Wednesday, February 29, 2012

How Pinterest removed all my pinned images in minutes (#1)

This two-part post is about remedies to the problem of images appearing on Pinterest without permission
  • Part 1
    • how I discovered just how many images from my websites and blogs had been pinned - without my permission - on Pinterest
    • why it's wrong to pin without permission
    • how I started to comment on the images in question
  • Part 2: [Update - see Takedown: How Pinterest moved fast to remove my pinned images (#2) ] how Pinterest removed all my images within minutes of me serving a "takedown" notice. 
  • how you too can get your all artistic creations and photographs removed from Pinterest quickly.
I kept wondering how on earth I was ever going to find out whether or not any of my images were on Pinterest. I couldn't see any way of doing it quickly and easily via the site itself.

Then an (anonymous) friend told me how - for which many thanks.

How to find images pinned from your website or blog

If you want to find which of your images have been pinned this is what you need to do

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012 - Review

Yesterday, after dropping my artwork off with the Society of Botanical Artists, I went to see the exhibition for the RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012 held at the Bankside Gallery.

This exhibition, as I indicated in my earlier post, RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012 - Selected artists & artwork, this exhibition is 100% open.  There are no works by members of the RWS.

General impressions of the exhibition

RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition - the feature wall
The first thing that needs saying is that there is a lot of excellent artwork in this exhibition and I very much recommend it as an exhibition for lovers of watercolou.  Much of it is "proper watercolour" (and those who've read my previous comments on this topic will know I mean traditional watercolour and goauche rather than acrylic).  That said I saw a stunning painting in acrylic which very much took my fancy! The paintings are also much more a product of freehand painting and hand-eye co-ordination rather than produced with the aid of technical aids.  If you're thinking of entering next year I suggest you pay a visit before the exhibition finishes on 14th March.

That said, I also have to note that I came across what I considered to be some weak examples of watercolour art which I found rather surprising.  I'm not going to name names or otherwise characterise them - although if you're a watercolour artist whose work I rate highly you may find me dropping you a line to suggest you enter next year! ;)

I also noticed that I was seeing more than one painting for the second or third time in the last 12 months.  Good though they may be, I think a competition of this sort really should have a condition that the entries have not been previously exhibited in London.  Not least because those paintings I saw are also produced by artists whose work I rate and I know they have more good paintings in their portfolios!  Maybe a point for the RWS to ponder on?

RWS Open 2012 - South Wall
RWS Open 2012 - The Alcove Wall

In general terms - and for the benefit of those thinking of entering next year - this is what I found in terms of subject matter, media, style and presentation

Monday, February 27, 2012

Society of Botanical Artists Submission Day - and a botanical egg

Today was the day to submit work to the 2012 Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists - at Central Hall in Westminster.  This is a "show and tell" for all those people who submitted work - which eventually ended up in the Aldersgate Room along with mine.

This is what it looks like folks as you walk through the door!  Lots and lots of members accepting work submitted - and a few spouses who also do stirling work.

This is such a well organised art society!
Work is stacked against the walls all around the room Towards the back of the room is a table on which are some 70+ entries without frames from overseas.  The Society can arrange framing for those which are selected.

Not all the work submitted is small
The lady in the stripy jumper is Susan Christopher Coulson who is Vice President of the Society, standing in front of the submission desk for the members of the Society.  She does amazing botanical art in coloured pencil - I always look forward to seeing her new work each year.

As you can see from the photo, some of the members like to submit larger works.

The work is sorted into alphabetical stacks. I think the letters relate to the surname
This gives you an idea of the typical size of framed artwork which is submitted
This is how the work gets stacked.  When you see it like this you realise why work has to be submitted with the hanging gear or other protuberances on the back.  You can have D rings but they must be taped over.  Every work gets a number when it is submitted and a numbered sticker placed on the back and on the entry form.

Each work is submitted with two labels.
  • One is a gummed label which is attached to the back with the basic details of title, name of the artist and price.
  • the same details have to be repeated on a hanging label (swing tag) which must be capable of hanging over the front of the pic when it is hung.  That enables them the Society to match up the work to the proper printed labels when the work is hung.
This is my work - it's a bromeliad.  I ran into dreadful problems last week with both eyes (spotty cataracts) and hand (tenosynovitis) - I just can't do any sort of detail any more.  In the end I had to abandon two works and go back to finish a work which was originally intended for last year's exhibition but wasn't quite finished in time.

A young Neoregelia Scarlet Charlotte
coloured pencils, 7.5" x 11.5"
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
If you'd like to see the exhibition, it's being held in the Aldersgate Room of Central Hall, Westminster between 20-29 April 2012 (11am - 5pm including Saturdays).  Admission is free.

On the way home I came across another botanical artwork.  This time it was one of the eggs in The Big Egg Hunt.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Pinterest: How to prevent your Flickr images from being pinned

This post explains how to prevent your Flickr images from being pinned - by changing your site preferences

Lots of people like to share images on sites they control - like their website, blog or Flickr account.  What many of them are less keen on - and I'm one of them - is the sharing of those images by other people, without asking on sites that we have no knowledge of.  People's views vary - this post is for people like me!

Flickr introduces 'no pin' meta tag sitewide

Flickr inserted the 'no pin' meta tag into its site very soon after it was published by Pinterest.  

The 'no pin' meta tag was introduced by Pinterest on 20 February 2012 (What if I don't want images from my site to be pinned?) following the viral outcry, approaching a viral storm, about the level and extent of copyright infringement being promoted by Pinterest.  Some are characterising the way the site works as promoting piracy.  Given the recent interest in the USA in the changes to the copyright laws all of a sudden people are getting interested in copyright issues!

The Flickr Help Forum post Adding Pinterest's "nopin" meta tag indicates that Flickr had introduced the meta tag to the Flickr site no later than 22 February.

It's important to note that the principle is that the meta tag follows the stated preferences of the Flickr user.  Hence it ONLY applies if:
This is an image of the Your Account page - for my Flickr account which is mainly used as an archive for my images (ie 99.9% of the 13,779 items in the account is not shared!)

Change your Flickr Account to say 'No' to sharing

What you have to do to prevent sharing of Flickr images

This is what you need to do if you would prefer your images to be seen on Flickr - but NOT shared elsewhere.  I've tested this with images I have on view on an account where I have disabled sharing.

Friday, February 24, 2012

Pinterest: How to prevent your Blogger images from being pinned

This post explains how to stop images on your Blogger blog from being pinned to a Pinterest site - by inserting a meta tag in your Blogger template. 

I discovered that Pinterest has responded to the very many howls of "theft!" by those concerned about copyright infringement.  I know I was very concerned when I saw how people were pinning with blatant disregard for the owner of the image and their copyright restrictions on use or publication on other sites.  (At the end of this post are references to several blog posts and articles which detail why it is a problem)

Pinterest has now introduced a piece of code which prevents images on your website or blog from being pinned.

This is what they now say in  NEW help item  What if I don't want images from my site to be pinned?
What if I don't want images from my site to be pinned?
We have a small piece of code you can add to the head of any page on your site:
<meta name="pinterest" content="nopin" />
When a user tries to pin from your site, they will see this message:
"This site doesn't allow pinning to Pinterest. Please contact the owner with any questions. Thanks for visiting!"
I tried it - and it works.

So this is what you have to do to install the code on Blogger.

Monday, February 20, 2012

19 February 2012 - Who's made a mark this week?

State of the Arts

State of the Arts: Artists shaping the world is the Arts Council’s national conference for the UK's arts and culture sector.  It took place last week at the Lowry in Manchester and included a live blog and live tweeting (check out #SOTA12).

I wasn't paying particular attention but kept noticing flurries of tweets which suggested maybe all was not well.

This is the Arts Council's 5 minute round-up video

I'm not sure that this is the same perspective as others who were at the conference.

Below are some reports on the conference.  It rather looks like those hitting on the topics that matter were very much the practitioners (ie artists) rather than the bureaucrats.  That suggests to me the latter need to get their heads out of the sand and start rethinking what they're doing and how they're going about it from the ground up (I'm allowed to say these things being an ex-bureaucrat!).  Particularly in relation to accessibility issues.
Organised by Arts Council England (ACE) in partnership with the BBC, this disappointingly anodyne conference was an exercise in command, control and public relations.
Whilst there is little doubt ACE genuinely wants to involve artists, it does so in a highly controlled and tightly curated manner that only serves to emphasise its inescapably hierarchical nature and the extent of its deeply engrained institutional paternalism.
  • This is a post by SOTA blog co-curator Hannah Nicklin asking What is it for? Who is it with?.  Looks like I might have come away with the right impression of what needs to happen next.
For what it's worth I'd put out the next conference to tender and allows artists organisations to come up with proposals of how to do it better - and then award a contract to whoever comes up with the best idea and demonstrates the capacity to pull it off.  I'm pretty sure that artists could do it if they were given enough time.  However they might also marginalise the public relations for the Minister aspect of it!

Art Blogs

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Insurance for Artists - can you help?

I'm developing a new website about Insurance for Artists.  It's one of those technical aspects of being an artist which is apt to catch us out from time to time - and it's always good to know what our options are!

Q. What's the value of your art space and its contents?
I've been doing and will be doing a lot of research for the website, however I've always found that crowd-sourcing is an excellent way of identifying options which are less obvious. So that's where I need your help!

By way of payback, I'll be producing a site which hopefully will be helpful to a lot of practising artists.

Artists Insurance - Resources for Artists is where I have got to so far.
[UPDATE MAY 2015: Insurance for Art and Artists is the NEW site which contains information of interest to ALL artists.]

It includes the links which I had already identified and any which are recommended in the comments.

Why do we need insurance?

The website will aim to explain all the different circumstances when we need to consider insurance.

For example, the insurance might cover:

Thursday, February 16, 2012

"Lucian Freud Drawings" - a life in line

Lucian Freud fans can indulge their love of his drawings as well as his portrait paintings as from tomorrow.

Lucian Freud Drawings opens at Blain|Southern Gallery in Hill Street (just off Berkeley Square).  This is the most comprehensive survey - over the last 70 years - of Lucian Freud's works on paper that has ever been staged by any gallery.

Lucian Freud
The Painter's Mother, 1983
Charcoal and pastel 32.4 x 24.8 cm (12.76 x 9.76 in)
©Lucian Freud
This provides a really great complement to the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.  If you're coming to London to see the exhibition I do urge you to try and make time to see this one too.

Planning for it took about the same amount of time - and work started on it six years ago - with the full involvement of Freud himself - up until his death last year.  That's because this exhibition like the one in the NPG has well over 100 works of art by Lucian Freud.
'It's obviously a question of making a good choice', said Lucian Freud when we began thinking about this exhibition six years ago
Lucian Freud Drawings - an essay by William Feaver in the catalogue of the exhibition
The exhibition draws upon a number of works in both institutions and private collections. A number of the drawings have never been seen in public before - making this a very special "must see" exhibition.

The exhibition opens tomorrow Friday 17th February 2012 and closes on Thursday 5th April 2012.  Entry is strictly limited to those who have tickets (find out below how to get tickets)

The exhibition will then travel to the USA where Lucian Freud Drawings will be exhibited by the Acquavella Galleries, New York between 1 May – 9 June, 2012.

In total there are 130 works in the catalogue - although some will only be seen in London and some will only be seen in New York.

In London there are 108 drawings - in pencil, charcoal, ink, crayon; etchings; paintings in watercolour and gouache and a smoked copper plate which he was working on before he died last July.

There is also a second exhibition - Lucian Freud Drawings Archive - in the Blain|Southern Gallery in Dering Street - which I have yet to see but I'm sure it's going to be a treat.  Freud's numerous graphic illustrations are presented accompanied by the research books that interested the artist, rare interviews, past exhibition ephemera and documentary film materals.  This includes the documentary made by William Feaver and Jake Auerbach for Omnibus.  This I have seen and it's an excellent film.

Lucian Freud Drawings - at Blaine Southern Gallery, Hill Street
on the left are two studies of artist and friend Francis Bacon in crayon and chalk  (1951 and 1961)
Below you can find out more about the exhibition, see more images on display and find out how you can get to see it.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Important - complete Copyright Survey by 5pm on Friday

If you live in the UK please complete a Copyright Survey by 5pm on Friday 17th February.

Please also pass the link to this blog post or the survey to other artists you know who live in the UK and ask them to also complete the survey

This is why the survey has been set up
The UK Government has launched an important consultation on copyright which proposes a number of significant changes to copyright in the UK and to the protection and remuneration visual artists currently enjoy.

DACS is keen to gather responses from you which will help us to shape our contribution to the consultation.

You can also respond directly to the Government's consultation here:

The survey should take around 15 minutes to complete.

All responses are anonymous and will remain confidential and will only be used for the purposes of informing DACS' response to the Government's Consultation on Copyright. No personal data will be passed onto any 3rd party organisation.

This survey will close at 5pm Friday 17 February.
The survey covers:
  • extended collective licensing
  • orphan works
  • moral rights (eg what other people can do to or with orphan works if the originator has not been identified - as happens when images become detached from information about the originator)
  • codes of conduct for collecting societies
  • copyright exceptions
My response included the following statements 
There's a vast difference between the quality of images used to generate revenue and those needed for educational purposes.  All public institutions holding images of works which are funded or supported via public revenue should be obligated to provide web ready images for educational use.  This is an area where orphan works could be used more widely - it doesn't impact on current artists.  Also it's very important for the legislation to recognise that education does not just take place in regulated educational institutions.  Education is what happens when people learn - and that can be self-directed and internet based
The changes need to avoid favouring big business at the expense of the individual artist.  If anything the emphasis should be the other way round.  Also any system needs to avoid being burdensome on individual artists in terms of paperwork or expense.  One only needs to look at the average income of most visual artists to realise there is absolutely no scope to create an economic burden.  Hence why any changes need to protect those who create.  This must avoid big business (or big public institutions) seeking to make money off individuals who haven't got the resources to defend themselves against those who breach their copyright and moral rights.

Please leave a comment telling us what you said.

Thanks to a-n whose article alerted me to this survey

Link: Copyright - Resources for Artists

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Review: "Love Pastels" - The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2012

Riverside Triptych II (£20,000) by Patricia Cain
Pastel, 170cm x 315cm (5.6 feet x 10.3 feet)
I had a very nice time at the 113th Annual Exhibition 2012 of the The Pastel Society yesterday - pastel artists are such nice people!  There was also some great pastel art on show - and this is a "must see" exhibition for all pastel artists in the UK.

You can see the exhibition at the Mall Galleries until Saturday 25th February.  The show is open 10am to 5pm but closes at 2pm on the final day.

Observations about the Exhibition

Monday, February 13, 2012

VIDEO: WSJ review of "Lucian Freud Portraits" + BBC2 programme

This is the Wall Street Journal's video overview of the new "Lucian Freud Portraits" exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.  It's the best video I've seen to date in terms of coverage of the paintings in the exhibition.

There's a programme - Lucian Freud: Painted Life - on BBC2 on Saturday 18th February
Painted Life explores the life and work of Lucian Freud, undoubtedly one of Britain's greatest artists. Freud gave his full backing to the documentary shortly before his death. Uniquely, he was filmed painting his last work, a portrait of his assistant David Dawson.

Lucian Freud: Painted Life also includes frank testimony from those who knew and loved this extraordinary personality. Members of his large family (he had at least fourteen children by a number of different women), close friends including David Hockney and Brigadier Andrew Parker Bowles, his dealers, his sitters and his former lovers recall for the first time a complex man who dedicated his life to his art and who always sought to transmute paint into a vibrant living representation of humanity.

The film shows how Freud never swam with the flow and only achieved celebrity in older age. He rejected the artistic fashions of his time, sticking to figurative art and exploring portraiture, especially with regards to nude portraiture, which he explored with a depth of scrutiny that produced some of the greatest works of our time.

This documentary is both a definitive biography and a revelatory exploration of the creative process.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

12 February 2012 - Who's made a mark this week?

This week has been a very Lucian Freud week with two tours of the new exhibition on Wednesday, a visit to Christies to see The Printer's Proof: Etchings by Lucian Freud from the Studio Prints archive  this afternoon (which is at auction on Wednesday) and tomorrow morning I'm off to see a PV of a comprehensive exhibition of his drawings

Lucian Freud
La Voisine (The Neighbour), 1947 
Crayon 41.3 x 34.3 cm (16.26 x 13.5 in)
Blain|Southern - Lucian Freud: Drawings
I've had other priorities in the last few weeks and the major (time-consuming) post which is "who's made a mark this week" has very much been squeezed.  Accordingly this post has rather more of my posts than usual - as I know people use this post to catch up on my blog.

Art Blogs

Other Current Exhibitions of Work by or about Lucian Freud

There are two other exhibitions of work by or about Lucian Freud (b.1922 – 2011) in London this month.  These are:
Both have been timed to coincide with Lucian Freud Portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, London (9 Feb-27 May 2012) - see my Review: Lucian Freud Portrais at the National Portrait Gallery.

Lucian Freud Drawings

Lucian Freud
Startled Man: Self Portrait (for Equilibriad, 1948)
1948 Pencil 22.9 x 14.3 cm (9.02 x 5.63 in)
on display in Lucian Freud Drawings
at Blaine|Southern Gallery
My first thought after I'd finished walking around the Lucian Freud Portraits Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery for the first time was how few drawings were in the exhibition.

I couldn't quite fathom this as Freud has been renowned over the years for being an excellent draughtsman and his drawings are very well regarded.  On a personal basis, one of my favourite art books is Lucian Freud on Paper which is a big heavy volume which charts Freud's work on paper, including the etchings, over his entire career - so I have an inkling of just how many there are.

Then I discovered this exhibition!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Review: Lucian Freud Portraits at National Portrait Gallery

Lots of people have been looking forward to seeing the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition which opened yesterday at the National Portrait Gallery - and which travels to Texas later this year. It's now all the more important since his death last year.

In summary, this legacy exhibition is excellent and I'd very much recommend booking tickets now as they are selling very fast.
Lucian Freud Portraits is a life represented in paint rather than a biographical retrospective

Reflection - Self Portrait (1985) by Lucian Freud
one of a number of self-portraits in the exhibition
One recommendation and three tips for visitors

This exhibition is first class - a definite 5*.  The content is both comprehensive and absorbing - and it covers seven decades of painting by one man which is a rare phenomenum of itself even when the painter has not been dubbed (as he was - until his death) "Britain's greatest living painter".

I highly recommend this exhibition to anyone who values drawing and painting and who is interested in portraiture.  This is an exhibition of portraits by a really great painter of the 20th century.  None of us are likely to ever see any other exhibition of Freud's portraits as good again in our lifetimes.  It's definitely not one to miss.

In my view it could only ever be topped by a comprehensive retrospective which included some of his paintings of other subjects - including his portraits of horses and dogs.

Tip 1: you need a lot of time and/or need to see it more than once!  I saw it twice on Wednesday - once in the morning at the press view and then again in the afternoon at the Members PV.  I know I'm going to have to go again - and the reason is that the exhibition is huge.  There's 130 paintings, drawings and etchings in the exhibition and if you spent just a minute on each one and moving to the next, it would take you more than two hours to get round!  The thing is very many of the paintings demand you take a lot longer to look at them.  It also takes a little time to get in front of some of the paintings.

At the end, I felt like I'd given short shrift to some of the paintings even after seeing the exhibition twice.  Some I also wanted to go back and stare some more at - and people are standing and staring for a long time in this exhibition of paintings by the man who perfected the method of painting via the long hard stare.

If I was a member of the NPG and had not already seen it, I'd go in the morning and have a very good look round the first half, have lunch and then see the second half.  Sometimes you just need a break to be able to take in the huge quantity of visual information.

Tip 2: get the audio guide.  This is one of those exhibitions where you'll get a lot of extra value from the explanations by the curators and the comments from the sitters and his family and friends

Tip 3:  do try and read something about Freud before you visit.  There are some exhibitions which you can visit purely for the painting.  There are some which really repay some homework before you visit.  There are layers and layers in this exhibition - and I don't just mean the paint.  I very much recommend Martin Gayford's Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud as one way into understanding the man himself and how he paints - from the perspective of the sitter.  Another book which I found unexpectedly illuminating was Lucian Freud: The Studio the catalogue for the last exhibition in Paris which is now difficult to get hold of.  I found the catalogue produced for this exhibition provided more value if you already know something about him - it's quite opaque in some respects.

This review is rather later than I planned.  I usually dislike writing the review the same day as seeing a major exhibition simply because of the amount of visual information which needs to be digested.  I find I have a much clearer picture of it the following day because that's when I find out which are the images that I can immediately recall and whether I have a story of the exhibition in my head.

However this time I decided that I wanted to read the exhibition catalogue first - which was a good idea as it turned out - it contains some very interesting and unique perspectives by different individuals.  I also learned which were the pivotal paintings in the exhibition.  Then my family had a small hiatus in Thursday involving the arrival of a new baby which was a tad distracting!

I hope you liked the two videos of Sue Tilley and David Hockney.

So - on with the review [Note: the exhibition includes paintings of naked people.]

All quotations in this review are from the catalogue "Lucian Freud Portraits" unless otherwise stated.

Thursday, February 09, 2012

David Hockney on sitting for Lucian Freud

David Hockney by Lucian Freud
on display in "Lucian Freud Portraits"
at the National Portrait Gallery
I'm a little late with my review of Lucian Freud Portraits (a new baby arrived in my family today!) so here's another video - this time of David Hockney talking to the BBC about sitting for Lucian Freud.

You can see the portrait above - and I agree with Hockney - it's very good!

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Video: Sue Tilley talks about modelling for Lucian Freud

Sue Tilley sitting in front of Benefits Supervisor Sleeping
Lucian Freud Portraits, National Portrait Gallery
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The exhibition Lucian Freud Portraits opens at the National Portrait Gallery on 9 February 2012.  I saw the exhibition today - and it's excellent - and will be reviewing the exhibition tomorrow.  While I'm sorting notes and processing photos I thought you might like to see my video of Sue Tilley talking about being a life model for Lucian Freud - about how she posed and what she could see while he was painting.

Sue Tilley (aka "Big Sue") is the lady who was the model for "Benefits Supervisor Sleeping", the painting which broke a world record when Christies sold it to Roman Abromovich at auction for $33,641,000 13 May 2008) on 8 February 2008.  She was thrilled to be in the Guinness Book of Records as a result!

Sue became a model for Freud because she was good friends with performance artist Leigh Bowery who was an important model for Freud.  She commented that she used to pose for Freud at weekends because she was working during the week as a Job Centre Manager.  He then wanted her to pose for him when she had time off and for three years, all her time except for a few days was spent working at one or other of her two jobs.

There are four paintings of her in the exhibition - and the one she likes the best is Benefits Supervisor Sleeping
I like two of them, I don't mind one of them and I hate one of them
Both the Press View and the Members View today were absolutely packed and I understand advance ticket sales have been very good.

Lucian Freud Portraits will also be exhibited at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, United States, from 2 July until 28 October 2012

From 9 February until 27 May 2012
National Portrait Gallery, London
Admission £14. Concessions £13 / £12
With Gift Aid (includes voluntary Gift Aid donation of 10% above standard price): Admission £15.40. Concessions £14.30/£13.20
Supported by Bank of America Merrill Lynch | Spring Season 2012 Sponsor Herbert Smith
TICKETS or telephone 0844 248 5033

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2012 - Call for Entries

This is a reminder that the deadline for registration and digital entries to The Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2012 is 23 February 2012.

It gets a little busy! Just a few of the patrons and friends who attended the Private View
of the Annual Exhibition 2011 of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
One of the benefits of the exhibition is that it is extremely well attended by patrons and those who have been painted.  The PV always has the most people attending of any of the art societies or the competitions that I attend at the Mall galleries - the photograph taken above is AFTER the announcement of the prizes and some people have left!

Those that commission also seem to like to do it again - and the Commission desk is always very busy on the PV day and subsequently!  Certainly it's an excellent exhibition to visit if you are contemplating commissioning a portrait.

If you'd like to read more about past exhibitions - and see some of the works which have been accepted in the past - see my reviews of exhibitions in recent years which are at the end of this post.

If you'd like to know what you need to do to enter this year's exhibition - read on!

Monday, February 06, 2012

RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012 - Selected artists & artwork

149 paintings in waterbased media by 118 artists have been selected for the RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012.  This is an annual competition open to non-Members of the Royal Watercolour Society.

The associated exhibition of successful entries will be held at the Bankside Gallery between 24th February - 14th March 2012.
(The competition) aims to encourage innovation and experimentation in watercolour painting, spanning work on paper in watercolour, acrylic, gouache, pen & ink and watercolour mixed media.
The 2012 competition attracted 864 entries - which makes the percentage selected just over 17%.  However this is a genuine open competition - there are no members paintings or invited artists so far as I can make out.  The RWS members' paintings can be seen in the Spring and Autumn exhibitions and the Mini Picture Show just before Christmas.

NEW!  The RWS website has for the first time made available a pdf document which sets out the image, artist's name and the title of the work - see RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012 - Accepted Works.

Below I've reproduced the names of the artists and their selected artwork.  I've included links to their websites so that those interested in submitting work in the future can research the calibre of the artist and artwork which gets accepted to this prestigious art competition.  As you will see if you click the links, those selected represent the complete gamut of artists

Please note
  • the link in an artist's name is to his or her website
  • links to a commercial gallery page or the website of an art society are noted separately
AND I've also included links to:
  • the selected work on their website (if identifiable)
  • their blog (if one exists).  A link to the name of the blog appears after the artist's name and before the title of the accepted work.  (This means I get to find out about interesting new art blogs!)
If I've got it wrong - or there's a better website to link to please don't hesitate to let me know (contact details in the side column.

Below is an alphabetical list of the artists and the title of their selected artwork(s) - but first here's a video of one of them, Jonathan Pitts painting plein air.  Jonathan won the 2nd Prize in last year's Sunday Times Watercolour Competition (see John Hunt wins Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2011 and REVIEW: Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition 2011)


snapped in the National Gallery Bookshop
Color and Light was found inbetween
Masterpieces in Detail and How to paint like Turner
What is it about the end of one year and the start of the next which makes what used to be a fairly routine exercise into a marathon?

Answer - It's not about the end of the year (although changing categories and setting up brand new files did complicate matters).

It's actually about the fact that the structure of the Art Book market and retailing patterns are changing enormously right now - and the data patterns keep changing too in an effort to keep up!

Anyway, my monthly book reviews of the charts have been done (not easy!) and I now have:
As a result of this, Who's made a mark this week? got bumped and will appear later today.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

The Best and Newest Art Books in January 2012 - and Urban Sketchers

Starting a New Year seems like a good time to make some changes to my monthly posts about Makingamark's Top Ten Art Books and The Best New Art Books for the previous month.

I'm going to continue to post a link to both the updated websites on this blog - generally in the "who's made a mark this week?" post.  However the detailed review will in future take place on Making A Mark Reviews (tomorrow) - and I'll also include a link to that post here on Making A Mark.

The Art Book that's making a BIG Impression

The Best New Art Book in January 2012 is The Art of Urban Sketching: Drawing On Location Around The World which at the end of January had secured the #10 in the top 100 books in the Arts and Design Category on Amazon (which now includes music) - BEFORE it had even been published.

It's now up to #8 and is also
Congratulations are due to Gabi Campanario (The Sketch Journalistwho authored the book and the 100 Urban Sketchers (Urban Sketchers) who participated in its production.

The last time I saw anything like this was when James Gurney's Color and Light: A Guide for the Realist Painter was published at the end of 2010 - and it then topped the charts for the whole of 2011 and still remains a firm favourite.

The one sad note is I still haven't seen The Art of Urban Sketching.  It published on Wednesday 1st February but I got a note to say delivery of mine is delayed.  I guess that's what happens when you've got a popular book which lots of people want. :(

A new Making A Mark project

The other reason for making changes as to where the review of the best and newest art books is located is because I've got a new Making A Mark project brewing - and it relates to art books.

The Amazon charts are beginning to become swamped by author driven books - however the problem is they are of extremely variable quality.

I'm going to be looking at how artists are driving the publication of books they have authored - in the many and various different ways it is now possible to publish a book.

The aim is to look at the pros and cons of different approaches and to try and identify some lessons learned for those who'd like to try and do the same thing.

If you've ever produced a book and would like to be part of the project survey please email me and let me know.  Who knows you may feature as one of the interviews I'll be doing with James Gurney et al...... :)

Friday, February 03, 2012

The Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair 2012

I visited the Watercolours + Works on Paper Fair 2012 at the Science Museum in South Kensington on Thursday.  It's an excellent Art Fair and well worth a visit if you like watercolours, pastels, drawings and fine art prints.  You'll see an extensive range of work by artists both past and present.

Sarah Wimperis on the Beside the Wave Stand
I was there via an invite from Sarah Wimperis (The Red Shoes) who is representing the Beside the Wave Gallery.   She had some of her work on show which looked excellent.  Interestingly I think her Gallery was the only one to be sporting the new QR code.  People who buy the works can take them away straight away and I learned this means that she is also rehanging the stand every morning!

I also met David Paskett, President of the Royal Watercolour Society and we had a nice chat about his recent experience of taking the Entry to the Open Exhibition online.  I learned that the artists are now selected and I'll be aiming to post who they are in the near future.

The Fair has an extensive range of galleries offering a complete range of works on paper from the very traditional to the very contemporary.  I noticed that there are a lot of well known English landscape artists and I was picking out names such as Edward Bawden,  Alfred Heaton Cooper - who work I love (He's the "NC Wyeth" in the Heaton Cooper dynasty), William Russell FlintJohn PiperEdward SeagoEdward Wesson

Sim Fine Art had a couple of art history based stands - one was devoted to watercolours and drawings by the Women War Artists (below) - such as Evelyn Dunbar and Rosemary Rutherford (see The Rediscovered Wartime Folios of Rosemary Rutherford)

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

POLL: How do you respond to comments on your blog?

I'm sure I'm not the first person to wonder what is the best or most effective way of responding to the comments I receive on my blogs.

Which is why the Making A Mark Poll for February 2012 focuses on How do you respond to comments on your blog?

I've seen the topic discussed a number of times in the last six years on various blogs - mainly in response to the problem of the antagonistic commenter.  I endeavoured to head off this particular problem right back at the beginning of this blog with the introduction of my Comments Policy in 2006.

This was then followed by Notes on blogging etiquette for artists in 2008.

Both can be found in my "For Your Information"  section in the column.  They both guide the tenor of my response to the jolly nice people who read this blog - and the queer fish who sometimes pop up out of the blue!  For example, if they offend against the rules of my comments policy then they don't get published - period.

However I have a confession to make!

My actual response to comments which are left and published  is generally very much determined by how much spare time I have and what time of day I'm reading and moderating the comments.  I'm much more well disposed to the ones left overnight which I read while eating my breakfast when compared to those which arrive when I'm very busy.  It's not that I like the latter any less - it's much more to do with how many minutes there are in a day!

So this is my Poll.  It's multi-option - so tick all those that apply to you. I know I use a variety of responses.

How do you respond to comments on your blog?
  • I respond to every comment
  • One response to all comments
  • One response to similar comments
  • I respond if I have the time
  • Respond on commenter's blog
  • No response unless good point 
  • No response unless question asked
  • Provide answers to questions via email
  • I don't usually respond 
  • I never respond to comments

Do please feel free to comment on:
  • your preference for leaving comments
  • your preference for how other people should leave comments
  • what's the best way of keeping track of what people say and/or how they respond
  • where you've seen a good discussion of this topic.
Where is the poll? You'll find the poll in the right hand column in the usual place - just below the Blogger Followers widget.

Deadline for responses: The poll closes early on 29th February and the analysis of results will be posted later the same day. 

You can read the Poll results for January's blog here - What makes you leave an artist's website? POLL RESULTS