Monday, December 16, 2013

Generating Art 2013 - Making A Mark Art Blog Award Nominations

This is the 8th year of the Making A Mark Art Blog Awards
YOU can nominate which art blogs YOU think are excellent 
and which art blogs influence YOU

My aim is to work with YOU to identify:
  • EXCELLENCE in blogging about art and artists; and 
  • the art blogs which set HIGH STANDARDS 
  • the art blogs which are the MOST INFLUENTIAL.
This post and the next three posts on Making A Mark invite nominations relating to the categories which you can now see at the top of the right hand column.

First how to nominate - and then the three awards in the category of GENERATING ART.

Nominate an art blog for a Making A Mark Award

It's very simple! Basically all you need to do is leave a comment on the relevant post.
    • Identify the title of the Making A Mark Award that you want your nominee to be considered for
    • Leave a comment on the post on this blog which invite nominations for that award - BEFORE 29th December 2013
  • WHICH BLOG:  Tell me
    • the name of the blog, its URL (eg "The Art Blog" and
    • the name of the blogger (Note:  art bloggers are not eligible for any award that they have won in the last three years)
  • WHY:  Say WHY you think this blog should be considered for a Making A Mark Award.
Your nominations will be added to my list of those I think are worthy of consideration.  I'll then share the final shortlist with you when the results are announced.

The Making A Mark Awards will be announced on the 29th and 30th December.
Note:  All nominees and nominators are linked to both from this blog and my main website page where all the past awards and nominees are listed

So over to you - who do you think merits being nominated for the three awards below? Answers as a comment on this post please.


Today I'm looking at nominations for three awards relating to generating art
  • The Showcase Shield (replaces "The Painting A Day Stickability Shield")
  • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
  • The Best Art Society Blog Prize
Leave a comment on this post (see above) nominating the art blog you think should get one of these awards in 2013.

The Showcase Shield

Producing "a painting a day" is no longer the phenomenon it was when I created The Painting A Day Stickability Shield in 2006 (see Blogging Art in 2006 - The Making A Mark Awards).

Consequently I've decided to change the award to one which celebrates the regular showcasing of good quality art, either the artists own work and/or that of other artists they like.

Showcasing in this context is emphatically not about taking an artwork and putting it on your blog.  It has to be about providing a review of the work (i.e. compliance with "fair use" copyright exemption)

The Showcase Shield 2013 for 

  • EITHER art blogs which consistently showcase good quality artwork of other artists - with words as well as images
  • AND/OR the work of one artist who maintains and displays a consistently high output of consistently good quality paintings over the course of the year (i.e. it doesn't have to be daily - but it does have to be lots!)

The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup 

Art can be quite a lonely activity and it's noticeable that people often like to have some sort of involvement in groups and projects related to art!

The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup 2013
This award is for
  • EITHER a major and reputable new project which adds value and involves a large number of bloggers  
  • OR or a project which has grown over the course of the year in question or otherwise had some significant impact during the course of the year

Sketching in Nature - Winner of The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup 2012

Past winners include:
  • 2012 Sketching in Nature started in 2009, has developed a linked site on Flickr (with 748 members) where they often identify future blog correspondents, has grown its correspondent base as a result (by invitation only) and every week it generates between 5 and 10 posts. Bottom line this is a blog which has made a commitment to being both on topic and sustainable!
  • 2011 The Help Japan Challenge Auction organised on the Daily Paintworks site. The challenge was created by Keiko Tanabe and David Marine of Daily Paintworks hosted it on the Daily Paintworks website. It involved a lot of art bloggers contributing artwork to raise funds via an auction to help those affected by the Tsunami in Japan.  
  • 2010  The Virtual Paintout by Bill Guffey has succeeded in attracting a large number of participants every month - and the benefit is that you can see all the pictures on the blog and that makes it very easy for non-participants to understand the project and see its results. I also like the way that it shows people that they can find places to go and paint plein air using Google Street View and consequently its impact is not just limited to this blog!
  • 2009  Urban Sketchers - has developed and become a landmark art blog during the last 12 months. 
  • 2008  Different Strokes from Different Folks - a well thought out project which also involves Karin Jurick in providing tutorials and guidance to participants how to improve their art.  Primarily this has been about encouraging people to see that using photos as references need not involve copying - that making choices, using your imagination and interpreting a photo are skills which are also important. 
  • 2007  the International Sketchcrawl drawing marathons - a project which I have participated in which is global and involves lots of people, a lot of whom are bloggers.
  • 2006  shared by:
    • the Crackskull Bob Self-Portrait Marathon - a new blogging project which generated 390 entries overall from those participating and a stunning level of creativity
    • the Daily Painters Blog - a blog, website and mailing list providing contemporary original art for sale by painting a day artists and habitual painters.
The Best Art Society Blog Prize

The Best Art Society Blog Prize 2013

This prize is for the Art Society Blog which demonstrates - in both text and images - how best to 
  • promote the aims and activities of the art society and 
  • AND widen the audience for the images of its member artists.

This is a problematical award.  It was introduced in 2011.  
  • Art Society Blogs have been slow to get off the ground despite offering the scope for a being an online newsletter about the activities of an art society and its artist members.
  • In 2011, the corner seemed to have been turned with more and more blogs by art societies.  
  • Unfortunately, the success of Art Society blogs is very often hugely dependent on the commitment, time and calibre of the blogmaster.  It's very sad to record that in October this tear, the blogmaster for last year's winner - the ROI Blog -  announced Closure Of This ROI Blog in October. I have to say I find this very surprising.  (Is there really nobody else within or allied to the ROI who can maintain it?)
So it remains to be seen whether this will be an award which I can give this year.

These are my criteria for the characteristics of a good art society blog:
  • blog posts are timely eg post about the exhibition in good time for people to arrange to visit! 
  • blog posts are useful eg make sure you include enough information for people to find the society's activities (don't assume "everybody knows") 
  • images are very important - and should be included whenever possible and relevant. An art society blog without images says something about how important they really are! This was the main reason why art society blogs were NOT shortlisted. 
    • Art societies are about placing an emphasis on the visual and so should their blog 
    • blog posts can show people what the society does and what it has to offer through the use of photographs of activities and artwork 
  • members, their artwork and their exhibitions are profiled - it's a perk and a bit of extra marketing which is always welcome - plus it also provides the basis for regular updates throughout the year 
There's still a lot of scope to improve - but which art society blog do you think does it best?

These are the previous winners.
  • 2012: The Royal Institute of Oil Painters Blog - the ROI blog is loaded with images from exhibitions and art events. Plus it makes a point of highlighting individual members and their exhibitions, galleries and websites - in turn. It also highlights awards made to members by other art societies. The blog post about the Annual Exhibition was notified a month in advance on the blog. This also emphasised the opportunities for people to watch demonstrations for free.
  • 2011 - The Denver Art Society has a combined website and blog. I strongly suspect it might be more accurate to call it a blog with static pages. This opened my eyes to what can be achieved in terms of dynamic content, design and the scope for a society to have a very strong connection with its local community. It combines the essential static information pages which most societies have with two separate streams of dynamic pages which update on (1) the latest news and (2) regular artwork on display or being produced by artist members. The Home Page constantly updates with a layout which places priority on the dynamic content and the twitterstream and a schedule of upcoming events.

Please also NOMINATE for other MAKING A MARK AWARDS 

Links to the other posts seeking nominations can also now be found 
at the top of the right hand column

BEST PICTURE ON AN ART BLOG 2013: Nominations please
BEST ART BLOGS IN 2013: Nomination please
    Links - The Making A Mark Art Blog Awards (static page at top of blog - references previous years)


    1. I would like to nominate Nigel Fletcher for the 'Generating Art' award. He posts consistently amazing small daily paintings of UK and French subjects - mostly plein air landscapes and still lifes - in oil and watercolour.

    2. I'd like to nominate Adele Wagstaff's blog, she posts photos of her beautiful work, images of the process and highlights shows and other arty events.


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