Sunday, June 30, 2013

1 July 2013 - Who's made a mark this week?

12 Most Striking Tendencies of Creative People by Kim Phillips is a very interesting brief summary of what makes people creative. I can think of at least one more striking tendency - the ability to work on your own.

How about you?

The Vanity of Small Differences - a book by Grayson Perry
Hayward Publishing
One of the most creative artists I know whose work I much admire has got a new book out - and I've been sent a review copy - see above.

So tomorrow I should get my post surgery revised prescription and new reading glasses and I can get back to reading books as opposed to giant text on screen!

Artists and Art Blogs 

Art Societies

Artists' Books

Drawing and Sketching


Four people in the art world received four 'heavyweight' honours in the Queen's Birthday Honours list. The honours they received come after their name. They included
Anish Kapoor is regarded as one of the most influential and pioneering sculptors ofhis generation. He is famous for his monumental public sculptures and for hisenigmatic sculptural forms, which have been exhibited all over the world. He becamethe first living British artist to take over the Royal Academy in 2009. A Turner Prizewinner, he has twice won the Premio Duemilia at the Venice Biennale and has sincereceived many other international honours.
  • Thomas Heatherwick CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) - Founder, Heatherwick Studio. For services to the Design Industry  (This is the chap who designed the Olympic Cauldron)
  • Grayson Perry  CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire) - Ceramic Artist. For services to Contemporary Art.  I just wish he'd get his own website - I just know it would be strikingly different to anybody elses!


  • Andrew Wyeth's top 20 American painters in watercolor. It's an interesting selection and I confess I haven't heard of one or two.  
  • I very much recommend this video documentary of Carl Randall. It shows him:
    • collecting material for his portraits of people in contemporary contexts within Japan (see my post about his Travel Award exhibition
    • painting portraits from life in his studio in Tokyo
    • painting elderly survivors of the atomic bomb at Hiroshima
  • I'm going to highlight some of the websites of artists whose work made me stop and stare when I was finding their website links for the BP Post about selected artists
    • Here's the first - a man with a wonderful name who will interest all those who like realism.   Comhghall Casey is a Dublin based artist.
    • Greg Kapka created one of those - "I need to look at this again" portraits with Heterochrome 
    • Agnes Toth's website is frustrating, fascinating and illuminating
  • Calling all watercolour painters.... Are you a tubes or a pans person. Or both? Try my poll

Pastels and Pencils

  • I've started experimenting with the new colours I bought in my haul of Luminance coloured pencils and Girtin in coloured pencils was the result
After Girtin - The White House at Chelsea
Caran d'Ache Luminance coloured pencils on Arches Hot Press

Who painted this?

  • First we had Who painted this? #32? Congratulations to Bernadette Madden in Dublin who was the first person to guess that this is a self-portrait by Artemesia Gentileschi. Speed of response seems to have been entirely dictated by whether or not people knew that she was playing a lute in the painting.
  • then we had Who painted this? #33.  I'm finding more and more I'm tempted to go with an image which echoes whatever it is I've been writing about.  Which is how come this week I noticed how few painters put people in their urban landscapes!

Art Business & Marketing

Amazon Art Gallery

  • Yes - you read that right! Amazon is planning to open a virtual art gallery to sell art online.  The venture is targeted at the smaller galleries and apparently 109 have agreed to go online.  Some dealers are indicating they may well operate under a pseudonym until the venture becomes successful.  Amazon is not commenting as yet.  However note that, unlike books and authors, there's no sense at present that individual artists could represent themselves online at Amazon.

Art Business

Art Fairs

Galleries are increasingly splitting their sales and curatorial teams. Some, however, are sceptical 


Marketing and Communication

Art Competitions

Lots about portraiture this week

Art Education

  • I'm starting with a couple where announcements are a little lacking and I personally would want to know more before signing up and parting with cash
    • ArtPlantaeToday announces a coloured pencil workshop with Ann Swan at the Los Angeles Arboretum at the end of September.  Which is odd because it doesn't appear on either Ann's website or that that associated with the Arboretum.  I suggest checking with Ann first before handing over any money!
    • I've got a lot of time for Paul - but I think maybe his new Art Practice Community website called Creative Triggers will get a better response if he identifies himself better (ie surname!) and shows us his artwork.  People need to trust you to complete a subscription form with their personal details and agree to pay a monthly subscription.
  • Ester Roi provides us with a lesson - How to Mount Paper on Board

Art Exhibitions

Major Art Galleries and Museums in London

Other galleries in the UK

Major art galleries and museums in the USA

Art Equipment and Supplies


  • The end of Google Reader is today - or so we were led to understand - it's still working as I write.  While it's still up and running you can export your subscriptions from Google Reader which dies tonight. You have to export via Google Takeout which gives you a zip file of your Reader subscriptions

and finally......

Life as an art-going dachshund can be a bit hectic and very tiring - see Too much art for little me on The Adventures of Miss Marple.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Who painted this? #33

This week I've been looking at cityscapes.  A review of landscape painters from all over the world reveals that most painters do NOT paint urban landscapes with people!  Maybe LS Lowry ought to be revered a bit more for being a painter who unhesitatingly filled his paintings of the industrial north west with people!

Here's another painter who's not averse to peopling his cityscapes.  I've had to remove the signature.

Who painted this? #33

How to participate in "Who painted this? #33"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Girtin in coloured pencils

I spent this afternoon developing a drawing based on The White House at Chelsea by Thomas Girtin.  I wish I'd bothered to check the original - which is at the Tate.  I kept being bothered by the fact the White House was not on a  "sweet spot" and didn't look quite as I remembered it. It's now clear the reference I was using had cropped the original and removed a significant chunk from the right hand side

After Girtin - The White House at Chelsea
Caran d'Ache Luminance coloured pencils on Arches Hot Press
Never mind - the exercise got me back into drawing again now I can see colour properly again.  I had my magnifiers perched on the end of my nose and they did an OK job in terms of me being able to see the paper.  However next week I can start the process of getting a new prescription for reading and computer glasses.

It also reminded me of why I like copying good paintings - I always learn something relating to colour or tone or how to relate a 3D shape or mark on a piece of paper

I'm minded to do some more drawings using past masters as my models and focusing on skies.

This particular drawing was done using my new batch of Caran d'Ache Luminance coloured pencils.

Caran d'Ache Luminance Coloured Pencils
- a recent purchase at the Pastel Society Annual Exhibition

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The websites of Watercolour Societies all over the world

Watercolour Societies - Resources for Artists is a new website which lists the websites, Facebook pages and blogs of watercolour societies in the UK, Europe, North America, Australasia, Asia and Africa

It's not finished yet - but it's got an awful lot of links to existing websites.  I was actually quite surprised while developing it to find how many societies are now embracing Facebook as a good way of communicating with both members and the general public.

190-195 Piccadilly, London
former home of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours (from 1883 to 1970)

the inscription of the name runs across the top of the building
the front of the building includes busts of various watercolour painters
see The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
I've been developing websites about different types of art societies because I'm interested in them, am still drafting a book about art societies and like seeing the very many different ways similar organisations conduct their business and represent themselves on the Internet.

I've just finished a first draft of the one for all the watercolour societies in the world which are on the Internet.

You can use it to:
  • check out if there is a watercolour society where you live which you are eligible to join
  • identify where there are exhibitions of watercolour paintings in your area which you can enter and/or view
  • compare your watercolour society website to those of other watercolour societies 
  • find out if there are planned plein air outings by watercolour societies in areas you will be visiting while on holiday
  • ask if there is anybody who can help you with suggestions of good places to paint in a local area
Let me know (leave a comment) if 
  • your local society is missing from the list and/or 
  • there is a better way of describing your society - in short form.

Other information websites for watercolour artists

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life - a review

The crowd love Lowry and Lowry loved painting crowds.

Lowry and the Painting of Modern Life - the new exhibition of L. S. Lowry's paintings which opens at Tate Britain tomorrow is going to be a lot about crowds.

The crowd have already spoken. More tickets have been sold for this exhibition than for any other exhibition at Tate Britain.  If you want to see it you better book your tickets fast!

V.E. Day (1945) by L.S. Lowry
Lent by Glasgow Museums
It is after all the first major exhibition of Lowry's work in London since 1976 when the Royal Academy held an exhibition of his work - L.S. Lowry RA, 1887-1976 (4 September to 14 November 1976) - following his death at the age of 88.

That exhibition attracted 300,000 visitors - so there's a sizeable target for the Tate to beat!
The exhibition brings together over ninety works, including Tate’s own pictures Coming Out of School 1927 and The Pond 1950 and significant loans from public and private lenders. The show will demonstrate Lowry’s ambition and achievement as a modern artist, arguing for his status as Britain’s pre-eminent painter of the industrial city and placing him within the context of European art history.Tate Britain
The large Industrial Landscapes by LS Lowry
(painted in the 1950s - including one for the Festival of Britain
Included in the same room are three paintings of the industrial landscape in South Wales)
Room 3 in the  Lowry Exhibition at the Tate
The elephant in the room yesterday at the press view for the new exhibition was how come the Tate had managed to ignore this much loved British artist for so long.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Carl Randall's Japan - the best BP Travel Award Exhibition ever!

Last week I enjoyed the best BP Travel Award Exhibition I've ever seen at the National Portrait Gallery.

BP Travel Award Exhibition
Carl Randall with part of his series of paintings of the people of Japan

© Carl Randall
Photo © Katherine Tyrrell

To my mind Carl Randall, who won the award in 2012, has just raised the bar in relation to the quality of Travel Award Exhibition. I'm rather inclined to think the National Portrait Gallery agree with me because they've brought it all the way to the front of the Gallery and made it a very prominent display.

'In The Footsteps of Hiroshige: The Tokaido Highway and Portraits of Modern Japan' is on display at the National Portrait Gallert until September 15, 2013 and will then tour to Aberdeen and Wolverhampton until June 2014.

Carl’s proposal for the award was to travel in the footsteps of the Japanese woodblock print artist Ando Hiroshige (1797–1858), who in 1832 traveled along the Tokaido Highway - an old trading route that ran from Tokyo to Kyoto, producing a series of woodblock prints showing the people he met and the landscapes he experienced along the path.  (see images of these in The 53 Stations of the Tokkaido Road)

Carl's idea was that he should produce contemporary equivalents, documenting the people and places of modern Japan, 180 years after Hiroshige made the same journey.

I met Carl last year and was very taken with his proposal for his project as I was already very familiar with Hiroshige's work and liked it a lot - see Carl Randall wins BP Travel Award 2012. This post explains a lot about the detail behind the project and also a lot about Carl himself.  

So what did he do?

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sophie Ploeg wins BP Travel Award 2013

How would you like an exhibition of your paintings at the National Portrait Gallery? That's not one painting in a group exhibition - that's a real exhibition.

Win the BP Travel Award and besides the cash prize of £6,000 and that's exactly what you get.

One of my favourite parts of the BP Portrait Award exhibition is the BP Travel Award exhibition which is in the same room. They're always interesting - and they're always very different.

The Travel Award is based on a project proposal by an artist submitting work for the BP Portrait Award.  The idea is that an artist of merit should have the opportunity to work in a different environment on a project related to portraiture. The portraits painted as a result of the project then receive their own mini exhibition in the following year’s Portrait Exhibition.

So far as I'm aware it's not based in any way on the portrait submitted - it's all down to the project.

At the end I have some tips for future applicants based on my observation of past projects - and involvement in managing projects in the past.

BP Travel Award 2013

This year the winner of the BP Travel Award 2013 is Sophie Ploeg.  Here's what the Award selectors had to say
Winner of the BP Travel Award 2013
Sophie Ploeg
(with L to R Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, 
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, 
Joanna Trollope, author)
Photo © Katherine Tyrrell
This year the BP Travel Award has been awarded to Bristol-based Dutch Artist Sophie Ploeg. Having studied Art & Architectural History at universities in The Netherlands, Ploeg, 39, won for her proposal to explore how fashion and lace was represented in 17th century art, as well as in modern applications. She will visit famous lace-making centres such as Bruges in Belgium and Honiton in Devon, modern lace makers and artists, antique lace collections and 17th century art collections, as well as to undertake literary research. Sophie's final work will be inspired by her findings and will be displayed in the BP Portrait Award 2014 exhibition.
I've known Sophie since 2011 when I spotted some amazing paintings by her - and I've been featuring her on a regular basis since then.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Who painted this? #32?

Given I've been preoccupied by portraits all week, I thought that a suitable painting for "Who painted this?" would be - a portrait.

Who painted this? #32
So here we have a lady of indeterminate age and provenance playing a stringed instrument.

All you have to do is work out what that instrument is and then you should get the painting and the painter and the rest of the details that I ask for.  Don't forget to right click the pic to see a larger version.

How to participate in "Who painted this? #32"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Friday, June 21, 2013

BP Portrait Exhibition 2013 - Video & Review

Every year when reviewing the BP Portrait Exhibition I try to:
  • identify the portraits I like the best;
  • focus on things to think about for those who want to enter next year - and get selected!
  • AND upload a video of a walkround the exhibition at the end of the Press View
This year it's no different for the BP Portrait Award Exhibition 2013.

View of the start of the BP Portrait Exhibition 2013Photo © Katherine Tyrrell
First the video.

I should explain that I have to wait until the very end of the Press View and then I get only a few minutes to walk round without having one eye on the paintings, one eye on what the camera's viewing and one eye open wide to navigate round all the other people.  Even with two brand new eyes I still only have two - so it's best to wait to the very end when there's very few people and then do it fast.  What it does mean is if I've skipped rather too quickly over any aspect, there's no time to view and redo.

Every time I do a video I make a resolution to write down what I'm supposed to do in i-video and in YouTube. On the other hand each time I learn something new - this time it was colour and audio adjustments in i-video and how to annotate in YouTube.  Which means you'll see three notes pop up as you get to the paintings which won the First Prize, Second Prize and the Young Artist Awards.

Overall Impressions

It's a good show but oddly no one piece made me go "Wow".  On the other hand things I liked about it included:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

BP Portrait Award 2013 - Selected Artists and Statistics

1,969 artists from 77 different countries entered the BP Portrait Award 2013.  Of these
  • 1,223 entries came from the UK and 
  • 746 entries came from other countries (13 in total)
55 portrait artists (2.8% of the entry) had their paintings selected and hung in the BP Portrait Prize Exhibition 2013 .  This post highlights those artists and their portraits.

Selected artists 

Below you can find the names of the Selected Artists.  They're listed alphabetically by country - with UK countries first and then alphabetically by other countries.  The title of the work, size and media used are also listed.

These artists will have their portrait paintings seen by some 250,000 people this summer.

There are links in the names to the artist's websites (where websites could be found easily).  Some also have links to the portrait on their website.  The country is the country of residence rather than the country of origin.

Aspiring artists should:
  • check out the website portfolios of selected artists and 
  • note the standard of the websites - and note how many artists now have one!  Some had both websites and blog.


Conversations by David Caldwell
'100 Portraits" is a series of intimate portraits of friends, family and interested others.
Each portrait measures 17x12cm and are oil on board
I spent some time seeing who I could recognise in this picture
having spotted James Lloyd in this painting
James is an ex tutor of mine
as well as a previous BP Portrait Award winner .
  • Freddy Clark (b.1989)  Josh 415 x 340 oil board 
  • Saied Dai (b.1958) In Memory 660 x 510 Oil Linen on Panel

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Susanne du Toit wins £30,000 BP Portrait Award 2013

Susanne du Toit's portrait of her 35 year old son Pieter has won the £30,000 BP Portrait Award 2013.  As indicated in my previous post, BP Portrait Award 2013 - The Shortlist, the two top prizes both went to parents painting portraits of their children.  This year's prize money awarded by sponsor BP totals £53,000.  Below I've highlighted each of the prizewinners in turn.

Susanne de Toit - Winner of the BP Portrait Award 2013
(left to right:
Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery,
Susanne du Toit and guest presenter Joanna Trollope holding her Award)
all photos copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The BP Portrait Award 2013 - First Prize

Winner of the BP portrait Prize 2013
Pieter by Susanne de Toit
(1080 x 830mm, oil on canvas)
© Susanne de Toit
Photo © Katherine Tyrrell
The first prize is a cash award of £30,000, plus, at the judges’ discretion, a commission worth £5,000, to be agreed between the National Portrait Gallery and the artist.

It's great to see a woman win the prize for the second year in succession in a competition which has traditionally been dominated by male winners.

Susanne du Toit (b. 1955) is South African born but now lives in Crowthorne in Berkshire.

Her portrait of her eldest son Pieter, aged 35 is part of a series of portraits of her family.  In her experience the artist has found that the hands are essential to communicating the personality of the subject and her one condition of his pose was that his hands needed to be prominent.
The averted gaze of this portrait, which was his choice, struck me as characteristic of his reflective character and became intensely engaging

The BP Portrait Award 2013 - Second Prize

Monday, June 17, 2013

17th June - Who's made a mark this week?

This last week I've been in exhibition overload - and there's a lot more to come this week!

Display in the Final Room of "Crisis of Brilliance", Dulwich Picture Gallery
Includes two large paintings by Stanley Spencer

(left) Christ Carrying the Cross (1920)
(right) Unveiling Cookham War Memorial (1922)
I've reviewed the 114th Annual Exhibition of the Pastel Society, visited the new exhibition at Dulwich Picture Gallery (Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis of Brilliance, 1908-1922) and highlighted the Call for Entries for the Annual Exhibition of the New
English Art Club. Plus I also saw the choices made by the Art Critics Circle at a small exhibition at the Mall Galleries and viewed Alastair Sooke as he and an art dealer got to grips with the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition.

This post will highlight images from exhibitions I've yet to write about and ones which might not get a full review from me.

I've also been dealing with problems relating to the first eye which was operated on. There's obviously something not quite right as the eye is not opening easily in the morning and also wants to close rather early towards the end of the day and feels a bit weird inbetween times. The consultant's letter to my GP came through and apparently I might have an issue with drainage in a nasal passage! But it's another reason why looking at screens still tends to be a bit spaced out and I'm still not back to normal blogging.

Artists and Art Blogs

Friday, June 14, 2013

Who painted this? #31?

Who painted this? #31
[right CLICK and open in a new tab to see a larger image]
This is an epic painting of a normal activity associated with the UK summer - a day on the beach (wrapped up warm!)

I've taken to lamenting of late how few painters these days tackle the big group scene.  So I was particularly pleased when I came across this painting!

All you have to do is work out where it is and then you should get the painter and the rest of the details that I ask for.  Don't forget to right click the pic to see a larger version.

How to participate in "Who painted this? #31"

PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New English Art Club Annual Exhibition 2013 - Call for Entries

I always look forward to the Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club (NEAC).  It has a lot of excellent painters - and it's also an art society which is a bit more switched on to the selling side of the business.  These are not painters who are exhibiting purely for the kudos - very many of them are serious professional painters who do this for a living.  So sales matter.

I've often thought that if there were an Art Society Open Exhibition to aspire to get into, then it would be the Annual Exhibition of the New English Art Club.

However, by implication, work selected from the open entry needs to meet some pretty high standards in terms of aesthetic and commercial criteria.

This week the Call for Entries has gone out for the next Annual Exhibition which will run from 29 November - 8 December 2013 at the Mall Galleries.

Paintings in the NEAC Annual Exhibition 2012
This post outlines the process for submitting work via the open entry.  Comments (as opposed to quotes) in italics are mine.

The images in this post are from the 2012 exhibition and at the end of this post are links to my reviews of previous exhibitions which also contain images of artwork selected for exhibition.


Before I start, it's worth noting that if you just look at the Mall Galleries "website brief" for this exhibition you may not achieve a full understanding of what's required.  You MUST read the Call for Entries leaflet.  Some of the "must know" information is only in the leaflet - and there is no link to the leaflet on the website brief!  There again, some of the information is only on the website and not in the leaflet!  I've tried to make the distinctions clear below.

Who can enter?

This exhibition is open to non-members.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Review: The Pastel Society - Annual Exhibition 2013

The 114th Annual Exhibition of The Pastel Society opened to the public on Tuesday and continues until 22 June at the Mall Galleries.  There's lots of good pastel artwork on display,
however, if you're unable to attend, there's also a virtual exhibition of all the artwork online.

Catalogue Cover of The Pastel Society Annual Exhibition 2013
(artwork by John Tookey PS)
This year the exhibition is being sponsored by Caran d'Ache (Pastel Pencils and Pastel Cubes) and Carole Hübscher, President of Caran d'Ache, attended the Private View on Monday night.  The exhibition was opened by Philip Mould who gave one of the best "opening an exhibition" speeches I've heard in a long time!

The Pastel Society - Private View at the Mall Galleries
First some impressions of the exhibition and then the prizewinners.  Click the links in artists' names to see more work on their websites or at their galleries.
  • there's a lot of monochrome charcoal and pencil work in this year's exhibition - and for some reason an awful lot of the work is to do with trees!
View of the monochrome wall in the North Gallery
Enormously complex drawings of trees
alongside the pared down artwork of Pastel Society member Angela A'Court
  • there are some simply stunning groups of pastel artwork by artists such as:
    • Keith Roper - his abstracted work normally features landscapes of big skies and flat land and townscapes of Lincolnshire, The Solent and the Fens
    • Sheila Goodman - whose work gave me the urge to buy it all!
Pastels by Keith Roper (with some reflections!)
Pastels by Sheila Goodman
  • I was a little surprised to see a work in oil pastel in the exhibition - mainly because I don't recall seeing one before - or at least not one labelled as such!  There again having checked the Call for Entries Page on the Mall Galleries website it is clear that acceptable  media for the competition is "Pastels, oil pastels, charcoal, pencil, conté, sanguine, or any dry media."

Monday, June 10, 2013

10 reasons to visit the RA Summer Exhibition 2013

Below you can find 10 reasons to visit the 245th Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts.

You can find the exhibition in the Main Galleries of Burlington House, the RA's HQ in Piccadilly.  It opened to the public today and continues until 18 August - expect crowds!  Fortunately I was able to view it last Wednesday when numbers were much fewer - although there were lots of TV cameras and chaps with long lenses!

Those living in the UK can catch a BBC Culture Show Special on Tuesday night (which will doubtless repeat on iPlayer) when Alastair Sooke casts his eye over the Summer Exhibition.

I maybe looked at bit too much for rather too long as my eyes were completely done in afterwards - hence the delay in writing my review.  It's always possible to write a lot about the Summer Exhibition - hence why I decided to make this review a bit more snappy.

So here's my 10 reasons to visit the Summer Exhibition at the RA before August!

1. Grayson Perry's The Vanity of Small Differences.  

The Vanity of Small Differences - Four of the tapestries in the series 
(Artists own edition - of an edition of 6)
©  Grayson Perry

Without a shadow of a doubt, the star of the show can be found in the very last room.

The suite of brilliantly coloured tapestries which make up The Vanity of Small Differences by Grayson Perry RA are simply stunning. It's worth visiting the exhibition simply to see these tapestries.

I started to list the ways in which they work:
  • they reference the series of prints by Hogarth
  • they also reference paintings by past Masters
  • they're rooted in his own personal observations of contemporary life based on his travels for the BAFTA award-winning Channel 4 series All in the Best Possible Taste
  • the design is wonderful in terms of both continuity between the pieces and each individual tapestry
  • they work extremely well at a macro level but are absolutely fascinating when you take a close look at the fibre used for the different elements of the tapestry
  • most importantly for me - Perry demonstrates something which for me is missing in a big way from British Art today.  He has conceived grand figurative artwork which has contemporary narrative, social comment on taste, people from across the UK and human interest.  Trust a ceramicist to come up with what is probably the most iconic artwork you'll see in this show!
For those unable to get to see the show you can now buy an app on iTunes which shows you the works and explains how they came about.

I'm probably going to do a blog post about them too - I have more photos and a video!

All these fine art prints have some association with the printed word
Photo: Katherine Tyrrell

2. The Print Rooms

Sunday, June 09, 2013

Major Art Exhibitions in London June - August 2013

This is my monthly update about the major Art Exhibitions on show in London.  

RA Summer Exhibition 2013
    June - August typically covers the "Summer Showcase" exhibitions.  You can see these in London right now or they will open in the three month period between June and August 2013.

    I'm also publishing today a new Page on this blog Major Art Exhibitions in London in 2013 - listed at the top - which is a listing of all exhibitions in the London in 2013.

    The exhibitions highlighted are:
    • major exhibitions in major art galleries and museums in LONDON - listed alphabetically.  Links to the websites of each of the venues can be found in the name
    • major art competition exhibitions - typically those which are listed in my page on Major UK Art Competitions in 2013
    • major art society exhibitions 
    Links to the venue's website are in the title
    Links to visiting information can be found by clicking the address

    Major Art Galleries and Museums in the UK

    Great Russell Street, London, WC1B 3DG

    Courtauld Gallery

    Somerset House, Strand, London WC2R 0RN

    Paul Gauguin 050
    The Haystacks, 1889 by Paul Gauguin 
    Oil on canvas, 92 x 73.3 cm
    [Public domain] via Wikimedia Commons
    The Courtauld's permanent collection has some choice pieces so if visiting to see one of the above make sure you don't miss the paintings in the main galleries.

    Dulwich Picture Gallery

    Gallery Road, London, SE21 7AD
    • 12 June - 22 September 2013 - A Crisis of Brilliance Nash, Nevinson, Spencer, Gertler, Carrington, Bomberg: A Crisis of Brilliance, 1908-1922.  This summer exhibition in Dulwich with an emphasis on the first wave of BritArt!  It brings together for the first time some of the best and most innovative works by influential artists from the early part of the 20th century - namely best and most innovative works by Paul Nash, C.R.W. Nevinson, Stanley Spencer, Mark Gertler, Dora Carrington and David Bomberg.
    A major exhibition to watch out for later in the year is Whistler in London

    Friday, June 07, 2013

    Who painted this? #30

    Who painted this? #30
    I try to keep images in this exercise topical and seasonal - and that's all the clue you're getting!  Who painted this #30 will be announced next week as per usual.

    How to participate in "Who painted this? #30"

    PLEASE make sure you read the rules before posting a comment - and ONLY POST ON THIS BLOG what you think is the answer.

    Thursday, June 06, 2013

    Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013 - David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation

    Simon Max Bannisteran Ecological Land Artist, is the winner of the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013 awarded by the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.

    The exhibition is currently occupying the Main Gallery of the Mall Galleries and continues until Saturday 8 June 2013 (10am to 5pm). 50% of all the proceeds of sales from this exhibition go to support the objectives of the Foundation.

    I went to see it late yesterday afternoon.  Below you'll find links to the prizewinners and how you can see the exhibition online
    Wildlife Artist of the Year 2013
    A Journey from Londolozi by Simon Max Bannister


    Overall Winner and Go Wild Category WinnerA Journey from Londolozi (£3,785.00 / SOLD)
    by Simon Max Bannister (Simon Max Bannister, Land Artist - see blog post A journey of giraffe)
    Sculpture: wood | Size: 600cm x 450cm (236.2" x 177.2")
    Simon Max Bannister has been consistently creating sculptural artworks for 3 years now. After working with his degree in Graphic Design he found the need to express his creativity with an alternative means. Be it earth, stone, leaf, water, light, shadow and even plastic, he grasps the energy and moulds it into a necessary and intriguing artistic dialogue...... He is currently based at Londolozi Game Reserve as artist in residenceSimon Max Bannister website
    This also makes it a win for giraffes in two successive years! (See the 2012 winner Wildlife Artist of the Year - Karen Laurence-Rowe).

    Overall runner-up and Endangered Category Winner and David Shepherd Choice winner
    High Life (£2,200.00) by Stella Mays ( bio )Pastel | Size: 128cm x 95cm (50.4" x 37.4").

    Tuesday, June 04, 2013

    The Colours of Rory McEwen

    This is a post about the colours of watercolour paint used by botanical artist Rory McEwen.

    Today I was back at Kew Gardens and revisited Rory McEwen The Colours Of Reality (11 May to 22 September 2013) at the The Shirley Sherwood Gallery of Botanical Art(See my earlier post A day in the life of botanical artist Rory McEwen)

    Tulip 'Helen Josephine' 1975
    Images courtesy of the Estate of Rory McEwen

    One of the characteristics of his botanical paintings is the intensity of the colour and the nuances he achieves.  This partly comes from painting on vellum which is renowned for making colours look intense and fabulous.  Vellum is not porous and hence the paint sits on top of the sheet of vellum.

    However the colours in his paintings are, of course, also partly due to the paint he used.

    One of the cases in the exhibition is given over to his painting materials.

    Knowing how much artists like to know about palettes I used my magnifying glasses to copy out the names of the paints he used.  So what follows is a list of paint colours!

    It's difficult to know which brands of paint he used however evidence from the names and from the tubes in the display case suggest he used a combination of Winsor & Newton (much used by botanical artists) and Old Holland Classic Watercolours.

    He created his palettes by placing tube paint on paper or a thin board and then using the tube paint as a resource for the paint colours he mixed.  Bear in mind the size of the brushes he used he was working dry brush with little very small brushes (W&N Series 7 sable - a lot of 00 and smaller)

    It was very evident that some of the paints were fugitive as there's now no colour left.  However it's unclear whether these were used a lot or not.  Several people have expressed reservations about about the pigments and lightfastness of certain Old Holland colours (eg see Handprint's review of Old Holland).  I think it more likely that when using Old Holland, McEwen may have trying to use paints which would have been available to painters like Georg Ehret.  There again these were tubes which had not been used much so maybe he didn't use Old Holland much at all!

    My personal view - based on the names on his palettes - is that he was actually using Winsor & Newton.  You can check this out for your self by comparing the names below with the two colour charts for the different paints:
    Anyway here are the lists of colours - I've separated them into colour groups.

    Monday, June 03, 2013

    One month left to enter £30,000 Threadneedle Prize 2013

    Artists wanting to enter the Threadneedle Prize 2013 have just one month left to register an entry for this prestigious £30,000 prize for painting and sculpture.

    The deadline to register an entry is 4th July 2013.
    • This post unpicks and summarises the "call for entries"
    • highlights the key dates in the processes for submission, selection and exhibition
    • At the end you can find links to all the posts I wrote about the Threadneedle Prize last year
    • You can find a complete archive of my past posts about the Threadneedle Prize - with lots of images - on Art Competitions in the UK (2013) - Resources for Artists
    Ben Greener, Winner of the 2012 Threadneedle Prize with "My Feet"

    About the Threadneedle Prize

    The PURPOSE - my emphasis (in red) highlights the focus of the competition

    The Threadneedle Prize is the leading competition for figurative and representational painting and sculpture for artists working in the UK and Continental Europe.

    The Threadneedle Prize is one of the UK’s largest prizes for contemporary painting and sculpture

    The competition is open to all artists working in the UK and Continental Europe who use figurative and representational art as a starting point for their work.

    You may submit up to three works, completed since 1 January 2012, including paintings, sculptures, original prints, drawings and mixed media installations.

    Works that have been selected for other prizes or competitions in the UK or continental Europe are not eligible to enter.

    Past Winners

    This is the sixth year of the competition. Click the links to see previous winners who are:
    • 2008: Nina Murdoch, Untitled (71 works exhibited) 
    • 2009: Sheila Wallis, Self Portrait (87 works selected for exhibition) 
    • 2010: Patricia Cain, Building the Riverside Museum (46 works selected) 
    • 2011: Henrietta Simson, Bad Government (After Lorenzetti) (52 works in exhibition)
    • 2012: Ben Greener My Feet (153 works in the exhibition)
    I have to say the Threadneedle has changed every year so far so looking backward is probably no guide to the selectors choices this year.  It would be nice to see a continuation of:
    • the strong trend towards having women artists shortlisted (they've won 4 of the 5 competitions to date)
    • a repeat of the number of works selected last year.  I think the vast majority of the people I knew who saw the exhibition commented on how much better the exhibition was in 2012 after a weird year in 2011.

    The 2013 selectors 

    The selectors this year comprise a painter, a sculptor, a critic and a Museum curator. They are:
    • Tim Shaw - Sculptor shortlisted for the first Threadneedle Prize in 1908, he won the FBA Selectors Choice prize with a wax sculpture entitled Tank on Fire.
    • Paul Benney - a painter who has exhibited in 8 BP Portrait Exhibitions
    • Laura Gasgoigne - a freelance critic and writer who comments on the visual arts
    • Barnaby Wright is the Daniel Katz Curator of 20th Century Art at The Courtauld Gallery, London

    How it works

    Threadneedle Prize 2012 - Key Features of the Call for Entries

    1. This is an OPEN art competition (with some restrictions)
    2. In 2012
      • 4,062 works were submitted by 2,441 artists (an average of 1.66 artworks per artist
      • Last year 145 artists had 153 artworks selected for exhibition (triple the figures of previous years!)
      • which means 3.7% of artwork by 5.9% of the artists was selected for exhibition 
      • (Last year I crunched the numbers after the work had been selected - see Threadneedle Prize 2012: Analysis of entries)
    3. Every single entry selected for the final exhibition is sourced through a proper open competition process
      • There are no invited artists
      • There should be no entries promoted by the Selectors or the Gallery or the Sponsors
      • The selection panel is changed every year
      • Everybody has an equal chance - and the rest is up to the merit and judgement of the selectors - which is always highly personal.
    4. Initial entry is digital.  Artwork only needs to be dispatched to London if it gets through the screening stage.  This has generated a big increase in entry from places outside London and the south east. No artist has to incur the costs associated with a trip to London or using a courier without being in with a reasonable chance of being selected.
    5. There seem to be no major changes in the rules this year!
    Below you can find out who can enter and progress through to what you can enter.

    Am I eligible to enter artwork?