Sunday, June 02, 2013

2nd June 2013 - Who's made a mark this week?

As many of you will appreciate by now May has been an extremely odd month for me and that has been reflected in a big slowdown in my posting and reading online.

First of all I have had two GA operations on my eyes three weeks apart see Phacoemulsification of cataract with intraocular lens implantation #2. I've now got TWO new lens implants to correct both my cataracts and another more serious problem with my eyesight.  I sketched while waiting to go down to Theatre on the second occasion - see Day surgery sketching at Moorfields Eye Hospital.

The patient in the bed opposite - with the ubiquitous post surgery eye dressing
8" x 10" pen and ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
I now not only know how to give myself eye drops, I can also do 19 drops a day for a week! (thankfully we're now back to a more normal regime!).  Which for somebody with a severe eye phobia is a really big deal!

Last Thursday I had my one week later check-up (of course I sketched again! See sketch in
Postoperative checkup at Moorfields Eye Clinic) f
ollowing the second operation.  It looks like everything has been successful.

Guess who can now read easily all the way to the second to bottom line on the eye chart!  I now officially have better than normal distance vision!

Once I get new reading and computer glasses in 4 weeks time I'll have got the eyesight back that I used to have more than 25 years ago!  No more endless polishing of glasses to remove a non-existent film on the glasses!

However, the bottom line right now is I continue to need to limit the time spent on the computer for at least another four weeks.

This is mainly due to the fact my current prescription lenses no longer work. I'm using my old driving glasses from 1996 as the glasses which give the best result when sitting at a desk staring at a screen.  However I can't use them for very long.  Reading offline is OK so long as the text is no more than 6 inches from my eyes - which makes reading exhibition lenses very interesting - if you see me at the moment I'm the woman with my nose to the wall!

Art Blogs and Artists

Drawing and Sketching
  • One of the really nice things about new eyes - even when it's just one - is that it makes it a lot easier to sketch.  We had trip out to Ide Hill and Emmetts Garden in the middle of May to see the bluebells on the hillside
  • It used to be possible to access JMW Turner's sketchbooks really easily on the Tate Britain website - then along came the digital project and now we have a great front-end and absolutely no links through to the actual sketchbooks! How silly is that? See Tate Britain - J.M.W. Turner: Sketchbooks, Drawings and Watercolours
  • Sketching tips for gouache paint is for those people who like sketching and painting with watercolour - and who'd like to have a go at gouache.  Take a peek at the results which Martin Stankewitz gets using gouache paint. This website has lots and lots of practical tips for beginners and lots of his paintings too

Botanical art



If you normally go to the PSoA conference, you know what it's like; but if you haven't ever been, well, sonny, LET ME TELL YOU. Hundreds of reclusive, socially inhibited art geeks crawl out of the woodwork, put on nice clothes that they probably had to borrow from a friend who doesn't get away with wearing sweatpants to work, and bask in the glorious sensation of being part of the crowd. 

Who painted this?

For those who've not seen them I won't give the game away.  Start at 26 and work your way through (and don't look at the comments!)
Art Business & Marketing 
Sophie Ploeg's 
Original and Excellent Open Studio Poster

Art Economy & Collectors

Art Education

Drawing Workshops 


  • A couple of articles by The Art Newspaper on copyright relating to artwork


Art Exhibitions

Michelangelo Buonarroti (1475–1564) 
The Ideal Head 
Red chalk on off-white paper 205 x 165 mm
Part of the Master Drawings Exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford (see below for details)
Major Museums and Galleries in the UK
  • The Ashmolean Museum in Oxford has a new exhibition about Master Drawings which is attracting universal acclaim. It's not every day I get to post a drawing by Michelangelo on this blog! Time to get out the train timetables......

Major Museums and Galleries in London

Art Society Exhibitions

Royal Society of Portrait Painters - Private View
  • Viewing the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters in May in between surgery #1 and surgery #2 was an interesting experience - but I still managed to generate FOUR posts!  (Lots of photos!)
    Winner of the £20,000 SELF Portrait Prize
    Jan Mikulka with his self portrait (oil on canvas, 100x70cm, 2012)
    and Alastair Adams, President of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters
  • The Hilliard Society of Miniaturists were very kind and sent me all I needed to review their current Annual Exhibition before my second operation - and here's my review - Hilliard Society of Miniaturists - 30th Annual Exhibition. The exhibition closed today but they have an excellent virtual exhibition online so you can enjoy it too - and purchase work!
  • I love art societies which put artwork online for all to see. California Art Club - 102nd Annual Gold Medal Exhibition is my review from a distance of the virtual exhibition of the 102nd Gold Medal Art Exhibition of the California Art Club - due to open to the public on 2nd June. I've highlighted the work of a few artists which I liked the look of. There's nothing quite like starting with a thumbnail view when reviewing a lot of art........

Artists I know

  • Portrait artist - Alan Coulson is having his first solo show of contemporary portraiture  - Alan Coulson - Paintings and Drawings - at George Contemporary Art & Design from 7th june - 15th July. (Address: 338 Hackney Road, London E2 7AX)  I may be at the PV on Thursday night.  Those living in London may well have seen Alan's portrait of fellow artist  Richie Culver on a poster advertising the BP Portrait Award in various locations around London last summer.
BP Portrait Award 3rd PrizeRichie Culver by Alan Coulson
Oil on wooden board 850 x 950 mm
Alan Coulson (left) with Richie Culver (right)

Upcoming exhibitions - UK

  • The 245th Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts opens to the public on 10 June.  I'm going to be at the press preview next Wednesday so expect a review shortly afterwards
  • Did you submit artwork to the RA Summer Exhibition? Was it rejected? You'll find good company at the "Not the Royal Academy" Summer Exhibition at the Llewellyn Alexander Gallery at the side of Waterloo Station. This Salon des Refus├ęs of artwork rejected by the RAs selection panel runs opens 10 June and runs until 17th August 2013.

Art Galleries and Museums

Art History
Art Societies

Art Studio

Art Supplies

  • 2013 POLL: Which is your favourite make of artist grade soft pastels? - Calling all pastel artists - I'd appreciate if you visit my BRAND NEW opinion poll and vote for your favourite make of soft pastel. Have you changed allegiance in the last year or do you favour the same brand as in previous years. Both perspective are important and I'd welcome votes from practising pastel artists using artist grade pastels. Or maybe check out the poll to see what I think are artist grade pastels?
  • An earlier poll suggests that the top three brands of soft pastels are all made in Europe. They were: Unison (18%); Sennelier (13%); and Schminke (9%) - see Unison is still favourite artist grade soft pastel for more information.
  • Heaton Cooper - based in Grasmere in the Lake District - have a new design for the studio and art shop website  I always associate images by the Heaton Coopers with my childhood. While out walking, my father once came upon William Heaton Cooper painting the Lakes - so at home we had prints of his paintings. Subsequently, as an Examiner for my professional body, I used to pay an annual visit to Grasmere to spend 4 days marking a Management paper! One of my joys as a respite from marking used to a walk into the village to visit the studio and the art shop. Now I have to content myself with many visits to their website for their online art supplies - and periodically placing an order. I've always found them very reliable and very much recommend them. To me Heaton Cooper is a bit of traditional England brought up to date.
  • One of my local art shops - Paintworks, in trendy Hoxton, now has a Facebook Page. If you ever visit don't miss the selection of paper in the basement.  The reason I keep going back is they have a car park so great for when you have a stack of stuff to get!
  • David Gluck provides an account of how she makes Panels that will blow your face off.  They are seriously weird but seems like they do the job!

Opinion Polls


and finally....

You are invited to share your photos of public art on The Guardian website - Public art – share your pictures
Please share the best and worst public art – whether it's as famous as Mount Rushmore, or something only known about in your local area.

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