Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months? (Poll results)

For the last month, the annual Making A Mark Poll on What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months? has been collecting responses from readers.  The results are in from the 117 people  who responded to this year's poll and I now have two charts indicating
  1. The most (and least) effective methods for selling art in the last 12 months
  2. Trends in selling art in the last 4 years

The most effective ways of selling art in the last year are:
  • being a gallery artist - nearly 20% of you sell most of your art through commercial galleries
  • 26% of you mainly sell art through face to face or familial contacts
    • either at art fairs (13%)
    • or through word of mouth / family or friends (13%)

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Review: Society of Feline artists - Annual Exhibition 2011

Pure Gold - British Shorthair Blue Cream by Jacqueline Gaylard
Winner of the Llewellyn Alexander SOFA Award for 2011
Acrylic on Board (£1,900)

Jacqueline Gaylard won the Llewellyn Alexander SOFA Award for 2011 at the Private View of the Society of Feline Artists Annual Exhibition at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery in Waterloo this afternoon.

Her handling of the subtleties and colour tones of the fur in the acrylic painting of a blue cream British Shorthair cat is superb.  While clearly being a painting it's as if this is a living breathing cat.  This is a cat which has frequently featured in Jacqueline's paintings before now but this paticular painting is especially appealing.

Jacqueline was displaying a suite of top notch work - with her five other paintings also setting an equally high standard of both composition and execution for others to emulate.  She's also an artist who pays meticulous attention to backgrounds!

Artwork by Jacqueline Gaylard

Monday, August 29, 2011

A pigment conundrum for you!

I have a conundrum for you - which will appeal especially to those who know about pigments and art materials.

Can anybody tell me and photographer Peter Hunt what is the object (case and phials) in the three images you can see below?  It appears to be some form of pigment - contained in numbered glass phials with a cork stopper, in a leather container which folds up into a neat box.

Some queries:
  1. What is it?
  2. What's it used for?
  3. Why is (the pigment?) contained in this way?
The phials unpacked in their container (images courtesy Peter Hunt)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

28th August 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

This week I got to see what goes in to setting up an exhibition of Miniature Artwork when I visited the Mall Galleries on Tuesday to see Bite: Artists Making Prints - the new Printmaking Exhibition.

The North Gallery had been taken over by The Royal Society of Miniature Painters, Sculptors & Gravers who were preparing selected miniatures for their Annual Exhibition - which opens in October.

RSMGS - Annual Miniature Art Exhibition - in preparation
I learned about the process which goes something like this:
  • Saturday - artwork delivered for consideration
  • Sunday - panel selects artwork for the Exhibition
  • Monday - artwork placed in cases
  • Tuesday - artwork numbered, pinned (to secure it in place and stop it moving around when the cases are moved), cleaned and photographed for the catalogue and website
  • Wednesday - judging for prizes - prior to cases being moved to secure storage prior to exhibition
I also learned about a very special loan exhibition concerning Royal Portrait Miniatures which I'll be writing about next week.

Update on the glasses: As reported on Monday I started this week with no intermediate glasses for viewing my computer screen - which made trying to post a bit weird.  I collected my new titanium glasses on Wednesday and these are now in front of my eyes and I can now see fine again!  Of course the old computer glasses which had completely disappeared turned up on Thursday!  The only consolation was that they had been through about three lens changes, had been losing their fitness for purpose due to wear and tear and really needed replacing....

Artists and Art Blogs

Saturday, August 27, 2011

BP Travel Awards: 2010 (Paul Beel) and 2011 (Jo Fraser)

This post is about:
The main purpose of the Travel award is
to allow artists to experience working in a different environment on a project related to portraiture
The winner gets a £5,000 bursary to spend on the project of their choice - as described in the proposals which won the award.

The Travel Award always seems to get neglected in the avalanche of coverage for the main BP Award - however its winners have proved over time to have become some of our top painters.  It's also far more interesting in that it involves a project and typically more than one painting of more than one person!

You can read my past posts about the BP Travel Award here
Now on to this year's artists - and looking forward and looking back.

Friday, August 26, 2011

BP Portrait Award 2011: links to Selected Artists

BP Portrait Award 2011 - Catalogue
Yesterday I realised that my normal listing of all those artists selected for the BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2011 had been "bounced" by preparation for painting in Provence.

Here then is the "added value" list of all those artists selected for the BP Portrait Award.
  • For those uncertain as to whether their artwork measures up to the art competition, it's useful to review the websites of selected artists in order to assess the standard of work done by selected artists. 
  • However do bear in mind that websites can be very deceptive as to the size of work.
This year I've
  • included links to their websites 
    • artists with names in bold either have their own website or a proper gallery website which features their paintings - where you can see more of their work. 
    • non-bold names have a link to their page on the exhibition website where you can see their entry (but no other work).
  • split the selected artists up by continent/country - allocated, broadly speaking, to the country where they are now based or are now associated with.  I may have got this wrong.  If so, shout out and I will correct.
  • highlighted which artists have been selected in previous years 
  • highlighted if artists have won any prizes in previous years.
I'll maybe come back and crunch some numbers having now got them sorted - but right now I want my dinner!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Review: BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2011

The National Portrait Gallery has recently announced that the BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2011 has been the most popular exhibition in the Gallery’s history.  I visited it on Tuesday - and the gallery was absolutely packed!

Exhibition dates and tour:  You have about just over three weeks left if you'd like to visit the exhibition in London - it closes on 18th September.  After this, the winners and selected entries will tour to Wolverhampton and Aberdeen.
I feel strangely detached from the BP Portrait Award this year as I was in Provence when the winner was announced - and consequently was not at the Awards ceremony which I've attended for the last few years.  Hence no photos of the exhibition or video this year - and it also perhaps explains why it's taken me so long to go and see it.

However I did go and see it on Tuesday afternoon and it was the busiest I've ever known it.  (You can see my attempts at sketches of the outlines of visitors on Travels with a Sketchbook - see Sketching visitors to BP Portrait Exhibition 2011 )

[Update (a day later):  I've also caught up and created the "selected artists" post - BP Portrait Award 2011: links to Selected Artists

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Review: Bite - a NEW Contemporary Print Exhibition

Bite or BITE: Artists Making Prints is a brand new exhibition about contemporary prints.

It comprises a mix of 'eminent names' (e.g. Michael Craig-Martin and Sir Peter Blake) with those of artists whose work is selected through an open competition.  It creates a 'draw' for those who like to see work by the famous and an opportunity to come away very impressed by the work of the rather less famous.

I have to say I really couldn't tell the difference between the two!

A view of part of the BITE contemporary printmaking exhibition
Now for about the show in detail.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New website: John Ruskin and The Elements of Drawing

Do you want to learn how to draw? Or maybe you'd like to improve your drawing skills? If you do, this website will be of interest to you.

Warning - do not start unless you have some time to spare, a comfy chair and refreshment to hand! :)

The Elements of Drawing website

Sunday, August 21, 2011

21st August 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

After all the hoohah last week with the riots in London,  I was especially pleased this week when I spotted Derwent's (Lovepencils) drawing variation of the Keep Calm poster on Facebook.

I think it's excellent and needs to be made into a real poster!  More to the point I'd love to know how the great team at Derwent did that!

I'm having major problems this week.

I've mislaid my "about to fall apart" computer glasses.  Which makes this the second pair of computer glasses which my desk has swallowed whole with no trace.  Anyway, I spent half of yesterday trying to find them and the rest trying to see the screen as my Varifocals are not the best glasses to use with a computer.  Lots of use of the zoom function later I'm just about coping now.

However this afternoon I'm off to to Vision Express to get myself a new pair of computer glasses and to test out their one hour service.

If you know a way of getting your glasses to beep their whereabouts can somebody please tell me about it!

Now for the action last week on the art blogs.....

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Art Exhibitions in London & Art Trails - September 2011

As September comes into view on the calendar, we always seem to get a small explosion in exhibitions by art competitions, art societies and and art trails by art groups.   People are back from their holidays and ready to look at art!

I'm currently getting my calendar sorted for the London Exhibitions so have made a note of the ones I'm planning to visit.

I've also included below a note of all the major exhibitions elsewhere in the country and Art Trails and Open Studios that I'm aware of.  If you have one and it's not listed please let me know and I'll be happy to add it in as this post will be added to the Major UK Art Society Exhibitions page at the top of this blog.

Threadneedle Prize - Panel Discussion
Art Competitions - September 2011

Two major competitions can be seen at the Mall Galleries (near Trafalgar Square) in September.  These are:

Jerwood Drawing Prize - Jerwood Space, London from 14 September - 30 October 2011.

National Art Society Exhibitions in London - September 2011

Invite to the Private View of the Society of Feline Artists Annual Exhibition 2011
Society Of Feline Artists - Annual Exhibition 2011 - Llewellyn Alexander Gallery, 124 - 126 The Cut, Waterloo, London.  26th August to 16th September 2011 (10am - 7.30pm Monday to Saturday)

United Kingdom Coloured Pencil Society10th UKCPS Open International Exhibition 2011 - Methodist Central Hall, Westminster, London, SW1H 9NH. 19th September to Saturday, 1st October 2011 9.00am - 5.00pm

Art Society Exhibitions elsewhere in the UK - September 2011

RBSA Gallery, 4 Brook Street, Birmingham, B3 1SA
Kent - Florum - a botanical art exhibition (many of the artists are members of the SBA) 10th - 17th September 2011 Sevenoaks Wildlufe Reservice, Bradbourne Vale Road Sevenoaks TN13 3DH Life 
    Art Trails and Open Studios - September 2011

    London and South East
    South West
    • Helfa gelf/Art Trail - North Wales - every Friday, Saturday and Sunday in September in Gwynedd, Conwy, Denbighshire, Flintshire and Wrexham. Studios are open from 11am-5pm daily. (excellent website - with trail map)

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    Making A Mark remains #3 in top 25 art blogs in UK

    Creative Tourist have updated their listing of the top 25 art blogs in the UK and Making A Mark remains at #3!

    Here's the top 10 - listed below.  However you'll need to visit Creative Tourist and its post The Top 25 UK Arts & Culture Blogs to see the top 25 and find out which are the new blogs in the list  (ignore the date posted - as they keep updating the same post to make sure it remains a current link for people!  The comments relate to all previous listings if you're wondering why a comment doesn't match the current listing!)

    If you try visiting the blogs, you'll note that each has defined its own niche and perspective on the artworld and nobody is trying to copy anybody else!  There's a message in there somewhere!

    I note CT have now included the Twitter addresses as well as links to the blogs which is a boon

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Top tips for travelling artists - pastels

    This is the second in my mini-series of posts about travelling with different media.  This post focuses on travelling with pastels.

    You can find the first in the series here - Top tips for travelling artists - oil painters
    Each post aims to
    • provide some links to useful information
    • invite people to identify the blog posts on which they have discussed what they do
    • ask people to contribute their three top tips for travelling with different types of media 

    This is an interactive post - which means that if more top tips and blog posts are identified in the comments on this post, I'm going to add them into the body of the post and then republish it. Which means this post will also up date over time.

    Do please make suggestions as to what you have found to be invaluable advice for travelling with pastels or any useful article you have read.  I've not got them all as yet - but hope to round them all up in time!

    My Unison Pastels flew to Walden Pond in Massachusetts
    and collected a new Artbin Backpack en route!

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011

    Review: "High Watermark" at the Mall Galleries

    Paintings of Thames Bridges by the Presidents of the RI and RWS at HighWatermarks Exhibition
    (left) Ronald Maddox PRI Hon RWS - Summer, Hungerford Bridge
    (right) David Paskett PRWS - St Paul's and Millenium Bridge in the Snow

    High Watermark opens today at the Mall Galleries and runs until 3pm on Saturday 20th August.

    I was at the Private View yesterday and this thread contains some images of the exhibition and my thoughts on it.

    This is the way the exhibition is described.
    The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) and the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS) are joining forces once again to promote the very best of British watercolours and fresh work in water-soluble media – a highlight of the summer calendar. Exhibition organised in association with Bankside Gallery.
    The first half of the exhibition was at the Bankside Gallery in July.  There are:
    High Watermark - Annual Joint Exhibition 2011 by members of the RI and RWS
    The exhibition fills the West gallery (only) and displays a variety of media and styles.  It's well hung - grouping paintings by members of both societies into small clusters characterised by either palette or subject matter or style.  Its punctuation by blue paintings can clearly be seen when viewed from the entrance level.

    Now for more about the exhibition in terms of the paintings!

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Top tips for travelling artists - oil painters

    Artist at work in Provence

    Identifying the best way to travel with your paints, other art materials and associated paraphernalia is a question which throws up a number of conundrums for many artists:
    • the novice who has never travelled before doesn't know what he or she doesn't know - but needs to!
    • those who have travelled with their paints before are trying hard to remember what went wrong last time!
    • while the experienced artist and seasoned traveller is very often trying to find a way of rationalising or improving upon what they did last time - for the nth time!
    This summer I had to get to grips with travelling with oil paints for the first time and I want to record what I learned before I forget it!  Plus share what others have learned for everybody's benefit.

    This week I'm attempting a bit of a round-up of top tips for different types of artists through a mini-series of blog posts.

    Each post aims to
    • provide some links to useful information
    • invite people to identify the blog posts on which they have discussed what they do
    • ask people to contribute their three top tips for travelling with different types of media 
    I'm going to make each of them an interactive post - meaning that as top tips and blog posts get identified and highlighted within the comments I'm going to add them into the body of the post and then republish it.

    This means each post will also up date over time.  You might want to bookmark the one which means most to you!

    To make it coherent I'm going to introduce a structure from the beginning which will help people find out what they want to know. 

    This mini-series covers:
    • travelling with oil paints
    • travelling with watercolour paints
    • travelling with pastels
    • travelling with coloured pencils
    • Top Tips from
      • Artists who travel a lot
      • artists who are travelling with paints for the first time
      • artists who like to take just the bare essentials
    Today I start with the one I had to research this summer - travelling with oil paints

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    14th August 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

    The Big Cornwall Paint In - on Portreath Beach
    photo courtesy Simon Cook
    It would have  been nice to have been in Cornwall this week.  For one thing I could have been painting on the beach yesterday - during the Big Cornwall Paint In.

    This week has been just plain weird.  Initially, events in London completely threw me and totally disrupted my sleeping patterns.  Yet now everything has returned to being totally and utterly normal, it's really quite difficult to remember just how frightening it was on Monday night.

    Some 25 years ago my immediate neighbour and friend David Hodge was photographing the Brixton Riots when he got hit over the head.  Two weeks later he died of the injuries he sustained in the riot.  He was really unlucky.

    However it's good to recognise that - just like the phoenix - good things do come out of adversity.

    • Out of David's death 25 years ago came an award for photographers. The Observer Hodge Photographic Award was established in 1986 to promote documentary photography by amateur, student and professional photographers under the age of 30.  It provided a unique way for photographers to get "a break" which could help establish their careers.  Over the course of 20 years it became a very prestigious award but, sadly, I think it finished in 2006 on its 20th anniversary.
    • The "broom brigade" which burst spontaneously out of Twitter on Monday night led to the hashtag #riotcleanup outranking #londonriots before the end of the night as people focused on how to get back to normal.  What's more they all turned up the next day and got stuck in!  
    • There have also been some interesting television programmes and debates which have attempted to listen to a variety of different perspectives to understand better why the riots happened.
    • It's also been good to see some really outstanding community leadership - such as that demonstrated by Tariq Jahan, father of Haroon, one of the three men run down and killed by a car in Birmingham while protecting his community from looters.  Surely that must set a standard for others to follow?  We can but hope.
    I think over the course of the next year I'm likely to see a fair bit of visual art stimulated by what happened in England last week.  Indeed - it would be very strange if I didn't.  It will be really interesting to see what it generates.

    For the record here are my three posts earlier this week.  I took much solace from those who shared their experiences of disturbances and the fact these things happen from time to time.
    Art Blogs

    Anyway - the bottom line for me is I've not looked at a lot of blogs this week!  Plus I've only got round to asking one person whether I can use their image in this blog post.

    London art bloggers - and the riots
    Plus Jonathan Jones (Guardian / Jonathan Jones on Art Blog) did a fascinating and very informative piece about How artists captured the violent riots of London's past.  As he points out, burning furniture stores - because they burn well - is not a new idea!

    The Devastations occasioned by the Rioters of London
    Firing the New Gail of Newgate and burning Mtr Akerman's Furniture,
    June 6, 1780
    It all served to remind me of how a number of the Impressionist painters had to cope with the Franco-Prussian War of 1870 and the prolonged siege of Paris in the middle of the development of their ouevre.  Which does rather tend to put things into perspective!

    (Do read Ross King's The Judgment of Paris: The Revolutionary Decade that Gave the World Impressionism for a fascinating account of this period.  I had no idea how big an event this was and how much disruption it created for the different artists.  I highly recommend this book)

    Drawing and sketching

    Yet more people are
    Some people who keep sketch journals like to give them covers.  If you're thinking of giving this a try you might like to read Roz Stendhal's Painting Your Journal's Covers and Other Types of Cover Decoration

    • I did take a look at the efforts of the Big Cornwall Paint In - on the Beach - on its Facebook Page which now has photos of the event and some of the paintings.  I loved this one of how you store your brushes when painting on a beach
    How to look after your brushes while painting on a beach
    • I discovered David Teter's paintings when he commented on one of my 'riot' posts this week.  I really liked the oil paintings which you can see on Avid Art. He's based in California
    • I like David Pilgrim's (David Pilgrim - paintings and drawings) Whaddon sunset studies - sunsets are tricky!
    • Somebody highlighted Marina Dieul (Marina Dieul) - but I forget who - and it's certainly worth taking a look at her blog 
    Art Business and Marketing
    Art Competitions
    Art Exhibitions

    Art Societies
    Art Films / DVDs
    • Exit Through the Gift Shop, "the world's first street art disaster movie" was shown on Channel 4 last night in the UK.  An absolutely fascinating film - my jaw kept dropping towards the end.   There's a strong view that the whole thing is a hoax perpetrated by Banksy.  Here's a link to 
    Guetta states in the film that his work largely consists of "scanning and photoshopping," acts which are carried out by hired assistants
    Art History and Museums
    Art Supplies
    Art Education 

    Workshops and Summer Schools
    Tips and techniques - photography
    Tips and techniques - oil painting
    • Drying Oils: An explanation and demonstration of the seven different Winsor & Newton drying oils. Cold Pressed Linseed Oil, Thickened Linseed Oil, Drying Linseed Oil, Refined Linseed Oil, Linseed Stand Oil and Safflower Oil and Drying Poppy Oil
    • Using Liquin Mediums with oil colour:  demonstrates how to use the Winsor & Newton Liquin family of mediums and what their different properties are.

    You can find more W&N product videos here

    Webware and Internet
    in just over six weeks, we’ve moved from innovators to early adopters to early mainstream users visiting the new social network.
    • Twitter has this week acquired a new icon just below the window for writing messages.  It's a little camera which, if you click, now allows users to upload pics straight to Twitter rather than using a separate account and a link.  This article tells you about it - because strangely there's nothing on the Twitter blog 
    • Here's a scary story on the privacy front which be of concern to all artists who are using Facebook more and more for amplifying their profile on the internet.  Facebook stole every contact and phone number in your phone – here’s how to undo the damage.  I checked (based on the instructions in this post) and was horrified to find it was true. I think what I now have access to the mobile number of all my contacts who have set up facebook of their mobile phone. I don't wish to share my mobile phone number with everybody and knew there was a good reason not to set up Facebook on my mobile. If you want to know whether your mobile number is showing up in my facebook contacts please email me
    • Now that Google’s Panda Update Launches Internationally in Most Languages this presumably will have a knock-on effect for traffic for certain sites
    and finally......

    One of the things which distinguished the Hodge Award was that it was about a body of work. I thought the following quote about the award was of relevance to artists as well.  It certainly made me pause and think.
    'The Hodge Award is the most intelligent competition because the entrants have to enter a set. Competitions featuring single images are like presenting a novel by only entering one chapter. Photojournalism has to be about a body of work.'

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    UK Art Society Open Exhibitions: Deadlines for entry

    Submission deadlines in the next six weeks for entries to open exhibitions by prominent art societies in the late summer and autumn are summarised below.

    Links are to the relevant page(s) on the society’s website or organising site.

    Mall Galleries - Receiving and Exhibition entrances
    Google Maps link

    Friday, August 12, 2011

    Cremnitz White and Freud

    In later years two significant features of Lucian Freud's paintings were the colour of flesh and the texture of the paint in the finished portrait.

    Freud used Cremnitz White to achieve both of these characteristics of his paintings of portraits and nudes.
    In the mid-1970s, he began using the heavy, granular pigment called cremnitz white, which he has since then reserved for the painting of flesh.
    Tate - Lucian Freud - Technique
    I'd never heard of Cremnitz White before I read about this aspect of his technique - so decided to do some research - hence this post.
    In Lucian Freud's pictures, the human skin has almost infinite nuances, from delicate opalescent pink to blood red and the full range of cream, oncre and bistre tones.  The discrimnatory power of the painter's eye enables him to go further than what we could ourselves.  The nakedness of the bodies is intensified by this, while the roughness, overloading and impasto of the paint itself imbues the skin with an almost tactile reality: skin as fragile and sensitive as an exposed mucous membrane
    Lucian Freud: The Studio
    What is Cremnitz White?

    Cremnitz White is made of lead carbonate (PbCO3) and is another name for for a particular type of Lead White - much loved of the old masters.  Lead white is a warm yellowish white.

    It's called Cremnitz White because originally it was made in a town in a town called Cremnitz (by the Hapsburgs) which was formerly known as Kormeriz.

    Cremnitz White is a particular version of pure Lead White which gives it a stringy consistency.

    It comprises lead carbonate (white lead) and does not include the Zinc Oxide (as Flake White does) which helps it to dry quickly.

    Its actual performance and drying time depends on the oil it is mixed with - as explained below in relation to the three different variations of Cremnitz White supplied by Michael Harding.  Click the relevant links to get a lot more information.

    Who supplies Cremnitz White?

    Art materials manufacturers who supply Cremnitz White include:
    Presumably a somewhat historical image
    on the Michael Harding website
    given current EU requirements
    re supply?
    It looks so much nicer in the tubes though!
    • Michael Harding - who has three Cremnitz Whites.  My understanding is that Freud used Michael Harding oil paints (but please correct me if you know better)
    Pure Lead Carbonate in a binder which makes a heavy, tactile white with a very robust surface. The ideal white for furrowed, granular or impasto mark-making.
    The toxicity of Cremnitz / Lead White

    Lead is very toxic and hence precautions have to be taken over its use.  It's impossible to buy the dry pigment. The European Union has passed a directive controlling lead paint use - mainly affecting the way it can be handled and sold when used as artists materials and methods for its disposal.

    Official sites (UK)
    Art Materials Suppliers
    In 1992, lead was banned in the EU in household paints whilst artists' materials manufacturers successfully gained an exemption for artists' colours.  The EU has continued to legislate against lead, in a number of categories.  From the 31st July 1995 in the UK, lead compounds and products containing lead compounds were reclassified as ‘toxic for reproduction'.For the UK this has the following implications:

    i] Products labelled as toxic require child resistant closures if sold to the general public.
    ii] Products labelled as toxic require tactile warnings of danger if sold to the general public.
    I quote below the precedence taken by Winsor & Newton in early July 1995.The mandatory guidelines affect the retailer/supplier as follows:
    • Flake White, Foundation White and Cremnitz White can no longer be supplied in tubes.
    • These products are available in 150ml childproof tins.
    • Each tin is labelled with mandatory warnings and a further special instructions leaflet is provided in the outer box.
    • These products will not be displayed on open shelves.  They will either be behind the counter or in a locked display.


    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    ING Discerning Eye - selected artists archive published

    The ING Discerning Eye is the first art competition that I've come across which has published a comprehensive archive of the works selected for the 2010 exhibition.

    The good news for those thinking of submitting artwork to this art competition (see Making A Mark: ING Discerning Eye 2011 - Call for Entries) is you can now see all the works which were exhibited last year.

    The deadline for entries to the 2011 exhibition is 2/3 September in London - and dates in August for regional pick-up points around the UK

    This is the online gallery of the 2010 ING Discerning Eye Exhibition. You can select individual artists from a to z listing.

    The one quibble I'd have with the archive is that it's not clear which are works which were selected and which were artists invited to exhibit.  To my mind that's something which needs to be addressed by the 2011 archive.  [I stand corrected - see comments - the information is there, just not as obvious as it could be!  The information about the number/percentage selected via open invitation is still missing - or can somebody else spot that?]

    You can also access:
    I'm not quite sure when this was done as I've never seen it before and I usually crawl all over this site when writing posts.  I suspect it may have been generated as part of the marketing activities for the 2011 exhibition.  Its profile has certainly increased markedly in recent weeks particularly through postings on Facebook and Twitter.

    The pages for the 2010 judges pages also list all artists and the prices listed for the artwork exhibited which they chose - see links below.
    Here are some interesting facts about the exhibition - quoted on the website - which indicates that both the number of artists and number of works are reducing.
    • 2010: There were 218 artists and 445 works exhibited.
    • 2009: There were 224 artists represented by 505 works in 2009.
    • 2008: There were 244 artists represented, 178 (about 70%) accepted from the open submission. The total number of works was 572, with about half from the open submission. Sales of works were up 25% from 2007 at almost £120,000 (purchase prizes added a further £10,250), with over 27% more works sold than in 2007.

    These are small works - and the Mall Galleries is big.  In my opinion, there ought to be more of a focus on getting the selectors to choose more works.  After all, the Small Weston Room at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition is one of the most popular rooms with visitors in the whole exhibition - and it achieves a lot of sales!

    For further reference

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011


    London Riots: (left) fire at Sony Distribution in Enfield on horizon (right) Olympic Stadium
    Many, many thanks to all those who sent me notes and left messages via Facebook or Twitter re the riots in London.  When I was very tired and emotional and not knowing quite what to do your messages were a real boon!

    To be honest I can't actually remember the last time I was scared as I was on Monday evening when I heard there were youths coming down my road with steel poles.  The looting and disorder got very close to my front door but thankfully stopped short.

    Initially I'd thought that living so close to the Olympic stadium would mean we'd be safe.  What I didn't realise was quite how matters were going to develop on Monday night and quite how many police would be needed to restore order.

    For those who have not seen it before this is the map of the extent of the verified incidents mapped onto a map of deprivation in London.  It's very clear from this that huge areas of London which are deprived chose not to riot and that riots also occurred in leafy suburbs.

    I'm very clear in my own mind that there is absolutely no excuse whatsoever for arson, burglary and theft.  To say otherwise is enormously disrespectful to all those who live in deprived areas and who are good citizens.

    I'm very inclined to think that, whatever its initial cause, this very rapidly became about greed, teenage kicks and a mindset which assumed that nobody would catch them and no real sanction would be imposed.

    All I can say is thank goodness for CCTV cameras and magistrates who are referring sentencing to the Crown Court since they can only impose prison sentences of up to six months.  Maybe that will get the message home.  Maybe that will become a real deterrent to any notion of repeating what happened this week.

    This afternoon we went for a long walk round where I live - and the total absence of teenagers on the streets was very noticeable.  Maybe they're beginning to get the message that this time there will be no cautions.

    One comment I got on facebook is I think worth repeating.  I won't repeat who said it as I haven't asked her - however I'm happy to attribute.
    They hurt themselves, too, in the LA riots (and I will not dignify them by calling them by the PC term "civil unrest". The merchants simply didn't rebuild in the burned out areas. And then the residents complained that the good retailers were dissing them by not going back in. Well, duh. You can't force someone to rebuild when they know they'll eventually be burned out again. The insurance costs must have been through the roof. So who lost jobs, access to close by shopping and other aspects of the economic engine? They did, in the long run.

    I've still got ears attuned to the noise from every siren and helicopter but hopefully we will be back to normal very soon and I can relax......

    I think I might now go and unpack my bag and see what I decided was essential to take with me should I have to leave! :)

    PS  I wouldn't mind in the least if that nice policeman in Manchester with the plain speaking and the action orientation came and ran the Met Police!

    (Note:  The photo at the top of this post was taken by a friend who lives in a nearby tower block.  It captures the Olympic Stadium on the right - just a mile from us - and the smoke from the huge fire at the Sony Distribution Centre on the very edge of London which continued to burn on Tuesday afternoon.)

    Tuesday, August 09, 2011

    #riotcleanup - across London

    This is a Google Map of the places in London affected by the rioting.  The looting and arson has been organised as well as opportunistic and very extensive.  This is an account of the third night of rioting as it happened - with pics.

    It's now time for the communities around London to pull together.

    Google Map of places in London affected by the Riots on Monday 8th August 2011
    Local communities (ie ordinary people) are organising a Clean Up of the Riot Areas starting tomorrow morning - assuming they can get past police lines.

    To find out where you can help and what time to turn up search this tag on Twitter #riotcleanup

    Let's just hope somebody works out very soon how this horrendous and horrifying behaviour can be stopped in its tracks.

    Monday, August 08, 2011

    London's burning

    No blog post today as I'm rather distracted by the fact that violence, looting and arson are going on not far from where I live as well as places across London. 

    I'm not inclined to get in a car and move out as cars are being hijacked and set on fire.

    I live a mile from where the Olympics are due to happen a year from now.

    Sunday, August 07, 2011

    7th August 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

    I'm very pleased to highly the Annual Summer Exhibition of the Royal Society of Painter-Printmakers (RE) which I unaccountably forgot to highlight in last week's post.  I've provided the details below.

    However I particularly wanted to feature the work of one particular RE member HJ Jackson as I own one of his linocut prints.

    He's a member of the RE and has been exhibiting with the Society since 1961 - that's 50 years of exhibiting with the Society!  He'a also a member of the Society of Wood Engravers

    HJ Jackson is also just two years off 60 years of printmaking!  He lost access to a printing press when he left art school and ever since then has been burnishing all his prints by hand using a tobacco tin.

    Below is a video of an interview with HJ Jackson at the Norwich Art Fair - talking about he works the process of producing a linocut from reference to print.

    It's succinct and extremely informative and is recommended viewing by me (the pictures are static but the audio is fascinating!)

    Art blogs

    It's maybe worth making the point that I always take a look at the art blogs of those who leave comments on this blog or sign up to follow me on Twitter.

    Quite a few people who get highlighted in this post on a Sunday first come to my attention in this fashion.  However I hasten to add that if I'm interested I do look back over the blog to see what the standard has been like over time!

    However please don't be like one artist who recently followed me who listed a website that didn't work properly and mentioned a blog for recent artwork which the website did not link to!

    drawing and sketching
    coloured pencils and pastels
    • Flickr has had its 6,000,000,000th upload!  I merely account for slightly less than 10,000 of those
    • My new photography blog Makingamark - a daily photo is off and running and I'm beginning to get into my stride as I revisit my photos - which of itself is a jolly good reason for doing it!  I've adopted an alphabetical approach as it gives me a structure and focus that means I cannot wander - except I spent most of this week coming up with thoughts for a huge number of letters of the alphabet.  Not got Z sorted yet! 

    Art Business and Marketing
    “Sometimes instead of buying from a showroom,” she says, “you can buy directly from the artist at a better price."

    Art Economy
    • The blogs and newspapers have been curiously quiet about the implications of the latest falls on the stock market and their impact on the art market.  I'm going to watching for comment.  I kind of think wiping out $3 trillion dollars from the global stock markets has to mean something.
    • Before the staggering market falls at the end of the week got going, Ed Winkelman had already usefully summarised a number of articles commenting on the art market and the implications for art galleries in Galleries 3.0 || Open Thread
    "There are challenges ahead for galleries. Especially smaller and newer ones. " - Edward Winkleman

    Art Competitions
    Juried shows
    Last week I listed the recent observations by Stapleton Kearns on jurying exhibitions of art societies. This week here are some more recent comments about juried shows
    • This is Robert Genn's (The Painter's Keys) response - and those of his readers to a query about juried shows which won't accept artists without a fine art degree - Getting a Leg Up.  It includes an obsevration by me about UK juried exhibitions
    I've found certain shows very political inasmuch as they won't consider artists without art degrees. Do you have any suggestions for non-degreed artists regarding shows and artist resumes, etc.?
    What constitutes a No? For me it’s work that looks derivative (if Sean Scully has already done it, you don’t have to), conceptually undeveloped (what, exactly am I looking at and why?), formally unresolved (it doesn’t “work”) or technically inadequate (incompetent execution).
    Art Exhibitions
    I've given up following Art Knowledge News on Twitter.  The site has become extremely tedious through a combination of incessant tweets and tweets/posts about exhibitions which finished a long time ago.  This is just one recent example - there's lots more.
    Yale Center Exhibition Examines Hoax on Prominent 18th Century British Artists 
    I really don't know what happened to this site - it used to be good - but it is no longer. National art museums / galleries
    Regional / commercial art galleries
    • The BBC provides a slideshow In picture - the Edinburgh Art festival.  
    • Here's Adrian Searle's review in the Guardian Jake or Dinos Chapman - review - he gave them just three stars!  Having heard some tales about their characters and behaviour in real life (ie outside an art gallery) I think this will be their first and last mention on this blog.
    What unites them is that it is all in the worst possible taste.
    Art societies
    Art Bloggers
    Provence Potager by Sarah Wimperis - available from Beside the Wave Gallery
    Lavender Shadows by Sarah Wimperis - available from Beside the Wave Gallery

    Art Books

    After a break of a couple of months I've resumed the updates for my two websites which keep abreast of
    Art Crime
    • Two articles in The Guardian about art crime 
    Art Education
    Tips and techniques
    Opinion Polls
    Internet and webware

    and finally......

    This is a really weird sculpture.  A sculpture of a Giant Women has taken up residence in a lake in Hamburg for 10 days - or is that 'taking a bath'  Giant Woman Sculpture Makes Waves in German Lake
    A giant sculpture by Oliver Voss, 'Die Badende' (The Bather), lies in the Binnenalster lake in Hamburg, Germany. The sculpture is made of styrofoam and steel and measures 4 metres high by 30 metres long.