Friday, December 30, 2011

The Home Front - The Making A Mark Awards 2011

The fourth section of the 6th Annual Making A Mark Awards relates to those matters relating to the practical aspects of our artistic art and/or make life at home with the artist that bit better.

There are three awards:

NEW in 2011 The Art Innovation of the Year Award

This is a NEW AWARD in 2011.  Now that I've created it I really can't think why I haven't done so before!

It's come about because I’ve been very struck in recent years by how accomplished and practising artists, who are also art bloggers, have gone that extra mile and addressed their own personal and practical needs by creating a new tool or experimenting with new media – which they then share with other artists.

The Art Innovation of the Year Award is awarded to highlight those artist bloggers who experiment and/or create and/or share innovations which help the practice of other artists.

The sharing may be through:

  • the invention of a new tool or art medium to aid artists
  • testing and reviewing a new art medium or material
  • experiments with existing or new art media, materials or equipment and the creation of a new way of doing things 

I indicated that I'd be prepared to be flexible about the date for products in this first award - although the award should really be for something produced in the last 2 years (ie pretty much along the same lines as the rules as for the Art book by a Blogger award)

I had in mind one new product when I created this award.

I also used Ester Roi's Icarus Board (which launched in 2008), as an example, in the Call for Nominations .  Those who are fans of the Icarus Board saw no reason why I shouldn't be very flexible as to date it was launched and I received a very large number of nominations for the Icarus Board and also for Ester's art blog.  I decided I better remain true to my coloured pencil leanings and allow it for this year's competition.

However it was up against a very worthy and equally popular opponent - and was conceived by an equally popular and accomplished artist!

Hence the first award will be shared between:
  • the Icarus Art Drawing Board - conceived and produced by Ester Roi (Ester Roi).  This has been an enormous success with coloured pencil artists since it greatly reduces some of the time usually required to layer coloured pencils to achieve saturated colours.  It can also be used with crayons, oil pastels and encaustic painting.  Ester has now shipped Icarus Drawing Boards internationally to: Canada, Germany, Italy, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, Luxembourg, Japan,Venezuela, Belgium, Scotland, and France.
  • the Paint On Tabletop Easel - conceived and produced by Karin Jurick (A Painting Today) and Brett (the easel guy).  This was designed specifically for Karin's requirements and came to the market at the beginning of 2011 and has been steadily selling out on a regular basis ever since.  At present, the easel is only available in the USA.

The Art Innovation of the Year Award 2011
is shared between
Ester Roi - for her Icarus Art Drawing Board
Karin Jurick - for her Paint On Tabletop Easel

“The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog

"The Moose" Award for the best animal in an illustrated blog is named after the first winner of this award.  The animal can be wild or domestic, a perennial subject or the studio pet.

The very original Moose
This award is for particularly noteworthy artwork about an animals or animals (wild or domestic) posted to an art or illustrated blog in 2011

Previous winners are
Originally it was intended that this award would be about the studio pet (hence why it's in this category) - however it's grown beyond this to being a blog about artists involved with animals - and fish and birds!

I have been following Debbie Kotter Caspari's blog (Drawing the Motmot) for a very long time.  She predominantly draws nature from life in all its different guises - in different parts of the world.  I particularly enjoy her drawings of birds - and the fact she draws using pastels!  Check out the bird sketches in this post Binoculars…bugspray…sketchbook?  and who else sketches porcupines?  In 2010, Debbie's home was hit by a tornado after which there was a very long absence from blogging while she put her life back together and found a new home.  I was so very pleased when she started to blog again properly in 2011.  It's been a delight to see all her sketches in 2011.

The winner of
The "The Moose" Award 2011
for the best animal (or bird!) in an illustrated blog is
Debbie Kotter Caspari

The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year

The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year is for the Most Improved Studio of the Year and reflects the continuous efforts of many artists to improve our studio and working environments

Previous winners are
I can't start without mentioning all the artists who have had to start again from scratch after losing their homes and studios.

  • As I mentioned above, it was wonderful to have Debbie Kotter Caspari  (Drawing the Motmotback with us again in 2011 after she lost virtually everything in a tornado in the summer of 2010.
  • Then I was horrified this year that two art bloggers I've known for some years - Carol Marine (Carol Marine's Painting A Day) and Jo Castillo (Jo Castillo Art Blog) - both lost their houses to the terrible Bastrop wildfires in Texas.  Carol had minutes to decide what to take with her - and has now moved to Oregon to start again - see A New Beginning.
  • The year finished with Julian Merrow Smith (Postcard from Provence) and his wife fortuitously arriving home in late November just in time to stop a fire completely claiming their house.  However the damage was done and the house is currently uninhabitable and Julian has had to lose his studio for a few months while they remedy the damage.

In Carol's case, the loss of her home also resulted in the loss of her brand new studio built by her husband.  It even had its very own blog - Building My Studio - which, in the end, recorded its birth back in 2009, its studio warming this summer and its death in September in just over two years.  It must have been especially galling to have just got it properly finished only to lose it a short while later.

Ironically, just as Carol's new studio was reduced to ash, Loriann Signori was breaking the ground for her new studio in September this year.  She's been entertaining me in the latter part of 2011 on her blog Loriann Signori with the development of her studio - and fortuitously as I hoped she might, on Tuesday this week she posted The birth of a studio: the whole story - and is now in and painting away!  You can see all the posts on her new studio label.

I couldn't choose and so as a tribute to the dreams of both artists reaching fulfilment - and the huge help they get from their menfolk.......

The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year 2011
is shared between
Carol Marine (and David)
Loriann Signori (and Daddio)

This completes the Making A Mark Awards except for the Best Picture - which is now delayed until tomorrow.

You can see all past winners on The Making A Mark Awards page on


  1. Thank you, Katherine, I'm very honored to be the recipient of this award. I'm grateful to all who nominated me, for your support and goodwill. Congratulations, Karin Jurick, it's a pleasure to share this recognition with you. Happy New Year!

  2. I'm honored and touched to receive this award- it means a great deal to me, and my thoughts are with all the artists who lost their studios and are working to put things right again. Thank you for this award, and a special thanks for the inspiration. Warm regards and Happy New Year!


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