Monday, March 31, 2014

Contemporary Watercolour Painting - Exhibitions in London

Lovers of watercolour painting are in for a treat! From tomorrow you can visit two major exhibitions of watercolour painting in London by two of the oldest watercolour societies in the world.
I recommend visits to both for those who can get to London.  For those of you who can't....

Two virtual exhibitions

You can see both exhibitions online if you're unable to get to London. However do bear in mind that online exhibitions are not so good at giving you a true sense of size - besides which the paintings always look better in person.

selection from the online exhibition of 
the Spring Exhibition of the Royal Watercolour Society
selection from the online exhibition of 
the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours
Below I comment on:
  • the images and how they are displayed
  • events running during the course of both exhibitions

Some comments about images and software

Sunday, March 30, 2014

"Draw In" - a symposium about drawing

I've been invited to be one of the invited artists participating in Draw-Ina Symposium about Drawing. This is being held on 30-31 August at the Belfast School of Art.  I've got to take some of my sketchbooks with me!

Draw In website
‘Draw In’ brings together some of the finest artists working today, and drawing is the core of their craft, whether it be architecture, painting, illustration or design. During the weekend Symposium (30th and 31st August), they will form a panel to openly discuss their own practice, some will share their work in a show-and-tell, and artwork and sketch books will be on display for us to browse through. We will have an afternoon of demonstrations (in oils, drawing and clay sculpture) followed by a full day devoted to workshops where all students will participate in tutored sessions by Julie Douglas, Paul Foxton and PJ Lynch. A full day of practice-enhancing workshops, to push participants to a new level in their own practice.
This is the schedule - which runs from 10am to 5.30pm on both Saturday and Sunday. It's a packed weekend! 

Saturday 30th August

  • A panel of artists including Paul Foxton, PJ Lynch, Katherine Tyrrell and Colleen Barry describe what drawing means to each of them.
  • Q&A and Show and Tell. Audience participation, a chance to ask all your best questions! And a look at working drawings, sketch books and paintings by the members of the panel and invited artists.
1pm – 2pm: Lunch (Provided)

Afternoon: Three demonstrations, with 
Sunday 31st August

Three two-hour hands on workshops
The fee for the two day Symposium is £250 (including attendance at all the sessions plus all refreshments and lunch on both days).  All you need to do is bring your own drawing materials to these workshops. 

Either side of the weekend Symposium are two 5 day workshops:

Saturday, March 29, 2014

A new exhibition by Urban Sketchers London

You can catch up on my latest exhibition over on my travel sketchbook - see
Urban Sketchers London - new exhibition at Timberyard (Old Street)

Below you can see a video I took this morning - and one of these days I'm going to remember to switch on the HD before I start the video on my iPad Mini!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Tips about how to write an artist statement

What's the best way to write an artist statement is a perennial topic of interest to artists.

That's why I put together a compendium of all the best resources which are available for free online - see How to write an Artist's Statement. [Note: Links in this post have been updated due to a move of the content to a new website]

It contains:
61% of people who reviewed the (previous) site said it helped them with writing an artist statement. [The new one is better!]

Plus for those feeling depressed about trying to write their artist statement there's also one or two lighthearted links for you to view.

Links to my blog posts about writing an artist statement

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

How to write an artist's CV

How to write an Artist's Resume or CV
If you want to know how to write an artist's CV or resume - for an art exhibition, an art gallery, employment or a grant application I recommend you visit the website I've compiled - How to write an Artist's Resume or CV.  This provides advice and contains links to information about what you should and should not include and what sort of records you should keep so as to keep your CV updated.

This is what it covers:
THE CURRICULUM VITAE - FOR ARTISTS - the CV is a record of all of your professional activities and is intended for use in academic situations.
THE RESUME - FOR ARTISTS - The Artist Resume is typically 1-4 pages long and is a summary typically used for approaches to commercial galleries, the search for exhibition opportunities, and certain grant applications.
THE BIOGRAPHY - FOR ARTISTS - usually relates to the wider context of your life in general

It also provides links to my other business websites for artists in Business Perspectives for the business-like Artist

Links: How to write an Artist's Résumé or CV

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Copyright infringement - why Courts make people pay

If you infringe copyright you can be liable for financial damages relating to:
  • the financial benefit you derived through the use of the images
  • the financial benefit lost by the copyright owners (e.g. licensing fees) 
  • a penalty for the abuse of copyright
This blog post Court Awards Maximum Statutory Damages for Copyright Infringement (on PhotoAttorney) sets out what happened in a recent case relating to Getty Images in which the latter were awarded maximum damages of £300,000.

It appears wilful disregard for "cease and desist" notices relating to images can now result in some very big penalties!

Penalties in the case under discussion:
The court awarded $21,433.00 in actual damages for defendants’ infringing ten images that were not timely registered. After an evidentiary hearing, the court also awarded Getty $300,000.00 for the defendants’ willful infringement of two images.
The post highlights that:
The court looked at four factors to determine the appropriate amount of statutory damages:
(1) the infringer’s profits and expenses saved because of the infringement;
(2) the plaintiff’s lost revenues;
(3) the strong public interest in ensuring the integrity of copyright laws; and
(4) whether the infringer acted willfully.
While the first two factors did not support an award for maximum damages, the last two did.
The rationale for the financial award made in favour of Getting Images is explained in the judgement and Court's Order.

So if you want your photographic images licensed and protected Getty Images seems like a good place to be!

This is their Contributor site. This page indicates what they're looking for in images

Now we just need a "terrier" version for artwork....

Thanks to:

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Review and video of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition 2014

This is a video pan around the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition at the Mall Galleries courtesy of the new mini iPad which is not great quality because I forgot to switch on the HDV! I don't think the video likes to move too much - I need to stick to my more sophisticated equipment for "walking around exhibition" videos!

However if viewed with the images which you can see on the competition website you can get a much better sense of the work selected for the exhibition.

You can get an even better sense if you get down to the gallery - this is the last day of the exhibition!

This is the wall devoted to the Prizewinners as per my earlier blog post Catherine Davison wins £15,000 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2014.  Her painting concludes the video above and is in the centre below.

The Prizewinners and Runners Up
(click for a larger image)

The catalogue has some advice for prospective entrants. Steve Pill, the Editor of Artists and Illustrators makes the following observation which is worth quoting (and I've bullet pointed the key points)
A few practical tips to finish. Each judging panel will be different but several common criticisms arose during the process that i think might benefit future potential entrants to (and other art prizes) in the future.
  • Firstly, consider each section of a composition before you begin and know what you want from every corner. Unresolved areas will quickly detract from an otherwise skilfully painted picture
  • Secondly, make sure your colour choices are equally purposeful and considered. bright hues will always draw the eye so use them sparingly for maximum impact.
  • And finally, avoid paying too close attention to the works that have been shortlisted for a competition in the past. The temptation is to submit paintings on a similar theme or subject to those that have been successful before, but as this year's exhibition demonstrates, there is always space on the walls for fresh ideas and new perspectives.

Things that I thought as I walked round:
  • I do wish the online exhibition a better sense of size as well as the dimensions - I was disappointed by the size of some works.  Others I thought better of having seen their size in real life.  Maybe an alternative view which factored in you were standing three feet in front of it?
  • There's fewer drawings this year compared to previous years - or am I imagining this? Maybe people don't put drawings in if they think it's a prize about paintings?
  • Instead what we seemed to be seeing was more drawing within paintings - including the prizewinner
The central section of The Craggs at Dawn (from Carlton Hill) by Catherine Davison
- showing drawing within painting and the many layered mark-making within her painting
winner of the First Prize in the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Competition 2014
oil on board, £3,500
(top) Amongst the plants at Kew Gardens by Kathryn Maple, watercolour £1,200
(bottom) Marylebone I by Debbie Ayles Watercolour and acrylic on paper £850
(last time I saw her work it was winning prizes at the Bankside Gallery)
  • Plus drawings which are very painterly such as Jeanette Barnes charcoal drawing of Grand Central Station (which will be appearing in my book) and Graham Flack's portrait using charcoal on canvas. 
Interior of Grand Central Station, New York by Jeanette Barnes
Charcoal, 118cm x 154cm, £3,600
  • There were some very impressive watercolour paintings - by Paul Banning, Gordon McDowell, Stuart Robertson and Robbie Wraith
(top) Richard's workshop by Paul Banning, watercolour £3,000
(bottom) Varanasi I by Stuart Robertson RWS, watercolour £2,950
  • As usual, I saw names I'm familiar with from art competitions but not so many artists I'm used to seeing in art society exhibitions. Honourable exceptions to the latter are artists like Paul Banning, Peter Brown, Patricia Cain, David Cobley, Patrick Cullen, Peter Kelley, Melissa Scott Miller, Robbie Wraith and Neale Worley. Is this a problem of supply - or demand?
  • That said NEAC did seem to have rather more represented than others!
  • The paintings I'd love to hang on my wall any day of the week are by an LPS regular - Eileen Hogan.  PS I had no idea until I came to write this post that I had yet again spotted the most expensive painting in the room.
UL328, FH172, and FR59 by Eileen Hogan, oil on panel £20,000
I love this quote on her website
Light and shade have always been important features of my work, particularly shadows and the geometry of shadow patterns. Shadows hide and reveal; they break up space and simultaneously make it understandable, yet elusive. Drawing and re-drawing patterns, leaving echoes of what was there before, creates an ambiguity. It’s clear that they are there, but hard to decide if they let you see more or less.— Eileen Hogan, The Water Colour Expert Cassell, 2004

Friday, March 21, 2014

Stunning sculpture in Transcending Boundaries

If you'd like to see some absolutely fabulous sculpture, get down to the Mall Galleries and visit the Transcending Boundaries Exhibition 2014. It's an exhibition of contemporary art by leading West African artists - and the sculpture is just stunning. The exhibition closes on 22 March at 3pm.

The artist I'd like to single out is Bunmi Babatunde - absolutely amazing work. So simple and so full of movement at the same time.

Possibilities V by Bunmi BabatundeFibreglass
This one really needed a white wall behind it.

Paddler by Bunmi Babatunde
Ebony Wood
Bata Dancer by Bunmi Babatunde
Other very good sculptures I saw were by Reuben Ugbine and Fidelis Odogwu. Both had very distinctive styles and produced sculpture with presence and impact.

Sculpture by Reuben Ugbine, Bunmi Babatunde and Fidelis Odogwu

I also liked the colours in the painting by Sam Ovraiti, a prominent Nigerian artist who has an obvious fascination with colour.

The Colour and Spirit of Dance (crop) by Sam Ovraiti

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Simon Weston portrait unveiled at National Portrait Gallery

Simon Weston by Nicky Philipps was unveiled in the Balcony Gallery at the National Portrait Gallery this morning. It's the first joint commission by the BBC and the National Portrait Gallery . It also represents a major step forward in terms of the representation of people who have experienced facial disfigurement in the permanent collection of the Gallery.

The portrait is the result of a poll to find the individual who should be honoured with the "People's Portrait". 12 candidates were identified ( see end )and then the great British public - or at least those watching the One Show on BBC1 - got to vote for the person they thought should be honoured with a portrait. 

The winner was Simon Weston, the Falklands veteran who suffered 46% burns to his body when the Sir Galahad when it was destroyed at Bluff Cove in the Falklands Islands in 1982.
Simon Weston was born in Caerphilly and joined the Welsh Guards in 1978, aged sixteen. In 1982 he was aboard RFA (Royal Fleet Auxiliary) Sir Galahad in Port Pleasant in the Falkland Islands when it came under fire during the Bluff Cove air attacks. Of his platoon, 22 members lost their lives, and Weston suffered 46% burns to his body and face. He underwent more than 70 operations to reconstruct his face, and credits his family and old regiment with helping him overcome extreme psychological trauma. He became a popular media personality, and is a writer and patron of a number of charities supporting people living with disfigurements, including the Healing Foundation.
The framer, the sitter (Simon Weston), the portrait painter (Nicky Phillips)
and the BBC reporter/presenter (Fiona Bruce)
The process of painting the portrait - from commission to unveiling - is also the subject of a BBC behind-the-scenes documentary presented by Fiona Bruce. This hour long programme will be broadcast on Sunday 13th April. As the artist told me this morning, she wasn't allowed to touch the canvas unless the cameras were rolling!  she also commented that painting to a BBC deadline was a novel experience.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How to photograph your artwork

How To Photograph Your Work is a document produced by the Royal Academy of Arts as advice to artists submitting work for the digital entry to this year's Summer Exhibition.

It's the best summary I know of what to do to get a good result when photographing artwork.  Apart from the fact that they omit to say what to do with paper that comes out looking grey (which actually means the work was not well lit).

I ran off a copy last night as a reminder to myself as I need to do some photography of artwork which is too big to scan.

P.S. All artists whose work has passed the first round of selection for the Summer Exhibition 2014 and will now be judged in person should have been notified of where and when to take their work in an email on 17 March 2014.

P.P.S. You might be interested in my past blog posts re. how to stop paper looking grey

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Catherine Davison wins £15,000 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2014

Scottish artist Catherine Davison has won the 9th Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize with a stunning painting of Edinburgh.  I first saw her watercolour paintings of Edinburgh in the exhibition for the 2012 Sunday Times Watercolour Competition. I commented in my review (which includes her painting of the exact same view in pen and ink and watercolour)
Being a big fan of "views" paintings and the use of pen and ink I absolutely loved the two paintings by Catharine Davison whose work I've never seen before. I'm going to be taking a long slow wander around her website.
Winner of the Lynn Painter-Stainer Prize - First Prize (£15,000 and engraved Gold Medal) 
The Craggs at Dawn (from Carlton Hill)
Catherine Davison
Winner of the Young Artist Award
by Charlie Schaffer

Other prizewinners

The competition encourages creative representational painting and promotes the skill of draftsmanship.

The Young Artist Award of £2,500 has been awarded to University of Brighton student, Charlie Schaffer, for his work, Antonio.

Five Runner-up prizes of £1,500 each were awarded to:

The exhibition

The 2014 exhibition can be seen at the Mall Galleries this week until Sunday 22nd March.  I'm not sure when I'm getting to it but having seen the images of selected works online I'm definitely going to pay a visit - book or no book! (TIP: Such is the power of the online virtual exhibition - it actually generates traffic if you've got a good selection!)

The exhibition comprises of 85 drawings and paintings  by 78 artists.

Now in its ninth year, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize is a

I don't know what they did to the selection of judges this year but they've come up trumps with an excellent selection! The judges were:
  • Peter ClossickArtist; 
  • Ken Howard OBE RA NEACArtist
  • Paul NewlandArtist
  • Steve Pill, Editor Artists and Illustrators magazine; 
  • and Andrew WiltonVisiting Research Fellow at Tate Britain.
2014 selector, Steve Pill shares his thoughts on the selection of the exhibition
I was keen to try and view each work from the perspective of a wider audience. The two stated aims of the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize are to encourage creative representational painting and promote the skill of draughtsmanship, so I often asked myself: would we be fulfilling that promise by including this work? Would a visitor expecting these qualities be truly satisfied by every painting we chose? I hope you’ll agree that we have stayed true to those principles and selected a collection of work that really celebrates the vitality, diversity and skill of contemporary representational painting in the UK today.

Selected Artists

The selected artists are as follows (I'll try and get back and add in the links from their names to their websites over the course of this week on "book breaks")
Interior of Grand Central Station - New York
Charcoal, 118 x 154cm £3,600
Jeanette Barnes

  • Peter Archer
  • Debbie Ayles
  • Louise Balaam NEAC RWA
  • Paul Banning
  • Jeanette Barnes
  • Edward Beale
  • Timothy Betjeman
  • James Bland
  • Rupert W Brooks
  • Peter Brown
  • John Cahill
  • Patricia Cain NEAC PS RGI PhD
  • David Caldwell
  • Samantha Cary
  • Rosalind Chapman
  • David Cobley RP RWA NEAC
  • Annabel Cullen
  • Patrick Cullen
  • Catharine Davison
  • Kerry Fairclough
  • Graham Flack MFA
  • Peter Fleming
  • Laura Footes
  • Tim Goffe
  • Naomi Grant
  • Joyce Gunn Cairns
  • Frances Gynn
  • John Hainsworth
  • Ian Hargreaves
  • Frances Hatch
  • Emma Haworth
  • Chrissy Hazell
  • Julie Held
  • Eileen Hogan
  • Benjamin Hope
  • Tom Hughes
  • Timothy Hyman
  • Peter Kelly NEAC RBA
  • Yuichiro Kikuma
  • Charlotte Knox
  • Henry Kondracki
  • Karen Laird
  • Mark Lawrence
  • Susan Ligget
  • Jason Line
  • Kathryn Maple
  • Gordon McDowall
  • Andrew McIntosh
  • Paul McLoughlin
  • Christopher Miers RBA
  • Sarah Jane Moon
  • Bridget Moore
  • Alexander Pemberton
  • Cherry Pickles
  • David Piddock
  • Amelia Power
  • Colleen Quill
  • Stuart Robertson RWS
  • Keith Robinson
  • Alex Rooney
  • Serena Rowe
  • George Rowlett
  • Charlie Schaffer
  • Melissa Scott-Miller
  • Jenny Smith
  • Sarah Spencer NEAC
  • David Statter
  • A Lincoln Taber
  • David Tebbs
  • Stephanie Theobald
  • Simon Turvey
  • David Weekes
  • Alan Welsford
  • Charles Williams
  • Neale Worley
  • Robbie Wraith
  • Craig Wylie
  • Dawei Zhang

Monday, March 17, 2014

RCA Secret 2014

On Saturday 22nd March 2014, you have the opportunity to buy an artwork by somebody famous - and support a good cause at the same time.

The exhibition for RCA Secret 2014 has opened at the Royal College of Art in Battersea and its famous sale with occur next Saturday where all works of art are for sale for £50.

Its aim is to help emerging RCA students become better known and to generate funds for the Royal College of Art Fine Art Student Award Fund.

The fascinating aspect of this exhibition is that you don't know who made a piece of art until you've bought it - because they're signed on the back. You have a chance to buy an artwork by a famous artist - typically ones who were once RCA students also!

One of the pages for the online exhibition of the postcard sized works for sale on Saturday at RCA Secret.
Stewarts Law RCA Secret is an exhibition and sale of original postcard-sized artworks, by internationally acclaimed artists plus up-and coming graduates from the Royal College of Art. It's your chance to get your hands on original works of art for a tiny price.

This year's exhibition contains 2900 works by 1124 artists. The impressive lineup includes generous contributions from Yinka Shonibare, Jeremy Deller, Paula Rego, Quentin Blake, David Bailey and Grayson Perry, musician Jarvis Cocker, architect Zaha Hadid, fashion designers Sir Paul Smith and, head of Burberry, Christopher Bailey.
These are the artists who are exhibiting postcard sized artwork.  Other names I spotted in the list of artists include: Glen Baxter, Quentin Blake, Stephen Farthing and David Nash as well as a few FBA stalwarts such as Jeremy Deller and William Packer.

The exhibition is open until Friday 21 March 2014, 11am-6pm daily (late opening until 9pm on 20 March only).

You can also view the artwork on sale without visiting the exhibition. There are 58 pages on the website for the 2,900 postcards sized works of art.

The sale is on Saturday 22 March 2014, 8am-6pm.  You can buy a maximum of four postcards but you can't just turn up and buy You must have a Collector's Number to be able to buy a card at this year's RCA Secret - so if you're interested register HERE to get one.  Then you have to queue!
RCA Secret works on a first come first served basis and inspires early bird devotion from a large fan base. It's not hyperbole to say the queue will begin in earnest from about 5am and continue growing until doors open at 8am.
Read the FAQs page for all the tips on how to buy and how to make sure you avoid a frustrating day out!

The venue is the Royal College of Art | Dyson Building, 1 Hester Road, London SW11 4AN. Admission Free

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The John Ruskin Prize 2014 - call for entries

Apologies for having missed the Call for Entries for The John Ruskin Prize 2014 - but you've still got time to enter. The closing date is 7th April 2014.
I would rather teach drawing that my pupils may learn to love nature, than teach the looking at nature that they may learn to draw.
John Ruskin
Carol Wyss was the first winner of The Ruskin Prize in 2012.

Winner of the John Ruskin Prize 2012 - a new look at Nature
Carol Wyss, Butterfly Bush (flowers made up of human bones), etching, 116cm x 80cm
Carol Wyss, Greater Knapweed (flowers made up of human bones), etching, 116cm x 80cm 

Theme of the Competition in 2014

The theme is Recording Britain Now. Artists are invited to
present fresh, contemporary visions of their urban, rural or social environment.

Who can enter

The John Ruskin Prize is open to anyone over 18, resident or domiciled in the UK.

What's the Prize?

The first prize comprises:
  • a cash prize of £1000
  • an opportunity to exhibit in Recording Britain NOW, the exhibition of short-listed John Ruskin Prize artists in the Millennium Gallery Sheffield, at the Millennium Gallery Sheffield (28 June – 12 October 2014) alongside the V&A's major touring exhibition  Recording Britain 
Recording Britain Now will see artists present fresh, contemporary visions of their urban, rural or social environment. The exhibition of finalists’ works goes on show alongside the major V&A touring exhibition Recording Britain, which chronicles the changing face of the nation during the Second World War.
Fifteen Runners-up will also have their work exhibited in the Recording Britain Now exhibition

How to enter the competition

  • Number of artworks: You may submit up to 3 digital images of artworks.
  • Eligible artwork
    • Drawings, paintings, watercolours, prints, textiles, digital art and mixed media ONLY
    • Photographs, sculpture, sound installations and film are NOT eligible.
    • All work submitted must be available for inclusion in the Millennium Gallery Sheffield exhibition, Recording Britain Now, 28 June-10 October 2014.
    • All work must be for sale.
  • Type and dimensions of artwork: Artworks must be capable of being wall-mounted and not exceed 2.5 metres in any direction.
  • Images for Entry: Images of the artwork (one for each artwork) should be sent as jpg files (maximum size: 2MB). The jury will view them projected at a resolution of 1024 x 768px. 
  • Deadline for entries: Entries must be received: 
    • at: The John Ruskin Prize, Campaign for Drawing, 7 Gentleman's Row, Enfield, EN2 6PT
    • by: the deadline of 5pm on 7 April 2014

How to submit entries 

Entry Fees & Forms

How to submit

Send photographs/digital images of your artwork either by:
  • EITHER pay online via Big Draw Shop and email your submission to - having attached images to the online entry form plus confirmation of payment.
  • OR Post a CD, USB stick or photographic prints + completed entry form + cheque for entry fees to John Ruskin Prize, Campaign for Drawing, 7 Gentleman's Row, EN2 6PT. Include your name and title of your artworks.
All enquiries to | Tel: 0208 351 1719

Key dates

  • Submission deadline: 7 April 2014
  • Shortlist announced: 30 April 2014
  • Winner announced: 27 June 2014
  • Recording Britain NOW exhibition: 28 June – 12 October 2014

Who are the judges?

The Selection Panel comprises:
  • Sue Grayson Ford, Director, Campaign for Drawing
  • Laura Oldfield Ford - Artist,
  • Kirstie Hamilton - Museums Sheffield, 
  • Gill Saunders - Senior Curator of Prints V&A,
  • Clive Wilmer, Master, The Guild of St George
Applicants will be notified of the outcome by email.

The names of the 15 short-listed artists will be announced on the Campaign for Drawing website no later than 1 May 2014.

Transport to/from Exhibition Venue & Sales

Short-listed artists will be responsible for framing, packing and transporting work to Millennium Gallery Sheffield between 9 -16 June and collecting unsold work by 28 October 2014.

The gallery will take 30% commission on any sales. 

For information - selected artists 2012

The artists shortlisted in 2012 were as follows

For information: John Ruskin

You can find out more about John Ruskin in my blog post New website: John Ruskin and The Elements of Drawing

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Has your artwork been scraped?

Google would like to know if:
  • your website or blog has been scraped of content (something that afflicts a lot of artists whose content is stolen)
  • the site that scraped your content now ranks higher than your site in Google (for the relevant keywords)
There's obviously some new initiative to improve the quality of responses to search queries and the algorithm which ranks websites and blogs. My guess is they're seeking to eliminate or de-index the worst offenders!

Google also got a brand new form where you can report when scraping your content has happened
Google Scraper Report

Another good way of tackling those who scrape content is to put your blog on a short feed. That way they can only ever scrape the feed.

Friday, March 14, 2014

The Royal Academy of Arts has a new website

The Royal Academy of Art has a BRAND NEW website - designed for the age of the mobile internet and the digital handheld device.

Check it out here
The new site... is the first stage of an ambitious project to open up the Academy and provide new ways of engaging with art and artists online.
I have to say I'm very impressed as I scrolled down - very easy to see what's on offer in its online magazine format.

Mini iPad compatibility

It looks wonderful - big enough and small enough! I'm getting four columns across in landscape format and all are easy to read in terms of headings, sub-heads and text

"Need to know" information

The top menu takes care of the "need to know" visits to the website.

There are some issues here eg the artists page on my iPad shows images of the artists - but they now have no names.  It could be this is a bid to get people to explore, but I can see it would be very frustrating if you just wanted to find a specific artist.  Finding a specific artist now depends on knowing their name and spelling correctly.

On the other hand I put David into the search field and all the RAs called david came up immediately - complete with proper name and link to their page.


The only problem I've spotted so far is they need to get their act together on creating Facebook compatible images ie the ones which get served up to Facebook via the feed for the site.  It's really not making the most of the way Facebook likes images.

What it looks like

The image on the right gives you a bit of a taster of what it looks like.  This is as much as I could fit in by reducing the website in size.

I think they need to be careful not to get too image happy and remember words are still quite critical for some people!


The RA are interested in your thoughts about their new directions in terms of digital strategy and want your feedback
You can read more of the thinking behind our new site and our future digital plans on our new blog, and if you’d like any more information about this please let us know.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Making A Mark achieves 2.5 million visits

Some time early this morning Making A Mark received its 2.5 millionth unique visit.

Making A Mark - Unique Visit Statistics as at 13th March 2013
- the day of the 2.5 millionth unique visit

This is the trend in traffic for "Unique Visits" since 2006. "Unique Visits" is the total of the returning visits and first time visits.

The person who visited definitely came from one of these countries which, according to Statcounter, all generated visits in the last 24 hours......

710 Hits31.31%United KingdomUnited Kingdom Flag
665 Hits29.32%United StatesUnited States Flag
142 Hits6.26%CanadaCanada Flag
98 Hits4.32%AustraliaAustralia Flag
67 Hits2.95%IrelandIreland Flag
45 Hits1.98%IndiaIndia Flag
35 Hits1.54%ItalyItaly Flag
30 Hits1.32%FranceFrance Flag
29 Hits1.28%GermanyGermany Flag
26 Hits1.15%ChileChile Flag
24 Hits1.06%SpainSpain Flag
22 Hits0.97%Czech RepublicCzech Republic Flag
19 Hits0.84%JapanJapan Flag
18 Hits0.79%New ZealandNew Zealand Flag
17 Hits0.75%NetherlandsNetherlands Flag
17 Hits0.75%BrazilBrazil Flag
15 Hits0.66%PakistanPakistan Flag
14 Hits0.62%Russian FederationRussian Federation Flag
13 Hits0.57%South AfricaSouth Africa Flag
13 Hits0.57%RomaniaRomania Flag
12 Hits0.53%PhilippinesPhilippines Flag
12 Hits0.53%SingaporeSingapore Flag
12 Hits0.53%BelgiumBelgium Flag
11 Hits0.49%VietnamVietnam Flag
10 Hits0.44%GreeceGreece Flag
8 Hits0.35%SlovakiaSlovakia Flag
8 Hits0.35%MexicoMexico Flag
8 Hits0.35%BulgariaBulgaria Flag
8 Hits0.35%SwitzerlandSwitzerland Flag
7 Hits0.31%PolandPoland Flag
6 Hits0.26%ArgentinaArgentina Flag
6 Hits0.26%PortugalPortugal Flag
6 Hits0.26%United Arab EmiratesUnited Arab Emirates Flag
6 Hits0.26%IndonesiaIndonesia Flag
6 Hits0.26%MalaysiaMalaysia Flag
6 Hits0.26%AlgeriaAlgeria Flag
6 Hits0.26%TurkeyTurkey Flag
6 Hits0.26%SwedenSweden Flag
6 Hits0.26%Cayman IslandsCayman Islands Flag
5 Hits0.22%PeruPeru Flag
5 Hits0.22%Hong KongHong Kong Flag
5 Hits0.22%ThailandThailand Flag
5 Hits0.22%FinlandFinland Flag
5 Hits0.22%DenmarkDenmark Flag
4 Hits0.18%EstoniaEstonia Flag
4 Hits0.18%NorwayNorway Flag
3 Hits0.13%MoroccoMorocco Flag
3 Hits0.13%SloveniaSlovenia Flag
3 Hits0.13%NamibiaNamibia Flag
3 Hits0.13%EcuadorEcuador Flag
3 Hits0.13%HungaryHungary Flag
3 Hits0.13%SerbiaSerbia Flag
3 Hits0.13%CroatiaCroatia Flag
2 Hits0.09%Trinidad And TobagoTrinidad And Tobago Flag
2 Hits0.09%GeorgiaGeorgia Flag
2 Hits0.09%MauritiusMauritius Flag
2 Hits0.09%VenezuelaVenezuela Flag
2 Hits0.09%Korea, Republic OfKorea, Republic Of Flag
2 Hits0.09%Isle Of ManIsle Of Man Flag
2 Hits0.09%UkraineUkraine Flag
2 Hits0.09%IsraelIsrael Flag
2 Hits0.09%MaltaMalta Flag
2 Hits0.09%QatarQatar Flag
2 Hits0.09%LebanonLebanon Flag
2 Hits0.09%JordanJordan Flag
2 Hits0.09%Sri LankaSri Lanka Flag
2 Hits0.09%BermudaBermuda Flag
1 Hit0.04%BotswanaBotswana Flag
1 Hit0.04%ArubaAruba Flag
1 Hit0.04%ArmeniaArmenia Flag
1 Hit0.04%KazakhstanKazakhstan Flag
1 Hit0.04%MaldivesMaldives Flag
1 Hit0.04%KenyaKenya Flag
1 Hit0.04%CambodiaCambodia Flag
1 Hit0.04%CyprusCyprus Flag
1 Hit0.04%ZambiaZambia Flag
1 Hit0.04%BelarusBelarus Flag
1 Hit0.04%Asia/pacific RegionAsia/pacific Region Flag
1 Hit0.04%BahrainBahrain Flag
1 Hit0.04%LibyaLibya Flag
1 Hit0.04%EgyptEgypt Flag
1 Hit0.04%AzerbaijanAzerbaijan Flag
1 Hit0.04%TunisiaTunisia Flag
1 Hit0.04%GuatemalaGuatemala Flag

Given Making A Mark notched up 2 million visits on 7 April last year it looks as if the trend of continuing to generate at least half a million visits a year continues.

I don't have the time right now to analyse the most popular posts during that time (as I did last year) but will save that for a future post.

Now back to the book!

PS If you'd like to subscribe and find out why so many people keep visiting this art blog the links to different ways to subscribe are in the right hand column - towards the top