Monday, April 30, 2012

Artists are Introverts! Discuss...

More than three quarters of artists are introverts is the very significant finding of the Making A Mark Poll for April (see Artists - Are you an introvert or an extrovert?)

Chart of responses to Making A Park Poll (April 2012)
Those taking the poll where asked to take Susan Cain's quick quiz first - the Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert?  This helps you to find out whether you tend more towards introversion or extroversion.

Of 138 people who responded to the Poll the results were as follows:
  • 61% are introverts
  • 18% are very introverted
  • 16% are ambiverts (able to relate to both introversion and extroversion)
I know I was fully expecting a strong lean towards introversion but not as much as that!

The number who thought they were extroverts was tiny - just 4% of the total poll.

To give this some context, the percentage of the population at large who are introverts is reckoned to be only 25%.  So a result which says 75%+ of the artists answering the poll are introverts seems to me to be a pretty significant result.

I think that makes Introverts the "In Crowd"!

What is an Introvert?

What are the characteristics of an introverted personality - and how do these relate to being an artist?  Here's my list - maybe you can add to it?

The bonuses of being introverted for artists
  • take pleasure in solitary activities - like painting
  • like working on their own - week after week, month after month, year after year
  • not dependent on the company of others
  • no need to verbalise - able to express their thoughts and feelings through their art
  • much happier with one on one situations (such as when painting a portrait)
  • happy to talk about what interests them
  • capacity for long periods of focused attention (on creating art)
  • motivation and energy comes from an inner world and internal direction
  • usually not interested in following trends - tendency to tread their own path
  • good at reflection - work requires thinking time
  • enjoyment from solving problems and puzzles
  • happy at home or communing with nature
The downside of being an Introverted Artist
  • not very interested in or good at small talk at Private Views (Lucian Freud never went to his own Private Views)
  • marketing (outward facing/people oriented) can seem like a real challenge for some
  • communication with those people who sell your work can be difficult at times
  • introverts don't follow the crowd - they don't even want to part of a crowd!
Would you care to elaborate and add in your own perspective on the characteristics of the Introverted Artist?

Sunday, April 29, 2012

29th April 2012 - Who's made a mark this week?

Autumn by Sophie Ploeg
- selected for the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
opens Thursday 3rd May
© Sophie Ploeg
This week I'm featuring the artwork of two of my favourite painters and art bloggers - Sophie Ploeg and Ilaria Rosselli del Turco who both have work in upcoming exhibitions (more details below).

By coincidence both were born in Europe - Sophie is Dutch and Ilaria was born in Geneva and is descended from Florentine painters.  Both also live in the UK - and they both paint still life and portraits.  I very much commend their websites and blogs - both referenced below - to you.

I'm also very much looking forward to seeing the above portrait next week.  I'm always impressed by Sophie Ploeg's paintings which always look absolutely fabulous in real life - plus this time I get to meet Sophie too.

Artists and Art Blogs

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Call for Entries: Royal Society of Marine Artists - Annual Exhibition 2012

The Call for Entries has gone out for submissions to the 2012 Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Marine Artists.
The Society's common theme is the sea, and whilst most RSMA Members work covers a variety of subjects, paintings submitted for the Society's exhibitions must be related to tidal waters in some way.
You can see the type of work which wins prizes and gets accepted for exhibition in my reviews of previous exhibitions (blog posts listed at the end of this post).  This post also contains images from last year's exhibition.

Two yellow boats at Mousehole by Ivan Lapper RSMA
Royal Society of Marine Artists - 2011 Exhibition
Submission Process

The submission process has changed since last year - and below is a summary of what's required for this year below

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Life Drawing with Sue Tilley at the National Portrait Gallery

It's a long time since I posted any life drawings from a model.  However last Friday I had the opportunity to draw Lucian Freud's model "Big Sue" Tilley (see Benefits Supervisor Sleeping) as part of the events associated with the Lucian Freud Portraits exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery.

It was rather odd to have a theatre full of people - on a steep rake - all drawing one model.   However it worked really well as we all had an excellent view!  No peering around easels!

Sue chatted and answered questions about what it was like to model for Lucian Freud and what he was really like as a man and as a painter - absolutely fascinating!

So here are my drawings , although  I've left out the quickies at the beginning.

Sue Tilley - 15 minute pose
11" x 8" Moleskine Sketchbook

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

CPSA 20th International Exhibition 2012 - Selected artists

This is the list of artists selected for the 20th Annual International Exhibition of the Coloured Pencil Society of America (CPSA).  I've reorganised it on a geographical basis into the states plus countries outside the USA.

The artwork for this year's exhibition has been selected by Jamie Markle, the Publisher and Editorial Director Fine Art Community, F+W Media, Inc.

The exhibition is being held as part of the Annual CPSA Convebtion at The Carnegie, Visual and Performing Arts Center in Covington Kentucky July 13–August 30, 2012

The artwork will be eligible for a series of impressive prizes offered by CPSA sponsors.

I've added in links into the list to:
  • the website of the artist where this is available - the link is in the name of the artist
  • the artwork selected for the exhibition where this was easy to find and named
  • the name of the artist's blog which features in brackets after the title of the artwork 
Right click the link in their name and open in a new tab to visit their website without leaving this site.

If you spot any errors and/or want to volunteer a link to a selected artwork (or an image of it) please leave a comment or email me - see the right hand column for how to contact me.  I'm also happy to publish a small number of additional images of selected work in this post - just send me the file.


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

A 'Making A Mark' Profile of Fiona Strickland

I was delighted last week to meet up with and interview an artist I've very much admired for the last four years and five SBA exhibitions - Fiona Strickland DA SBA GM CBM '09, CBM, 11 and CBM 12.

Fiona Strickland and her watercolour painting of Iris 'Action Front'

I first saw Fiona's work at the The Botanical Palette Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists (SBA) in 2008.   If ever work by a botanical artist deserved a "Wow" this was it!  One of her paintings in that exhibition was immediately bought by Dr Shirley Sherwood (of the Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art at Kew Gardens) at the Buyer's Preview and the wheels of Fiona's personal artistic destiny started to turn.......
It was immediately obvious to me and very many other people that she would be elected to membership. However she's the only person I know in recent years who has shortcut the normal process - she was elected to membership at her first exhibition.
How to become a member of the Society of Botanical Artists
I think this is the measure of Fiona - her works simply bowls people over and just leaves us all wanting more!

Monday, April 23, 2012

2012 Prizewinners at Society of Botanical Art's Annual Exhibition

I always make a point each year of listing those artists who win prizes at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists and this year is no different.

Society of Botanical Art: 2012 Prizewinners

The winners of the various Awards are listed below next to an image of the artwork which won the prize.  Where their website could be identified this has been linked to their name - click the name to visit the website.

The Joyce Cuming Presentation Award: This is a legacy from founder member Joyce Cuming – a sterling silver Almoner’s plate crafted by Garrard & Co. who are the Crown Jewellers. The winner receives a certificate.  This year this was won by Japanese artist Eiko Hamada SBA GM CBM '09.  

I am consistently impressed by the work of this artist who regularly wins botanical art awards.  She  previously won this award in 2008 and is the first artist to win it twice.   Her work is also held in the collection of Hunt Institute for Botanical Documentation at the Carnegie Mellon University.

The Joyce Cuming Presentation Award
Strelizia Nicolai by Eiko Hamada SBA GM CBM 09

watercolour (£500 - sold)
© Eiko Hamada

Sunday, April 22, 2012

22nd April 2012: Who's made a mark this week?

A Postcard from my Walk project
Postcards sent by Katherine Tyrrell
A Postcard From My Walk project has finished - with an amazing post in which Ronell van Wyk has put together composite images of all the postcards drawn or painted by each participating artist - see 196 Cards from A Postcard from my walk - a tribute to Earth Day.

You can see the image Ronell made of my postcards above.  It looks as if I like drawing trees next to water! Do click it to see a much larger image of all the postcards which are now in various countries around the world.

The problem for this post this week is I wasn't in London for half of it!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Certificates of Botanical Merit at SBA 2012

The Society of Botanical Artists awards a coveted Artist's Certificate of Botanical Merit for works in its Annual Exhibition of strictly botanical merit.  Each year this aspect of the annual exhibition prizes is judged by an expert on the botanical field.

For the 2012 exhibition the judge who selected works for a Certificate was Maureen Lazarus from the Department of Biodiversity and Systematic Biology at the National Museum Wales who acts as the Curator of Botanical Illustration.

The Certificates of Botanical Merit (and other awards) were presented by Elizabeth Banks DL who is the President of the Royal Horticultural Society.

Elizabeth Banks, RHS President, presents Ann Swan with her Certificate of Botanical Illustration
The eight artists who this year were awarded Certificates of Botanical Merit are listed below - together with their award-winning artwork.

I cannot emphasise enough that photographing the work in no way does it justice and that the only way to appreciate it properly is to visit the exhibition - which is at Central Hall Westminster until Sunday 29th April. (Admission free)

Friday, April 20, 2012

27th Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists

The Society of Botanical Artists opened its 27th Annual Exhibition - Botanical Celebration - to the public today. This was preceded by a Buyers Preview and a Private View for Members, Associate Members, Artists and their guests on Wednesday and Thursday. By the time I left at 7pm last night there were a lot of red dots around the artwork hanging in the gallery at Central Hall Westminster.

Society of Botanical Artists Annual Exhibition 2012
I highly recommend a visit to this exhibition by all artists who like portraying plants and flowers - you'll find the content very stimulating.

The exhibition is open every day between 11am and 5pm until Sunday 29th April.  Entrance is free but the catalogue costs £5.

Below you'll find my review of the exhibition.
  • Tomorrow I'll post the names of the people who won prizes along with images of their work. 
  • Next week I'll be publishing an interview with Fiona Strickland who provided the image for the front and back cover of the catalogue. She told me how her life has changed since she first exhibited with the SBA back in 2008.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Botanical art, watercolour and art societies

Can anybody tell me why the very best botanical artists who work in watercolour tend to limit art society membership to Botanical Art Societies? 

I visit a lot of art society exhibitions each year.  I keep wondering why some of the most technically skilled use of watercolour that I see can only be found in the exhibitions by botanical artists.

For example, why do so few botanical artists who work solely in watercolour join those art societies which focus on painting in watercolour?

  • Is there a perception amongst botanical artists that watercolour societies do not take botanical painting in watercolour seriously?
  • Do watercolour societies not appreciate the level of excellence achieved by some of the best botanical artists?
  • Is it a gender "thing"?
Who are these vagabonds even more transient than we? 
Fay Ballard RWS
This question has been prompted because I've begun to notice an increase in botanical art being exhibited in (non-botanical) art society exhibitions.  For example, UKCPS is displaying more and more botanical art in coloured pencils.

While it is possible to see some excellent examples of botanical art on display, in general it seems to me that the standard of work in watercolour in other exhibitions often seems somewhat adrift from the standards achieved in exhibitions by botanical artists.  There are of course some notable exceptions - Fay Ballard RWS being one.  I wish there were more....

Two questions for you:
  • Do you know of botanical artists working in watercolour who exhibit outside in art society exhibitions
  • Do you have any idea why botanical artists working in watercolour stick to the botanical art societies?

Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists

The Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists opens to the public tomorrow at Central Hall Westminster in Storeys Gate London.

The exhibition is open every day between 11am and 5pm until Sunday 29th April.

Admission is free although the catalogue is priced.  All work is for sale.

I'm visiting the Private View today and will be posting a review on this blog tomorrow.

The artwork on the flyer for the exhibition is by Fiona Strickland DA (Edin) SBA GM CBM who is a brilliant artist who paints in watercolour

Note:   Fay Ballard RWS graduated from Central Saint Martins Art School in September 2006 with an MA in Fine Art having previously studied History of Art at Sussex University. She also has a Diploma in Botanical Painting from the Chelsea Physic Garden and was elected as an Associate of the RWS last year in 2007 and subsequently became a full member.  The painting of leaves shown above was exhibited in Royal Watercolour Society - Spring Show in 2008.


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2012 - Call for Entries

The Call for Entries for the 25th year of the top open watercolour competition in the UK has been published.  

The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition is a very popular and prestigious competition which is open to both amateur and professional artists who are invited to compete for prizes worth £18,000.
the competition aims to celebrate and reward excellence and originality in the medium of watercolour
Cover of the Call for Entries Leaflet (pdf file)
This post tells you about:
  • who can enter
  • what you can enter
  • the time table
  • the exhibition
The deadline for submissions 25 June 2012. Read on to find out more about how to enter and also how you can see the exhibition which tours the UK after its stint in London in September.

If you want to see the calibre of entries in previous exhibitions click the links to my blog posts about this competition in the last FOUR years at the end of this post.

What are the main changes for 2012?

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Top 30 art galleries and museums in 2011

The Art Newspaper recently published its annual review of Exhibition and Museum Attendance Fugures for 2011.  This documents the visitor numbers to art exhibitions and art galleries and museums in 2011.

Below I provide my digest and commentary on the information relating to the top museums.

The Top 30 Art Galleries and Museums in the World in 2011

The Art Newspaper determines the top art galleries and museums based on the (unaudited) visitor numbers reported by the museums to the paper.  The main problem with the numbers is that they are self-reported and not audited.  Also some museums charge - making it easier to count numbers while others have free entry.  Then there's the people like me who have "Friends" or "member" status which gets me in free as many times as I like!

The top 30 art museums and galleries in 2011, based on their self-reported annual visitor numbers, are as detailed in the list below.

This includes 
  • the number of visitors, the name of the museum, and the city that the museum is located in - as per the Art Newspaper survey
  • the ranked position number and a colour code (my new added value for this year) to indicate the location of the gallery or museum - as per me!
The colour coding for places enables you to see more easily where the focus of the great museums is. Following the top 30 list I have a list of the top cities.

red = Europe
blue = UK
purple = Russia / ex USSR
orange = USA & Canada 
green = Asia
  1. 8,880,000 Louvre, Paris
  2. 6,004,254 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 
  3. 5,848,534 British Museum, London
  4. 5,253,216 National Gallery, London 
  5. 4,802,287 Tate Modern, London 
  6. 4,392,252 National Gallery of Art, Washington 
  7. 3,849,577 National Palace Museum, Taipei 
  8. 3,613,076 Centre Pompidou, Paris 
  9. 3,239,549 National Museum of Korea, Seoul 
  10. 3,154,000 Musee d’Orsay, Paris 
  11. 2,911,767 Museo Nacional del Prado Madrid
  12. 2,879,686 State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg
  13. 2,814,746 Museum of Modern Art New York
  14. 2,789,400 Victoria & Albert Museum London
  15. 2,705,529 Reina Sofía Madrid
  16. 2,355,956 National Folk Museum of Korea Seoul
  17. 2,288,117 Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil Rio de Janeiro
  18. 1,880,104 National Portrait Gallery London
  19. 1,742,970 Galleria degli Uffizi Florence
  20. 1,727,192 Shanghai Museum Shanghai
  21. 1,724,271 Moscow Kremlin Museums Moscow
  22. 1,629,333 Tokyo National Museum Tokyo
  23. 1,600,298 Van Gogh Museum Amsterdam
  24. 1,598,858 CaixaForum Madrid
  25. 1,500,000 Grand Palais Paris
  26. 1,494,728 National Museum of Scotland Edinburgh
  27. 1,485,580 Gyeongju National Museum Gyeongju
  28. 1,476,505 Tate Britain London
  29. 1,457,028 Musée Quai Branly Paris
  30. 1,440,599 Art Institute of Chicago Chicago
From this we can conclude that if you want to see a lot of great art a "Grand Tour" of the UK and Europe might be one way to go!

I personally was very surprised to see only four American galleries and museums in the top 30 in the world.  The Art Institute of Chicago has dropped nine places while conversely the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston has dramatically improved its ranking - moving up some 21 places but staying outside the top 30.

The major movers coming into the Top 30 for the first time are:
  • National Palace Museum, Taipei - in to the top 30 for the first time at #7
  • CaixaForum Madrid - in to the top 30 for the first time at #24
The surprising new appearance on the art scene are the exhibitions and the galleries in South America.  Brazil has been having something of an exhibition boom.  The top gallery was Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro

The top cities for art galleries

I've also reviewed which are the top cities for art - according to the Art News paper tabulation.  The names are:
  • prefixed with their position in the ranking of the top 100 art galleries and museums
  • plus an indication of the places gained or dropped since 2010 as a suffix
While the top four art cities remain the same, in 2011 Seoul has now replaced Tokyo in the top five following the devastating Tsunami and the aftershocks of the March earthquake off the coast of Japan.  However it should be noted that rankings of museums in Tokyo had already dropped significantly in 2010.

The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square
© Katherine Tyrrell - all rights reserved


London - continues to have a total of nine art museums and galleries in the top 100 art galleries and museums in the world.  This is significantly in excess of any other capital city.  (I live in London and can get to all of these in under 45 minutes!).  What's also significant for overseas tourists is how many other art museums in the UK are in the top 100.

In terms of position, there's some minor jostling for position at the top end - with the Da Vinci exhibition doubtless bringing lots of extra visitors to the National Gallery.  Well done also to the National Portrait Gallery for maintaining its ranking against some of the giants!  I'm not quite sure what's going on west of Piccadilly Circus but the downgrade in rankings suggests that either the exhibition programmes of Tate Britain, the Saatchi Gallery and the RA failed to impress or the rankings went back to normal after a good year in 2009.

#3. British Museum, London (-1)
#4. National Gallery, London (+1)
#5. Tate Modern, London (-1)
#14. Victoria and Albert Museum (-2)
#18. National Portrait Gallery (same)
#29. Tate Britain (-9)
#43. Saatchi Gallery (-13)
#63. Royal Academy of Arts (-17)
#66. Serpentine Gallery (+2)


Paris continues to have an emphasis on quality rather than quantity. I'm amazed at The Musée d'Orsay being able to hang on to the #10 slot given the impact of the renovation of its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Galleries during 2010. The Musee Picasso is also still closed and is due to reopen in the Summer of 2013.  In the meantime the rest of us get to see rather a lot of Picasso's work which is good!

#1 The Louvre (same)
#8 Centre Pompidou, Paris (-2)
#10. Musée d'Orsay, Paris  (same)
#25 Grand Palais, Paris (?)
#29 Quai Branly, Paris (-3)
#58 Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris (-3)


New York takes third place.  The late Alastair McQueen dazzled at the Met (“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”, a posthumoustribute by the Costume Institute) and helped in no small way to secure the #2 ranking.  Both MOMA and the Guggenheim could have done with a boost like this.
On average,more than 8,000 people a day went (in total around 660,000). The must-see show helped the Met to a record year in our survey, taking its annual total figure to more than six million, up from 5.2 million in 2010The Art Newspaper - Exhibition and mu
#2    Metropolitan Museum of Art (+1)
#13  Museum of Modern Art, New York (-6)
#46  Guggenheim Musem (-7)


Madrid retained 4th place.   The Prado stayed just outside the top ten.  The museum with the most astounding leap up the charts is the CaixaForum Madrid.  Like the UK, Spain is also stronger in the European context in terms of its representation of regional museums.

#11 Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid (same)
#15 Reina Sofía, Madrid  (same)
#24 CaixaForum Madrid (not ranked in 2010)
#61 Museo Thyssen Bornemisza (+1)


Seoul claims the 5th place for the first time.  Two of its three museums move into the top 100 museums.

#9 National Museum of Korea, Seoul (same)
#16 National Folk Museum of Korea, Seoul (not ranked in 2010)
#49 National Museum of Contemporary Art, Seoul (not ranked in 2010)

I've updated my information site about the top museums and art galleries which you can find here - Top 10 Art Galleries and Museums

    Monday, April 09, 2012

    Hockney is bigger than Van Gogh!

    These are the queues of people waiting in the rain at 7.50pm on the final evening of the David Hockney RA - A Bigger Picture exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.  The end of the queue is down to the entrance to Burlington House on Piccadilly.  The exhibition closed at 10pm.

    Below you can see my cameraphone photos of different views of the queue on the last night.

    Burlington House Courtyard on the final night of the Hockney Exhibition
    - my view from the Archway
    © Katherine Tyrrell

    The view of the queue for the final night of the Hockney Exhibition
    from the archway off Piccadilly, all the way across the courtyard to the entrance to the ticket desk
    - as seen from Burlington House
    © Katherine Tyrrell
    My ticket was for 8pm so I was able to enjoy the last two hours of this exhibition before it closed its doors for the final time.

    This was my fourth visit.  I'd been at the Press View when it was simply too much to take in all at once.  I'd then taken my sister and Marion Boddy-Evans to see it - and it's always fun to see an exhibition through other people's eyes.

    This time I wanted to go for myself.  I'd had a debate with myself along the lines of is it sensible for anybody to go to an exhibition four times - for five days!  I won - and got to go!

    Can I recommend to anybody who likes exhibitions at the RA that becoming a Friend of the RA is the way to do it.  I simply printed off my ticket online and walked straight in last night.  Plus you can take a guest for free.

    I looked at all the paintings which I'd not had time to look at properly when seeing it with friends

    Here's a few thoughts from my last visit

    Sunday, April 08, 2012

    8th April 2012 - Who's made a mark this week?

    Thomas Kinkade - pictured in 2005
    Did you know that 1 in 20 homes in the USA are said to have a painting or print by Thomas Kinkade?

    Now he has died, on Friday age 54, I'm wondering who will be the next artist adopted with enthusiasm by the public at large.

    This was a man whose espoused aim was to sell paintings which made people happy.  His paintings certainly connected with many people who otherwise would not buy art.

    While his art may have been very popular with the American people, he was not at all popular with the American art establishment who shunned and derided his work.

    By retailing, licensing and franchising his "luminescent" art and images via Kinkade Gallery franchises and other print shops rather than through conventional galleries and across a range of prints and other products he achieved an amazing commercial success.  He reputedly became a millionaire many times over.  However, latterly the image of success was tarnished by successful legal claims relating to business malpractice.  His art company also suffered when his paintings sold on the internet for much less than the prices in the Kinkade Galleries which immediately raised questions about value.  His company lost much of its value, collapsed during the recession and finally filed for bankruptcy.  However galleries which still stocked his work reported brisk business on Saturday.  I gather buyers were hoping his work would now become more valuable after his death.

    I have to confess I've never been a fan of Mr Kinkade's work as "an artist for the mainstream".  I found it rather warm and fuzzy and altogether too twee.

    However I've always been intrigued as to why his paintings sold so well while so-called 'better' landscape painting languished on the walls of galleries.  Was it the painting itself, the allusions to Christian concepts or the rather slick marketing?  I've come to the conclusion that he's akin to Disney who sold a fantasy which made people happy.  People like fantasy and Disney and they liked the "still" version that they got from Thomas Kinkade.

    One of the less well known aspects of his life is that back in 1980, he and his friend James Gurney (Gurney Journey) travelled across the country after college - plein air sketching all the way.  In fact there's even a book of their journey across the USA by freight train.  James Gurney describes it as
    A comprehensive guide to methods and materials for drawing on-the-spot, based on an odyssey across America on freight trains.
    The Artist's Guide to Sketching was written and illustrated by James Gurney and Thomas Kinkade and published by Watson-Guptill Publications, 1982 but is now out of print - and consequently sells for rather high prices as and when they do appear in the marketplace.  It's increased by about $400 since Friday.

    How will he be remembered?  Here are the obituaries - in the major papers!
    Artists and Art Blogs

    A Child with a Dove
    my sketch of a painting by Pablo Picasso
    © Katherine Tyrrell - all rights reserved
    It was interesting to see what people chose to share for their posts about Easter.  There were quite a few fun ones
    On a more religious note
    Meanwhile I rather liked my sketch of Picasso's Child with a Dove as an Easter picture.  Not quite why but it feels right.  I first posted it in Sketching people at the Picasso exhibition at Tate Britain

    Meanwhile on the sketching front......

    Saturday, April 07, 2012

    Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012: Call for Entries

    Earlier this week the 'Call for Entries' for The Jerwood Drawing Prize 2012 was published.  The Prize was established in 1994 to promote excellence in drawing practice in the UK and is now the largest open drawing exhibition in the UK.

    The aim of the Jerwood Drawing Prize is to recognise and support all those UK based artists who currently work in the field of drawing.  It will explore and celebrate the diversity, excellence and range of current drawing practice in the UK.

    Details of the 'Call for Entries' are below - with links to all the relevant information you need if you;re contemplating entering

    But first a little about what last year's competition was like........

    Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011

    This is what the selectors had to say about the 2011 competition
    To say we were bowled over by the response to this year’s Jerwood Drawing Prize would be an understatement. Last year we received the highest number of entries to date for this exhibition. By close of the deadline in June 2011, artists from across the UK had left these figures far behind. 1,779 artists from students to established practitioners submitted work for consideration. Our selection panel had an enviable and challenging task, physically reviewing 3,354 works across the two day process. As in previous years it was an impressive opportunity to survey a broad variety of ways of thinking, seeing and discovering through drawing, from a range of perspectives and practices.
    This was the drawing done by Gary Lawrence the winner of the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011. the drawing is titled Homage to Anonymous.

    Thursday, April 05, 2012

    BP Portrait Award 2012 - The Shortlist

    BP Portrait Award - Shortlisted artists and paintings

    The four artists shortlisted for the BP Portrait Award 2012 at the National Portrait Gallery in London are:
      This year is (I think) the first time, since the age limit was lifted, that three of the artists whose work has been selected are under the age of 30.

      I have the benefit of being able to accees the high res images - although these are not reproduced on this blog - I've only posted low res!

      Having studied all four I think the winner will be Aleah Chapin.  Reasons being because of the nature of the subject and sheer "grab your eye and keep it" of its composition, its size plus the painterly quality of the brushwork and use of palette.  She paints older skin with bravado and huge skill.  Her porfolio of work from her series of nude portraits older women are stunning.

      She's also a blogger! (see below)

      Wednesday, April 04, 2012

      International Garden Photographer of the Year 2011 at Kew Gardens

      I visited the International Garden Photographer of the Year 2012 Exhibition while visiting Kew Gardens in March and I've just noticed it closes on Easter Monday.

      International Garden Photographer of the Year Overall winner
      Magdalena Wasiczek's Upside Down
      (Trzebinia, Malopolska region, Poland)
      click the link to see the original and discover exactly what is upside down!
      Try looking at this and imagining a non-neutral mid-value background.
      (prints available from Kew)
      Although not a blog which focuses a lot of photography, I've previously featured a couple of photography exhibitions on my blogs:
      This one is very much a complement to my own personal interests - which very much include the visual images associated with plants, flowers, trees and gardens.

      The reason I like looking at photography exhibitions is that I always find them very stimulating.  Photographers are all dealing with the same subject matter so to my mind they seem to work harder at 'what makes a good picture' and 'how to make my work look different from the rest'.

      There's also something to do with how shots are framed - I learn a lot from the intelligent use of the four most important lines

      The International Garden Photographer of the Year 2012

      Tuesday, April 03, 2012

      Tim Storrier wins the $75,000 Archibald Prize 2012

      The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch)
      by Tim Storrie
      The judges reduced 839 entries down to 41 finalists and then one winner of The Archibald Prize 2012 - The histrionic wayfarer (after Bosch) by Tim Storrier.

      I'd just like to highlight that my "pick a winner" gene seems to be in full working order and that I predicted this - I picked out just one painting to highlight as a potential winner in Finalists for The Archibald Prize 2012 + The Packing Room Prize and this was the one.
      ...looks like a potential winner to me except I'm left wondering about the portrait of a distinguished person aspect
      Now I know that the painting is a pastiche self-portrait everything is explained (Storrie is a former winner of The Sulman Prize).

      Here's the announcement of the Prize and an interview with Storrier in which he talks about the painting,

      The self-portraits has no face - instead it records everything that is meaningful to the artist - including his dog Smudge.  The 'accoutrements' are those which belong to an artist.  Smudge also attended the prizegiving and received a fair bit of attention.
      John Singer Sargent famously said that the portrait is a painting with something wrong with the mouth.  I thought I'd try and avoid that. 
      Tim Storrie - in an interview on World News Australia
      The Archibald Prize is for the Best Portrait Painting preferably of some man or woman distinguished in Art, Letters, Science or Politics. 

      This year the prize money that Storrie won was $75,000 (up from $50,000 in 2011).  For non-Aussies this equates to £48,778 or US$77,900 - which means it's a very big prize.  However don't get too excited because it's only open to Australian artists.

      The five paintings which made it to the final five are

      Regional tour of selected finalists

      Bosch's painting - The wayfarer

      Storrier took the idea of a traveller - of somebody going somewhere - and then made it himself.  He describes it as being about a pilgrim who has to decide between good and evil and highlights the Bosch painting.  He also references Robert Frost's poem The Road Less Taken.  (the title is actually 'The Road Not Taken')

      This is the painting which prompted Storrier's paintings - The Wayfarer by Hieronymus Bosch painting. It is currently in Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam. This painting is round and is 71.5 cm in diameter. The original is an allegorical painting - the Web gallery of Art provides a detailed analysis of The Wayfarer. There's also an even earlier painting - around 1500 - of Triptych of Haywain. The Wayfarer

      It's an excellent example of how good original art can be influenced by other art.  There's no religious copying, the figure faces the other way and lacks a background.

      Museum Boijmans van Beuningen - De Marskramer, Jeroen Bosch, met lijst
      The Wayfarer by Hieronymus Bosch
      Oil on panel, diameter 71,5 cmcourtesy of: Quistnix! - Museum Boijmans van Beuningen - De Marskramer, Jeroen Bosch, met lijst.jpg

      Links to previous posts about The Archibald Prize

      Monday, April 02, 2012

      POLL: Artists - Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

      I've been thinking recently about introversion, extroversion and artists - and the poll this month asks whether, as an artist, you consider yourself to be an introvert, an extrovert or an ambivert (halfway between)

      The reason I've been thinking about this is because I've been reading articles and watching videos by Susan Cain - the author of Quiet. (see Why the world needs introverts and her TED talk).
      Our place on this continuum influences our choice of friends and mates, and how we make conversation, resolve differences, and show love. It affects the careers we choose and whether or not we succeed at them. It governs how likely we are to exercise (a habit found in extroverts), commit adultery (extroverts), function well without sleep (introverts), learn from our mistakes (introverts), place big bets in the stock market (extroverts), delay gratification (introverts), be a good leader (depends on the type of leadership called for), and ask "what if" (introverts).
      Susan Cain - Why the world needs introverts
      It seems to me that some of the characteristics of introverts - an enjoyment of solitude and a preference for working on their own - might be very supportive of artists.  After all artists often need to be able to work - and create - in the absence of others and in the presence of the subject that they are absorbed in.

      There again, the characteristics of extroverts - the ability to socialise and thrive in the presence of others - might well support those artists who want to market and sell their art - or maybe teach art to others.

      If you're not sure what you are why not try Susan Cain's quick quiz - the Quiet Quiz: Are You an Introvert or an Extrovert? - this helps you to find out whether you tend more towards introversion or extroversion - and you get some feedback at the end of it

      Once you've got a view about which you lean, find the poll in the right hand column and tick the option which describes you best
      • very extrovert
      • extrovert
      • ambivert
      • introvert
      • very introvert
      Let me know what you think are the pros and cons of being an extrovert or an introvert when it comes to being an artist

      (BTW I'm an Introvert who can socialise in small doses!)

      I'll be reporting back at the end of the month on the results.

      Sunday, April 01, 2012

      1st April 2012 - Who's made a mark this week?

      Cold Spring
      6" x 6" watercolor
      © Jinghua Gao Dalia
      I think this is the first time "who's made a mark this week" has happened on 1st April. I guess I should have planned and had a nice elaborate joke at the ready. However I'm not very good at pranks and jokes so you needn't bother looking for one because there isn't one!

      I was also out for the day in the sunshine virtually every day last week (we've just had the third hottest March since records began!) so not a lot of time for reading - but I caught a few items of note.

      Art Blogs and Artists