Sunday, September 23, 2018

Who knew Giles from Gogglebox was an artist?

I'm devoted fan of Gogglebox and have often wondered what Giles and Mary - the middle England middle aged couple in the rural cottage in Wiltshire with the William Morris wallpaper - "did" in terms of gainful employment.

She seems to spend a lot of time on trains and he seems to spend a lot of time "doing things" outside.

It turns out - courtesy of an interview in the Guardian - Mary and Giles from Gogglebox: ‘Fame hasn't changed us. We fly under the radar' and My life as a Googlebox star - and some judicious googling of their real names - that.....

  • Mary Killen has been writing The Spectator’s Dear Mary column for very many years and regular contributions in many other national publications (the Times, the Daily Telegraph, the Sunday Telegraph, Daily Express), plus monthly columns for Marie Claire magazine and Harpers & Queen) - and 
  • Giles Wood also writes - occasionally - for The Oldie - and is an artist.
Yes, that's right Giles is AN ARTIST.

I never knew! Well who knew? I certainly didn't.

Turns out 
  • he was taught draughtsmanship by Maggi Hambling
  • he's a good oil painter
  • he obviously gets quite a few commissions to sit in people's drawing rooms to paint the interiors of their rather posh homes
  • or the exteriors of their rather posh homes.
What's more he produces impressive paintings of complex subjects. I think he's a man with an eye for detail and painting exactly what's there. He's certainly got a very good eye for both colour and tone. According to his wife he has turned down a number of offers to have his paintings exhibited in London - which I think is a great pity as I'd love to see one up close and personal!

Check his paintings out for yourself. (I'm itching to give him a lesson on how to photograph your oil painting before you frame it! I think I'll wrote a blog post!)

He paints rural landscapes and his website suggests at least some are painted plein air. I'm very definitely somebody who appreciates an artist who likes big vistas. That's because I'm rather partial to a BIG landscape myself.

His website has a gallery for his Landscapes

Eschewing the modernist aesthetic to pare away detail to the logical conclusion of the blank canvas, Wood enjoys painting the clutter of peoples’ lives and popular demand has recently led him away from his trademark landscapes to specialise in interiors.
Paintings of Interiors by Giles Wood
If you want to commission him you have to email him via his wife Mary.

Why does that not surprise me? ūüėČ

Friday, September 21, 2018

Derwent Art Prize 2018: Prizewinners and Exhibition

The Derwent Art Prize 2018 prizewinners are listed below together with views of the exhibition currently on display in the Threadneedle Space at the Mall Galleries in London - until 5pm on Sunday 23rd September 2018.

View of part of the Derwent Art Prize exhibition 2018
The Derwent Art Prize 2018 exhibition will tour to venues across the UK including

Derwent Art Prize 2018 - Prizewinners

The nationalities of those receiving prizes (and the catalogue) underline that this has become a truly international exhibition. 

The Prizewinners were announced after the exhibition opened.  I saw the exhibition before the prizewinners were announced (last night) and it was difficult to tell who would win the prizes. There's certainly a lot of good calibre work within the exhibition.

First Prize (£6,000): France Bizot (France) - Madame Bovary

Madame Bovary
colour pencil on book 22cm x 19cm
copyright France Bizot
French artist France Bizot’s intricate hand-drawn books illustrate one way in which drawing can be realised in three dimensions Derwent is proud to announce the finalists and exhibitors of the 2018 Derwent Art Prize

France Bizot is an artist who draws in printed books. She also has a second work selected for the exhibition - of two graphite drawings also within a book. Both are contained within the display boxes on plinths.

Her work belongs to the great tradition of those who produce art in published books. Not artists books as such - as these are artists who produce books of their drawings - so much as artists who use books as their support and their medium for their artwork (eg see 10 Visual Artists Who Use Books as Their Medium for more not quite the same)

France Bizot was born in 1959 and lives in Paris France. She is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale Sup√©rieure des Arts D√©coratifs. Prior to becoming an artist she had a a successful career as an artistic director in the advertising industry. In 2002 she became an artist and has in the past created drawings based on images appropriated from social media. Her work has been shown in group and solo exhibitions, including Fondation EDF, Paris, BACKSLASH, Paris, Galerie Fran√ßois Giraudeau, Paris, Galerie Priv√©e EBC, Paris, Espace Beaurepaire, Paris, and Young Gallery, Brussels.

Her works are contained in display boxes placed on plinths

Second Prize (£3,000): Jovanka Stanojevic (Serbia) - Hair

Hair 2
Graphite pencil on paper 33 x 33cm
copyright Jovanka Stanojevic
Jovanka Stanojevic is a Serbian artist living and working in Belgrade.

She has been awarded a BA in Painting (2005) and an MFA in drawing (2009) from the Faculty of Fine Arts in Belgrade. She is currently completing her PHD dissertation. Since 2008, she has worked as an Assistant Professor at the Faculty of Art and Design Megatrend University, Belgrade.

Her professional art work has been presented in solo and group exhibitions in Serbia, Germany, England, Italy, Greece, Spain and Switzerland and she has received a number of painting awards.
Her drawings and paintings are a part of public and private collections in Serbia, Germany, USA, Switzerland, Greece, Italy and Denmark.

This is a video about her work which I found online

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Review: Sunday Times Watercolour Competition Exhibition 2018

I visited the exhibition for the The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2018 this afternoon. It's at the Mall Galleries (10am - 5pm) until 23rd September after which the exhibition will be travelling to:
Admission to all the galleries is free.

The exhibition is being held at the same time as the Derwent Art Prize - and the combination of the two exhibitions in the Mall Galleries making this a RECOMMENDED VISIT this week - before they both close at 5pm on Sunday 23rd September 2018.

The entrance to the exhibitions for two major art competitions
The Sunday Times Watercolour Competition 2018 and The Derwent Art Prize 2018
Below you can read my impressions - about:
You can also see some "views" of the paintings on the walls in the exhibition in the NEW slideshow banner images at the top of my Facebook Page - which give a very good sense of the look of the show.

If you can't get to the exhibition, do take a look at the website because you can see:
  • all the paintings - in a long column underneath the details about the exhibition
  • click a painting and see it individually - with full details (with the caption MINUS  media but PLUS price - make of that what you will!) and a space for comments. I've included links to these below.
  • plus there's also a link (bottom right hand corner) to see each painting at a larger size. This is presumably the digital image submitted for the competition based on the fact some are unframed when photographed. These provide a good guideline re. quality of photograph required for the competition for those aspiring to enter in 2019.  
If you do go and see the show and compare the painting on the wall with the large painting on the website you can also tell which artists 'enhanced' their chances of getting selected. I'm not commenting further or naming names in this review. However I might do so in future ones....

Thursday, September 13, 2018

A bit of a hiatus

I’m writing this blog post on my Mini iPad because my iMac has had to go to the Apple Hospital to have a hard drive replacement.

One of the bonuses of always buying from Apple is that when they have identified a problem with hardware they have installed - in this instance a Seagate Barrcuda 3TB hard drive which has been the subject of lawsuits due to its very high rate of failure after year 3 - they’ll replace it free of charge. Even if you are out of warranty!!  The fact I’ve just saved £335 is the good news.

The bad news is that I now need to use my Mini iPad for blogging for the next 5-7 days. Even using my Bluetooth keyboard, this is not the easiest of exercises when one is used to a 27” screen - used at 125%!

What’s more the last time I used an iPad to blog was when I was in Provence in 2011 (see Four Go Painting in Provence).

Since then the iOS has moved on and the Blogger App no longer works - because Google has not bothered to commit resources to updating it.

Plus trying to upload images from an iPad to Blogger seems really difficult - given my basic principle is do not overload your blog with very large images which only serve to slow down your blog for readers.

Why Blogger cannot access the photos on my Mini iPad - when accessing Blogger via Chrome - is beyond me. It appears that in order to get access to my photos I have to allow Google to access and upload and archive them!!!  Have they not read any of the recent legal imperatives around data privacy?

Anyway I’m trying to think of ways of posting which are simpler!  Minus images is one way!

Monday, September 10, 2018

Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019 - Call for Entries

The Call for Entries for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019 has been published and the first prize has been increased to £20,000!

This art competition
  • promotes representational art in two-dimensional works in any painting or drawing media
  • has a significant prize pot (see below)
  • aims to display 100 of the very best original representational artworks (but in part the number depends on size and the quality of the submission)
  • at an exhibition at the Mall Galleries in March 2019
  • accepts submissions  up until 5pm on Monday 3 December 2018
The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize has been running since 2005 and I've been covering it since 2008 (see the end for my past blog posts about the competition which contain images of artwork selected). It's an art competition with a generally good reputation and one which is particularly relevant to
  • those who enjoy representational painting 
  • younger painters less than 30 years old.

About the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2019

Approximately 200 artists will be longlisted from the digital entry and invited to deliver their actual works after initial selection from digital entries. Following review by the Judging Panel, approximately 100 works will then be selected for exhibition in March 2019 at the Mall Galleries, London.

Last year a record 2,194 entries were received for the 2018 Prize. Of these
  • 92 drawings and paintings (4.2% of the submission) were selected for exhibition
  • by 83 artists 
Melissa Scott-Miller won the £2,000 People's Prize in Lynn Painter-Stainers 2018 with this painting


In terms of prizes it's certainly one of the more prestigious art prizes in the UK - particularly for younger artists who are eligible for two worthwhile prizes in addition to the others.

The total pot for prize money for 2018 is £35,000 split as follows:
  • the Lynn Painter-Stainers First Prize (£20,000) 
  • a second prize (£4,000) 
  • the Young Artist Award (£4,000) for young artists aged 25 or under. The aim is to promote and support fresh new talent. 
  • the Brian Botting Prize (£5,000) for an outstanding representation of the human figure by an artist aged 30 or under 
  • The Daphne Todd Prize: £2,000 
The £2,000 People's Prize which was introduced in 2018 seems to have gone and been replaced by the Daphne Todd Prize.

Lynn Painter-Stainer 2018 Prizes - Left to right:
Young Artist Prize | Second Prize | First prize
I wasn't a fan of last year's winner (see and I think it very interesting what those visiting the exhibition voted for - see first image above.
The judges will be looking for work that demonstrates the very best in creative representational painting and promotes the skill of draughtsmanship. (website)
For me, there seemed to me to be more of an emphasis on 'innovation' and 'creativity' last year and draughtsmanship seemed to take a lower profile. For example there were no drawings in the exhibition at all whereas there have been a number of works on paper in many exhibitions in the past - such as the composite work in ink on paper by the winner in 2017 - who is a Judge this year!

Winner of Lynn Painter-Stainers First Prize 2017
Lunchtime, Liverpool Street by Christopher Green
ink on paper 142 x 136 cm £5,800


The Judges Panel has changed and retained only one Judge from last year.

There are three artists - including two former first prizewinners in this competition plus two gallery directors - one commercial and one the world’s first purpose-built public art gallery.  It's a good mix.
The panel of judges will review all entries from the digital submission process. Only works shortlisted from the initial digital submission will be received for final judging in person - at the end of January


The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition will be at the Mall Galleries in London between 5 – 17 March 2019 (Open 10am-5pm daily, free entry)

The Exhibition will be curated by the artist Sam Wadsworth and Andrew Wilton, the Honorary Curator of Prints and Drawings at the Royal Academy of Arts.

How to Enter

These are:


Artists - Who can enter

  • Living artists over the age of 18, who are resident in the British Isles - irrespective of whether or not they are a British citizen. 
  • You can be professional or amateur artists
  • British citizens living abroad cannot enter.
Two of the prizes are age-related. It is IMPOSSIBLE to tell from the website what the date is for determining age - despite highlighting this issue FOR THE LAST TWO YEARS! Plus nowhere on the Entry Form are artists asked to state their age. The "normal rule" of most other competitions, that follow good practice and specify a date, is that the determining date is the deadline for entry.

Eligible artwork - What can you enter?

  • Original - which (although they don't say) means in art competition terms that you can assert copyright for your work. What the law says is that your work is derivative and not eligible to claim copyright if you have copied another original artwork done by somebody else - and that includes photographs.
  • two-dimensional works in ANY painting or drawing media.
  • MUST be completed in the last three years (assume the date ends on the deadline for entry)
  • MUST NOT have been previously exhibited. (Presumably within the three years which ends with the deadline for entry - again no date is specified)
If your work has been exhibited in a solo or group show in a public or commercial gallery it is not eligible for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize. However, if your work has been in an open studio show or shown as part of your degree show or has been shown online, then it is eligible for the Prize.FAQs
  • All works must be for sale, except for commissioned portraits (which must be marked NFS on rear). Note that Commission of 40% + VAT will be levied on works sold during or as a result of the exhibition, or by means of the website, (i.e. your sale price nets you a sum equivalent to 52% of the price you state if your artwork is sold)
  • available for exhibition
  • You can submit up to 4 works
  • Longest dimension - including frame - must not exceed 60 inches (152 cms).

Entry Fee - what does it cost?

  • Entry is £15 per work (£8 per work for students).


  • 3rd December 2018 - Deadline for online entries, by 5pm (GMT)
  • 21st December 2018 - Results of initial judging emailed to artists by this date
  • 25-26th January 2019 - Shortlisted artists submit works to FBA 10am-5pm (4pm on Saturday)
  • 29th January 2019 - Results of final round judging emailed to artists by this date
  • 5 - 17th March 2019 Exhibition at Mall Galleries, The Mall, London SW1
(Note: the FAQs have NOT been updated for the new dates for the 2019 competition)

Entry Process - How do you enter?

This is a link to the Rules and Guidelines which you MUST read in full before you enter.
Don't blame the organisers if something happens which you didn't expect because you only skimmed them and never sat down and read them properly!

Stage 1: How to enter

  • ALL Entry is digital and online - via the secure 
  • Digital Images must be: 
    • 300 dpi 
    • file formats: JPG, TIFF, or PNG 
    • maximum file size of 1MB (increased from previous years - at last!) - but it still means a pretty small image in terms of pixel dimensions for length and height @ 300 dpi 
    • files titled using your name and at least part of the title of the artwork 
  • Submit your entry online using this online entry form.
BIG TIP: Make sure you get the best possible digital image of your artwork

Stage 2: How to submit work

You only need to submit your actual painting or drawing if you've passed the initial selection filter at Stage 1.
  • Typically around 200 artworks make it through to Stage 2 
  • If you pass, this means your art now has a 50% chance of being selected for exhibition so don;t give them an excuse to exclude it e.g. frame which is not fit for exhibition
BIG TIP: You cannot assume you can book a framer at short notice - especiallyover the Christmas/New Year period. What this means is
  • if your work is not framed then you need a framer booked and on standby 
  • then cancel the job once you've got the result if you do NOT get selected for Stage 2. Not nice for the framer but there really is no other option (speaks one who got caught out badly on one occasion when every framer was booked up in advance!)

You need to:

Good luck if you get this far! I hope I see your artwork in the exhibition....

More about the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize (2008-2018)


Thursday, September 06, 2018

Edward Bawden at Dulwich Picture Gallery - last few days

The exhibition about Edward Bawden at the Dulwich Picture Gallery in South London finishes on Sunday 9th September - and if you've not seen it yet and can do so, I urge you to get along to the Gallery to see it.  It's a fabulous exhibition.

I saw it this afternoon with Felicity House and we enthused our way around the show - finding lots to like and lots to marvel at in terms of how he worked and what he produced.

Edward Bawden, Untitled landscape with sunset, 1927, 
watercolour on paper, 
Private Collection, Photo: Mark Heathcote, 
© Estate of Edward Bawden 
If you can't get to see the exhibition, but are interested in Bawden, the alternative is an excellent exhibition catalogue which you can either buy from
Below is less a review of the exhibition and more an assortment of notes - about both the man and the artworks we saw. (Plus news of another exhibition about Bawden at the end)

First a few notes about Edward Bawden - not from the exhibition but rather from online sources which you can investigate at your leisure.

About Edward Bawden

Edward Bawden RA CBE (1903-1989) is hardly an unknown or forgotten artist. Born in 1903, he enjoyed a long and distinguished career as graphic designer, illustrator, watercolourist, war artist, printmaker, teacher and patron of the rts. When he died at the age of 86, a retrospective of his work had opened at the Victoria and Albert Museum
So starts the exhibition catalogue

Below is a video about Edward Bawden (in his home) first broadcast on Anglia TV when the artist was 80. It includes Bawden talking about his art - including comments on his view about the absence of a distinction between fine art and commercial art

He describes himself as a pattern maker and says he has no sense of form and could never have been a sculptor

He studied at Cambridge Art School and the Royal College of Art, was taught and mentored by Paul Nash at the RCA and was a member of the Bardfield set which included Eric Ravilious.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED as a key to understand his interests and how he worked

You can find out more about him on the following links:
Edward Bawden Working in His Studio
Edward in his studio by his friend and contemporary Eric Ravilious

About the exhibition

This brief video previewed the exhibition

This is a brief video about the exhibition - and you can see the works hung in the exhibition

These are the exhibition reviews
The exhibition is not based on a time line - instead it has themes.

The exhibition is divided into sections focusing on:
  • World Off Duty
  • Gardening
  • Spirit of Place
  • Portraits
  • Architecture
  • Fable & Fantasy

Wednesday, September 05, 2018

Shortlist for £15,000 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 + Exhibiting Photographers

The annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize is one of the most prestigious photography awards in the world.

For the 2018 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize - and Exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery:
  • 4,462 submissions were entered by 1,973 photographers from 70 countries. 
  • 57 portraits from 49 photographers have been selected for display (1.27% and 2.48% of submissions and photographers respectively)
  • 4 submissions are a series; and
  • 4 photographers have been shortlisted for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018, the international photography award organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London. and sponsored by the law firm Taylor Wessing
This post is about the shortlisted artists and also lists the names of the photographers selected for the exhibition.

The Competition

The competition is open to everyone aged 18 and over from around the world. Photographers are encouraged to interpret portrait in its widest sense of photography concerned with portraying people with an emphasis on their identity as individuals.
Competition is INTENSE just to get selected for the exhibition. Moreover this competition has an enthusiastic international following. So to get shortlisted as well must feel like the most tremendous achievement for any photographer.

Like the BP Portrait Prize, the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize offers an important internationally recognised platform for professionals, emerging artists and amateurs alike to show their work - except in this instance the portrait are contemporary photographic portraits.

All submissions are judged anonymously. The exhibition typically displays a wide diversity of styles which reflect both cultural preferences and the individual styles of the photographers submitting entries and their approach to portraiture.

Photographers were again encouraged to submit works as a series in addition to stand-alone portraits, and there was no minimum size requirement for prints.

  • The winner of the first prize will receive £15,000. 
  • The second prize winner receives £3,000 and 
  • the third prize £2,000.  

The prizes for the Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018 will be announced on Tuesday 16 October 2018 at 19.00

Shortlist for Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize 2018

The shortlisted portraits include
  • two photographs of women living in London
    • a double portrait of a pair of shoppers taken in England’s capital
    • photographs of a London mother holding her baby; 
  • two photographs of children living in Africa
    • a child from a remote village in the jungle of Sierra Leone’s Eastern Province; 
    • a series on the all-female teams of drum majorettes in South Africa’s Western Province

Monday, September 03, 2018

The Royal Academy of Arts 2019 Exhibition Programme

The Royal Academy of Arts have announced their 2019 programme of exhibitions. There seem to be more than usual - however I guess the redevelopment created extra space!

The star of the show for me is the exhibition of self-portraits by Lucian Freud in just over a year's time

Lucian Freud, Reflection (Self-portrait), 1985.
Oil on canvas, 56.2 x 51.2 cm.
Private collection, on loan to the Irish Museum of Modern Art
© The Lucian Freud Archive / Bridgeman Images

This is the listing. It doesn't include the exhibitions in smaller spaces - but it does include:
  • one  blockbuster by a contemporary painter (I predict)
  • one 'likely to be very popular' overview of a major theme of the Renaissance
  • two solo exhibitions for Royal Academicians - and one shared with Michelangelo's drawings
  • two exhibitions of artwork by two lesser known European artists
  • two annual events

Sunday, September 02, 2018

Making A Mark in August 2018

Fans of Making A Mark will remember the "Who's made a mark this week?" posts which I had to discontinue in 2014 as they were taking over my life.

Since then I've diversified and now have other active websites and blogs - and what you used to see on Making A Mark can now be found elsewhere.

I've been mulling on how to profile what I've written and seen and today I'm going to start a trial of a NEW MONTHLY SUMMARY of
  • posts on my blogs and website updates 
  • coupled with some of the posts to three of my Facebook pages
Tell me what you think of it - on Facebook!

Making A Mark in August 2018

For those who missed my posts because you were on holiday or life intervened...

All posts are from Making A Mark except
  • ABI = Art Business Info. for Artists
  • BBA = Botanical Art and Artists


    Image of Wyeth's Studio, © Phil Bradshaw, FreshFly
    • The Andrew Wyeth Movie - a hugely popular blog post. - an extended trailer for the new documentary film about Andrew Wyeth, originally planned for a 2012 release - but due to launch this month!
    • BBAVideo Interview with Kathy Pickles - Between 1991 and 1996, Kathy Pickles exhibited every year at the RHS Botanical Art Show. Each year she won a Gold Medal for her exhibit. In 2015, after nearly 20 years, she returned for a sixth time - and won a sixth Gold Medal.... and I've just found the video interview I did with her at the time!
    • Lucian Freud - paintings of plants and gardens - following the exhibition at the Tate I did a an inventory - in a timeline - of all his paintings of plants with:
      • notes about their context and location
      • links to where you can see them and 
      • quotes by people - including Freud himself - about his paintings of plants and why he did them.
    "The subject matter has always been dictated by the way my life has gone. I noticed that when I was under particular strain, I didn't feel so like staring at people or bodies all day." It was at times like these that the palm, the Egyptian Book, thistles, cyclamens, buttercups, substituted for sitters. Seeing through the skin

    Calling All Artists - Art Competitions and Open Exhibitions