Monday, April 29, 2013

29th April 2013 - Who's made a mark this week?

Zea Mays © Sharon Fox
The images in the exhibition this week are from the recent Annual Exhibition of the Society of Botanical Artists.  There were so many blog posts with that and the RHS show at the same time that I decided in the end to leave my usual 'these are the ones which caught my eye' post until later - and am instead incorporating them into this post (and have more to post!)

Interestingly I subsequently learned that one of these was by Sharon Fox, a student of Fiona Strickland GM SBA AMBA.  Then I found out that Fiona had eight students last year and six had work accepted into the show.  So if you're an aspiring botanical artist living in Scotland you might want to find out about Fiona's classes!

This coming week I'm in hospital having a permanent lens replacement in my left eye which should begin to resolve the current problems with my eyes.  I'm in and out the same day (Thursday 2nd May) despite having a general rather than local anaesthetic.   However I'm not too sure what my vision will be like in the immediate aftermath and how that will affect computer work.

I've then got the next one on the 23rd May and then hopefully I'll have the prescriptions for my new glasses for close work by the beginning of July.

I'm very much looking forward to getting new eyes!

However I'm not looking forward to the eye drops!  I've been shown how to do it but am still fighting my huge eye phobia.  Tips for getting drops into my eyes post-op are very welcome.  So far I've managed to get as far as taking the top off my practice bottle of stuff for dry eyes and actually looking at what I need to do.......

Artists and Art Blogs

Artists on television

  • "Rain, Steam and Speed" by JMW Turner - was featured last night at the end of a really good programme on BBC4 which looked at how Turner recorded the technology and activities of the Industrial revolution in the UK. This is the link to it on iPLayer - The Genius of Turner - Painting the Industrial Revolution (available until 9:59PM Fri, 3 May 2013)

Artists at the Theatre

  • Jonathan Jones (the Guardian) asks and answers his own question Is Ai Weiwei still an artist? - given the fact he's now a book, a play and a film as well.

Botanical & Natural History Art

Drawing and Sketching

My last sketch without glasses and with dodgy eyes - you can read more about my recent visit to Sissinghurst - and see a photo of me sketching in Sissinghurst - from 3rd hottest to 2nd coldest! and The Rose Garden at Sissinghurst - late Spring

The Rose Garden at Sissinghurst Castle Garden (22 April 2013)
11" x 16", pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell


I recently read Lori McNee's post about When My Serious Painting Became A Joke On Facebook.  I liked the quote
“To succeed in life you needthree things. A wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.”
Reba McEntire

Plein Air


Who painted this?

Art Education

  • Stapleton Kearns provides an education about closed corner frames in A visit to the frame makers.  This is PS Art Frames of Rhode Island who feature in his post and who produce custom art frames for fine art.

Art Competitions

  • Turner Prize 2013: Tate Britain announced the Turner Prize 2013 shortlist. The four artists shortlisted for the Turner Prize 2013 were announced by Tate Britain this week. David Shrigley was a bit of a surprise. In recent years the exhibition has been travelling and for 2013, the prize exhibition will be on show in Derry-Londonderry starting on 23 October 2013

Self Portrait with Lace Collar
© Sophie Ploeg

  • BP Portrait Award: Here's my post about the BP Portrait Award 2013 - The Shortlist.  Congratulations to Sophie Ploeg on having her self portrait with lace collar  selected for the exhibition.  It was also very interesting for me because I had discussions with Sophie earlier this year about possible options for her entry to the competition.  The exhibition runs from 20 June - 15 September 2013, in the Wolfson Gallery (Admission Free)

Art Exhibitions

Major Art Galleries & Museums - Future Exhibitions

Art Societies

A corner I liked in the SBA Annual Exhibition
I've been having a bit of a botanical art bonanza of late.  Here's my catch-up for anybody who missed it.
Slipper Orchid by Lynne Proudfoot

Here's the rest of the news about art society exhibitions
Drawn aims to raise the profile of drawing, presenting it as both an autonomous discipline and an interdisciplinary tool.
  • The Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters opens at the Mall galleries on Thursday 9th May and closes on the 24th May at 1pm.  Announcements about prizewinners will be made on the 8th and it will be interesting to see who has won the new £20,000 Self Portrait Prize
  • I'm pleased to see I shall be seeing  Astrid Volquardsen's pastel work at the Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society in June 

Art Business & Marketing

The Artist Statement (and writing online)
  • I came across an Infographic which I thought seemed very helpful to those developing or revisiting their artist statements. Is my artist statement done? has a pathway approach to  working out whether or not your Artist Statement is both completed and accessible.
  • I'd like to suggest that Alyson Stanfield's post Finish Your Writing on Art Biz Blog is also very pertinent to those finalising any sort of statement about their artwork or art career.
  • At the same time Artpromotivate articulates the various ways in which, in its opinion,  artists can write online and succeed in creating the sort of situation which can see their art career go down the tubes.  Make sure you read  How Artists Can Ruin their Reputation Online and then read the comments.
Communication & Marketing
Getting Funding for your Art / a Gallery / an Exhibition 

Artquest provides five audio guides to artists paying their bills and getting their artwork together
Displaying your Art

Art Economy 

Art Materials


  • Try putting in your URL line and see what comes up. You may find a lot of messages you didn't know you'd received! Why do some messages end up in this "other" folder? I've no idea! Thanks to Cathy Johnson for the tip.

and finally.......

I came across a post which highlighted this chap - who has been drawing pictures on his kids sandwiches for years and years - and of course photographing them all! Now  he's got  1,111 photos, 1 video and 524,793 views

Plus a feature on the Flickr blog - Dad illustrates kids sandwich bags with imaginative drawings
and a feature on the Sharpie blog - David Laferriere

So there you go - fame starts with a Sharpie marker and a plastic bag...................


  1. Thank you, thank you! For being a friend, for the mention and the pic, well you know! Can't wait to see the rest of the bp exhibition!

  2. Katherine,

    I had lens replacements three years ago, and it was a tremendous success. Having worn glasses all the time, all my life, it was a wonderful gift to suddenly be able to see without them. I have gone from being extremely short-sighted to a little far-sighted, which means glasses for doing artwork, but with nothing like the difficulties I used to have. Without the surgery, botanical art had become impossible, so it has dramatically changed my life for the better. I do hope that yours goes as well as mine did. I'll be thinking of you.
    Very best wishes, Jane

  3. Just following up on my previous post Katharine – I had a problem regarding the drops as well – I started out by having a family member put them in, but obviously that isn't always convenient, so I use a hand mirror, tip my head back and then do my best to get the drops in (I am still using eye drops as a prevention against glaucoma, which runs in my family). It can be a bit hit and miss sometimes, but I've got pretty good at it now. I'm afraid the only thing that helped me were sheer determination to look after my sight so that I could do the things that are important to me. If anyone else has other suggestions, I would love to know as well!

  4. Thanks for the mention Katherine - I hope you feel better soon. I don't envy you and completely sympathise with the eye-phobia. Eyes and teeth... they have to be the worst when it comes to medical intervention.

  5. Best wishes for a speedy recovery after your op. I'm looking forward to seeing the work that you do with your new eyes.

  6. I love Sharon Fox's work - Great choice Katherine! Best of luck with the op! Hope it makes all the difference to you!!

  7. Wishing you all the very best for your op on Thurs.

  8. PS I have twice had a general anaesthetic and come out on the same day. On one of the occasions I came out at lunch time, it was fine. Anaesthetics are so much better than they used to be so hope it'll be the same for you.

  9. on eyedrops, I hold the eyedrop bottle closer to my nose than my eye and drop it into the corner, while holding my head tilted back, sometimes i have to do it twice to get it in, I have an aversion to anything close to my eye either. Don't know if that helps, try it pre surgery please, you won't be so nervous then. Good luck, an artist needs her vision!

    Thanks for that heads up on the facebook folder, I had some messages there and one was rather enlightening. I always learn something interesting on your blog! Thanks.


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