Monday, July 28, 2014

28 July 2014 - Who's made a mark?

I've had three weeks off from blogging.

  • The first week was because I had a bit of a shock health wise, ended up in hospital facing a battery of tests and decided to take it easy for a few days.
  • Followed by finishing up the final layouts for the book - which was rather more difficult than I'd been expecting.
  • Then I decided I needed a week off. I fitted in some long walks plus some drawing and sketching but a lot of it was taken up with trying to put things back where they were supposed to be "after the book" - and a surprise flood.

Throughout I managed to post a few things to Facebook so this is going to be an update for those who don't follow me on Facebook - plus a few extras in terms of blog posts by me.

Two charcoal drawings by Maggie Hargreaves

Winner of The John Ruskin Prize 2014
(see Art Competitions below)

Artists and Art Blogs

Artists Passing on

  • David Prentice died on May 7th this year. He painted some sublime landscape paintings. An exhibition of his paintings of the Malverns "A Last Look at the Malverns" could be recently seen at the John Davies Gallery. Unsurprisingly it was a virtual sell out. However you can see the exhibition catalogue online This was his obituary in The Guardian
The cover of A Last Look at the Malverns by David Prentice (1936-2014)
courtesy of John Davies Gallery, Moreton in the Marsh
  • Inbetween everything else I've been doing my forms for the Florum exhibition in Kent in September. I was very sad to hear of the recent death of one of the regular exhibitors Wendy Cranston FSBA SWA. I have admired and loved her wonderful gouache paintings of fruit, vegetables and flowers for some years. This post Review: Florum 2012 includes a great view of six of her paintings in the Florum exhibition in 2012. 
  • Botanical artwork in gouache by the late Wendy Cranston

Art History

Botanical Art


  • What is drawing? Does this mesh with your definition of what is drawing?  This is an article with images by the Victoria and Albert Museum
The term drawing is applied to works that vary greatly in technique. It has been understood in different ways at different times and is difficult to define.
drawing has creative, expressive and educational value; it remains fundamental to translating and analysing the world
  • I'm a speaker on a panel at Draw In! a weekend symposium to celebrate the value of drawing at the Belfast School of Art on 30th August. See for more details.


Art Business & Marketing

art fairs



  • Beware the company that snaffles images without permission from a well connected artist like Ester Roi or any artist who has a lot of friends on Facebook.  This Malysian company later paid up when presented with an invoice. So the moral of the story is don't just accept that your artwork might be copied and used elsewhere - send an invoice!
I’m very pleased to announce that I have reached a satisfactory settlement with CP Stationery, the company that used three of my images on their products without permission. They apologized profusely and were quick to send the agreed payment.
This victory would not have been possible without the massive intervention from so many of you. If anybody still doubts the power of social media, this case can provide a strong argument. Thank you for your amazing support and for taking the time to express your outrage here, on your page, and on the company’s page. (Ester Roi - Facebook Page)

websites and social media

  • On 8th August 2014 I'm doing a session on how to get your artwork online and make the most of social media as part of an all-day "techie stuff for artists" workshop at the Mall Galleries. I gather the workshop is now booked up - but if you fancy the idea of How to photograph your work and get it online (topic covered by other speakers include how to photograph your art and copyright for artists) be sure to let the Mall Galleries know!

Art Competitions

Art Fund Prize for Museum of the Year

BP Portrait Award 2014 Exhibition

I did a lot of video interviews this year - as did the people running this major portrait competition in the UK!  Portraits by 55 artists were selected from some 2,300 entries.

The face of Man with a Plaid Blanket by Thomas Ganter
BP Portrait Award 2014 Exhibition 

BP Travel Award

I've got two posts on the BP Travel Award
Making A Mark Videos 3:07

Jerwood Drawing Prize 

The John Ruskin Prize

  • Bury artist Maggie Hargreaves was announced as the winner of the The John Ruskin Prize 2014: Recording Britain Now at the end of June. The Prize in its second year invited artists across the UK to submit fresh visions of Britain’s urban, rural and social environment.
    • You can read more about her artwork on her website eg The Company of Trees. This is her blog Maggie Hargreaves. The two works were Slowly Creeping (2011) , 150x212 cm, charcoal on paper and Changing Space II (2009), 150x220 cm, charcoal on paper
The level of detail and large scale of these drawings invites viewers to enter the space depicted and spend time exploring it. Concurrently, as the drawings are approached, the image dissolves and the materiality and process are established; the artifice of the image construction is revealed as a piece of paper with handmade marks, pinned to the gallery wall. Drawing and erasing with charcoal reflects the transient shifting nature of the relationship between people and the surrounding living environment.
  • The exhibition for  is currently showing at Sheffield's Millennium Gallery featuring 23 shortlisted artists (from 600+ entries) until 12th October 2014.  Artwork by the selected artists varies from traditional techniques to contemporary visions of Britain.
  • The theme and condition for the third John Ruskin Prize will be announced in October.

Packing Room Prize

Call for Entries

Art Exhibitions

Global exhibitions

In Grounded: the great art treasures that no longer go out on the road, The Guardian explains the various reasons why art no longer travels - and stays at home. They range from inherent fragility or value to weight!

Exhibitions in London

Art Society Exhibitions

Art Galleries

Art Materials & Supplies

Art media

Art Suppliers

  • Pencils4artists has supplied a handy sized version of the Luminance Colour Chart on its website 
  • Great Art has now its catalogue online at but I'm not very impressed with the search capability or navigation. That said this is a frequent problem with catalogues going online so we'll just have to see how they tackle it and they already have the scope to take orders with their existing website. Being able to find what you want and then go through a very simple process to order it is the "make or break" element to eventual usage of a site so it's very critical to get it right.  GA are still doing much better than Atlantis Art Materials and Art Supplies which is still running an extremely antiquated site and a 2012 catalogue.

Art Schools and Education

and finally......

Giants came to Liverpool last weekend in the form of colossal puppets. This is the article by the Guardian about Royal de Luxe's Merseyside spectacular which was an emotional tribute to lives lost in the first world war

PS I'm 3 "likes" away from 2,500 likes for my Making A Mark Facebook Page - will you be the 2,500th?


Julie Douglas said...

thank you for taking the time to write so much, after taking a well deserved 'break'.

deborah lyn said...

Glad you are back and thank you for all you do! Yes, I'm one of your new FB likes:) Take good care, deborah

theartistsday said...

The amount of good info you give us is astonishing Katherine.
Thank you for all your hard work !
Hope you're feeling refreshed.

Anonymous said...

You have been missed! Hope you've managed a rest and that your health is back to scratch. Penny German

David Teter said...

Nice to see you back Katherine, hope you are feeling better.

I watched the Sophie Ploeg video and will look forward to the post and see how her year long (8 months really) project came full circle.
I missed some of her posts on this throughout the year due to my own busy schedule.

I'm still following the two potentially big changes in the art materials world, sable brushes and cadmium, and I do suspect some of it has to do with the politics of the day especially as I read both sides of the argument regarding cadmiums.

Can we really do without it? Is it true the amount used in artists materials is small compared to other industries regarding contaminating our environment?
I personally have always been environmentally conscious with disposal of all my materials but I know not every artist is.
The argument for banning it is certainly drastic.
Perhaps the first solution should be (more) education on how to use it and dispose of it safely and consciously from all sources; manufacturers, art supply stores, the internet etc.

And to mention another James Gurney post here since it relates to yours on Moleskin sketchbooks and changes in their paper a while back.
James had a post about an artist making his own version (through a Kickstarter campain) which could be a good replacement for those who don't like Moleskin's changes and want the artists quality paper.
Gurney's post: "Kickstarting the "Perfect Sketchbook" from July 24th 2014.

Jo Castillo said...

Welcome back, Katherine! You are such an inspiration and do so much for us. As I have said many times, you are my walking encyclopedia for art. Thanks again.

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