Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Picture of 2011 on an Art Blog

You have voted (see Vote for the best artwork on an art blog in 2011) and today I can announce who has won Best Picture of 2011 on an Art Blog.

Many thanks to
  • first - all those art bloggers who came up with the nominations.  Your assistance in identifying good work is certainly valued by me.
  • second - all the people who took time out over the festive season to come and view the nominations and vote in this Making A Mark Awards Poll. 
So the way this works is that first I tell you who won in each category and then I announce who won Best Picture of the Year - which goes to the person with the most votes overall.

Do please click the images and open them in a new tab if you want to see a bigger version.

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Portrait/Figures) on an Art Blog 2011

This poll traditionally has the most votes of all the polls - and it achieved that again this year.

This particular poll had me on the edge of my seat.  The lead kept changing and as it drew to a close I started to think it might end up as a dead heat....and so it came to be!

The joint winners of the Best Picture of the Year (Portrait/Figures) each with 27% of the vote are:
© Sophie Ploeg (Sophie Ploeg)
oil, 30x40cm
"Leah at Sea" 
© Taryn Day (Awake and Painting)
oil on panel, 6"x6"
I wasn't familiar with Taryn's work before but her blog has now been added into my Google Reader!

"Black Sun" by Dirk Dzimirsky (Dirk Dzimirsky - Drawings) was in third place.

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Place) on an Art Blog 2011

This was another fascinating poll with the lead changing on a regular basis.  I really didn't have any idea which piece was going win this year.
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Place) is Pacific Passage by Robin Purcell (Robin Purcell - Watercolours in the Plein Air TraditionNominated by Katherine Tyrrell
I'd like to point that I'd have been very happy to have nominated any of Robin's watercolour landscapes of California - which I think are fabulous.  It just so happened that I've actually stood on this spot on a clifftop walk at Point Lobos (just south of Carmel in northern California) and wanted so much to be able to do justice to this view!

Pacific Passage 
© Robin Purcell (Robin Purcell - Watercolours in the Plein Air Tradition)
14" x 14", watercolour

The runner up was Back Door by William Wray (William Wray) - which is another very fine picture, definitely a keeper!

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) on an Art Blog 2011

This category had a run away winner right from the off and the painting which won got 42% of the vote.
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) is "Bottles, Bottles, Bottles #736" by Lisa Daria (Lisa Daria's Everyday PaintingNominated by Katherine Tyrrell
Bottles, Bottles, Bottles #736
© Lisa Darier (Lisa Daria's Everyday Painting)

Lisa Daria was last year's winner of the Painting A Day Stickability Shield (which has been won previously by a number of very well known daily painters).  She has been posting a painting every day for two and a half years and has a very good reason for why she doesn't want to stop.

The runner up was Glass & Floral II by Jelaine Faunce (Jelaine Faunce: Contemporary Realism) - which was a completely different interpretation of painting glass containers

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Natural World) on an Art Blog 2011

We have a bit of an awkward situation with this category (and having received a rather odd comment, I've amended this section since the original publication to avoid any misinterpretation)

David J Teter who nominated Ant by Suzanne Berry let me know that, after his nomination, Suzanne  pointed out to him that she had not taken the photo used as reference for the painting.  He apologised for his mistake and for not checking with Suzanne first. I'd like to thank both Suzanne and David for letting me know - I'm very happy to acknowledge that this was a genuine mistake on David's part.  However as the poll had already started I decided to let the situation ride and then work out what to do if the painting won!

Which it did.

So here's what I'm going to do.

The issue is not that somebody else's photograph has been used as a reference - which of itself is not unusual for those painting the natural world.  Hence the nomination was not ineligible purely because somebody else's photo had been used as a reference.  The issue was purely about whether or not the painting was "overly reliant on a photograph taken by somebody else" ie the criteria I'd laid down.   (This is the point at which I started looking at an awful lot of photos of ants!)

It seems to me that there are three points which favour allowing the painting to be eligible.  First, ants of the same species look pretty similar no matter who takes their photograph; they also seem to have a pretty limited number of positions which they adopt. Second, this is one painting in a long series of paintings of bugs by Suzanne.  Looking at the design and composition of the paintings in her series it's very obvious to me that there is painterly interpretation of reference photographs. This is a painter who clearly adds value to a reference photo.  Third the post about the painting eulogises about the colours she's been able to bring out in the painting.  To me they are a lot more obvious in this painting than they are in photos of similar ants.

Consequently my view is that the painting is eligible and I'm very happy to allow the vote to stand.  As I indicated when choosing a shortlist I always look at the art blogs of the painters first and it's my view that Suzanne is an accomplished painter with a very effective approach to portraying bugs!
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Nature) is "Ant" by Suzanne Berry (Suzanne BerryNominated by David J Teter
Ant © Suzanne Berry (Suzanne Berry)
16x16" oil on cradled hardboard

The runnerup was Sanderling by Tracy Hall (Watercolour Artist Diary)

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog 2011

This is awarded to the picture which got the most votes cast in the poll.

It’s always fascinating to see how the different categories fare in terms of the number of votes they attract and how art bloggers rate different work when they start acting as the jury rather than the artist whose work is being judged.

The painting which won this year was in a commanding lead - across all categories - from about six hours after the poll started all the way to the end.  I was pretty sure who was going to win on the first day!

Bottles, Bottles, Bottles #736
© Lisa Darier (Lisa Daria's Everyday Painting)
The other placements, according to the number of votes cast, were as follows:
  • Second - Ant by Suzanne Berry
  • Third - Pacific Passage by Robin Purcell
I guess the very hard fought competition in the Portrait category ended up sharing the votes around rather equally!  This category has however won the Best Picture of the Year for the last two years so it was kind of nice that other genres got a look in!

I hope you've enjoyed the Picture of the Year Competition and all the Making A Mark Awards.  I've listed them below - and you can also see them within the context of past winners in two places.  Both summarise the reasons why people won the award.
The Making A Mark Awards 2012

I keep a running list of potential nominations for ANY of the Making A Mark Awards all year round. 

So if you'd like to feature in next year's awards and/or want to nominate an art blog and/or an artwork by an art blogger that you spot in the course of the year all you have to do is write to me at any time (see side column for contact details) or leave a comment on the blog page.  All nominations have to comply with the rules.

Links:  Making A Mark Awards 2011

Read who won the awards - click the link in the bold sub-heads below

Generating Art
  • The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
  • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
  • NEW IN 2011 - The Best Art Society Blog
Getting Out of the Studio
  • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
  • The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy
  • The Going Greener Gong
Learning about Art & the Art Business
  • The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal
  • The Make Me Think Gong
  • The Best Book by an Art Blogger Blue Ribbon
The Home Front
  • NEW in 2011 The Art Innovation of the Year Award
  • “The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog
  • The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
Best Picture of 2011

Shortlist and poll results - VOTE for the Best Artwork on an Art Blog in 2011


    1. Bottles...736, by Lisa Daria, is a truly outstanding painting. Wonderful!

      Congratulations to all winners and placers. It isn't easy to stand out this way in the Blog world, and you all should feel a great sense of accomplishment - and keep it up in 2012!


    2. Dear Katherine,
      Thank you for hard work in 2011 for readers, particularly, on behalf of us, artists. Please keep up wonderful work in 2012,too! Wish you Happy New Year!!!
      Best wishes,Sadami

    3. hi katherine,

      i just found out that my painting was allowed to remain in the competition and it won!!
      i am honored, thank you so very much!

      also i appreciate your very kind comments about my bug narratives
      more than words can say!

      this is indeed a lovely way to start the new year!

      my sincere thanks,

    4. Congratulations to all the winners.
      I had thoughts on nominations for other categories but simply could not narrow them down.

      Kudos to you too for your THOUGHTFULNESS and judgement in allowing the votes to stand for Suzanne Berry's "Ant".

      Your awards, your rules, you could have disallowed and no one could argue.
      Instead, you know there is (and always should be) a human element to things, common sense. Something computers (and many corporations) still don't possess.

      Here in the States they (whoever that is) let a computer determine the rankings in college football, based on stats only, how dumb.

      I am a proponent of sticking to the rules, they are there for a reason, so I won't that mistake again but I'm happy that you, a human with an ability to look past mere stats and make a judgement was in charge.

    5. Katherine,
      On your mention of "The Making A Mark Awards 2012...

      "I keep a running list of potential nominations...all year round"

      Here is one that was a near miss for me this year in "The Make Me Think Gong" category, but only because it was started late in the year and then the blog author took a break to pursue an opportunity.

      Time and mileage will tell if it deserves a nomination.

      What I like is, although much of the info is not new, his posts are short, concise and to the point.

      In our busy lives we sometimes need a short read, otherwise we may skip altogether. Not to replace the more in depth sources but in addition to them.

      So far this blog fills that niche. by Tony Moffitt.

      He also has his own art blog, a critique blog and a novel blog.


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