Skalka, Conservation Administrator
Subscribe to: The Grammar of Color- a paint history newsletter. Send an e-mail to: m-skalka@nga.gov with your name and a current e-mail address.

A question for the Pastel Societies

I know a number of leading members of pastel societies around the world read my blog.  So here's some questions just for you!
  1. Has your Pastel Society considered the question of lightfastness of soft pastels?
  2. If yes, why does your website not say more about the development of lightfastness standards and how members can become involved?  
  3. If no, why not? 
  4. What has your Society decided to do about promoting pastels which are accredited as lightfast?  
  5. Does your Pastel Society aim to benefit its members by having somebody leading on the development of fine art materials relevant to artists using pastels?
  6. Does your Pastel Society have any link at all with the ASTM and the development of the new lightfastness standard?

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 2010 - Who's made a mark this month?

This is the "summer slowdown" edition of "who's made a mark". I've enjoyed the time off from preparing my regular Sunday posts (which are more than a little time-consuming!) and being able to post rather less often.

11.5" x 17", coloured pencils and pen and ink in Large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I've published about half the number of posts I would normally have done and I've kept a record of some of items which have caught my eyes as well.

I wished the weather hadn't decided to start being quite so windy and rainy just as I started to do other things!  Notwithstanding that we've been holidaying at home and doing lots of things we've never done before - such as walking along the Thames at Richmond and looking at the only landscape view protected by statute in the UK.  I'm waaaaay behind in posting my sketches so you'll be seeing some of what I've been up to in the coming weeks.   I've also bought quite a few new books about art!

Art Blogs

It might seem odd to start with an apparently negative post, but in reality I've only just come across this June post by Hugh MacLeod (Gaping Void) about why most art blogs fail and it has a very important message for all art bloggers

the reality is, most people are not reading your blog because they have an inherent love for (the subjects of your paintings). They’re reading your blog because THE PERSON YOU ARE inspires them. They’re not reading your blog because they’re thinking of buying your paintings, they’re reading your blog because the way you approach your work inspires them. It sets an example for them. It stands for something that resonates with them. IT LEADS THEM TO SOMEWHERE THAT THEY ALSO WANT TO GO.
Coloured Pencils and Pastels
Drawing and sketching
Brunch - St Johns, Spitalfields
11.5" x 17", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Large Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Painters and Painting
The Ascent of Woman by Chris Myers RI, RBA

Art Business and Marketing

Art and the Economy / Art Collectors

Art Competitions and Art Societies

  • Probably the most important post I wrote last month was this one - AWS gold medal controversy - the final word.  Having corresponded with Annie I can tell you that the impact in reality was far more significant and negative than anything written in this post.  However I agree with her that it's best not to dwell on the detail too much.  The imperative now is for art societies to recognise the impact too and to give higher priority to finding an effective and efficient way of dealing with fraudulent work.
  • Making A Mark had three further posts this month about the current exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery
Those attending the awards ceremony last month were amused to hear that (Paul Beer's) winning proposal is to paint a large-scale, plein-air group portrait of figures on the secluded Corfu nudist beach which he first visited twelve years ago with his wife on their honeymoon.

Art Exhibitions and art fairs

Treen Cliff Porthcurno (watercolour)
Bob Rudd RI

Mont Ventoux (watercolour)
John Raynes RI

Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniques

Sandby liked to use isinglass (made from the bladders of fish) as a binding agent mixed with gin and honey water. You can still buy isinglass in art shops today, although gum arabic (made from the sap of the acacia tree) works just as well and would also have been available to Sandby.

Art Supplies


Art videos

The Art Newspaper / In the Frame highlights Chuck Close on Colbert which sounded fascinating until I got the link to a video of Chuck Close on the Colbert Report - and I'm very miffed that I can't see this in the UK!


Book reviews

I had a number of updates and posts about books in August


Opinion Poll

  • The results of the July Making A Mark Poll are posted in Where would you prefer to have an art studio? (Results).  This suggested that 80% of artists want a dedicated space in their own home.
  • I'm repeating my Annual Survey about What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months but am going to extend its deadline to Friday 3rd September as it started late this month and I haven't been providing reminders.  Please do vote - I'm trying to detect the changes in the last three years since I started this annual poll.  You can find the poll in the column to the right of this post.

Websites, webware and blogging

  • Did you know that you can now get statistics in Blogger?  See Webware review: Blogger Stats
  • While over Statcounter Upgrades just got better
  • and Google is now Showing more results from a domain.  This makes it much make it much easier for users to find a large number of results from a single site.  If you put "making a mark blog" into Google you should now see the most popular blog posts come up under the listing for my blog - which I assume is linked to this change.  However, I still think Google can improve its performance in relation to blogs which have now been around for a long time in terms of how the search results work. 
  • This is an informative post on Problogger about Why Link Exchanges Are Like Mosquitoes
By participating in link exchanges, you risk injuring your reputation, the reputation of others, and angering Google.

and finally......

This is a bit of a weird one but I couldn't resist it.  This is the very first sketch of life

Friday, August 27, 2010

Shaun Downey and Blue Coco

This is a really lovely video which has just been posted on YouTube by Shaun Downey (Shaun Downey)- an artist from Oshawa, Ontario, Canada - whose portrait Blue Coco was the featured portrait used for marketing the BP Portrait Award.

It's an excellent demonstration of how this Award can give some really wonderful spin-off marketing for an artist's work.  Each year around five portraits are chosen for postcards, posters and other marketing material - which all get a very wide circulation

Toronto based artist Shaun Downey visits the BP Portrait Award 2010, the most prestigious competition of it's kind in the world, at the National Portrait Gallery in London, England. Shaun's painting, "Blue Coco" was one of 58 paintings selected from a record 2,177 International entries . His painting was also chosen as the main image of the ad campaign for the exhibition, featured on posters around the UK, the exhibition catologue, and a banner draping the front of the National Portrait Gallery.

It's also an excellent explanation of an artist's perspective on the other portraits in the exhibition - and much better than my video of the whole exhibition which you can see here - BP Portrait Award 2010 Exhibition.  I've got a feeling he's done a few more than me and he's certainly got a better camcorder!

Links:  27 posts about the BP Portrait Award on Making A Mark

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Botanical Sketchbook publishes in the USA

Botanical Sketchbook by Mary Ann Scott with Margaret Stevens

Just to remind those of you in the USA that today's the day that Botanical Sketchbook publishes in the USA courtesy of American Artist Books. 

Below you can find my summary review of this book - however the "in-depth" review of this book has now been moved to Book Review: Botanical Sketchbook on Making A Mark Reviews Botanical Art and Artists. 

I'm not sure if there are any differences in the American Publication because my copy is a review copy for the version published in the UK back in April.

This book is a delight as well as being very informative about the role of the sketchbook played in Mary Ann's completion of her SBA Distance Learning Diploma Course - awarded with a distinction.  It's highly recommended for all those wishing to study botanical art to a professional level.

Botanical Sketchbook (UK version - Anova/Batsford Books) Published April 2010
Botanical Sketchbook (USA version - American Artist Books)
Published August 2010
Synopsis: This book will provide inspiration to all those who aspire to become botanical artists. It is a record of one woman's development into a successful botanical artist. As part of the Distance Learning Diploma Course run by the Society of Botanical Artists, students are required to keep a sketchbook. The one kept by Mary Ann Scott was exceptional and prompted the idea for this book. Her book covers the exercises, colour charts and basic preparatory work for each assignment, plus the three works for her final portfolio.
Summary review: This book provides a masterclass for all aspiring botanical artists and is highly recommended. It will become an essential buy for all students of the Society of Botanical Artist's Diploma in Botanical illustration. It's also a recommended buy for all other aspiring botanical art students and artists and many of their tutors. It provides an excellent benchmark for the standard of botanical illustration and painting which can be achieved by an exceptional student. It also tells the story of how such excellence can be developed - through much practice and intelligent use of the botanical sketchbook.

Read an interview with the author of Botanical Sketchbook - A Making A Mark Interview with Mary Ann Scott
  • the story of studying for a Diploma in Botanical Illustration - with a chapter for each assignment
  • provides a students perspective on completing the Diploma
  • provides an insight into what is taught and what tutors are looking for
  • demonstrates the qualities of character required for botanical art as well as artistic skills
  • lots of practical botanical art tips
  • particularly helpful for watercolour artists - colour charts and colour mixing swatches permeate this book
  • very well produced - the stand of colour reproduction of the illustrations is excellent
  • provides a practical benchmark for all students of botanical art and their tutors
Think Again?
  • while the book outlines the assignments it doesn't contain all the material provided for Diploma students. This is only accessible by enrolled students or by visitors to the Annual Exhibition of the SBA.
Who should buy this?:
  • actual and potential students of the Diploma in Botanical Illustration run by the Society of Botanical Artists
  • aspiring botanical artists
  • botanical artists who want to improve their work
  • botanical art tutors
Who should not buy this?
  • anybody not interested in botanical art
Author / (Publisher) Mary Ann Scott with Margaret Stevens (in association woith the Society of Botanical Artists) / Batsford - Anova Books
Technical data: Publication Date: April 2010
Hardcover (with dust jacket) - 128 pages;

  • Making A Mark Reviews - a consumer's guide to quality and value in art books, art supplies and services to artists
  • Botanical Art - Resources for Artists 
  • A History of Botanical Art - Resources for Botanical Art Lovers
  • The Best Botanical Art Books
[UPDATE: The content of my "resources for artists" websites about botanical art have now transferred to a new website Botanical Art and Artists which includes a section about the History of Botanical Art and The Best Botanical Art Instruction Books]

Monday, August 23, 2010

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010 - The Shortlist

The shortlist for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010 has been published.  The shortlist includes established artists as well as relative newcomers and students fresh from art school.
The Jerwood Drawing Prize is the country’s leading award in drawing, and is the largest and longest running annual open exhibition dedicated to drawing in the UK. 
The award winners will be announced on 28th September 2010.  Prizes include:
  • a first prize of £6,000, 
  • a second prize of £3,000, and 
  • two student awards of £1,000 each.
Drip 20 Assorted Colour Inks, biro on paper, 2010
by Lesley Halliwell

Back in April I wrote on this blog about how to enter the Jerwood Drawing Prize - Making a Mark: The Jerwood Drawing Prize - how to enter

Some of you may have not entered for a variety of reasons.  Some of those reasons will relate to your thoughts about whether or not their work 'fits' with this Prize.  Now the shortlist has been announced you can take a look at the websites of the shortlisted artists - see below.

The list comes from the Jerwood Drawing Prize site and all the links to websites are down to me.  If any artist would like their link changed to a more appropriate site please contact me. 

(Note:  See also The Websites of Contemporary Painters in the UK)  I arrived at a new standard for searching for an artist's website while completing this list - the basic standard is you've got 15 seconds and the first two pages of Google to show me your work (outside a group exhibition).  I think that might be a bit more than most people would allow.)

The Jerwood Drawing Prize Shortlist

Just under 3000 entries were submitted this year for consideration by the distinguished panel of selectors comprising of:
  • Charles Darwent, Art Critic, Independent on Sunday; 
  • Jenni Lomax, Director of the Camden Arts Centre; and 
  • Emma Talbot, artist. 
The artists short-listed for the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010 are:

Chris Agnew
Paul Allcock
Warren Andrews
Lucy Austin
Philip Baird
Mehrdad Bordbar
Jessie Brennan
Rebecca Chalmers
Perienne Christian
Julie Cockburn

Tattoo Face, Embroidery on found image, vintage frame, 2010
by Julie Cockburn
Betsy Dadd
David Davies
Aimee Day
Jeffrey Dennis
Sarah-Jane Dougal
Annabel Dover
James Eden & Olly Rooks
Mark Farhall
Jonathan Farr
James Faure Walker
Paul Fieldsend-Danks
Tom Flint
Maryclare Foa
Nina Fowler
Sharon Frankland
Cadi Froehlich
Stefan Gant
John Gledhill
Thomas Gosebruch
Lothar Gotz
Lesley Halliwell
Justin Hibbs
Donna Huddleston
Martin Huxter
Samuel Kelly
Jane Kilford
Edward Lawrenson
Andy Lawson
Rachel Levitas
Cathy Lomax
Kristin Luke
Sally Madge
Alexander Massouras
Benjamin Meschko
Naoko Miyazaki
Liana Moran
Laura Moreton-Griffiths
Katherine Murphy
Michael O'Mahony
Michael Page
Andrew Penketh
Clare Petherick
Peter Rasmussen
Giulia Ricci
Susan Roan
Elizabeth Rowe
Raji Salan
Louise Schmid
Karin Schosser
Lindsay Sekulowicz
Andrew Seto
Aaron Sewards
Maaike Anne Stevens
Srinivas Surti
Yuma Tomiyasu
Sarah Tynan
Virginia Verran
Diane Welford
Hannah Wooll
George Young

Jerwood Drawing Prize 2010 Exhibition

The selected artists will display their nominated drawings in an exhibition at Jerwood Space, London, SE1 0LN from 29th September – 7th November 2010, and then on tour.

Link:  Art Competitions in the UK - Resources for Artists

Friday, August 20, 2010

Confusing terminology re online submission for RWA Autumn Exhibition

The Royal West of England Academy (RWA) has issued its Call for Entries for its 158th Autumn Exhibition due to be held between 24th October and 12th December 2010.  500 works will be on display, most of which will be for sale.  Prizes include over £1000 cash, exhibiting opportunities and a major editorial feature in Venue.
The Royal West of England Academy has two open exhibitions a year. The first is an exhibition rotating the disciplines of sculpture, painting, photography and printmaking. It attracts contemporary artists both nationally and internationally. The second open exhibition, which is held annually, is the Autumn Exhibition. It has been in existence for over 150 years, the 157th being the most recent. The Autumn Exhibition is a mixed discipline exhibition, including painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and architecture. It attracts artists both regionally and nationally.
RWA website - Open Exhibitions
Eligible work and selection process

Up to three works can be submitted.  Work from painters, scultors, photographers, printmakers and architects is selected by a panel from an open submission.

Some may think, as I have in the past that the RWA only accepts work from people living in the west of England.  However this is not so.  I cannot find any constraint on where you live or work.

Works for exhibition are chosen from the artwork which is submitted and hung by a panel of Academicians (appointed by the RWA Council), whose decision is final and binding. The selection panel changes yearly and open submissions are judged anonymously.

How to submit work

Manual Submission packs have been available from Monday 19 July. Discounts on fees are available for RWA Friends.

All "online submissions" attract a reduced fee and must be complete by 9am on 16th September - but see my comments below.

The following are all pdf files relating to entry terms and conditions and transport arrangements.
The RWA states that you can now "submit work online" by which I guess they actually mean "register your work online". In other words, you don't submit your work online for selection, you still have to submit the artwork in person!
The RWA is now offering the chance to submit artworks for all open exhibitions online. If you choose to submit in this way it will be significantly cheaper, and quicker.

This process is simple:
Submit online!
  •  Go to the link via the red 'Online Submission' button (you need to go to the website to do this)
  •  Create an artist profile
  •  Submit details of your works
  •  Pay online for less
  •  Bring your works in on hand-in day and be fast-tracked through the process
  •  Receive your results quicker via email
(1) Is it "significantly cheaper" as advertised and
(2) Can you actually submit work online?

Online submissions this year are (£14 for RWA Friends) and manual submissions are £18 so you save £2 per work by submitting online.

HOWEVER The online submission wholly relates to the details of the artist and artwork and does NOT include the submission of a digital file of artwork for the selection process, which is what most Exhibitions usually mean these days when they advertise that you "submit work online.  This is CONFUSING.  "Submit the paperwork online" or "Register your artwork and details online" would be a much more accurate characterisation of the process.

The most significant costs of entry for most artists are very often the transport costs rather than the entry fees.  That's why online submission can represent such a significant saving to eliminate work which won't even make the long list.

Consequently I'm not sure I'd characterise the online submission offering by the RWA as being significantly cheaper given that people still need to submit their artwork manually.

I'd personally ALWAYS reserve the phrase "significantly cheaper" for a selection processes where the selection of a longlist is also made online and/or transport costs are much reduced. Otherwise "reducated rate" is a much more appropriate description.

Handing In Artwork
Works should arrive unwrapped, although fragile work may be wrapped in a way that does not obscure the image during selection.  All fixtures must be removed from the back of the frames as remaining fixtures are one of the primary sources of damage to artworks.
Entry Regulations (pdf)
Handing In Dates:
  • RWA: 16, 17, 18 September
  • Regional Handing in Dates: London: 13 September | Birmingham: 14 September | Penzance: 14 September | Exeter: 15 September
A greener option?

In an era where we are all trying to be greener, saving unnecessary journeys is about more than regional handing in points and it would be extremely helpful if ALL Exhibition Organisers could also give this some thought.

My personal view is that there are a number of works submitted which are never going to get selected.  In my opinion, an initial round of selection via digital file to produce a longlist for selection from the artwork to get to a shortlist for hanging should be seriously considered as an alternative option. 

The benefits are
  • no compromise on making sure the selection panel sees a work before selecting it for hanging.  
  • delivers very considerable saving to an artist whose work is not selected in terms of transport and often framing costs.  
  • also delivers carbon reduction in terms of environmental costs.
Maybe next year?


    Tuesday, August 17, 2010

    AWS gold medal controversy - the final word

    Yesterday I read a post on a forum by professional photographer Annie Kitzman which appears to answer the question which was THE hot topic two years ago.  (see links at the end of this post). 
    Was the gold medal winning painting at the centre of the American Watercolor Society controversy actually painted - or was it a giclee print? 
    This is the post I ran at the time which explains what all the furore was about - Art competitions and copyright - the AWS Gold Medal debate

    Annie Kitzman is the lady whose original comment on the subject in the Shutterstock Forum enabled me to know with absolute certainty what the investigation into the AWS controversy would conclude.  It seems very appropriate that she should also have the last word on the topic.

    The original self-portrait - courtesy of Annie Kitzman

    Back in 2008 Ms Kitzman comment recounted her own experience.  She had created a photographic self-portrait which had subsequently, in her opinion, been manipulated in Photoshop and was (at the time) being claimed as a watercolour painting by the artist at the centre of the controversy.  The photograph in question was a stock photograph sold on Shutterstock, no licence had ever been granted to the artist for a derivative work and so far as she could see it was no different to the original photograph other than the PS manipulations. This is a link to the photo in question which I found yesterday on Google.  It has been highlighted by another individual and attributed - erroneously - to its "place of origin" ie the website of the artist who won the gold medal of the American Watercolor Society in 2008.

    Ms Luxemburg suggested the photographers had photographed her work hanging in an exhibition
    - unaware Ms Kitzman had done a series of shots in compiling her self-portrait
    In some articles I read back then, she was quoted as saying that we, the photographers whose images were used in her work, had stolen them from her!  It was suggested that we had all gone to an exhibition with a camera, took a picture of her finished art pieces and then uploaded them to the agencies as our work.....A better way to prove that I did not steal anything from her is to produce the original files.  How could I possibly get a series of like images by photographing an art print on display?  I could not....

    I hate her rendition of my image ... but maybe I would feel differently if she had asked permission and given me credit as the photographic artist who created the original image rather than portraying it as her work alone.

    Steal a baby and tell everyone you conceived her and gave birth to her? To me, it's the same thing, I conceived the idea, sat in front of my camera and photographed a series of images. I say to her ... Give me credit for my work, woman!

    Annie Kitzman in an email to me dated 17.08.10.
    For me, Ms Kitzman's comments on the Shutterstock forum at the time completely and utterly transformed the debate about the controversy about the gold-medal winning painting.  When I read what she had to say I knew what the answer to the question would be to the question of whether the gold medal winning piece was a painting or a giclee print.  As it happened that particular question was never answered in public because the AWS withdrew the award from Ms Luxemburg, asked for their $4,000 money back and disqualified her from ever entering future AWS competitions.  Their finding and subsequent actions were wholly based on the fact that she had failed to comply with the terms of the competition - ie the work was not original and the artist could not assert that she owned the copyright.

    It was a lesson of some significance for all art societies and all those running art competitions.

    Yesterday I read for the first time Ms Kitzman's comments in a her subsequent post (dated May 2009).  I've reproduced it below for educational purposes.

    Her very personal account of what it felt like for her is as powerful an argument as I've ever come across for:
    • LEARNING about copyright and what the different forms of licences mean
    • ALWAYS observing a photographer's copyright and 
    • NOT tampering with the work of another artist - including photographers - without their explicit permission.
    However the final paragraph also provides the final word and a neat end to this long-running saga about THAT PAINTING!  I too am not surprised.
    Travis, I'm the woman in this painting that is named "Derailed" ... sheryl luxemburg

    It's my self portrait. I sell it on Shutterstock. Ms Luxenburg manipulated my digital image in photoshop, darkened it and added contrast. She did nothing more to it that I can tell. It's exactly as I photographed it.

    To answer your question ... how do I feel? I feel terrible. When I hear her name I get sick in my stomach. When I see that awful rendition of myself on that art website, I get sick in my stomach. I'm extremely upset. I thought the feeling of sickness would go away eventually but it has not. I was sick when I first saw it and still feel the same way. I feel abused. I feel raped, for lack of a better word.

    The fact that she claims copyright of my image angers me. The fact that she did not ask my permission to use my copyrighted image and to sell it, in any medium, upsets me. I hate her rendition of my image and I think it's extremely ugly.

    As for the image called "Impermanence", this is what I know. I was contacted last year, via phone call, by the person who removed the glass from the winning entry in the AWS competition. It was not a painting, there was no paint on the paper at all. It was ink on fine art paper, printed by an Epson printer. It was a glicee print. I wasn't surprised to hear that.


    Talk Micro - Photos used as paintings - Interesting SS thread


    Monday, August 16, 2010

    Coloured Pencil Art Societies and Exhibitions - and a new Poll

    One of the great things about the websites of the two major coloured pencil societies in the UK (UKCPS) and USA (CPSA) is that they archive their award winners on a website page each year. 

    Wouldn't it be wonderful if more art societies took the trouble to do this!

    The archived exhibitions provide a really great resource for those learning about the art of coloured pencil and what it is possible to achieve when using this particular art medium.

    They also provide clear messages about:
    • the level of technical excellence required to enter an exhibition
    • the level of originality displayed
    • trends in subject matter and style
    • where the art sits within the context of the contemporary art market (when compared, for example, with the work on display at other art societies and art fairs)
    Changes to Coloured Pencils - Resources for Artists 

    As part of my personal "mission" to raise awareness of the potential of artists' coloured pencils I've developed a website - Coloured Pencils - Resources for Artists  - as a resource for all those who want to learn more about coloured pencils and associated artwork

    On Sunday I did some website housekeeping and reorganised the content relating to the coloured pencil art societies and art exhibitions.  In particular the content relating to CPSA and UKCPS.  This now highlights, much more clearly than before, the links to all the various exhibitions which are online in terms of the:
    • CPSA's (1) Annual International Exhibition and (2) Explore This! and 
    • UKCPS's (1) Annual International Exhibition and (2) World of Coloured Pencil Exhibition
    In addition it also highlights links to the coloured pencil societies in Australia and Japan.

    It also includes a section devoted to the question of original art and copyright questions relating to the use of reference photos which has been a topic of frequent discussion in recent years on both sides of the Atlantic.

    [UPDATE:  Profuse appologies - I posted a set of duff links initially - but these links work!]
      You too can be a juror of coloured pencil artwork!

      It's usually the case that every time we see the display of images for one of the exhibitions we wonder:
      • why the work we like best didn't get a better prize.  (Answer - because judges are individuals and we all bring our own personal likes and dislikes to the judging experience)
      • why certain work got a prize (Answer - Ditto - plus go and see it in exhibition)
      • and, of course, the inevitable "If that got in why didn't mine get in!?" (to which there are a myriad of responses although a few may never be said out loud!)
      Often the answer to judge's choices becomes very apparent when you see a work up close and personal.  Although I have to say that can on occasion also reinforce one's initial conclusion as well!

      Seeing work hung in an exhibition is also a very good way of understanding which are the strong and striking works. I personally found the CPSA slideshow of all submitted work to be a very educational experience - particularly in relation to how much the quality of the image submitted can influence decisions.

      However, until called upon to judge artwork, it's not easy to understand the different criteria which are used to judge art.

      To this end, you might might like to test your own judgement and take part in the challenge presented by a new poll on my website  

      POLL - The People's Vote: Which is the Best International Exhibition?

      The site provides access (just below the poll) to links to the archived pages of the CPSA exhibitions and the Poll asks you to determine which of the exhibitions between 2000 and 2010 is the best.  That way we're not being unfair to individual artists as you're being asked to judge the exhibition as a whole.

      You're also invited to offer your comments on what criteria you used to make your choice.

      I think it could be an interesting learning experience........let me know what you think.

      Sunday, August 15, 2010

      Juried into UKCPS 9th Annual UKCPS International Open Exhibition

      Along with 65 other artists, I've had work juried into the UKCPS 9th Annual UKCPS International Open Exhibition 2010 of 100% coloured pencil artwork by coloured pencil artists.

      Altogether the exhibition will comprise 106 entries from 66 artists from the UK, Hungary, Israel, Netherlands, Pakistan, Spain and USA.  You can see the names of the artists and the titles of all the accepted works below.

      You can see my work which has been juried in below too.  I entered two works (Prelude and Not Quite White)  and they both got in.  What's really great is that they are both already framed and I don't need to do anything!

      Incidentally, the images on this blog are tiny versions of the 25MB TIFF images which I submitted for selection.

      Allium Series - Prelude
      12" x 8", coloured pencils on Arches HP
      copyright Katherine Tyrrell

      List of artists with work accepted into the  

      UKCPS 9th International Open Annual Exhibition

      Name of ArtistTitle of Work
      Brian AinsworthBessie
      Hans AndersenGreat Tit
      Elizabeth Aubury UKCPSTillansia Bulbosa
      Ranunculus Brazen Hussey and Collaret
      Nerine Hotspur
      Elizabeth BartonThe Peri II
      Joan BattyBay Town
      Robin Borrett UKCPSPlace in the Country
      Carol Bramley UKCPSWhen I Grow Up
      Linda BrandBeach Huts, Mudeford
      Jean Canter UKCPSSurrey Winter Birches nr Eashing
      Surrey Spring Elstead Moat Pond
      Angela Cater UKCPSBeautiful Dreamer
      Looking for Trouble
      Kate ClarkeChallenging Stereotypes
      Sue ClinkerDaydreaming Tiger
      Hunting Tiger
      On Guard
      Alice Collins  Lascelles
      Karen Coulson UKCPSSiberian Eagle Owl
      Beverley CourtneySky
      Bluebelle's Picnic
      Lesley Crawford UKCPSSummer Hare
      Malcolm CudmoreSienna Gentleman
      Jackie CunninghamMare and Foal
      White Horse
      Laszlo Dobrocsi (Hungary)The Beauty of Change
      Galini DimitriadouAdvocate's Close
      Elizabeth FrearsonWinter Foliage
      Lesley Galton UKCPSBliss
      Bridgit Riley's Biggest Fan
      Irina Garmashova-CawtonTake a Pick
      Beach Collection
      Jo Goudie UKCPSIn Velvet
      The Lady Painted
      Stornoway Crow
      Angela HammondThe Squabble
      I Spy Strangers
      Pat Heffer UKCPSBrydie
      Retiring to the Alms House
      Suzy Herbert UKCPSMy Pot with Nuts
      Judith Heilbronn-Crown UKCPS (Israel)Dolgoch at Nant Gwernol
      Giant Bird of Paradise Seed Pod
      Dolgoch Waterfall
      Tintagel from Castle View
      Jane Holfor AtkinDucklings
      Bev Lewis UKCPSIn Danger Amur Lopard
      Rainforest Dreaming
      Roger Lewis UKCPSThe Sea Horse Gondola
      Patsy Lindamood UKCPS (Florida, USA)Stork's Eye View
      Bough with a View
      Silver Dragon 1
      Camouflage Amphibian Style
      Sharon LomasFlamenco Fire
      Pauline LongleyCharlie
      Itchy Feet
      Times Past
      Ann James Massey UKCPSMindy
      Alan McManonKestrel
      Penmon and Puffin
      Karen MiddletonLittle Treasure
      Baber Ahmed Mirza (Pakistan)Mann G
      Liedia van de Mortel (Netherlands)Woman from Nepal
      Jonathan Newey UKCPS Double Gold
      Victoria ParsonsWolf Watch
      Underwater Ballet
      Pretty Flamingo
      Mina PatelClematis
      Carole Ann PeartMy Artist Friend
      Alison PerkinsCrowning Glory
      Penguin Pose
      Rachel Pesterfield Lucy
      Sepia Self
      Dave Richards UKCPSBanks of the Wye
      Lesley SharmanAutumn Wood
      Her First Oyster
      Sue SmithMixed Veg
      Gary TheobaldAin't Nobody Here But Us Chickens
      Beach Pebbles
      Jane Thorogood (Janie Pirie)Pear 'Conference'
      Paeony 'Sir Alexander Fleming'
      Plum & Blossom 'Marjories Seedling'
      Loire Valley Harvest
      Katherine Tyrrell UKCPSNot Quite White
      Martin Vela (New Mexico, USA)Flemish Stargazer
      Uncommon Scents
      Judith WaughPurple Parrot Tulip
      Ursula Williams (Spain)The Ploughman
      Helena Wilsen-SaundersCaelestis Propagatio
      Lesley WoodhouseSilver Birch Wood
      Birds on a Wire
      Peter Woof UKCPSPears
      Oriental Jar
      Topiary Levens
      Japanese Still Life

      Not Quite White
      7.5" x 11.5", coloured pencils on Arches HP
      copyright Katherine Tyrrell
      Venue:  The 9th Annual Open International Exhibition is at the Stamford Arts Centre, Stamford in Lincolnshire from 13th September until 1st October 2010. Opening hours are Monday to Saturday 9am to 9pm. The Gallery is not open on Sunday.

      Private View Monday 13th September (6.00-9.00pm):  I've got several invites to the Private View - do let me know if you'd like to receive one.  I haven't quite worked out how many will be left over after I've sent ones off to ones I need to but I'm bound to have some.

      Links: Call for Entries: 9th UKCPS Annual Open International Exhibition 2010 provides details of the call for entries and regulations for entry