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


  1. Katherine, thank you so much for huge amount of useful information in your post and in your blog!
    And the quote from Hugh MacLeod is so very right, it is exactly what sticks me to art blogs. Why did I think it was differ for other people..))

  2. Hi Katherine,

    The Pushing Pigments has great potential for the quality of the presented work.
    Showing the several stages of paintings will certainly please the appreciators of the style and subjects.

    Polyptych :-)

    Take care,


  3. Katherine, your blog is a 'must read', thank you.

  4. It's so nice having you back online! I've missed the Making a Mark posts but clearly your time off has been well spent. I love the two drawings you've posted here. They are so full of personality and a delight to see.

  5. Wow, wow, wow...what a great set of links! Thanks for compiling!

  6. Love the detail of the garden. About how long did it take you?

  7. Thanks for all the great feedback

    Jeanne - I think this one was a leisurely afternoon.

  8. >What's the name for a triptych when it's four? >

    I believe four is a tetraptych or a polyptych. When I compiled a list for my glossary on parts of a painting I found words for up to eight parts; sure there will be more.


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