Monday, February 28, 2011

Which service do you trust when you post or ship artwork? (Results)

The February Making A Mark Poll had the lowest number of respondents for any poll I've run on this blog.   Only 29 people responded.  Which tends to make me think maybe that fewer people are selling their artwork online nowadays compared to in the recent past.

Anyway - back to the question posed which was "Which service do you trust when you post or ship artwork?"

Sunday, February 27, 2011

27th February 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

A review of Travels with a Sketchbook in The Times newspaper

Well this has been quite a week!

Two of my works accepted
into SBA 2011
On Tuesday I heard that I'd had three works accepted into the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists - see Artwork accepted into "The World of Plants".

Then on Thursday I was asked whether I could contribute some images to an article about Travels with a Sketchbook in The Times newspaper (as in the newspaper from which every other newspaper called The Times took its name!).

Thanks to everybody who commented on The Times would like to feature my blog!  I'd just like you all to know that sometimes it is worthwhile opening that email that looks like it could possibly be spam!

See above for the coverage.  Traffic shot up six fold on Friday and was nearly five times higher than usual yesterday.  As it was predominantly new readers hopefully some will come back to see some more.  :)

P.S.  Watch out for my article on Ten reasons to sketch with coloured pencils on Derwent's LovePencils blog on Tuesday 1st March 2011.

Art Blogs

Ontario Plein Air Art Society's blog took a stab at getting a debate going this week Of Art and “Art”– A discussion of what is and isn’t- but it hasn't got any takers to date.  It's a good post - why not take a look.

Drawing and sketching
  • From Saturday 12 March - 18 April, the Royal Botanic Garden Sydney will host a free afternoon Sketchabout. You can meet other sketch artists and chat to our Volunteer Guides about the sights in the Garden.  See Garden Sketchabout for more details
Coloured Pencils and Pastels
Aperture Bright by Casey Klahn
11" x 14", Charcoal & Pastel

Three posts on The Art of the Landscape this week
Elsewhere this is what I found this week
Painters and Painting
Learn to put a note down and pull your brush away. The more times your brush hits a note, the weaker it gets. You cannot worry the paint on your canvas into a picture. 
Wildlife Art
    Art Business and Marketing
    Art and the Economy / Art Collectors
    • The Wall Street Journal has an excellent article about the nature of what went on between Leo Castelli and the artists he represented and the collectors - in Leo Castelli's Cache Of Art-History Gold.  Castelli's family donated the records of his gallery, which he founded in 1957 and ran until his death in 1999, to the Washington-based Archives of American Art in 2007 - and they are now organised!
    Art Competitions and Art Societies
    Future Exhibitions
    • The Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of British Artists opens at the Mall Galleries this week - I'm hoping I get to walk again this week and can visit this.  Lo and behold - we at last have an art society which has woken up to the fact it's possible to have a website which actually shows us the art being exhibited before the exhibition even opens!  I predict this will result in increased sales.
    Sample of works on display on the website of the Royal Society of British Artists
    • RHS London Orchid & Botanical Art Show 19th & 20th March at the RHS Horticultural Halls, Greycoat Street in Victoria.  This is where they award RHS Gold medals to botanical art!  Almost always guaranteed to include work by overseas artists as well as UK botanical artists.  There's a rigorous process to get this far and all the work is always good.

    Art Exhibitions and art fairs
    Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniques 

    tips and techniques
    Art History
    With 12 paintings never before seen in the UK, this exhibition introduces visitors to the American artist George Bellows and his artist friends, the Ashcan Painters: William Glackens, George Luks, John Sloan and their teacher Robert Henri. The Ashcan School was formed at the beginning of the 20th century. American painters, principally in New York City and Philadelphia, began to develop a uniquely American view on the beauty, violence and velocity of the modern world.
    Art Studios
    Art Videos
    Book reviews 
    Painted Memories by Alison Horridge
    • Alison Horridge (Scribbles Adagio) has produced a book of her childhood memories of St Andrews in Scotland in the 1960s.  Painted Memories is available on Blurb.  The picture on the right is of the page where Alison is told she's moving 'down under' to Australia.
    • Neil Hollingsworth (Paintings in Oil) has also created a Blurb book about his own paintings .  Read all about the process in My First Book and Prints for Sale 
    • Blurb allows you to preview books - make sure to use the full screen option - it's so much better!
    Opinion Poll
    • This month's opinion poll has now closed and there will be a new one along on Tuesday.
    Websites, webware and blogging
    and finally........

    They do say that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

    Which would explain why Xavier Oakley (Xavier's Art Blog)- son of Julie Oakley (Julie Oakley Sketchblog) - has now got a Blue Peter badge after being shortlisted - out of 35,000 no less - to the top 100 of his age-group for his entry to the Blue Peter competition to design the logo for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

    More information (plus what you get if you actually win a Blue Peter Badge!) in an Award-winning designer.  I've met Xavier and am happy to predict this young man will go far! Old art bloggers will remember Xavier as one of the stars of One Mile from Home Julie's blogging/walking project in 2006-7.

    Saturday, February 26, 2011

    Pouring a painting

    This is mesmirising!

    The painting is by Holton Rower.  If you want to see more about they are "hung" in a gallery see this "pour" page on his website

    The Director, Cinematographer, and Editor of The "Tall Painting" video is David Kaufman

    What I can't work out is whether there is a sequence to the paint colours or whether this is totally random/  It looked a bit random to me.  What do you think?

    Also, how do you think they achieve the specific viscosity of the paint so it all flows at an even rate?  Is the paint thinned or not?

    Friday, February 25, 2011

    Natural History Museum - new "Images of Nature" Gallery

    Here are some more images from the Images of Nature exhibition at the Natural History Museum.

    It's not a large exhibition.  Rather the importance is in the fact that is a new permanent gallery for works which are images rather than specimens.

    Group of Fishes - including the pinecone fish (1829-1831)
    The gallery contains a mix of:
    • historical images from the permanent collection
    • images produced by contemporary artists
    • modern images created by scientists, imaging specialists, photographers and micro-CT scanners.
    In fact it made me think that those who produce wildlife art might want to get in touch to find out how to get their artwork acquired by the museum.  I guess you could always try a gift!

    There are also interactive kiosks which allow you to access the Museum's permanent collection as well as to look in more detail at aspects

    While sketching the Dodo, I listened to an explanation about how a modern copy was made of the original painting of the Dodo in the Museum's collection and what were the problems with the original painting - which was not made from life.

    Dodo - attributed to Roelandt Savery (1576-1639)
    oil on canvas c.1626
    The above image is the most famous image of the Dodo and is attributed to the Flemish artits Roelandt Savery.  The first superintendant of the Natural History Museum used this painting and the few fossil bones which had been found to work out the skeleton of the dodo.

    Thursday, February 24, 2011

    The Times would like to feature my blog!

    Brunch - St Johns, Spitalfields
    11.5" x 17", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Large Moleskine Sketchbook
    copyright Katherine Tyrrell
    The Times is a daily national newspaper published in the United Kingdom since 1785, when it was known as The Daily Universal Register.
    Wikipedia - The Times
    Today a journalist contacted me to ask whether I could supply images for a feature on my website.  Greatly intrigued I asked for more information.

    It was a very nice surprise to find that The Times Newspaper has a feature page called the Daily Universal Register (after the newspaper's original title).

    The page covers a miscellany of small interesting items. Each day it includes a focus on a particular website.  Tomorrow it looks as if it might well be the turn of Travels with a Sketchbook!

    [UPDATE:  Here's a link to the feature]

    I've supplied a couple of images so we'll have to see which one comes up.  One of them (see top) is one I did last year for this post St John Bread and Wine, Spitalfields.

    I shall be rushing out in the morning to go and buy a proper copy of The Times to see if my blog is in "proper print"!

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Artwork accepted into "The World of Plants"

    (Top) Triangulation (framed 14" x 18.5")
    (Bottom) Tesselation (framed 13" x 17"
    coloured pencils on Arches HP
    Exhibition The World of Plants 8-17 April 2011
    copyright Katherine Tyrrell

    I've had three drawings of plants juried into the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists.

    The World of Plants is being held at Westminster Central Hall between 8th April and 17th April 2011.
    The title of the exhibition for 2011 is The World of Plants and visitors can observe how the various artists have used their talents to portray not only the many beautiful floral specimens but vegetables too. All work is for sale including prints and cards.

    Only the scent will be missing!
    Two of the accepted works can be seen on the right.  Guess who forgot to take a scan of the completed third work - Rosette!  (Now you know the reason why I wrote The Exhibition Checklist! Thanks again to Paula for the suggesting the title! - see In need of a title - again!)

    Submitting work for this exhibition each year has allowed me to take a journey in terms of what I like to portray.  Increasingly, I'm finding I'm absolutely fascinated by the abstracted patterns to be found in macro views of different plants - hence the titles for the two works on the right - Triangulation and Tesselation.

    Tuesday, February 22, 2011

    View Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel artwork online

    Most of will probably never see the Sistine Chapel in person. Even if you can get to Rome, you'll find the Chapel is always full of people. Then there's the fact that all the artwork is on the ceiling!

    However, you can now view Michelangelo's artwork on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel online.  

    Michelangelo's frescos on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican, Rome

    You can view - virtually - every part of this masterpiece.  If you have a large and/or high definition screen you're going to find the experience particularly stimulating
    • Just click and drag your arrow in the direction of the part you wish to see.
    • Down in the lower left corner are the controls to zoom in (click the plus + sign) and zoom out (click the - sign). 
    • You can also scroll to move in closer

    Monday, February 21, 2011

    'How to do a Bail-In' connects video art and arts funding

    You may have noticed that rather a lot of the most unlikely people have been demonstrating and protesting of late - with some fairly significant results.

    Here in the UK, it's been a slightly quieter affair - but points are being made nonetheless.

    In the age of video as art installation, I was wondering whether any of you fancy seeing a nice bit of video as art making a point - plus a nice civilised demo against the funding cuts for services likes the arts?

    You've heard about why we got into the financial mess - bailing out the banks who had acted irresponsibly towards people who could not afford debt. 

    Well below you can find "The Art of How to Do a Bail-in" - which effectively closed branches of Barclays Bank on Saturday.  That's the bank which made £11.6bn of profits but paid only £113m in UK corporation tax in 2009 .  Although it was able to afford to pay £1.5bn in bonuses.
    Big Society Bailed-In to branches up and down the country, transforming them into libraries, comedy venues, children’s breakfast clubs, a crèche and even a bus route

    Sunday, February 20, 2011

    20th February 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

    I was rather preoccupied last week with an exhibition and an AGM which is why I haven't as yet got to see what I hope will be one of the major exhibitions of the year - the Watercolour Exhibition at Tate Britain.  Not being able to wait, I've already bought my exhibition catalogue so I know what all the works are and who's in and who's not.

    Rachel Pedder-Smith
    Bean Painting: Specimens from the Leguminosae family 2004
    Kew © Rachel Pedder-Smith
    One of the images which jumped out at me and I'm really looking forward to seeing is Rachel Pedder Smith's fascinating painting of beans.  Who says botanical art is boring!  Do click the link in her name to see more of her work.

    Those coming up to London in April to visit the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists would do well to pay a visit to Watercolour as it has a strong botanical art section with works by the greats of botanical art (Ehret, Bauer, Sydney Parkinson, Margaret Mee)

    Sheila Hancock also started a series on BBC1 tonight - all about watercolour.  This is the iPlayer link to an hour's worth of Sheila Hancock Brushes Up: The Art of Watercolours.  You can also see Sheila looking at Turner's Blue Rigi and his travelling paintbox in a video on the page about the exhibition.

    Art Blogs

    Botanical Art
      Drawing and sketching
      My sketch of Constable's "Boatbuilding near Flatford Mill"
      11" x 16", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils
      copyright Katherine Tyrrell
       Coloured Pencils and Pastels
      • Nice to know who's reading your posts! I did a post about Paintmap on The Art of the Landscape 
      • and Charley Parker (Lines and Colors) got interested and has also done a post about Paintmap.  However he's done a much more in-depth review than me! :)
      Painters and Painting

      Two posts about printmaking techniques
      Street Art
      Art Business and Marketing
        Art Competitions, Art Societies and Juried Exhibitions
        Sterling Fellows by Jeanette Jobson
        charcoal and white pastel
        19" x 25"

        Art Galleries/Museums & Art Exhibitions

        Art Supplies
        Liz Dulley has done a Review: Inktense Blocks on Derwent’s LovePencils blog.  These are a new product and look a bit like hard pastels but are water-soluble.  Liz explains how this format makes them very flexible.

        The eye sees warm colors as brighter than they are and cool colors, darker than they are.  
        Opinion Poll

        Websites, webware and blogging
        • This post - Disable Copying Of Images In Your Blog?   on Build a Better Blog - tells you how you can disable copying of your images on a Blogger blog. [ UPDATE:  However (thanks to Nithya) I now know that it renders any blog with lots of links a totally frustrating experience!  I suggest this is only used where you only want people to look and never ever to click eg to that 'for sale' destination! ]
        What this technique does is disable right click and "copy" or "save as" when a viewer puts the cursor on your image. When the viewer right clicks, a message pops up instead - I crafted mine to read "No Copying Please!"
        and finally........

        Prince William and Kate Middleton has upped their street cred!  They now both appear as punks in a graffiti mural on an official street art wall in Southwark.

        Although I can't help feeling that being an official wall makes it a little less edgy!

          Saturday, February 19, 2011

          CPSA Explore This! and juror's statement - now online

          The Colored Pencil Societry of America's Explore This! exhibition is now online and continues until 31st January 2012.

          This is the CPSA exhibition in which mixed media is allowed and that includes unusual surfaces and 3D images.  It's for the coloured pencil artists with imagination as well as technique!

          The key features of the exhibiton are:

          Tuesday, February 15, 2011

          The exhibition checklist

          While it's fresh in my mind I'm going to write out my exhibition checklist and my tips to myself.  You can vary it for your own artwork - the principles stay the same.

          The following tips come from open exhibition activities past and present.  Some have been learned the hard way!

          You may think some of them are itty bitty / insignificant.  Believe me some of those make the difference to getting a picture matted, framed and submitted to the right place on time!

          Sunday, February 13, 2011

          In need of a title - again!

          In need of a title
          8" x 10", mixed media
          copyright Katherine Tyrrell

          Today is "getting ready" day for my submission to the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists at Central Hall Westminster tomorrow.

          So today's post is very short and tomorrow's post will be the "who's made a mark this week" post.

          However I'm in need of a title.  Not doing strictly Linnaeus type botanical drawings I don't title my pieces with strictly correct botanical names.  It always seems to me those belong to strictly accurate botanical drawings of the type I admire but don't do.

          Fortunately the SBA allows submission by people like me who produce plant portraiture of a different sort.

          I've continued with my theme of cacti and succulents and have this new piece which is a variety of  sempervivum.  However it lacks a title at present and I have a form to complete.   However I'm notoriously bad at titles unless I "get" them streight off.

          Any suggestions?

          Thursday, February 10, 2011

          Georg Ehret's sketchbooks - botanical illustration

          Aloe Americana (now identified as Bromelia pinguin) by George Dionysius Ehret
          Facsimile of pen, pencil and watercolour sketch 1748
          These are a couple of images of sketchbooks by Georg Dioysius Ehret (1708 - 1770). who was regarded by many as the best botanical artist of his day - which was during the golden age of botanical art.  He was responsible for recording many of the newly discovered and exotic plants and flowers brought back to the UK from expeditions overseas.

          I came across these sketchbooks in the Images of Nature exhibition at the Natural History Museum.   The exhibition opened on the 21st January and continues until 31st July 2012 - so lots of time to get to see it.

          Wednesday, February 09, 2011

          "Pure Gold": an exhibition celebrating 50 years of the FBA

          Today is the first day of the Pure Gold Exhibition at the Mall Galleries in London. The exhibition is to celebrate the 50th birthday of the Federation of British Artists.
          The Federation of British Artists (FBA) is comprised of eight of the UK’s leading art societies, all of whom hold their Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries. A unique national resource, the FBA is comprised of over 500 artist members and serves as a national focal point for contemporary figurative art by living artists working in the UK. With the aim of promoting and encouraging contemporary works in different media and subject themes, FBA exhibitions attract both well-established artists as well as emerging talent.
          The Exhibition - Pure Gold

          The Federation was founded in February 1961.  However many of the societies which comprise the Federation actually date back to the nineteenth century with the earliest dating back to 1823.  These are the Eight Societies that comprise the FBA. All the exhibiting societies are represented in the exhibition.

          The exhibition comprises eight works by past artists who have exhibited with the Societies - some of whom are very famous artists - and eight of the contemporary members.

          Monday, February 07, 2011

          Art and Greetings Cards

          Examples of cards from the Tigerprint site
          topic: Mother's Day Classic
          Did you know that people in the UK spend more on greeting cards each year than they do on tea or coffee?

          It's a business worth £1.5 billion - and that's a 'b' not an 'm'.

          When I first became interested in the art business, one of the things which intrigued me was how people got their fine art accepted for the more obvious commercial uses - such as fine art prints and posters promoted by the major companies and greetings cards.

          This post is about gaining an insight into the Greeting Cards business - including how to enter your art in a competition to design greetings cards for Marks and Spencer - the fourth biggest seller of greetings cards in the UK.  It covers:
          • the Greeting Cards Association
          • the Spring Fair - at the NEC in Birmingam.  This is the place where new greetings cards get launched
          • Tigerprint - competitions to design cards for M&S

          Sunday, February 06, 2011

          6th February 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

          100 Faces BUST-ED by Karin Jurick
          Congratulations to Karin Jurick (A Painting Todaywho has completed her 100 Faces project - see 100 Faces #100.  She has also created a new book (see 100 Faces Video, Book & Mentionables for more details - and the cover above) and uploaded a new movie about the project to YouTube.

          Art Blogs

          I've just noticed that my widget in the side bar says that the Blogrank Index for Art Blogs has now got Making A Mark ranked as the 17th most popular art blog in the world!  Whoohoo!  Charley Parker's Lines and Colors is in 8th place.

          Botanical art
          • Linda Warner Constantino (Wet Watercolours) is a College Professor of Illustration - and a student on the Society of Botanical Artist's Distance Learning Diploma Course.
          I am busy painting for a Distance Learning Class in Botanical Painting through the Society of Botanical Arts in England. It is the most challenging thing I have ever done.

          Drawing and sketching
          Hoar Frost - Misty morning by Vivien Blackburn acrylic on paper
          The Dodo at the Natural History Museum
          pen and sepia ink in Moleskine Sketchbook, 8" x 10"
          all images copyright Katherine Tyrrell

          Coloured Pencils and Pastels

          • Squint News is the blog for the students, alumni, faculity and friends of the MFA in Illlustration at Hartford Art School 
          • Creative Quarterly is the blog by Creative Quarterly: the Journal of Art and Design


          Painters and Painting
          Each challenge consists of an image - either a photo or a painting - and a description or instructions. In most cases, participating is as simple as submitting your version of the image.
          Anyone can participate by submitting an entry to anychallenge - there are no deadlines! You can even submit more than once to a challenge. Any 2D media is welcome and don't be afraid to interpret.

          Art Business and Marketing

          Art and the Economy / Art Collectors

          • Do you visit the preview exhibitions for major art auctions by the big auction houses?  I’ve been recommended to go and see the preview for the upcoming sale of Impressionist and Surrealist works at Christies. These are links to slideshows (including audio podcasts) and e-catalogues 

          Art Competitions and Art Societies

          Art Exhibitions and art fairs

          • The Shirley Sherwood Gallery's presence on the Kew Gardens website has improved no end.  Thanks to Jessica Rosemary Shepherd (Inky Leaves) for letting me know about the improvements.  Jess helps manage the art exhibitions at Kew.  New exhibitions this month will include ones where, for the first time, botanical artwork will be available for sale!
          • It also has some new exhibitions which opened yesterday.  This is the page for the new exhibitions which in summary are:
            • The Secret Garden - an exhibition by Leicestershire Society of Botanical Illustrators
            • The Botanical Brush - This exhibition features the work of nine artists who have botanical paintings held in the archive of Hampton Court Palace Florilegium.
            • From Eye to Hand - The paintings in this exhibition include a timeline of works that have been selected from the Kew Art Collection which contains over 200,000 items. 
            • Hidden Treasure - Dr. Sherwood will also be exhibiting works from her contemporary collection of botanical art illustrating what occurs under the soil.
          • The Island of Sark is to become the focus for a new project by the The Artists for Nature Foundation.  In May it will play host to a group of wildlife artists and Art for Sark from 4th to 16th May 2011.  This is the list of artists confirmed to date.  I wonder if they will do a blog of the project?
          The aim is to promote the unique natural habitat of Sark through the work of renowned international wildlife artists from a range of disciplines.

          New Exhibitions
          • Pure Gold - 50 years of the Federation of British artists at the Mall Galleries.  I'm really looking forward to the preview on Tuesday.  The exhibition runs from 9th - 19th February.  It will include previously unseen works by artists such as John Singer Sargent, Walter Sickert and William Orpen, on loan from major public and private collections, including the Tate.
          • The Guardian has a review of the upcoming exhibition of watercolours at the Tate Watercolour at Tate Britain - Review
          Historically, watercolour has been perceived as the medium of the dabbling amateur. Children, ladies and gentlemen of leisure have all been drawn to its cheapness, speed and apparent ease. Its subjects, too, have tended to be minor in size and scope: a domestic scene here, a botanical drawing there, stretching at most to a charming landscape. When professional artists use watercolour, so the grand narrative goes, it is to make preliminary sketches, try-outs, what-ifs that are supplementary to the real business of art, which involves painting in oils.

          Tate Britain's forthcoming exhibition, entitled simply Watercolour, aims to unsettle these easy assumptions.

          Art Galleries and Museums

          • The event of the week was the unheralded launch of Google's Art Project - streetview for galleries.  I've so far worked out that it's not possible to get the full functionality on my iPad, but seem to have worked out a bit more than some of the journalists writing about it!  How are you finding it?  The general consensus seems to be that it's very welcome but could suck up time in a major way.  The Work of Art in the Age of Google (New York Times) provides an interesting comment on the copyright issues for museums of contemporary art.
          Google Art Project:  The Birth of Venus by Sandro Botticelli (extract showing the hair)
          The Hepworth Wakefield will open to the public on 21 May and become the largest purpose-built gallery to open in the UK since Tate St Ives nearly 20 years ago. 
          Together with the Yorkshire Sculpture Park and the Henry Moore Institute in Leeds, the new gallery helps make Yorkshire a world centre for sculpture.

          Art History

          Similar to my opinion of John Singer Sargent, I think that the place of Joaquín Sorolla y Bastida in the canon of great painters in art history is vastly understated.

          Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniques

          Art Studios  

          • Here's an old post (but a good one) providing a tour of Barbara Newton's Studio - studio tour.  I want those Flat files for paper storage with framed painting storage below!

          Art Supplies

          Book reviews



          • Excellent and recommended post by James Gurney (Gurney Journey) on Activating Your Imagination.  This includes a number of practical suggestions for enhancing your ability to be creative and to draw without a photo reference.

          Opinion Polls

          Websites, webware and blogging

          • I've introduced a "jump break" into all my recent blog posts - except for "who's made a mark this week.  This means you now get a prompt to "read more" and means you scan more quickly - but won't see all the content on offer.  It's an experiment - tell me what you think. 

          and finally........

          If you're wondering why this is a tad late, it's because it was inadvertently wiped when two thirds finished!  I'm afraid I have to take an expletive break when that happens!

          Have I told you how I HATE Google's new block text command which goes far further than you intend far too easily?  The automatic save always instantly kicks in just after you've deleted too much text by accident so it's impossible to retrieve!