Sunday, December 26, 2010

Vote for the best artwork on an art blog in 2010

You are invited to vote for
the Making A Mark Award
for the best artwork on a blog in 2010

Readers of this blog were invited to nominate work (which can be seen in yesterday's posts - listed at the end). I've then selected a shortlist for each of the three categories.

There is, of course, no right or wrong answer to which pieces should be selected from those which were nominated. 

Before the display of images of the shortlist I've said a few words about why I chose the works that I did. You might also be interested in my comments in a couple of posts I did last year which provide some more context for making a selection - here are my thoughts on Selection, jurying and must-see lists and Juried art competitions - does size matter?

What you have to do now

DECIDE WHICH ARTWORK YOU LIKE THE BEST (see images below) in each of the FOUR different categories below and then vote in the poll relating to each category - but only one vote per category please! ;)
  • Make sure you get the result right first time as you'll be blocked from changing your vote 
  • The deadline for voting is 6.00am (Greenwich Mean Time) on Thursday 30th December 2010
  • I will then formally announce the winner of each category in the second part of the Making A Mark Awards in a post later on the 30th December.
  • You'll only be able to see the percentages of the vote which each piece attracts. However the work which attracts the most votes in total will also be declared Picture of the Year!
I suggest you click on the images before voting so you can see all the work properly. When you've voted you can then view the results by clicking on the 'view result' link in the bottom left hand corner (just above the polldaddy link).

You can also share a link to any of the polls on your own blog.  Just click the 'share this' link for the poll you'd like to share.

You now have four days to vote for which is the best artwork in each category. There are FOUR polls below - please take your time and vote on each.

The Making a Mark Prize for Best Artwork - Portrait / Figures 2010
aims to celebrate and highlight excellence in portraiture and/or artwork 
on an art blog predominantly involving figures

The Making A Mark Awards likes to highlight drawings as well as paintings and Derek Jones' drawing made using a graphite watercolour pencil and a brush is one of the reasons why.  I've always liked figurative paintings of people in interiors and sketch them a lot myself so Margaret Dyer's painting of Dejeuner immediately appealed to me.  Belinda nails the reasons why it's also a good painting.  Unfortunately the delightful painting which was original nomination for a work by Anntii Rautiola proved to be a 209 painting posted to his blog in 2009 and was hence ineligible.  However I did like this artist's paintings of his children so I selected another one of the two children.  The 100 faces project of last year's MAM Award winner Karin Jurick's was nominated for this prize but I feel this is a great project whereits chief merit lies in the totality rather than one individual painting.  However while looking through through Karin's blog I came across Hands of Time which for me is a really great composition and portrait. 

"Some Drawings (Cait)"
by Derek Jones (Derek Jones Art)
Nominated by Julie Broom

by Margaret Dyer
(Small Pastel Studies by Margaret Dyer)
pastel 24 x 19"
Nominated by Belinda Del Pesco
by Antti Rautiola (Antti Rautiola)
100 x 70cm, 2010
Artist Nominated by René PleinAir | artwork selected by Katherine Tyrrell

"Hands of Time"
by Karin Jurick A Painting Today,
8 x 11" oil on masonite
Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell

The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Place 2010
aims to
celebrate and highlight excellence in creating pictures
about places in our environment

As many will know by now, the reasons why paintings get selected for a shortlist can be as much to do with the juror as the artist.  I know the view of the Malverns painted by Antony Bridge and I've seen many paintings of it and it's always good to see another one.  Like Michelle Basic Hendry, it's my view that Interiors are also landscapes - and ones which are undervalued as a subject to paint.  Her painting is impressive.  I've admired Terry Miura's work for a long time.  His one was one of the first blogs I started following.  I'm more used to seeing him paint country roads rather than urban landscapes however this one is a stunner.   It also points up the townscape as a topic for landscape painting.  I've added in a painting by Loriann Signori because I've liked her watercolour and pastel paintings for a very long time.  She's also one of the very few art bloggers who posts on a daily basis and has a prodigious output.  This is one of my favourite paintings by Loriann in 2010 and it was featured on this blog earlier this year.

Autumn Malvern Hills 
by Antony Bridge (
Nominated by: Antony Bridge (self)

by Michelle Basic Hendry
(Artscapes – Musings on Art & Life)
Nominated by: Michelle Basic Hendry (self)

Up to the Blue
by Terry Miura
(Studio Notes)
Nominated by Belinda del Pesco

Canal Sunrise
by Loriann Signori (Loriann Signori's Painting-a-Day)
Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell

The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Still Life in 2010
aims to highlight and celebrate excellence in creating pictures
which help us to reflect on how the small and/or still can be beautiful

Still life over the years has seemed to attract artists interested in developing a high degree of realism while at the same time sometimes telling a story with their artwork.  I've admired very many of the paintings Sadie J Valeri has produced this year and was pleased to see one nominated for this award.  I'm just one of the very many fans of Julian Merrow Smith's work so it was pleasing to see one of his small still lifes nominated.  James Neil Hollingsworth was shortlisted last year and thoroughly merits his inclusion again this year.  He produces a consistently high standard of still life paintings which while highly realistic are still emphatically paintings rather than trying to ape photographs.  I've added in a drawing by Andrea Joseph who has a unique style of drawing with a ballpoint pen (that's as in no scope for mistakes!).  I love looking out for what is her latest drawing of a collection of objects.  I spent a long time narrowing this down to just one drawing!

Nominated by: eLIZabeth Floyd

Roscoff Onion with Blue Background
by Julian Merrow-Smith
(Postcard from Provence)
Nominated by Malcolm Cudmore

Black Grapes #3
by James Neil Hollingsworth
(Paintings in Oil)
Nominated by Belinda del Pesco

Box of charms
by Andrea Joseph (andrea joseph's sketchblog)
Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell

The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of Nature in 2010  
values the natural world and its plants and animals 
and celebrates excellence in portraying every aspect of nature.

This is a NEW prize this year. All three artists are renowned for creating art about animals.  Gayle Mason has been producing her very popular macro drawings of cats for some years and this is one of her best.   Jeanette Jobson has fascinated me all year with her development of a series of paintings and fine art prints about fish.  She demonstrates on a regular basis how much creativity can be unleashed when the subject matter stays a constant.  Tracy Hall continues to win awards for her miniature paintings and having handled a Tracy Hall miniature I can tell you that photography simply does not do justice to these works.

The Right Side
by Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint)
10 x 8", coloured pencils and acrylic
Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell

A Tangle of Capelin 
by Jeanette Jobson (Illustrated Life)
Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell

copyright Tracy Hall 2010 (Watercolour Artist)
2.25" x 1.75" Watercolour on rag board ('ghost' penny shown for scale)
Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell

[EDIT 29th December 2010:  The statistical data for IPs visiting this blog provide very strong indications that votes have not been cast in the normal way in which this contest is conducted. There have been extraordinary levels of activity by a tiny number of IPs in one particular area.   As a result I have reluctantly eliminated an entry from the vote for one category.  This competition is about art on art blogs. It is not a contest to show me how many friends you have.  The intended audience for the vote are all those who normally read this blog, all votes should come from art bloggers and those who enjoy this blog. Excessive enthusiasm to generate votes for an entry is not welcome.]

With my best wishes to you and yours in this festive season.
I'll be back with the first instalment of the Making A Mark awards
on Wednesday 29th December.

The winner of the best artwork on an art blog in 2010 
will be announced on Thursday 30th December

Links:  You can also see:


  1. That is an interesting selection of artwork.
    Good luck to all participants.

  2. Great selections to choose from, all winners in their own right and so very hard to make a decision!

    And thank you for the nomination Katherine, much appreciated. Off to print shrimp now!

  3. Well, I've voted - but really every artwork deserves a vote, because the standard is so high and each piece has so much to commend it. Lovely work!

  4. Some difficult choices but great to get the opportunity to vote.

  5. Hi Katherine! Thank you soooooo much for including my painting! I am humbled and delighted to have my painting be included with such beautiful work. THANKS!!!!

  6. Such beautiful pieces! Good luck to all! :)

  7. So many excellent choices it was quite hard to vote. Thank you for all the research that was involved.
    B. J. Adams

  8. Such excellent choices, was hard to choose. Thank you for researching all of these excellent blogs.

  9. I'm afraid to say I'm getting a high level of activity associated with one IP address - which shouldn't be happening.........

  10. I'm afraid I'm now contemplating eliminating one entry.

  11. See the comment which updates the poll and the votes cast to date at the end of the original post.

    Can I just reiterate.

    This competition is about art on art blogs. It is not a contest for artists to try and show me how many friends they have or how many votes they can generate by lobbying for votes.

    The intended audience for the vote are all those who normally read this blog, all votes should come from art bloggers and those who enjoy this blog.

    Excessive enthusiasm to generate votes for an entry is not welcome.

    I expect art bloggers to vote on the merit of the artwork - in their eyes - and not on who they like best.

    Sorry to be so officious. It's a prompt I've never before needed to give. I thought everybody understood the way this worked - but sadly it seems this has not been the case tis year.

    Having said all that, I'm finding the voting for those who remain the contest to be absolutely fascinating. It continues to be very close!


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