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.'


  1. Katherine,
    Thank you so much for including my blog in this post " Who's made a mark this week?" under painting.

    As a follower of your blog for some time I feel honored to be mentioned alongside so many great artists who you have featured.

  2. sorry I didn't see this sooner, but thanks for including me too. It was a very strange week that we're still recovering from. The odd situation of being next door to the riots yet going into Mayfair each day to sell expensive art hit a chord with me and I just didn't know how to resolve it.


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