Tuesday, November 30, 2010

What price is affordable art? (Poll Results)

In November the Making A Mark Opinion Poll asked the question What price is affordable art? in two different denominations - £ and $.  This post has the results - and there's a very interesting twist and some very profound messages for marketing and price points!

I had a strong suspicion that the response varied by country.  So I asked the question in relation to two different currencies - but made the answers absolutely identical in numerical terms (except for the currency).  As I expected, after one takes into account the currency difference the results are significantly different.

Now this one is a bit difficult so below you will see:
  • USA:  a chart for the dollar values
  • UK:  a chart for the sterling values 
Later on I'm going to add in the charts converted to the other currency so you can see the HUGE  difference in the responses.
    In the narrative I'm using the end of month currency exchange rate (using xe.com) to provide context for the values I'm quoting.  The exchange rate is as follows:
    • $1 (US) = £0.641737 (GBP)
    • £1 (GB) = $1.55865 (USD)
    Which means in very broad terms $1 = 64pence and £1 will get you $1.55

    Overall conclusions

    The numbers 500 and 1,000 are hugely influential in terms of people's perceptions of what are the big price hurdles.
    • Both produced a peak and very similar values in terms of percentage responses
    • after which there was very little activity until the next price hurdle was reached.
    The important point is that these are completely different prices due to the exchange rate!  Let me explain with some specific examples

    The Power of 500
    • In the USA, 24% of the sample would buy art at less than $500 (£320)
    • In the UK, 27% of the sample would but art at less than £500 ($775)
    • around about a third of the market would contemplate buying art costing more than 500 (whichever currency)
    The Power of 1,000
    • In the USA, 17% of the sample would buy art at less than $1,000 (£640)
    • In the UK, 20% of the sample would buy art at less than £1,000 ($1,550)
    • those contemplating buying artwork in excess of 1,000 (whichever currency) are only around 10% of the marketplace which reads this blog.
    Which means in terms of pricing art
    • you can get more people to buy your art at higher prices in the UK.  
    • Selling art to the USA:  Which should mean that artists based in the USA should be assessing whether they should be marketing original artwork at serious prices to the UK
    • there is much more resistance at lower price points in the USA when compared to what is experienced in the UK
    • Selling art to the USA:  Conversely, UK artists need to think very carefully how they price artwork when marketing to the USA
    For me, the conclusions bear out anecdotal stories I had heard (and hence why I constructed the poll in this way).  Plus it explains why the $100 daily painting ploy has worked well when marketing to the American market while it has had much less impact in the UK market.

    Now for the charts and the detailed results so you can see where these conclusions come from.

    USA: What price is affordable art (in US$)?
    • 70% of the 63 people who voted on the $ question thought that affordable art meant art costing less than $500 (£320) 
    • A significant minority think affordable art means it costs less than $100 (13%) or lower (8%).  $100 = £64.  $50 = £32,
    • This means only 30% of respondents contemplate buying art costing more than $500 (ie £320)
    • 17% would buy art costing more than $500 (ie £320) and less than $1,000 (£640)
    • 10% would contemplate buying art costing more than $1,000 (£640)

    UK: What price is affordable art (in GB £) ?
    • The overall profile of the chart is not dissimilar to the USA chart
    • 64% of the 41 people who voted on the £ sterling question thought that affordable art meant art costing less than £500 ($775) 
    • A significant minority think affordable art means it costs less than £100 (15%) or lower (5%).  £100 = $155 £50 = $77.50
    • This means only 36% of respondents contemplate buying art costing more than  £500 ($775)
    • 20% would buy art costing more than  £500 ($775)  and less than £1,000 ($1,550)
    • 9% would buy art costing more than  £1,000 ($1,550)

    Questions for you

    What I'm interested to know is as follows:
    1. Have you ever thought about price points and their importance before? 
    2. Have you ever considered price points might not be equivalent in different countries?
    3. Do you agree that 500 and 1,000 are very big and very important price points?
    4. Do these price thresholds influence how you price to avoid scaring people off? (eg  pricing at $495, £950)
    5. Did anybody notice what I'd done in terms of the options available?

    Note: This blog post is summarised on The Price of Affordable Art on Art Business Info for Artists

    Sunday, November 28, 2010

    28th November 2010 - Who's made a mark this week?

    Colour Wheels discussed in "Color and Light" by James Gurney (Andrews McMeel Publishing)
    The three big events that occurred this last week were Thanksgiving, Black Friday and the arrival of my review copy of Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter by James Gurney.

    I'm finding that the first two are beginning to have an impact more and more on this side of the pond.  In the context of Black Friday, have you been working hard and gearing your artwork up to being ready for gift-giving?  If so you'll be interested in the new Making A Mark Poll for December which will start this week

    You can find links to reviews of James book below.

    NEXT WEEK I'm focusing on who's got 2011 calendars of their artwork available - do leave a comment if you want to make sure you get a mention.

    Art Blogs

    Drawing and sketching
    Coloured Pencils and Pastels
    Illustration and Fantasy Art
    Wildlife and animal art
    Art Business and Marketing
    Art and the Economy / Art Markets / Art Collectors
    By investing in artists through six-figure advances that stretch over two or three years, AVA gives them the space, time and resources to create art that might not otherwise see the light of day. Its approach challenges the traditional way in which art changes hands, with dealers taking up to 70% of their sale prices and little left with which to pay for materials, studios and living expenses.
    For collectors, it is the equivalent of spotting the rare ivory gull or Bicknell's thrush: the chance to own an original copy of John James Audubon's "Birds of America.".......Sotheby's has valued the book at about $6.2 million to $9.3 million, making it one of the most expensive books ever sold at auction.

    Art Education / workshops / tips and techniques
    Tutorials, tips and techniques

    Art Exhibitions and Art Fairs

    • On Tuesday I listed all the major Art Exhibitions in London - Autumn/Winter 2010 relating to either major museums and art galleries and/or national art societies
    • REVIEW: Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2010 which closed on Friday.  It's now moving to W. H. Patterson Gallery in Mayfair (19 Albemarle Street, London W1S 4BB) until 3rd December.  I'm impressed by this additional venue and it certainly adds clout to the importance of this art prize.
    • I went to see the Bridget Riley exhibition on Friday afternoon - not a lot of work but what there is very impressive.  Here's a review by the Telegraph - Bridget Riley, National Gallery, review
    • I also saw the Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club - a review of which will be posted shortly.
    Art Galleries and Museums

    Art Studios
    Art Supplies
    • Leslie Hawes has been creating a sketchbook cover for her project for next year- see Sketchbook Project 2011 Cover Art.  This itemises products she's using to seal the use of coloured pencil for the cover artwork.  I've decided to create a resource about different sorts of fixatives for people working n dry media - as it's a perennial issue in terms of what's available and what's best.  If you have a favourite do let me know.
    Book Reviews
    This week I'm going to be writing my review of Color and Light which published tomorrow. I'm still extraordinarily chuffed by the reference this blog got in the book - and my pictorial dedication in the front of my review copy  - see "Color and Light" and Making a Mark

    In the meantime here are all the other reviews from people the advantage of living in the same country as James!
    James Gurney hits it out of the park again with his new art instruction book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. 
    I have to tell you you MUST get this book. This book is like nothing written on color before. Most books I have read on color are hard to understand and harder still to apply to your art. James has really sorted it out from a painters perspective AND explained the science of color too.
    • Last week there was an important decision for rights-holders, underlining their right to have their creative works protected against illegal exploitation and to be fairly rewarded for their endeavours.  The Court of Appeals in Sweden this afternoon upheld the criminal convictions for copyright infringement against three of the individuals in The Pirate Bay case.  The Court of Appeal has also increased the amount of damages payable to 46 million SEK  (up from 32m SEK).  
    • On 18th November, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved legislation to provide the Justice Department with new tools to crack down on the theft and distribution of illegal digital movies, television shows and other counterfeit material by rogue websites on the Internet.  (See Senate Judiciary Committee Approves Bill to Crack Down on Digital Theft by Rogue Websites)
    Opinion Poll

    The Making A Mark Poll for November will finish very early on Tuesday and the results posted later that day.  Thanks to all those who have participated.  If you haven't yet voted for What price is affordable art? you can still do so - the poll is in the right hand column with separate polls for USA($) and UK(£) values.  Hopefully the information will help you with pricing for your sales of artwork in the next few weeks.
      Websites, webware and blogging
      • Have you tried Google realtime search?  It lets you see up-to-the-second social updates, news articles and blog posts about hot topics around the world.  Ypu can acces it via the updates tab in the Google menu of options.

      and finally........

      What Does Your Website’s Color Scheme Reveal About You?
        This inviting color has found a new home among “web 2.0” style sites and apps, where it’s often combined with a vivid green, orange or purple to create a new style all its own.

        Likewise, people who use teal on their site tend to be inviting, charming and amazingly creative. They might seem cool and confident on the surface, but inside, their minds are going ninety miles a minute churning up new ideas and questions.
        That'll be me then! ;)

        Saturday, November 27, 2010

        "Color and Light" and Making a Mark

        Color and Light by James Gurney is published 30th November
        Last week I received my review copy of James Gurney's new book Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter. It is published next Tuesday 30th November.

        James is well known to most of you because of his blog Gurney Journey - where a lot of the content of this book first surfaced.  If you don't know this and want to learn more about art techniques I highly recommend you subscribe to his blog.

        I can tell you now - aftr a fast skim read aand before I've even read properly from cover to cover - that this is going to be THE most helpful book for all those interested in or wanting to know more about colour and light for drawing and painting.  I've now even got a name for one of the colour/light effects I've puzzled about for a very long time "Reverse Atmospheric Perspective"!  Plus that's a stunning cover!

        It's also currently the #1 best selling painting book on Amazon!

        Recommended Reading

        However the real purpose of this blog post is to do a small toot for Making A Mark!

        I was sat on the tube going to my monthly meet-up with my Drawing group yesterday (see Giant red nosed reindeer in Covent Garden!) and put Color and Light in my backpack to read on the tube.

        By the time I got out at Embankment I had a great big silly smile all over my face.

        That's because in the section at the end devoted to Recommended Reading,  James has included an Internet Resources section.  This, of course, includes sites like Bruce McEvoy's Handprint plus David Brigg's HueValueChroma and Tony Johnson's Paintingmaking sites - PLUS it also references this blog!  James never told me!
        makingamark.blogspot.com by Katherine Tyrell.  Various resources for artists, including summaries about color theory with additional links.
        This reference dates back to my big Colour Project in 2008.  References to the posts on this blog are all now neatly organised and explained in this resource site Learning about Color - Online Projects.

        The idea back in 2008 was as follows
        I like colour, I respond to colour and people frequently compliment me on my use of colour in my drawings.  But do I know enough about colour? I don't think so!

        In my colour project in 2008 I focused on colour with a view to becoming better at understanding and using colour. The idea was to:
        • remind myself of what I do know - so it gets bedded down even further into the braincells
        • then work out what I don't know and find out about as much of that as possible in the time.
        • Plus along the way I hopefully identify all the things which currently I don't know I don't know about - and learn about those too!!!

        Friday, November 26, 2010

        The Denman Ross Value Scale

        A value scale is a way of describing how values change between black and white. One of the most well known is the Denman Ross nine step value scale.

        This value scale of tones within art was devised in 1907 and was introduced in The painter's palette: a theory of tone relations, an instrument of expression by Denman Waldo Ross, Professor of Art at Harvard University and a trustee of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

        (You can read the book online and/or download various formats for a digitized version of this book by clicking the link in the title. This can be used for any fair use which is non-commercial. It's worth having a look at - but you would be forgiven for thinking that large parts look like they might be about trigonometry!)

        You can see that one of the terms he uses to describe the different values is ' highlight' - which is one which artists use all the time.

        The Denman Ross Value Scale

        You can use these values when working out a composition. Try using just three values or five values.

        Below you can:
        • create your own Denman Ross Value Scale
        • review value finders made by a couple of companies in the UK and USA.

        How to create a Denman Ross Value Scale (a nine step value scale)

        The way to create a nine step value scale is as follows:
        • start with white and black at either end of your nine value scale
        • mix a medium grey which is visually halfway between white and black
        • mix a light grey halfway between the mid grey and white
        • mix a dark grey halfway between the mid grey and black (you now have a total of 5 value steps)
        • create four intermediate greys at a value midway between each of the values you have so far
        The interval between each value in the scale should be equal.

        You can maximise the value of creating one for yourself if
        • you use the paper and media you regularly use 
        • which means you can easily transfer check values when creating drawings or paintings using the same paper and drawing or painting media.
        It also gives you an appreciation of just how hard you have to work at creating some of those darks!

        Grey Scale and Value Finder Aids

        You can buy aids on Amazon which equate to this scale or alternatively make ones for yourself. The advantage of the manufactured aids are they more robust and easier to carry around with you.

        The first aid is the Gray Scale and Value Finder made by the Color Wheel Company who make a number of useful aids for colour and composition studies. I prefer using this aid because it provides the scope to surround and isolate the tonal value from its near neighbours and to look at it in isolation against the printed tonal value.  It's also fairly robust - I've carried mine with me on my sketching travels all over the world and it's only very slightly dented!  I find it particularly useful when you are dealing with the extreme contrasts in very strong light when you need a baseline as your eyes struggle to adjust to the light

        Gray Scale and Value Finder by the Color Wheel Company
        BUY THIS AID (associate links support this blog) from

        The second aid is the Tonal Value Finder made by the Teaching Art Company. It provides 10 values from black to white. The strip across the top is transparent which allows you to check the tonal value of what you can see with the strip

        The Tonal Value Finder made by Teaching Art Ltd.
        BUY THIS AID  (associate links support this blog) from

        THIS BLOG POST WAS UPDATED on 8th August 2019.

        More information about tonal values

        More links to information about tonal values and the Denman Ross Value Scale

        Thursday, November 25, 2010

        'Wild Turkey' by John James Audubon

        Buy at Art.com
        Wild Turkey
        John James Audubon

        When I remember, I like to find an image of a turkey for Thanksgiving - to say thank you to all my very many American friends who read this blog.

        Earlier posts on Making A Mark have covered:
        This year it's the turn of John James Audubon and his painting/engraving of a wild male turkey.

        To all of my American friends I don't think I can do better than repeat what I said in an earlier post. I hope you have a great turkey, that all your clients and commissions pay up on time and that you have a really wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday! :)

        Wednesday, November 24, 2010

        REVIEW: Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2010

        This is my very overdue review of the Lynn Painter-Stainer Exhibition 2010

        I thought maybe you'd had rather a lot of posts about the Prize last week - hence I delayed it to this week.  As always I'm going to slant the review of the exhibition more towards:
        • what I liked and 
        • what might be useful information to those thinking about applying for next year - starting with the latter!
        As the BBC very astutely spotted (and I didn't!) the two main prizes were carried off by two artists who had painted foxes.  However the subject matter of this exhibition is always very varied - but always figurative in nature.

        The main reasons for applying for the Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize

        Apart from the fact it's a jolly decent sum, good reasons to apply for this Prize include the following....
        • an absolutely packed Private View  - with Bollinger Champagne - at Painters Hall in the City of London (that's shorthand for people with money!) with the sponsors urging people to buy your work, which is always very nice to hear!
        a view of the Private View for the Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize 2010 at Painters Hall
        all photos copyright Katherine Tyrrell
        • A well lit and lovely room where all the works look good.  This is one exhibition I always enjoy visiting each year because the work looks good and the room has a nice feel even though it's very grand
        • An emphasis on figurative - which means that those who like creating figurative artwork are in very good company.  Some was a tad too abstracted for my liking this year.
        • Artists with 'names' apply for this Prize (eg past prizewinners of major prizes) so if you get in you get the kudos of being ranked alongside major prizewinners
        • Your work does not have to be big to get selected - but it does have to be good!  Ohla Pryymak (Olechko) - who also had her work selected for the ING Discerning Eye - got two works into this exhibition - and both sold before the PV.
        Ohla Pryymak with her two small paintings (with red dots - both had sold!)
        Work I liked

        I've already referenced the prizewinners in separate posts (see end)

        Here's some of the works I liked.
        • Daniel Preece's painting of the interiorof Kenisngton Palace appealed a lot - mainly because he was using all my favourite colours but also because it was well painted.  His work reminded me somewhat of William Coldstream's approach to painting
        Interior (Kensington Palace) by Daniel Preece
        120 x 100, acrylic on canvas £3,800
        Dew Pond above Ballidon Quarry by Roger Allen
        106 x 87cm watercolour £1,500
        Two watercolours drew my attention.
        • Roger Allen's painting of cows above and sheep next to a dewpond reflected the rural idyll against the intrusion of modern industry and the way in which quarries scar the landscape.  Classically painted with good execution and social comment within the context of a working landscape - nice!
        • Janet Kenyon's watercolour of an evening in Manchester suggested a modern homage to Atkinson Grimshaw's fine paintings of lights in the evening.  Last year she won the Cityscape section of the Sunday Times Watercolour Competition with another very fine painting of lights at night.
        Reflected glory, Manchester by Janet Kenyon
        99 x 78cm, watercolour £1,895

        Here are some general shots of work in the exhibition to give you a sense of what was in the exhibition (which I shall endeavour to label given a little bit more time).

        The call for entries for the 2011 exhibition will be going out in the summer of next year.  Let Parker Harris know if you definitely want to be on the mailing list for the call for entries.


        Tuesday, November 23, 2010

        Art Exhibitions in London - Autumn/Winter 2010

        These are the major art exhibitions in London in late Autumn 2010 / Winter 2011.  The links in the names of the exhibitions are to their microsite pages (where available) of the relevant art gallery or museum where you can see them.

        I've organised it this time according to the location rather than the timeline.

        UK - Major Museums

        National Gallery
        This exhibition presents the finest assembly of Venetian views since the much-celebrated display in Venice in 1967. It features works by Canaletto and all the major practitioners of the genre.
        Remarkably, considering the dominant role of British patronage in this art form, 'Venice: Canaletto and His Rivals' is the first exhibition of its kind to be organised in the UK.
        Bringing together approximately 55 major loans from public and private collections across Europe and North America, the exhibition highlights the rich variety of Venetian view painting.
        The exhibition focuses upon Bridget Riley’s most recent paintings. Two of Riley’s works will be made directly on to the walls of the exhibition space. Riley and her studio will create a new wall drawing, ‘Composition with Circles 7’, especially for the longest wall of the Sunley Room. In addition a version of the wall-painting, ‘Arcadia’ – last seen at the major 2008 retrospective in Paris – will be recreated on a larger scale.
        Jan Gossaert (active 1503; died 1532) was one of the most startling and versatile artists of the Northern Renaissance. A pivotal Old Master, Gossaert changed the course of Flemish art, going beyond the tradition of Jan van Eyck and charting new territory that eventually led to the great age of Rubens – yet this is the first major exhibition dedicated to him in more than 45 years.
        National Portrait Gallery
        Thomas Lawrence was the greatest British portrait painter of his generation and one of the most celebrated artists in Europe in the early decades of the nineteenth century. This exhibition, the first in the UK for over thirty years, presents fifty-four works drawn from international public and private collections, some never before seen in public.
        The Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2010 celebrates and promotes the very best in contemporary portrait photography.

        Tate Modern

        Gauguin Preview, Tate Modern
        • Gauguin 30 September 2010 - 16 January 2011 (warning - this exhibition is extremely busy)
        Gauguin is one of the world's most famous and best-loved artists from the early 20th century. For the first time in the UK in over 50 years, Tate Modern presents an exhibition dedicated to this master French Post-Impressionist, featuring paintings and drawings from around the world. His sumptuous, colourful images of women in Tahiti and beautiful landscape images of Brittany in France are some of the most popular images in Modern art.
        Sunflower Seeds is made up of millions of small works, each apparently identical, but actually unique. However realistic they may seem, these life-sized sunflower seed husks are in fact intricately hand-crafted in porcelain.  Each seed has been individually sculpted and painted by specialists working in small-scale workshops in the Chinese city of Jingdezhen. Far from being industrially produced, they are the effort of hundreds of skilled hands. Poured into the interior of the Turbine Hall’s vast industrial space, the 100 million seeds form a seemingly infinite landscape.
        Tate Britain
        The Turner Prize is awarded annually for an outstanding exhibition. Four artists are shortlisted and they present their work in a three month exhibition at Tate Britain.  The winner will be announced at Tate Britain on 6 December 2010
        • Romantics  9 August 2010  –  31 July 2011
        Romance is in the air in the Clore Gallery, a major new display presents Romantic art in Britain, its origins, inspirations and legacies. Drawn from Tate's collection, it showcases major works by Henry Fuseli, JMW Turner, John Constable and Samuel Palmer, as well as newly-acquired works by William Blake. From Turner's reinvention of landscape to Blake's visionary histories, the display reveals the imagination and innovations of a generation defined by belief in creative freedom, rather than tradition or style. In addition, two rooms look at the legacy of The Romantics, presenting work by Graham Sutherland and others.
        British-born Eadweard Muybridge, who emigrated to the United States in the 1850s, is one of the most influential photographers of all time. He pushed the limits of the camera's possibilities, creating world-famous images of animals and humans in motion. Just as impressive are his vast panoramas of American landscapes, such as the Yosemite valley, and his documentation of the rapidly growing nation, particularly in San Francisco
        Royal Academy of Arts
        This exhibition showcases the breadth and wealth of one of the finest collections in Central Europe.  Comprising works from the Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest, with additional key loans from the Hungarian National Gallery, the exhibition features over 200 works by artists including Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, El Greco, Rubens, Goya, Manet, Monet, Schiele, Gauguin and Picasso. Many have not previously been shown in the UK.
        The Royal Academy of Arts presents the first major exhibition in London for over 40 years to celebrate the achievement of the Glasgow Boys, the loosely knit group of young painters who created a stir at home and abroad in the final decades of the nineteenth century. The exhibition features over 80 oil paintings, watercolours and pastels from public and private collections by such artists as Guthrie, Lavery, Melville, Crawhall, Walton, Henry and Hornel. Together they presented a new art, which had a major impact at home and abroad in the closing decades of the nineteenth century. The resultant works were, from c. 1880 to 1900, among the most experimental and ambitious to be produced in the UK.

        • Modern British Sculpture 27 January - 7 April 2011
        In 2011, the Royal Academy of Arts will present the first exhibition for 30 years to examine British sculpture of the twentieth century. The show will represent a unique view of the development of British sculpture, exploring what we mean by the terms British and sculpture by bringing the two together in a chronological series of strongly themed galleries, each making its own visual argument.
        British Museum
        Collected over the past 35 years, this exhibition showcases many of the great artists of the 20th century, starting with Picasso’s study for his masterpiece Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, the painting that shook the art world in 1907. It also features works by E L Kirchner, Otto Dix, Matisse, Magritte, David Smith and Louise Bourgeois and major contemporary artists, including Anselm Kiefer, Gerhard Richter and William Kentridge and Julie Mehretu
        Courtauld Gallery
        The Courtauld Gallery’s two masterpieces from this series, The Card Players and Man with a Pipe, are joined by exceptional loans from international collections, including the Metropolitan Museum in New York, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris and the State Hermitage Museum in St Petersburg, to offer a visual feast of some of the artist’s finest paintings.
        Dulwich Gallery
        Dulwich Picture Gallery presents the first major UK Rosa exhibition since 1973.  Salvator Rosa (1615-1673) was one of the boldest and most powerfully inventive artists and personalities of the Italian 17th century. He invented new types of painting: allegorical pictures, distinguished by a haunting and melancholy poetry; fanciful portraits of romantic and enigmatic figures; macabre and horrific subjects; philosophical subjects, which bring into painting some of the major philosophical and scientific concerns of his age.
        The best-known and most beloved American artist of the 20th century. 
        To find out more about these museums you can consult my resource sites for art lovers:
        UK - National Art Societies

        Mall Galleries
        Bankside Gallery  

        Monday, November 22, 2010

        21st November 2010 - Who's made a mark this week?

        Liz Steel in New York - from her second sketchbook on Issuu
        Liz Steel (Liz and Borromini) is busy scanning and posting her sketchbooks from her Long Service Holiday (11 weeks) - aka her 'round the world sketching trip/adventure' which finished last month.

        Liz has been publishing her complete sketchbooks on issuu - so the first link is to her post and the second link is to the issu publication.  Liz's sketchbooks focus on two things - architecture (she's an architect by day) and tea rooms (she's a complete tea addict) and little stickers associated with places where she's been.  If you've never ever kept a sketchbook as a journal before when on a trip take a look at Liz's.
        • Volume 1 (on issuu) - sketches from the USA, starting with the Urban Sketchers meet-up in Seattle
        • Volume 2 (on issuu) - more sketches from the USA, including Portland, Kansas focusing on New York
        • Volume 3!  (on issuu)- which is all about Scotland (mainly the islands of Lewis and Harris) - and Scottish tea rooms
        Meanwhile this is my long overdue post about my meeting up with Liz and Alison Staite (Art Journey) at the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew in September.

        Kew Palace
        11 x 17", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Large Moleskine Sketchbook

        copyright Katherine Tyrrell

        Liz has so far got all the sketchbooks I saw in person - but when she left Kew she was going to the airport to jet off to Italy - so sketching her sketchbook about sketching in Venice and Tuscany is still to come!

        If you start in August and read forwards on her blog Liz and Borromini you can see all the posts as they happened.  This is what you can do when you're posting with only a phone to provide text and images!

        For those who've not come across Issuu before (like me), it's a leading online digital publishing platform that allows for realistic and customizable viewing of digitally uploaded material, such as portfolios, books, magazine issues, newspapers, and other print media. It also integrates with social networking sites to promote uploaded material.  There's a free option and a pro option.   It's globally oriented (ie not just the USA), the client list is very impressive (we're talking major players) and its growing very fast - check out the numbers.   Time magazine identified it as one of the 50 best sites in 2009 - and you can read the Time review here.  You can follow the issuuu blog here.

        I can't tell you any more than that because I'm not using it as yet but after seeing what it does for Liz's sketchbooks (and the client list) I'm going to start exploring in more depth!

        [Actually, being an ex-number cruncher, I couldn't wait so published this review of the traffic that the different sites attract this morning on Making A Mark reviews...! My post Online publishing platforms - the numbers compared gave me a big surprise - and will probably surprise you too ]

        Art  Blogs

        Drawing and sketching
        Coloured Pencils and Pastels
        • Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) is at The 2010 Supreme Show this weekend - which means an awful lot of cats and an awful lot of people who like having drawings and paintings of cats!  I'm always a bit puzzled as to why the Society of Feline Artists don't take a stand there.  Gayle's been pondering on her marketing strategy now she's a full-time professional artist and envisages a change of direction prior to the fairs in 2011
        Illustration and Fantasy Art
        • It's fascinating to see how Hugh MacLeod (Gaping Void) pitches for commissions to draw what he refers to as cube grenades
        Painters and Painting
        Art Business and Marketing
        • Yesterday I posted about a very welcome innovation - the Axis Art Map - Cardiff.  Axis hopes to develop Axis Art Maps in other UK cities and regions.  This particular map was developed with the assistance of Arts Council Wales.  Nice to see the Arts Council spending their money on initiaitives of with a practical impact on artists as digital mapping technology takes off.
        • If you're sending or selling artwork as Christmas gifts don't forget you may get some useful tips on my resource site How to pack, post and ship art - Resources for Artists
        • Plus Etsy's Storque Blog has its own tips about how to make an impact in Etsy Success: Packaging for the Holidays
        Art and the Economy / Art Collectors
        • You can view the e-catalogue for an auction in London on Tuesday of nineteenth century european paintings on the Sotheby's website. You can also view the video about the auction in which Sotheby’s Head of Department Adrian Biddell as he discusses two outstanding paintings by Joaquín Sorolla in the sale: Pescador, Valencia (Young Fisherman, Valencia), and Niños en la playa (Children Playing on the Beach).  Monet called Sorolla "the master of light".  It includes a wonderful photo of Sorolla's set-up on the beach - not the sort I've often seen in other phtoographs of artists painting and definitely wirth taking a look
        Art Competitions and Art Societies

        UK Art competitions

        This week has been a heavy duty week on Making A Mark in terms of art competitions and their exhibitions.  I don't normally get quite the overlap we have this year between the ING Discerning Eye competition and that of Lynn Painter-Stainers.  Anyway here are all the posts from Making a Mark:
        New art prizes
        • the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize is a new yearly $25,000 award funded by the painter's actor son of the same name.  It's aim is to celebrate midcareer artists who have demonstrated outstanding talent in the field of American painting.  The prize will be administered by the Tribeca Film Institute, a nonprofit co- founded by De Niro.  Artists interested in being considered for the prize should email prize@robertdenirosr.com.
        The prize will recognize “an American artist whose work over a considerable period of time has made a significant contribution to the field of painting,” according to a press release. A committee of “distinguished individuals in the art world,” as yet unnamed, will select the winner from among three finalists.
        Art Exhibitions

        Though often well versed in the traditions of Italy and Flanders, artists on the Iberian Peninsula developed their own signature techniques and departed from academic conventions of representing the human figure

        Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniques
        Tonality is the quality of light that bathes everything
        • Another use for Issuu - theartleague is the online Art League Catalog 2010-11 (a wide range of visual arts courses in Old Town Alexandria, Virginia, Metro Washington, DC). More info: http://school.theartleague.org/.  It makes interesting reading.
        Art Galleries and Museums
        The new Art of the Americas wing at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, is home to more than 5,000 pieces spread over 53 galleries.
        Art of the Americas Galleries in the new wing of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
        Art Supplies
        Book reviews
        • Figure Drawing for all it's worth by Andrew Loomis is available on Issuu.  It's very weird - it seems to have loaded in reverse.  certainly the page sequence doesn't work as it should but I guess that won't matter to those who like looking at Andrew Loonis books.
        The trial between the estate of Joseph Beuys and the Museum Schloss Moyland (p13) illustrates from a legal and an ethical perspective the complications of this entanglement and the difficulties of separating the “document” from the “work”.
        Opinion Poll
        • The Making A Mark Poll for November is progressing - you can find links to the dollar and sterling versions of What price is affordable art? in the side column.
        Websites, webware and blogging 
        and finally........
        Twenty years ago this month, Tim Berners-Lee published his proposal for the World Wide Web.
        Here's the Official Google Blog with A curious guide to browsers and the web and an online guidebook called “20 Things I Learned about Browsers and the Web.”

        Plus this is a link to the website of Christoff Niemann who did the illustrations