Sunday, September 22, 2013

22nd September 2013 - Who's made a mark this week?

Grayson Perry is notably the very first visual artist chosen to deliver the annual Reith Lectures for the BBC.  These aim to advance public understanding and debate about significant issues of contemporary interest. 

I do like reading what the Turner Prize winning "Essex transvestite potter" has to say about art - he's both articulate, accessible and cuts through the proverbial!  This is Grayson Perry on contemporary art - following the delivery of the first of his four Reith Lectures titled "Playing to the Gallery" at the Tate last week (I'd be booking a ticket right now but unfortunately they're fully booked)

Newspapers commented on the delivery of the first lecture as follows
I also look forward to hearing Grayson Perry's Reith Lectures for myself.  They are due to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4, beginning on 15 October at 9am.

"The Vanity of Small Differences" - tapestries on display in the RA Summer Exhibition 2013
by Grayson Perry RA

I can't think of anybody else who has attempted such a successful and
over-arching commentary on contemporary society in the UK today
which at the same time connects with iconic British art of the past
In a poll in 2011, Grayson Perry was named as one of the most influential artists in the UK. David Hockney came out top  and the Young Brits were nowhere - which surprises me not. I rather see Grayson Perry taking on Hockney's mantle when the cigarettes finally claim Hockney.  Which hopefully won't be for a long time - but I do like to indulge in a bit of succession planning from time to time.  Grayson Perry fulfils the criteria of being a man with a colourful identity and an ability to speak his mind and, most importantly, he's a talented and skilled artist who makes interesting artworks which connect with people.

Top Ten most influential British artists (2011)
  1. David Hockney
  2. J.M.W. Turner
  3. Grayson Perry
  4. Francis Bacon
  5. Jack Vettriano
  6. Lucian Freud
  7. Thomas Gainsborough
  8. Sir Peter Blake
  9. Banksy
  10. Stanley Spencer
The Other Art Fair: 2011 poll of 1,000 British painters and sculptors

Watch out for other mentions of these artists in this blog post!

Artists and Art Blogs

Dry Media - Pastels and Pencils

  • I've long been a fan of UK pastel artist Patrick Cullen and his use of colour and have featured his work a number of times on this blog (eg see this link and this link).  He's now being featured by the Pastel Journal in their October edition - see Southern Europe Pastel Landscape Painting | Patrick Cullen
  • Richard McKinley (Pastel Pointers) has a post about The Pastelist Grip | A Tactile Relationship.  Now I reckon all pastel artists get a buzz from the very direct tactile relationship between hand and surface.  Just how you get your buzz is reflected in how you use your pastel.
  • Ester Roi (Ester Roiis at it again - but even bigger - see Go big or go home on her blog.  She's now working 24" x 48" in coloured pencils. Has she made a super big Icarus and not told us? ;)  Note that Ester's large colourful artwork results in strong sales for Ester. What does that tell you?
  • CPSA is introducing a new online competition called ArtSpectations - which is an online, viewable competition for CPSA members only. The show will have separate categories for signature and non-signature members. To enter, go to and check out the eligibility rules and how the entry system works
  • See Art Competitions for my review of the Derwent Art Prize.



  • The Women Painting Women blog have been amazingly successful since the blog was started by Sadie Valeri, Alia El-Bermani and Diane Feissel in 2008.  The Women Painting Women Facebook Page now has 7.5k likes. 
    • Having had exhibitions in 2010 and 2012, they are now staging their third exhibition and were overwhelmed with entries from all over the world - see the Art Exhibitions in the USA section.  It's very sensibly timed so that everybody can also go see the Outwin Bouchever Portrait Competition Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington!
    • In addition they are also having exhibitions in six other galleries in the USA and in Glasgow!
    • Read Ilaria Rosselli del Turco for an account of the story so far in Sisters are doin' it for themselves
  • Charley Parker (Lines and Colors) has also written about Women in the Act of Painting - covering the Women in the Act of Painting blog Philadelphia painterNancy Bea Miller.  This blog has an ever-growing collection of fine art images that depict women in the act of making visual art: painting, sculpture, drawing, printmaking etc. I like it.
  • Alvaro Castagnet has topped 10,000 followers for his Alvaro Castagnet Facebook Page - I'm not surprised it looks fun. Would that more painters and tutors made their Facebook Pages a bit more fun and accessible!
  • This is a Friends of the ROI Painting Day - go to the Workshop section of Art Education to find out about the next Masterclass run by the Royal Institure of Oil Painters.

Who painted this? 

Art Business & Marketing

Art Trends

There is no easy answer to whether a particular artist should pay attention and incorporate art trends into their work. Some artists will look down their nose at anyone who would consider art trends for aesthetic or business reasons. They embrace creativity as something sacred.

Marketing online

My advice for someone that wants to make art a full-time career is to ‘make art that matters every day’ and then make sure it gets seen. Meaning....

Marketing in a locality

  • Thomas Thorspecken (Analog Artist Digital World) provides an account of The Artist's Survival Guide - which aims to provide artists and the artistically curious with the building blocks needed for professional creative careers in Central Florida. The intention is that it will culminate in a printed Artist’s Survival Guidebook after 12 months of programming.  Why don't more localities do this?


  • Jackie Simmonds (Jackie Simmonds Artyfacts) offers an OPEN STUDIO - and a few rebellious thoughts... about pricing for open studios compared to a gallery.  The argument about the unfairness of galleries expecting a commission AND to take paintings as stock on a sale and return basis has some appeal.  All other retailers have to buy in stock for sale at wholesale prices (i.e not retail prices) - and they can then set retail prices according to their own predetermined profit margin - and then write off the stock if it doesn't sell.  I guess that's the other side of the coin - would one really want one's work in the "bargain bin"?

    Art Competitions

    Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2013 - Day 1 of the Annual Exhibition at the Mall Galleries

    Derwent Art Prize: Waiting to hear who won which prize 
    at the Mall Galleries on Wednesday evening's Private View
    (the exhibition in background of the Main Gallery is the Sunday Times Watercolour exhibition)

    Upcoming Exhibitions for Art Competitions in the UK

    • The exhibition for the Threadneedle Prize opens on 25 September and runs until Saturday 12 October 2013 (10am to 5pm).  I'm going to be at the Awards Dinner on Tuesday night with my Twitter account at the ready......

    Art Competitions in the USA

    Art Exhibitions

    This is the Press Scrum at the RA on Tuesday morning
    - just before the start of the tour of the Australia exhibition by the curators

    This is an exhibition with some very BIG paintings

    Art Museums and Galleries in the UK

    • Australia opened to the public at the Royal Academy of Arts yesterday. It is the largest survey of Australian art which has ever been mounted outside Australia. I saw it earlier in the week and this is my review - 'Australia' Exhibition at the Royal Academy - review.  It's a splendid exhibition - if you like landscape and paintings about the land.
    • Flyer for Ashmolean Exhibition
      Francis Bacon Henry Moore
      Flesh and Bone
      Francis Bacon Henry Moore: Flesh and Bone
      opened this month at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.  It runs until 19 January 2014 (Open 10am–5pm Tuesday - Sunday & Bank Holiday Monday. It's had some excellent reviews.  It brings together over 60 works 
    •  some of them rarely seen in public – this show will present Bacon’s paintings alongside Moore’s sculptures and drawings to reveal surprising parallels in the work of these two great artists.  Not least that they both made art about people.
    • Jack Vettriano: A Retrospective opened yesterday at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow and continues until 23 February 2014. It includes over 100 paintings between 1992 and 2012 and is an opportunity to review the quality of his painting. The Scottish artist Jack Vettriano is self-taught and popular but not critically acclaimed .  He's been accused of colouring in - which based on a recent programme about him I'd be inclined to agree. To my mind he's a graphic artist, in more ways than one, which explains why they reproduce and sell well in prints.
    Vettriano is no modern Van Gogh. To me, he's more like the Welsh singer: bold, brassy and devoid of inner truth
    Still Alive - in the Threadneedle Space, Mall Galleries

    Art Galleries and Museums in Europe

    Art Societies - UK - Annual and Other Exhibitions

    Art Societies and Groups - USA- Annual Exhibitions

    Art Bloggers' Exhibitions

    • Coloured pencil artist Tiffany Budd (Tiffany Budd at work) has an exhibition of her drawings 'To the Point' - Art of the Coloured Pencil Exhibition at The Atrium Gallery, Dittons Library, Mercer Close, Thames Ditton, KT7 0BS until 18th October 2013 (The link is to a Facebook album of photographs of the exhibition).  Congrats to Tiffany who gave birth to a baby boy in June.
    • Paintings by Laura Murphy Frankstone (Laurelines) and ceramics by Sasha Bakaric can be seen in an exhibition at Horace Hill House at Chapel Hill until 21st October.  Laura has been a tad busy recently welcoming a new grandchild into the world so there's nothing on her blog about it - but see Facebook for more.

    Art Education

    Do you produce tutorials - whatever the form of delivery?

    If you're an artist who is producing educational material - either in terms of blog posts or paid tutorials, workshops or DVDs, do make sure you let me know (see the side column for how to contact me).  If you are a regular art blogger of quality who I have known for some time (like Gayle and Karen below) then I'll be happy to pass the information along. If you're new to me I may just watch a while first.

    Art Tutorials - Drawing Animals

    Here's a round-up of some tutorials about drawing and painting animals.

    Drawing and Painting Workshops

    Let me know if you are doing a workshop.

    Instructional DVDs

    Art History

    Techies - websites, blogging and webware

    • Alyson Stanfield (ArtBizBlog)has 9 Artist Resources for Better Performing Websites and Blogs
    • Karen Margulis (Daily Pastel Paintings by Karen Margulis) has Two Options for Blogging on the Road - and reviews the apps she has used for blogging while travelling
    • Reading blogs in feedreaders
      • When Google Reader folded I transferred the file of my feeds to Newsblur - on the basis that I read on my iMac and I needed to know for sure I had a deskbound web version ready to go.  I like NewsBlur - I like the fact you can train it, I like the presentation of the posts - I just wish I could do a search!
      • Now that Feedly has got its act together for iMacs I've fired that up and am now very much liking the magazine format.  also like the search facility
      • Neither quite do what I want them to do - but hopefully they're getting there.
    • I'm loving the new format for the gmail inbox - so much easier to keep track of traffic in different categories.  It's going to make a big difference to the emails hurtling across my screen.

    and finally......

    Everybody can now be Banksy. Tate Modern has a new digital drawing bar on Level 3 of the museum.  Sponsored by Bloomberg, you can draw on a digital sketchpad and then see your drawing projected on the wall.  (I am trying very hard not to imagine what the pubescent teenage boy will draw!)

    In addition, they have installed new interactive touchscreens inviting visitors to join art-related conversations, and screens showcasing visitors’ ideas and drawings running down the spine of Tate Modern

    They're called MAKE YOUR MARK. That should keep the 7.7 million annual visitors occupied!

    1 comment:

    1. Coming out of my work and life tunnel, where is one of the first cyber places I head? Here. Look, a world is happening! Thanks for providing such stimulating content to the rest of us. I've got lots of catching up to do. And thank you for the shout out on my upcoming show.


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