Sunday, May 04, 2014

4 May 2014 - Who's made a mark?

Society of Botanical Artists Exhibition Invitation
Society of Botanical Artists Exhibition Invitation

I'm back "on the book" this month - we're now at the editing / design / layout stage and refinement re images.  For those involved I may be getting back to you!

As before this post is a recap of:
  • recent posts on this blog
  • things I've seen and highlighted on my Facebook Page. Many thanks to all those who have 'liked' my Facebook Page in the last two weeks. It took me nearly 6 years to get to 2,000 likes and under two weeks to collect another 200! :)
  • other items I've seen and bookmarked to include in this post - and there's a heavy emphasis on art exhibitions this week.

Art blogs


Say 'Hello' to Andy Wood - the brand NEW President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour. Andy was previously the Secretary of the RI. He's one of a very few painters in watercolour to have broken into and become acclaimed within the Chinese watercolour painting community.  Last year Andy was one of the judges of the Shenzhen International Watercolor Biennial in 2013 (Facebook Page)

For those wondering whether a change in President means any change to the scope and style of paintings favoured by the RI, my guess is Andy would say that's up to the selection panel.  However, below I've included my photo of some of his paintings - as exhibited in the recent annual exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour.

Watercolour Paintings by Andy Wood PRI

Joanna Trollope, Author (left)
presenting Suzanne du Toit (right)
with the BP Portrait Prize 2013
Suzanne du Toit, winner of the BP Portrait Award 2013, has written an article for the BBC on her Top 10 tips for being an artist.

It proved very popular when I posted it on Facebook so if you missed it there why not take a look?

Botanical Art

Collage Art

Drawing and sketching 

In general, Gerald draws on thick cartridge paper which is approximately 83cm x 60cm (34 x 24 inches), although some drawings are smaller. He mainly works in pen and black ink, adding water colour later. - See more at:



  • Congratulations to David Lawton (Facebook) has been told he's qualified for membership of the Hilliard Society based on the quality of his work alone. David now needs to get himself a website (hint!)


Street Art 

All good fun. Sadly it has nothing to do with art. Banksy is a cultural phenomenon but not an artistic one.

Art Business & Marketing 

Art Competitions

Recent posts have provided an overview of the Call for Entries to a couple of prestigious exhibitions in the UK
Part of the Sunday Times Watercolour Exhibition 2013 at the Mall Galleries

Art Exhibitions

All those planning to come to London and use a tube to see an exhibition in the near future need to keep an eye on the Transport for London website and updates re. the planned industrial action during this next week (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday).  This is the OFFICIAL ADVICE FROM TFL

Major Art Galleries and Museums - London

Other galleries in the UK

  • "David Hockney: The Arrival of Spring" (8 May–12 July 2014) opens this week at Annely Juda Fine Art - and I'm going to the preview on Tuesday (fingers crossed for a tube running that goes somewhere near the gallery!!) However the link in the exhibition title takes you to where you can now see the artwork created from iPad drawings which will be in the exhibition. However you need to go to the gallery to see the videos.

Major Art Galleries and Museums - USA

  • John James Audubon: Life-Sized and Larger than Life is a totally fascinating (and highly recommended) 90 minute video/lecture about Audubon as an artist, a bird lover (and mass murderer of birds) and an embodiment of a conservation movement - by Ben Weiss, the curator of the exhibition and Chair, Prints, Drawings and Photographs. It will also interest those who want to know how portfolios of prints used to be produced - and those who like bird puns!  I had no idea "double elephant" as a paper size was invented to describe the size of paper used to produce the 3 foot high volumes of The Birds of America.
As author and illustrator of The Birds of America, John James Audubon (1785–1851) traveled thousands of miles throughout the eastern United States and Canada to seek out and draw North American birds in their natural habitats. This monumental work by the naturalist and painter includes more than 700 species and features more than 400 hand-colored prints, often showing the birds at life size. Produced in England and issued in a limited edition between 1827 and 1838 (sold in installments by subscription), only about 120 complete copies exist today. 
  • The National Gallery of Art in Washington has two exhibitions of note
    • Albrecht Dürer: Master Drawings, Watercolors, and Prints from the Albertina March 24–June 9, 2013
    • Andrew Wyeth: Looking Out, Looking In May 4 – November 30, 2014 The exhibition is to celebrate a recent gift of Wyeth’s "Wind from the Sea" (1947)—one of the artist’s most important paintings—the National Gallery of Art.  It's not therefore surprising that the exhibition focuses on Wyeth’s frequent use of the window as the subject of his art. It comprises some 60 watercolors, drawings, and tempera paintings completed after "Wind from the Sea". The curator suggests that this is Wyeth’s first fully realized exploration of the theme.

Major Art Galleries and Museums - Europe

  • You have until 29th June to see some great masterpieces by Albrecht Dürer at the Albertina in Vienna. The big surprise for me - as revealed by this film - is how small they are!

Art Societies - UK

  • The Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters (Facebook Page) opens on 8th May (PV on the 7th) at the Mall Galleries. Note that of their various events during the course of the exhibition:
    • Portrait Drawing from Life with Saied Dai is sold out
    • There's a growing lobby amongst portrait artists for the RP to copy the Portrait Society of America and to put all their events into one big weekend and do a proper "magnet" event that people will travel to and arrange to stay over in London for.  That way it's a lot easier to justify the travel expenses and you get a better return for any hotel costs incurred. 
Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2014
Catalogue for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2014

  • Botanical Garden - the Annual Exhibition 2014 of the Society of Botanical Artists opens next week at Central Hall Westminster on Friday 9th May. The digital invite at the top of this post gives you details of the venue and times and free entry any day of the exhibition.  The Private View is on the 8th and I'm very much looking forward to meeting up with friends from all over the UK and Ireland. (Please can the TfL strike be resolved before the 8th!). Demonstrations include
    • Friday, 9 May Simon Williams SBA Gouache 
    • Saturday, 10 May Roger Reynolds SBA Watercolour pencils
    • Sunday, 11 May Amber Halsall SBA Acrylic inks/coloured pencils
    • Monday, 12 May Billy Showell SBA Watercolour
    • Tuesday, 13 May Gaynor Dickeson SBA Coloured pencils
    • Wednesday, 14 May Margaret Eggleton SBA Watercolour/gouache
    • Thursday, 15 May Jill Winch SBA Graphite/pen and wash
    • Friday, 16 May Sue J Williams SBA Watercolour
    • Saturday, 17 May Maureen Jordan SBA Pastels
    • Sunday, 18 May Ann Swan SBA Coloured pencils
  • The Annual Exhibition of the Hilliard Society (for miniature art) opens to the public at the Town Hall, Wells, Somerset on 24th May and continues until 1st June.
    • Buyers Private View is on May 23rd 3pm - 6pm (Please contact the office if you would like an invitation).
    • You will be able to see an online exhibition of the artwork in the show from Saturday 24th May. Artwork will be available for purchase via their website from June 3rd.
  • The Annual Exhibition of the UK Coloured Pencil Society opened last week at the RBSA Gallery, 4 Brook Street, Birmingham, B3 1SA and continues until 10th May 2014. You can see a slideshow of the artwork in the exhibition online.
  • Cardigan Art Society 2014 Summer Show is at Oriel Mwldan, Cardigan, Ceredigion Saturday 24 May - Saturday 21 June. It opens with a reception on Friday 23 May from 6.30 - 8pm.  Interestingly the Society has two Facebook Pages - one for generally promoting the artwork, exhibitions and activities of the Society - which is public and a "closed" Facebook Group for Members Only. Sounds very sensible to me.
If you have an art society annual exhibition in the UK and would like to raise its profile I'm happy to give a link to it subject to the art society having a proper website and a proper page for the exhibition which includes all relevant details.

Art Societies - Ireland

Art Societies USA

Portrait Society of America - Facebook Page

Art History

Art Holidays / Workshops

Art Studios

Don't forget, there's a Making A Mark Award each year for the best new or most improved art studio!
  • here's an update on the long-running saga of the botanical art studio shed - as the water goes in Water, Water Everywhere

Art Supplies

  • Unison Colour - who produce the best soft pastels (according to the polls I run) have got themselves a brand new website! It's got some great pics of both pastels and Northumberland - home of Unison Pastels


Last weekend I wrote a couple of posts which aroused a lot of interest.  Hardly surprising given the way our Facebook feeds for the all the sites we liked seemed to disappear overnight!

and finally......

Jonathan Jones continues his "top 10 series" (or is that his "how to get lots of clicks on my blog" series?). He's now done the The top 10 artworks of the 20th century which include:
  • 8 artworks from the first two decades and 
  • just one from the second half century!!!
While I wouldn't disagree with some in the list I obviously don't subscribe to his views about what makes for good art - or his notions about what a top 10 list covering a period of 100 years ought to look like! How about you?

Anyway, here's his list and you can read the reasons why he chose them in his article.

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