Tuesday, December 31, 2013

The Home Front - Making A Mark Art Blog Awards 2013

This is the last but one category in the 8th Making A Mark Awards - just the Best Picture of the Year to go!

The Home Front concerns matters relating to the practical aspects of our artistic art and/or how to make life at home with the artist that bit better. There are three awards:
  • The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
  • The Art Innovation of the Year Award
  • “The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog

The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year

The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year is for the Most Improved Studio of the Year and reflects the continuous efforts of many artists to improve our studio and working environments

Previous winners are
The results of a poll in 2012 (What's the best place to sell art? ) identified "Direct from the studio" as the best place to sell art by nearly a quarter of artists. Overall it ranked #1 for both revenue and profit.

I've been keeping an eye of studio revamps and remodelling during the course of the year.  Plus I got some nominations

Nominations received were:
Well, I moved into a purpose built place, but am still proud of it! The difference working in a studio rather than at home is quite astounding - even if I haven't quite yet been able to take full advantage of it yet. So I'm nominating my place, too and hope you get many more nominations as would love to read about more dramatic changes.
Here are the other people who have been progressing new studios in 2013
The Bill Guffey Fine Art Studio Gallery
Burkesville, Kentucky
A class set-up to the rear of the gallery space for selling artwork
For me, Bill Guffey tells a wonderful story - just with photos - on his Studio/Gallery Page on his website. He shows us what he got and how he has changed it so it now provides space for his own studio, a gallery for selling his work and room to hold classes complete with easels. The Gallery is now playing host to registration for plein air events.

The 2013 Winner of
The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year

Bill Guffey

The Art Innovation of the Year Award

The Art Innovation of the Year Award is awarded to highlight those artist bloggers who experiment and/or create and/or share innovations which help the practice of other artists.

The sharing may be through:

  • the invention of a new tool or art medium to aid artists
  • testing and reviewing a new art medium or material
  • experiments with existing or new art media, materials or equipment and the creation of a new way of doing things 

This award came about because I've found it quite remarkable how many accomplished and practising artists - who are also art bloggers - have gone that extra mile and addressed their own personal and practical needs by creating a new tool or experimenting with new media, which they then share with other artists!

Previous winners are:
I've got two candidates for the innovation of the year award in 2013. Strictly speaking one should be ruled out but I think I'll apply my author rule here - and say the three year rule does not apply as there's such a small group of people who create genuine innovation.

Ester Roi (Ester Roi Fine Art) has started to:
Ester for me is one of a few coloured pencil artists (and inventors) who have a proper appreciation of how to bring coloured pencil art (and inventions!) to the market in a way which gets it taken seriously. It's one thing to produce it, it's quite another to get it sold! Interestingly she now has a brand new Facebook Page which characterises her as Ester Roi - Artist and Inventor! Differentiation is the name of the game if you want people to remember you!

Ester Roi and her new large original artwork on canvas mounted on a cradled board
The Women Painting Women group (the ones who won The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup) used HP's Magcloud to enable potential collectors to buy either print and online versions of their catalogue for the Women Painting Women (R)evolution exhibition. It's a novel way of enabling people to access a catelogue without having to spend a lot of money - because MagCloud works on the basis of a calloff production.  They priced the digital catalogue at $5.99 - a figure which won't phase most collectors.  For those who are interested for their own group or solo shows here's the price list (in £).

I think it's interesting to note that both involve a development of the "Print on Demand" platform for delivering products to customers

They're both excellent ideas and ones which importantly are transferable to other artists and other art groups - so I'm going to make them Joint Winners

The 2013 Joint Winners of
Art Innovation of the Year Award
Ester Roi and the Women Painting Women group

The very original "Moose" 
Courtesy of Maggie Stiefvater
“The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog

    "The Moose" Award for the best animal in an illustrated blog is named after the first winner of this award.  The animal can be wild or domestic, a perennial subject or the studio pet.

    This award is for particularly noteworthy artwork about an animals or animals (wild or domestic) posted to an art or illustrated blog in 2012. The original intention was that it would be about the studio pet (hence why it's in this category) - however over the years it's grown beyond this to being a blog about artists involved with animals - and fish and birds!

    Previous winners are
    2012:  Paula Pertile (
    (Drawing a Fine Line) for her mad, bad and very splendid cats
    2011:  Debbie Kotter Caspari (Drawing the Motmot)
    2010:  Jeanette Jobson's (Illustrated Life)
    2009:  Kimberly Santini (The Painting a Dog a Day Project
    2008:  Tracy Hall (Watercolour Artist)
    2007:  Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) - “Out of Sight” 
    2006:  Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren Art ) - Moose

    I have to say Tracy Helgeson has been keeping me thoroughly entertained all year with her art distraction enterprise aka her chickens and goats. As the chickens have now got into the oil paint I just wish she'd write about them on her blog The Painter's Farm which I also wish she'd revive because I liked reading about the painting as well as the animals - honest!  Instead I have to make do with her Painters Farm Facebook Page.

    Harriet Mead, the President of the Society of Wildlife Artists, has reinvented her website Harriet Mead on Wordpress and hence is now able to list new works as they appear - but sadly doesn't treat it absolutely like a blog.  However it's nice to be able to look at her animals in metal and I can now keep an eye on them via Feedly.

    Federico Gemma with his sketchbooks
    However the artist who wowed me the most this year when it came to animals was Federico Gemma (Di Pinti al volo) whose sketches of animals I saw at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists for the first time - and then subsequently on this blog.

    I now have a commitment to keep recommending his blog to all those who feel sketching wildlife from life is totally impossible. It's very clear to me that the skills to do so are the same as any other skill we acquire as artists - it's hard won through lots and lots of practice.

    His sketching style is also one which I'd very much commend from the perspective of focusing on the draughtsmanship and modelling of form using simple watercolour washes.

    The winner of
    "The Moose" Award 2012
    for the best animals on an illustrated blog is
    Federico Gemma

    Tomorrow I'll be announcing the winners of the Best Picture Awards.


    1. Thank you, Katherine! I'm so thrilled to be the recipient of your Art Innovation of the Year Award again. This is a great incentive for me to keep on pushing the limits of creativity and marketing. Congratulations to all award winners! Happy New Year!

    2. Had a quick look at this post and your links to the various studios. How do they keep their studios so tidy. I am constantly putting things back in my studio/room (can a hobbyist have a studio?) but still chaos reigns. Sometimes I thing to myself, I should just boxed everything up but then what would I do if I didn't have access to my beads, fabrics, thread, glue, paper, canvas, paint etc. Love looking at other people's studios. Will look in depth at the posting later. As normal, several days to read and absorb :) Happy 2014.

    3. My pleasure Ester - it's always great see the efforts of those who are "pushing the envelope".

    4. Jacqui - one of my 'breakthroughs' in the organisation of art materials was the discovery that the nice boxes with the secure clippable lids are not only for the kitchen! I now buy them in all sorts of sizes and organise, separate and store my stuff in them with labels on the outside to say what's inside. It's so much easier to find things now!


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