Sunday, September 29, 2013

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

Who knew that going to exhibitions can impair your health?

I had a really lovely time at the Mall Galleries this week.  First at the The Threadeedle Prize Awards Dinner on Tuesday night and then again at the press preview next morning.

At the Threadneedle Prize Awards Dinner on Tuesday evening
Unfortunately it meant I was on my feet for rather a long time in the space of 24 hours.  Now various reasons (to do with foot and disc problems) mean that normally "I don't do standing" for any length of time. I'm now really regretting not sitting down more.  Especially since it's entirely my own fault and I ought to have known better! In other words I am suffering from a major attack of sciatica and am writing this dosed up with ibuprofen and co-codamol!  If I could be lying down I would!

Any suggestions as to effective ways of tackling sciatica gratefully received. (For those not familiar with the condition getting up in the morning goes something like this Roll over OUCH! Sit up OUCH! Swing legs out of bed OUCH! Stand up OUCH! Walk OUUUUCH!)

On a rather better note, I've got some sketches in a book called Playing with Sketches which covers 50 creative exercises for designers and artists.  Mine relate to drawing and sketching in museums and art galleries. The book publishes in the USA in mid-November.  There's a second book which comes out a bit later and I'll be telling you more about that in due course.  I'm really looking forward to seeing copies of both of them.

Playing with Sketches - includes my sketches done while drawing in museums and art galleries
to be published in the USA in November 2013

To see my sketches check out my blog "Travels with a Sketchbook"

Artists and art blogs

Famous Artists

Happy Birthday to the Carravaggio whose birthday it is today.  He died just over 400 years ago. In his time, he pioneered the baroque and the technique of use of chiaroscuro using light and dark to represent life and death.

Below is one of my favourite paintings by Caravaggio which is an icon of still life art.  Below that you will find links to YouTube videos about a 1975 documentary about Caravaggio by Robert Hughes (this is a slim pre "Shock of the New" Robert Hughes wearing jeans with long hair - but the voice the language is just the same - very definitely worth a look!  His account of Caravaggio is excellent!)

Canestra di frutta (1599) by Caravaggio
In addition - here is more information about Caravaggio

Lucian Freud has also been in the limelight this week.  Here's some articles about him:
Greatest Living Artist:  The Art Fund would like to vote for the greatest living artist.  I found the list and descriptions somewhat depressing.

Botanical Art

  • A number of botanical artists in the Botanical Artists on Facebook Group have been painting something botanical every day in September - here are a couple of artists whose blogs reflect their participation in this 30 day challenge
    • Dianne Sutherland (Dianne Sutherland) - Dianne explains what the object is and also tells us how she went about painting it - including the palette of colours she used.  For anybody interested in botanical art reading through her entries for September is an excellent introduction.
    • Sigrid Frensen (Sigrid Frensen)
  • Take Botanical Art into the Community is a really wonderful post by Kathleen Garness on ArtPlantae Today.  She was awarded £1,000 to take botanical art to the community in outreach workshops in the Chicago area.  Interestingly the art packs put together were based on coloured pencil. It's great to see people new to botanical art working from real live specimens and not photos!
  • Botanical Illustration step by step - Painting a Nasturtium is a step by step demo in the news section of her website/blog Lizzie Harper



Who painted this?

  • Congrats to Bernadette Madden who spotted that Jan Steen painted #45. Congrats also to those who spotted the twist in the story - and the theft! Here's a link to those who got it right
  • Who Painted This? #46 is a bit more of a challenge than usual - I'm only providing the eyes!

Art Business and Marketing

Art Marketing

Art Business

Art Collectors and Art Economy

Despite increased public engagement, support of the arts by all levels of government reached new lows when taking inflation into account.
Art museums and galleries are also having trouble competing with other attractions. Ten years ago more than one in four Americans passed through their doors; now the figure is closer to one in five.

Art Competitions

The Threadneedle Prize

Joint Winners of the Threadneedle Prize 213
Clare McCormack and Lisa Wright
If a major art competition, based on totally anonymous entries - all the way through to the end - can produce so many women artists as winners, what on earth is going on in some of the other major juried art competitions?

Outwin Bouchever Portrait Competition

Art Education


Tips and Techniques


Art Exhibitions

The end of the Rory McEwen exhibition

  • Rarely do you see people still blogging about an exhibition after it has finished - but Rory McEwen The Colours of Reality was special. So we have
    • Rory McEwen lives on by Jessica Shepherd on Inky Leaves who, in turn references
    • a page by Martin J Allen about Rory McEwen and everything people wrote about him and the exhibition
    • plus I'm partway through making a website about him - watch this space.

Art Exhibitions around the UK

Drawing of a Rose by Jane Gardiner

Open Studios - in Scotland

Art Museums and Galleries


and finally......


  1. Sorry about your back :(
    Have you tried acupuncture - my physiotherapist recommends it for back pain.

  2. So sorry you are hurting, Katherine! One thing you could do would be to first go to a certified manual physical therapist (physio-therapist in your part of the world) to help you get through the pain and then if they cannot give you some good core strengthening exercises, find a very qualified Pilates instructor to help you.

  3. yeah! get well soon! (the only things I know help sciatica is all the stuff I'm sure you've tried - physio, heat, amitiptyline/gabapentin/zacin cream . . . )

  4. Sorry to hear about your pain.. Hope you get some rest and recover..

    Speaking of Caravaggio, I will check out the Robert Hughes series.. I also liked Simon Schamas Power of Art edition on Caravaggio..

  5. I hope you get better!
    The only remedy I can think of besides all the good advice from those above, is to have a varm cat or dog snuggling next to your back. But that won´t help walking...

  6. Great post despite your pain. Thank you! I too occasionally have back flare ups with sciatica but sitting is what causes it for me--standing is fine. Pilates on a reformer under the supervision of a physical therapist is what helped me when it was at its worst.


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.