Sunday, December 18, 2011

18th December 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

Nativity (1654) - etching by Rembrandt
Just a week to go to Christmas Day! Here's wishing you and yours all the best in this festive season.

I continue to have "green" difficulties with sending out masses of Christmas cards to people and will be limiting them to close family members and close friends and making a donation to the Save the Children Fund instead.

The Making A Mark Art Blog Awards 2011

I've now got all the Calls for Nominations posted (see links below).  This year there are two new awards in 2011
  • The Best Art Society Blog Prize
  • The Art Innovation of the Year Award
In addition, there are a lot more group art blogs around in 2011 and it's worth mentioning that group blogs will in general be looked at under The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup

I've been making lots of notes about art blogs which I think are eligible for different awards.  However I've not had a lot of nominations as yet.  I will be adding in my nominations and I won't be only adding in one or two.  However you won't see mine until the shortlisting

Ester Roi demonstrated very effectively yesterday how to get your art blog nominated i.e. by making a simple announcement about the award on her blog and showing people what they have to do if they want to nominate her blog (and in this case her art innovation).

You can do this too!  What you cannot do is lobby for nominations (or votes) outside your own art blog as the intended audience for these awards is art bloggers only.

The Wisdom of the Crowd

One of the benefits of blogging is that we can all get a better result by sharing our experiences - through the wisdom of the crowd.

Please show your appreciation of your fellow bloggers and NOMINATE an art blogger you think should get a MAKING A MARK AWARD

These are the links to the invitations to nominate.
If you've got any queries don't hesitate to contact me - details of how to do this are in the side column.

I'll be posting the nominations for the Best Picture award on the 24th and then inviting you to vote on the 26th.

Artists and Art Blogs

Drawing and Sketching

Dinner six months ago - on the 16th June 2011
Botanical art

I'm very fond of botanical art.  Hence one of my Best Picture Awards relates to the Natural World and one of the Making A Mark Art Blog awards is about those artists who promote awareness of nature and the greener side of life.

If you like botanical art you might like to check out these Botanical Artists Blogs
  • Mindy Lighthipe's Botanical Painting.  She's recently been involved with a botanical art project - the 30 day Botanical Leaf Challenge.
  • Dianne Sutherland lives in Scotland and has not yet completed the challenge but there are some impeccable painted leaves on her blog Dianne Sutherland
  • Renata Barilli is a botanical illustrator who lives in Italy and has a botanical art blog (in Italian) Aperta Mente Botanical Art,
  • Claire lives in West wales and has been producing some beautitful botanical artwork of Autumn Treasures on her blog Drawn to Paint Nature. Also in Red Berries she highlights a lightfastness  problem with the watercolour Opera Pink
  • Botanical Illustration is a great blog associated with the Denver Botanic Gardens' Botanical Art and Illustration Certificate Program
Did you know there is a Nature Blog Network?  These are the blogs which are about Art and Nature

The Wildlife Art Journal seems to have a blog however it doesn't have a URL which allows us to pick up the latest post independently of that post's URL (ie there is no home URL for the blog!)

  • James Gurney has posted a 10 part series about the origins of Dinotopia on Gurney Journey

  • Sarah Wimperis (The Red Shoes) became a grandmother this week and has been sketching and painting wee Polly who spent a few days known as The Pie - as in The Pie Miniature - which is an example of Sarah's new paintings in miniature format.  The watercolour is hatched.
Plein air painting
I wanted the protester to come across as serious, but not scary. Most of the protesters I’ve met are normal, idealistic, young adults, so I thought the “person next door” feel was important. Ironically, I found out that the subject of the photo I illustrated from is an LA resident and employee of the Robert Berman gallery who I have worked with
wildlife art
Art Business & Marketing
  • Blutulip is a new type of website operating in the UK.  It's a business to business trading portal - which seems to be aiming at a way of getting stock moving through trades between businesses (rather than between business and customer).  The only reason I'm featuring it is because it appears to be a genuinely new business model.  I am inundated with website owners telling me about sites where the notion is that artists will display their art direct to the buying public - most of which have not done their homework and sink without a trace (hence why I never mention them).  This one seems different.  Blutulip launches in 28 days time and is open to pre-registration.
The only UK based website to offer gallery owners, artists and publishers the ability to discreetly trade with each other.
  • Blutulip sent me a Fine Art Guild Survey of Galleries (July 2011) as the rationale behind their approach to their business and websiye.  This indicates that most galleries have a fair amount of slow moving stock which is tieing up their cash flow.  Thus they can't buy new art.  However most indicated that they would be willing to trade and/or discount stock to be able to freshen up their stock on offer.  There are some interesting comments
Entering the trade 8 years ago from industry & commerce was amazed at lack of contact/stock swapping between galleries and poor IT/stock systems at suppliers of images and raw materials.  
Art Collectors and the Art economy
Art Competitions

Calls for Entries - major national exhibitions in the UK (open to international artists)
  • Last Sunday I published my annual post about the Call for Entries: BP Portrait Award 2012.  If you're interested do take a look at the linked sites as they provide you with a lot of insight into the type of portraits which are entered for this major international art competition.
  • On Thursday I posted the Call for Entries: RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012.  This exhibition by the Royal Watercolour Society is unlike the exhibitions of other national art societies where the images by candidates for membership are displayed.  This is an exhibition which is not an annual exhibition in the conventional sense - and is much more like a conventional exhibition.
  • On Friday I posted about two calls for entries by the two Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 competitions run by the David Shepherd Foundation and the BBC respectively.  You can find my summary of the differences and most of the details about who, what and how to enter in Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 - Call for Entries (x2)
Art Exhibitions

  • The Royal Academy of Arts are advising Friends of the RA - and other people - planning to visit David Hockney RA: A Bigger Picture to book a time slot now.  Advanced booking has been introduced in response to feedback about overcrowding and queues at the more popular exhibitions at the RA. 
  • Travelling Light, opened at the Whitechapel Gallery last week. It's an exhibition of art held by the Government Art Collection which is not normally seen. The exhibition explores the British desire to travel and create a distinctly British view in depictions of people and places overseas.  The works have been selected by Simon Schama.
  • The Haunch of Venison Gallery's exhibition Conversations between ten British Post-War painters focuses on a group of ten British painters who revived landscape painting and portraiture - Michael Andrews, Frank Auerbach, Francis Bacon, Patrick Caulfield, William Coldstream, Lucian Freud, Richard Hamilton, David Hockney, Leon Kossoff and Euan Uglow - many of whom have gone on to become very influential in relation to the practice of contemporary painters.  The Guardian has a slideshow of some of the paintings on display.
  • I'm very fed up that I missed the exhibition of botanical illustrations by Beatrix Potter at the Victoria & Albert Museum - however I discovered the the web page with examples of her work is still up on the website (However you have to know it's there as "past exhibitions" are not listed except as part of the site plan and when you get to them the exhibitions have no archive.  Shame on the V&A - this is very poor practice in the context of museums generally and is such a waste of a learning opportunity.  I wish they'd realise that people learn via the website and informative pages about past exhibitions are an excellent way of learning! )
  • Monet waterlily paintings are going to be on exhibition at Tate Liverpool next year
Since its inception in 1990, the exhibit series Focus on Nature has reflected the standards, materials, and skills of contemporary natural history illustrators.
Art Education
Art History / Art Museums and Galleries

The Nativity by Piero della Francesca
Art Societies

The Royal Academy of Arts has been having a major shake-up and changing "the bums on seats" - painters and women to the front please!
Diana Armfield RA, a figurative painter, said Emin had a “great talent for celebrity”. She told the Times she had seen what “I suppose are drawings” by Emin in the Summer Exhibition and “wouldn’t have thought that her talents were that way”.
Internet, webware and blogging
  • David Pilgrim (David Pilgrim) has written a helpful post - Getting Mobile - about the tools he has been using to improve his website and display his art - with particular reference to access by mobile technology.  He highlights the testing capacity offered bythe Opera mobile emulator
  • I love the way the image in the title area of the Light and Color blog changes with every refresh. I wonder how that works? 
and finally......

This BBC article has a video which explores the origins behind the colours of Christmas

Click the link to NOMINATE Art Blogs for The 2011 Making A Mark Awards


  1. Thanks for the mention Katherine,I'm chuffed.Happy Xmas xx

  2. I did not expected. This is a surprise to me and I just would like to say thanks


COMMENTS HAVE BEEN CLOSED AGAIN because of too much spam.
My blog posts are always posted to my Making A Mark Facebook Page and you can comment there if you wish.

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.