Wednesday, December 26, 2012

VOTE for the Best Artwork on an Art Blog in 2012

You are invited to VOTE for
the Making A Mark Award
for the 

At the beginning of this month I invited you to nominate artwork for the Making A Mark Awards for Best Picture in different categories. It's been a pleasure to get a variety of paintings from all over the world (just take a look at the countries listed in the nomination posts listed in each category below!)

On Christmas Eve I posted the results in the four posts published on Christmas Eve (listed at the end of each category below).

The shortlist for Best Picture of an Art Blog 2012

I then chose artwork to add to the nominations. In doing so:
  • I chose two works from the nominations
  • I chose two works with a broad split as follows - 1 from USA, 1 from UK & Europe - with artists in the rest of the world eligible to take either slot
  • I've listed the nominations below along with the name of the person who nominated the work
Before the display of images of the shortlist I've said a few words about the category and why I chose the works that I did.  Below you will find
  • the award categories - and a commentary on that category
  • the shortlist - and the poll

You now have four days to vote for which is the best artwork in each category
There are FOUR polls below - please take your time and vote on each.

I will announce the winner of each category in the Best Picture - Making A Mark Awards in a post on Monday 31st December.  One will become Picture of the Year.....


Please note: Lobbying is not allowed beyond a selected artist posting a link to this post on their own blog and explaining how to vote. Others can feel free to share a link to this vote if you want to encourage people to look at the options generally - but please do NOT tell people to vote for anybody specific.  I've had to eliminate an entry from the poll in the past.
  1. You have one vote for each category - so make sure you get the result right first time as you'll be blocked from changing your vote.  
  2. The deadline for voting is 6.00pm (GMT/London) on Sunday 30th December 2012 
  3. I suggest you view larger sizes of the images before voting - right click on the image and it should open in a new tab in your browser - so you can see all the work properly. 
  4. Decide which picture you like best (see images below) in each of the FOUR different categories below and then vote in the poll relating to each category.  
  5. When you've voted you can then:
    • view the results by clicking on the 'view result' link in the bottom left hand corner (just above the polldaddy link). 
    • see the percentages of the vote which each piece attracts - but not the number of votes. 
    • share a link to any of the polls on your own blog. Just click the 'share this' link for the poll you'd like to share
  6. The work which attracts the most votes in total will also be declared PICTURE OF THE YEAR! 
  7. The results will be announced in a post on this blog on 31st December.

The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of Nature 2012
values the natural world and its plants and animals
and celebrates excellence in portraying every aspect of nature

(right click the image and open in new tab to see a larger image)

This category got off to a slow start so I'm ever so pleased that in 2012, this category managed to generate the most nominations - although just picking just two for the shortlist was really hard work! This year we have also at last seen the plants and flowers nominated for this award and they dominate the shortlist! I'm also very pleased also that we have an artwork nominated which isn't a straightforward watercolour.

You can see:

    A dying Delphinium by Rosie Sanders
    watercolour, (huge!)
    © Rosie Sanders

    A dying delphinium by Rosie Sanders (Rosie Sanders) - Devon, UK
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell).
    This is a painting which I had the pleasure of seeing in person when I went to visit Rosie's exhibition in the summer. It's absolutely huge! I'm very fond of people who paint plants and flowers in a state which is less than perfect and in way you don't quite expect. It somehow feels more natural!

    Magpie by Sherrie York
    © Sherrie York
    Magpie by Sherrie York (Brush and Baren) Salida, CO, United States
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell)
    I love watching Sherrie York's linocuts emerge stage by stage.  She is also one of the most gifted Americans I know at portraying nature.  I keep expecting to see her work turn up at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists here in London!

    Broken Flowers by Klara Petra Szabo
    Installation (collage on wall): watercolor on paper
    approx 100 x 100 cm
    © Klara Petra Szabo
    Broken Flowers by Klara Petra Szabo (Klara Petra Szabo) - Hungary.
    (Nominated by: Self)
    This is the first time an installation has been nominated.  Do please take a look at the other photos on the blog post (link in the title) to see why this was chosen.

    Arc of Flight by Sheila M Evans
    Pastel, 24" x 14"
    © Sheila M Evans

    Arc of Flight by Sheila M Evans (Sheila M Evans)  - Washington, USA
    (Nominated by: Casey Klahn)
    This is a prime example of the judge being very partial and going for a work which she really likes. I'm totally fascinated and preoccupied by macro pictures of leaves and have done quite a few myself but on a much smaller scale. I think I've just encountered the size I ought to be working at!

    NOTE: ANSWERS ARE RANDOMISED - check the names carefully


    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Artwork - Person 2012
    aims to celebrate and highlight excellence in portraiture and/or artwork 
    on an art blog predominantly involving figures 
    (right click the image and open in new tab to see a larger image)

    I review at least three top notch portrait exhibitions each year as well as seeing a lot of paintings of people - as portraits and figurative work - in other exhibitions. I had two thoughts when trying to find artworks for me to nominate this year:
    • I was amazed at just how many people paint portraits as "heads" which have no background and no interesting lighting. Where's the background which explains who this person is? Why stop at just the head? Why was this view the of an individual person chosen from the options available options?  
    • There are far too few paintings of people which incorporate more than one person - and far too few that then locate them within a context 
    It's not easy to find people who create paintings of people which avoid cliche

    You can see
    Rick at le Select by Olha Pryymak
    70×50 cm, 2012
    ©  Olha Pryymak
    Rick at le Select by Olha Pryymak (Olha Pryymak) - East London, UK
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell).
    This year Olha won the Bulldog Bursary awarded by the Royal Society of Portrait Painters.  This is one of the paintings she submitted as part of her portfolio.  It's great to see somebody who not only located her subject in a relevant and contemporary context - but also paints the other people who are there as well!

    La Rotonde Cafe, Paris by Margaret Dyer
    pastel, 18 x 24 inches
    © Margaret Dyer
    La Rotonde Cafe, Paris by Margaret Dyer (Small Pastel Studies) - Atlanta, GA, USA  
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell) 
    This is for me an excellent example of representing a person who - without me even seeing the title - I knew was bar person in Paris

    Oil on stretched canvas, 20 h x16 w"
    © Jana Bouc
    UPS Delivers at Night by Jana Bouc (Jana's Journal) - San Francisco Bay Area, Calinfornia, USA  (Nominated by: Self)
    Jana sold this one to me on the stength of the story which goes with it (read it here). Importantly, this is a painting of a person with personality and context despite the story! 

    Red Bow by Arto Isotalo
    Oil on canvas board
    40.7 x 30.5 cm
    © Arto Isotalo
    Red Bow by Arto Isotalo (Arto's Art) - Espoo, Finland. 
    (Nominated by: Roger Brown)
    I'm not familiar with Arto's work. However I was very pleased to see a portrait which doesn't aim to show me every facet of the face and also includes some lighting! I am being ironic(!) This painting jumped out of the screen at me because it didn't look like everybody else's. I also love the small spot of red! 

    NOTE: ANSWERS ARE RANDOMISED - check the names carefully


    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Place 2012

    aims to celebrate and highlight excellence in creating pictures
    about places in our environment - both landscapes and interior scenes
    (right click the image and open in new tab to see a larger image)

    One of my favourite occupations is sketching landscapes - the bigger the better! Followed closely by figurative sketches of interiors of restaurants and art galleries. Thus I'm always greatly intrigued by the nominations for this category.

    You can see

    Galley Hill Allotments by Haidee-Jo Summers
    © Haidee-Jo Summers
    Galley Hill Allotments by Haidee-Jo Summers (Haidee-Jo Summers artist - ma vie en couleurs) - Lincolnshire, UK
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell) 
    This year Haidee-Jo has been increasing her profile and winning prizes all over the place.  In my opinion, it's simply because's a very good plein air painter who has a splendid eye for colour and composition and how to keep it simple.  She also paints very fast and has a prodigious output!

    Heartbreak Morning by Barbara Benedetti Newton
    pastel on paper, 25" x 25"
    © Barbara Benedetti Newton 
    Heartbreak Morning by Barbara Benedetti Newton (Barbara Benedetti Newton - Art Journal) - Washington State, USA
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell) 
    I first knew Barbara when she was working in coloured pencils and have followed her transition to pastels with huge interest.  I love paintings which are masterly in their use of subtle and muted colours and the draughtsmanship in this one is also impeccable.

    Classon near Pacific by Robert Lafond
    oil, 18" x 24"
    © Robert Lafond
    Classon Near Pacific by Robert Lafond (Mark and Remark) - Massachusetts, USA
    (Nominated by: eLIZabeth Floyd
    This painting is hugely atmospheric - I feel like I've stepped into this street and can feel the sun.

    Time and Again by Terry Miura
    oil on linen, 40 x 30 inches
    ©  Terry Miura
    Time and Again by Terry Miura (Studio Notes) - California, USA
    (Nominated by: Robin Purcell)
    I've followed Terry's blog for years now and am always impressed with his painting.  This painting is not typical and the composition is unusual.  It's got 'something' that makes me want to keep looking at it.

    NOTE: ANSWERS ARE RANDOMISED - check the names carefully


    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Still Life 2012
    aims to highlight and celebrate excellence in creating pictures
    which help us to reflect on how the small and/or still can be beautiful
    (right click the image and open in new tab to see a larger image)

    You can see
    Folded Lace by Sophie Ploeg
    oil on canvas, 40x30cm
    © Sophie Ploeg
    Folded Lace by Sophie Ploeg (Sophie Ploeg) 
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell).
    Sophie loves materials and it shows! I've seen her work up close in exhibitions and it is truly stunning. She's particularly good at getting the subtleties of neutral colours.

    I rely on my illusions by Sadie J Valeri
    oil painting, 11" x 14"
    © Sadie J Valeri
    I rely on my illusions by Sadie J Valeri (Sadie J Valeri) - San Francisco, California
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell)
    Sadie was nominated for this award but unfortunately the nominated work was not painted/posted in 2012 - so I went looking for another one on her blog.  Some people produce a lot and some produce a few paintings each year - and Sadie is one of the latter.

    Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 2012, 8 x 10'', painting # 208
    © Alvin Richard
    One fish, two fish by  Alvin Richard (Acrylic and Light) - New Brunswick, Canada. 
    (Nominated by: Roger Brown )

    Delft Reflections by Cecilia Ross Lee
    Oil on Canvas Board
    11" X 14"
    © Cecilia Rosslee 
    Delft reflections by Cecilia RossLee (Atelier Cecilia Rosslee) - Carmel, California 
    (Nominated by: Self) 
    This is bright painting full of contrast.

    NOTE: ANSWERS ARE RANDOMISED - check the names carefully


    At the weekend,  two more posts continue the Making A Mark Awards for Art Blogs.

    On Saturday 29th December:
    • Generating Art in 2012
      • The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
      • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
      • The Best Art Society Blog
    • Getting Out of the Studio in 2012
      • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
      • The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy
      • The Going Greener Gong
    Followed on Sunday 30th December, the two more posts covering
    • Learning about Art & the Art Business in 2012
      • The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal
      • The Make Me Think Gong
      • The Best Book by an Art Blogger Blue Ribbon
    • The Home Front in 2012
      • The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
      • The Art Innovation of the Year Award
      • “The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog

    Then on Monday 31st December there is the final post covering Best Picture of the Year


    1. I've voted on all but the last category which doesn't have a poll. A wonderful selection of work, I wish there were more watercolours though!

    2. Many thanks for the heads-up Ruth!

      Whoo - what happened there? As you can see it is now back. I was trying to sort out an error on names about an hour ago and may have done something very silly. However it's now back in its rightful place - and as you can see rather a lot of people have already voted on it! :)

      1. Probably Blogger was playing games with you Katherine! Thanks, I've voted now :)

    3. Glad you posted the photos of the work on which to vote. A bit saddened to see that none of the work of the two artists I nominated are not included but I know I didn't choose specific pieces. It is hard when every piece is amazing!

    4. I'm afraid I don't have the time to search through websites of every artist which is why I ask for nominations for specific works. As it was I had to rule three of the nominations were ineligible as they had not been produced in 2012

    5. Such fantastic choices. I really enjoyed seeing each piece compared in terms of technique and style. Very hard to choose!!

    6. Fabulous idea! I love to see the work of artists I have never seen before. Thanks for organising this.

    7. excellent selections... varied, but all well painted in each category.

    8. Thanks again for the hard work in blogging these contests. I am proud to have nominated Sheila M. Evans' artwork.

      Somehow someone else got the credit this time for that nomination, but I take some pride in nominating really great picks year after year on Making a mark!

      1. Casey - sorry, that's a mistake in copying across nominations from the nominations thread (where the attribution of the nomination to you is correct) to this post. Something also went wrong with failing to carry across Sheila's blog - also now corrected.

        My apologies - and both errors now corrected

    9. Hi Katherine, the voting box for the last category seems to have disappeared again! This time it's the 'place' category that's missing it's box! :-)

    10. Hi Haidee - problem fixed. People actually had voted during the period when I did the switch and your comment and I know how many - and they'd voted on all the polls. I think Blogger or Polldaddy might be playing up.

      I'm keeping logs of the votes by day and timepoint so I can review if there's any need for an adjustment if there's a point or so in it.

    11. I voted on the paintings. It was really hard to decide on them, so I went with my first impressions.


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

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