Friday, November 27, 2020

Is your artwork on the "National Wildlife & Nature Gallery" website?

It's been brought to my attention that there is a relatively new website about wildlife art - which appears to be infringing the copyright of leading wildlife artists (i.e. using their images without their permission.)

NOTE: This is now a success story - the website has been taken down. Read how below.

The (free) website of the National Wildlife & Nature Gallery

By the look of it this is a website put together by people who are 

EITHER wholly unaware of:
  • the legal rights of artists which they are trampling on 
  • the trouble they could get into if the website stays up and/or they actually manage to raise any funds!
in which case they need disabusing of the notions they have about what they can and cannot do.

OR are knowingly perpetrating a serious scam and abusing the copyright of several leading wildlife artists - who I can identify - as in cutting off copyright notices from images.

OR both i.e. trying to make money via fundraising and are ignorant of the proper processes  - which can get people into VERY serious trouble!

Whatever the background it's very clear that it contains a lot of images - on both the website and the twitter account - which have not been used with the permission of the artist. 

Plus there is no reasonable fair use exemption for their usage - particularly when fundraising is involved.

The National Wildlife & Nature Gallery website

You can find the website at It's on Wix

It states that it's 

The National Wildlife Gallery fund raising project and website.
We also promote wildlife art through our social media to raise awareness and funding to create a national gallery for wildlife and nature art, for future generations to see and enjoy.
There is also 
There are:
  • no names in "about us" 
  • no formal organization behind it
  • no plan of action
Some of the images have definitely NOT been provided with the artists' permission

Some of the images have had their copyright notices removed.

Some of the affected artists are very annoyed - and are taking action!

Harriet Mead, President of the Society of Wildlife Artists and I spent 2-3 hours yesterday afternoon chasing after this scam. 

Harriet and I both wrote to the owner and then she alerted the artists whose artwork she recognised and I wrote the blog post telling them how to report the abuse - and the website was taken down about 4 hours after we started.  Thanks too to all the artists who reported the scam to the relevant organisations (see below)

WARNING TO SCAMMERS: Do NOT mess with the copyright of wildlife artists!
We have ways of getting your websites taken down - by you or others!

Report abuse 

If YOU are an artist whose artwork is on the website without your permission you can report the abuse in one of two ways - neither of which involves the owner of the website.

Basically you need to do a formal "TAKEDOWN NOTICE". This means:
  • identifying who you are
  • the content which abuses your copyright - and the URL link it can be seen on
  • how you can establish that it is your original artwork i.e. provide the URL link to your website (or whatever) on which the image appears
  • stating that this image is owned by your and has been used without your permission.
  • asking them to take down the content as it abuses your copyright
The key thing to understand here is that both website hosts (eg Wix) and domain name registrars are 
  • ALSO RESPONSIBLE IN LAW for any copyright infringement and 
  • must act with expediency to make sure the content is taken down.
If a lot of people report content abuse, the chances are one or the other will remove the website.

Report to Wix

Wix has terms and conditions which indicate what you can and cannot do on their websites.

As an artist you can report an abuse of your copyright via Wix's  Abuse & Rights Infringement Reporting system

Report to the domain name registrar

This is the whois info for the domain name

The domain name registrar is

They have a form for reporting abuse - in terms of content being contained on a website which has no business being there.

Report copyright abuse to Google

You can also report the copyright infringement to Google - but as I found out recently Google is VERY SLOW! 

( Although the blog which copied mine has now been taken down and that URL will not not be available for future use! )

Learn more about copyright

My Art Business Info for Artists has a BIG section about Copyright for Artists.

This includes pages about 

The best way to create and support wildlife art

The very best way to support wildlife and nature and promote associated artwork is to 
  • work with existing REPUTABLE organisations and 
  • those who know what they are doing i.e. 
    • know what they can and cannot do
    • respect the copyright of wildlife artists
NEVER EVER give any money for wildlife or wildlife art to:
  • unknown organisations / individuals (note the website does not identify who they are by name)
  • any amateurish websites 

Thursday, November 26, 2020

Wild Turkey and John James Audubon

Turkeys are very much associated with Thanksgiving in America - and this image is offered with my good wishes to all my American friends on this their national day of giving thanks

Did you know that the very first bird in John James Audubon's very large Birds of America is a Wild Turkey?

Wild Turkey - Great American Cock, Male
hand coloured engraving
Plate 1 of Birds of America by John James Audubon

John James Audubon (1785-1851) was an American ornithologist and naturalist but he earned his reputation as an artist and the enormous paintings - reproduced via engravings.

''No one before him in America had looked at the woods and wildlife so closely, or recorded in such exhaustive detail what they had seen.''

His paintings/prints have an incredible sense of life. Audubon travelled widely to find all the birds in the book. Unlike other painters he did not work from preserved specimens. Instead he first shot the bird and then wired it up in a natural position to draw it for his watercolour painting.  However the sense of life in the bird suggests he must have keenly observed the birds first and made more sketches of their habits.

About Birds of America

Birds of America comprises 435 hand-coloured, life-size prints (click the link to see them all).  It is the largest and most beautiful illustrated bird book ever. 
  • Originally intended to contain 400 plates, the work finally extended to an engraved title page and 435 aquatint plates, issued in 87 parts between 1827 and 1838.
  • Each of the birds is portrayed life size
  • Each plate measured around 39 by 26 inches (99 by 66 cm) - or just over three feet by just over two feet.
  • these were sold on the basis of subscriptions - for five plates at a time of one large bird, one medium sized bird and 3 smaller birds
  • Five volumes of accompanying text to these plates were published in Edinburgh and issued separately under the title ‘Ornithological Biography’ between 1831 and 1839.
The ‘double elephant folio’, as the edition became known, took its name from the double elephant paper on which it was printed, the largest size available (approx. 100cm x 67cm). To make the prints, Audubon’s original watercolour images were traced in reverse onto sheets of copper, and the lines etched into the metal using acid (the intaglio process). An aquatint was added to give a graded tonal effect. This was achieved by melting a fine resin dust onto the copper plate and exposing it again to the acid; the longer the immersion in the acid, the darker the tone. The images were then printed in black ink; watercolour was applied by hand to the finished prints by a team of colourists. Audubon's Birds of America | British Library

The original file of this Plate 1 engraving of the Wild turkey can be found in Wikimedia Commons - but be careful before you open the largest size as it's 99MB file!

The first 10 images of birds - including the Turkey - are from engraved plates created by William Home Lizars (1788-1859) an engraver based in Edinburgh. However after doing the first 10 plates - his colourists went on strike and Audubon had to engage another engraver. 

Robert Havell Jr. (25 November 1793 – 11 November 1878) of Reading became the principal engraver of the remainder of Audubon's Birds of America. His family of engravers were renowned as being among the foremost practitioners of aquatint. Havell subsequently moved to America and continued to practice as an engraver and aquatinter. When he died in 1878, he was buried in Sleepy Hollow Cemetery in Tarrytown.

Last year, the National Audubon Society made John James Audubon’s seminal Birds of America available to the public in a downloadable digital library (signing up for their email list is a prerequisite).

About John James Audubon 

John James Audubon (1785 – 1851) was actually born Jean-Jacques Laforest Audubon in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti) in the Caribbean. He was the illegitimate son of a French merchant and a French chambermaid, Jeanne Rabin who died when he was 6 months old.
  • age 6 he was shipped to France to join his father
  • his childhood was spent in France with his stepmother. Here he developed his talent for drawing and his love of the natural world
  • he was sent to America when he was 28 years old to manage his father’s plantation, Mill Grove, in Philadelphia - but he much preferred studying and drawing birds to farming.
  • Both the Wikipedia article and and an interesting article in the New York Times (Central Park's Winged Tenants, By Audubon By Wendy Moonan 2003) indicate how often he failed at various endeavours before he decided upon making his passion for drawing and painting birds into his 'great idea' and a 'a very big project'.
His plan was to to publish a book of life-size reproductions of all the birds of the ‘United States and its territories’.  The project - and the book The Birds of America thereafter absorbed Audubon’s attention for much of his life and its publication took nearly 12 years to complete.

The opposition of the scientific community in America to his work explains why he had to go to the UK to find engravers for his book.

Wednesday, November 25, 2020

Review: Episode 5 of Portrait Artist of the Year Series 7 (Autumn 2020)

I'm still way behind on my reviews of  Portrait Artist of the Year (Series 7 Autumn 2020)  due to spending hours and hours online trying to work out how one copes with elevating a leg and getting about without putting my right foot on the ground at all for three months!  

So apologies for the continued distraction and delays.....

one of the sitters with three of the artists

Episode 5: The Artists, Self-portraits and Sitters

This is the the About the Artists page . Narrative profiles are based on their website bios.

This episode there were 6 professional artists and 3 amateur artists. 

The Professional Artists

  • Sam ClaydenInstagram ) - an artist and art teacher. Painted his submission in 90 minutes (and acknowledged he overworked his heat portrait).
  • Alvin 'Kofi' Ferris ( Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter ) - a second-generation West Indian who grew up in London. Born in south London in 1961, Alvin 'Kofi' (means 'born on a Friday') also spent some of his childhood years in Antigua. He studied graphic design at Richmond School of Art. He established a career in the UK art world as a fine artist in the 1990's and worked for a short time at the first Black-owned advertising agency in the UK. He has exhibited at solo and group shows in the UK, US and the Caribbean, and has received commissions for portraits, murals and sculptures. His creative perspective is very much African-centered.  Kofi also teaches master classes, mentors up-and-coming artists, and runs a drawing programme.
"we felt really welcomed by the Sky production team who made all the artists feel at ease." Kofi Ferris
  • Yasmin Gilani Website | Facebook | Instagram ) - a London and Cotswold based artist specialising in abstract impressionist art. After graduating from The Roal Academy of Dramatic Art with an MA in 2015, Yasmin went on to work for galleries and arts festivals in London. She had previously made it to being a reserve artist for Sky Portrait Artist of the Year in 2019. 
  • Michelle Goldman ( Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter ) - based in Westcliff-on-Sea where she teaches an art class. She also juggles the challenge of being a mother AND a professional artist
  • Nick Grove ( Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter ) - born in 1974 near Oundle and now lives in Stamford. An artist who predominantly paints portraits plus landscapes and cityscapes in oils, ‘en plein air’ (mainly of Norfolk and Suffolk Coasts, Cambridge, Oxford, and London) He completed a foundation course in art and design followed by a BA (hons) degree in fine art at Southampton University. He worked as a professional photographer for 15 years, specialising in weddings and won numerous national and international awards. Now focuses on his painting. Currently represented by the Peter Barker Fine Art Gallery in Uppingham.
  • Vicky Saumarez ( Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter ) - trained in the late 1980s at the Florentine realist drawing and painting academy of Studio Cecil Graves. Pre pandemic she organised and ran painting, drawing and portraiture classes in Hanwell, near Ealing, West London as well as weekly untaught drop-in life drawing session. She now runs online classes.

The Amateur Artists

    • Chris Longridge ( Website | Instagram ) Heat Winner and Semi Finalist in 2020 (first series filmed in 2019).  Based in Kent. He now works primarily in oils (for last 6 months) having previously used acrylics.  According to my profile of him last year he's Amateur because he's got "a proper job". Loved the bit during the episode where he confesses to being a TV journalist!! He's currently the Associate Editor of Digital Spy (and prior to that was a Senior Editor of Heat for six years).
    • Dilip Seshan ( Website | Instagram | Twitter ) Based in Caterham, Surrey and works in IT. As a portrait artist he considers himself an enthusiastic art hobbyist and not a professional.
    • Sarah Teare ( Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter ) - a London based portrait artist working predominantly in oils. This was her self-portrait. Always paints from photographs, measures on her tablet (rather than from life) and likes to start with the eyes.

    The Self Portraits

    The self portraits of participants in Episode 5

    This is a summary of the size, format and content of the self portraits in this heat
    • SIZE
      • Large x 2
      • Medium x 5
      • Small x 2
      • Very small x 0
    • FORMAT
      • Landscape format x 3
      • Portrait format x 3
      • Square format x 3
      • full size x 0
      • torso including head and hand(s) x 3 (including heat winner)
      • head + torso + hands with another person x 1 
      • head and shoulders x 4
      • head x 1

    The Sitters

    The sitters for Episode 5 were:
    • Robert Rinder - a British criminal barrister and television personality who appears in a British spin off of Judge Judy
    • Katie Piper - an English writer, activist, television presenter and model who is renowned for her work re. acid attacks and burn victims
    • Don Letts - a British film director / videographer, DJ and musician.
    I'm still trying to work out which artist gets which sitter - and if there is indeed any rationale at all.

    Episode 5: Themes

    Self Portraits: the picture of the artist as an artist

    One of the things I've been noticing this year is that I think there are more self-portraits of the artist as an artist - albeit people are having to come up with novel ways of attracting attention away from more conventional such paintings

    There were four such self-portraits in this heat - from Kofi, Nick, Dilip and Vicky.

    Self Portraits: different ways of introducing yourself 

    Monday, November 23, 2020

    The Big Painting Challenge (series 1) revisited

    The Big Painting Challenge - first broadcast on BBC1in 2015 - is being repeated on BBC2 every day this week at 3.15pm with the Final at 4.15pm on Friday.  

    I reviewed every episode the first time it was broadcast and for those who'd like to revisit what I had to say these are the links to:

    • every episode on iPlayer
    • my blog posts - which include the exhibition they organised after the programme had been broadcast and the blog posts they wrote about the challenge.

    The Episodes

    Episode 1: Landscapes

    Episode 1: Landscapes
    (Guess what's the biggest castle the BBC could find?)

    Interestingly the narrative for each episode has become more more expanded.  This is what they NOW have to say about Episode 1 and the Final (see below)
    This series presented by Una Stubbs and Richard Bacon takes ten amateur artists to stunning locations across the country to battle it out in a tough series of painting and drawing challenges for the title of Britain's best amateur artist. 

    The competition starts in Alnwick Castle in Northumberland - known to many as Hogwarts - where expert judges Lachlan Goudie and Daphne Todd OBE set their first challenge to see each artist's unique painting style for the first time. 

    Eyebrows are raised as one artist starts by painting her whole canvas bright red whilst another paints what looks like a lion straddling a cannon. As paint is put to canvas Una and Richard learn what drives each artist's passion for painting - and what it would mean for them to win. 

    The second challenge each week is a quick-draw challenge. In this episode the artists must sketch, at speed, a delphinium flower. Expert judge Lachlan Goudie shows us his tips on how to capture the beauty and complexity of a flower. 

    Their final challenge is to paint the formidable castle from across the banks of the River Aln. Getting a sense of depth into their paintings proves more difficult than many think. While some thrive painting outdoors, others who've only ever painted in the comfort of their spare bedrooms have to adapt quickly to the challenges of the changing light. 

    Una travels to the V&A museum in London to view one of the most famous landscapes - John Constable's The Hay Wain - and artist Fraser Scarfe tries to convince her that there's more to it than its chocolate-box reputation. 

    Back in the castle, the judges take on the role of executioner as they have the difficult job of deciding which amateur artist won't see it through to the next week

    Episode 2: Portraiture

    Episode 3:  Still Life

    Episode 4: Human Form and Movement

    Episode 5: Cityscapes

    Episode 6: Seascapes

    The grand final sees presenters Una Stubbs and Richard Bacon travel to Devon's picturesque south coast as the final four amateur artists battle it out to be crowned the winner. With just three challenges left to impress the judges, Lachlan Goudie and Daphne Todd OBE, the amateur artists get to grips with their first challenge - capturing a sense of Britain's seafaring heritage at Dartmouth's Royal Naval College. With the prize in sight, one artist goes all out to impress the judges, risking everything. The finalists have already sketched the human body in motion - but never on this scale. For their last quick-draw challenge they assemble on the parade ground to capture at speed a whole platoon of naval cadets marching in formation as they perform a sword drill. Ahead of the final ever challenge, Una travels to the Kent coast to learn what attracted JMW Turner to the seaside town of Margate and led to a lifelong fascination with the sea, while in his last how-to guide Lachlan gives tips on how to capture constantly moving crowds of people. With everything resting on the last challenge, the stakes are high and the sense of excitement even higher as the finalists create one last painting - capturing the light and atmosphere of an idyllic but visually complex scene - Dartmouth harbour. At the end of a gruelling and emotional six weeks, Daphne and Lachlan decide who should take the title and announce their first Big Painting Challenge winner.

    After the Filming

    My final two posts related to what happened afterwards 

    The Artists

    The BBC has NOT remedied the fault with the original series i.e. that the artists got not recognition in the credits.

    So here is who they all are.....
    The 10 artists who participated in the The Big Painting Challenge were the "last painters standing" from the 6,000 who applied to be part of this televised art competition

    These are the websites of the artists involved in the series. The first link is to their page on the Bigger Picture website and then their website and social media links after that.

    I look at hundreds if thousands of artists website each year and found it very interesting to look at the artwork on their websites and Facebook Pages. I suggest you take a look.
    Interestingly they've changed / refined sites and accumulated a few more links since 2015!!

    8 of the 10 artists exhibiting - in April 2015
    (Left to right) Paul Bell, Alison Stafford, Anthea Lay, Jan Szymczuk, Anne Blankson-Hemans,
    Claire Parker, Heather Harding and Richard Salter

    Bios below are based on their websites!

    The women

    • Alison Stafford: website | Facebook Page | LinkedIN - studied Fashion and Textiles at Manchester and after obtaining a BA Hons in that field, pursued a career in Fashion design for the next 25 years. She loves to paint portraits of animals and people that capture a character. I am fascinated with the relationship between humans and their animals and am currently exploring this in a series of paintings. She specialises in equine and canine portraits and am an active member of the Association of Animal Artists, and the ​Society of Equestrian Artists. Her equestrian work can be found on
    • Anne Blankson-Hemans website | Facebook Page | | Instagramblog | twitter - Anne studied Fine Art at the College of Art, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Ghana and came to live in the UK in 1984. She is a multi-award winning artist who has been exhibiting since 2007 and is a full member of the Society of Women Artists. She was also a finalist for the BBC Two programme #ShowMeTheMonet. More recently he painted Portraits of NHS Heroes. Reached a major birthday in September and has recently retired and moved to the Lake District to become a full time painter - with lots of plein air painting!
    • Amy GoldringWebsite | Facebook  | Blog - a contemporary painter currently based in Swansea. Studied for and achieved a BA Honours, Fine Art (1st class) in 2008. Her blog has some fascinating insights into art and autism which are well worth a read.
    • Anthea LayFacebook - a fan of plein air painting
    • Claire Parker: website | Facebook | Instagram | | Twitter | - a largely self-taught artist with a degree in Modern Languages from Cambridge and a Masters Degree in Art History. She works in Essex and London. She has been featured in several national art magazines, and has exhibited in Essex, London, and Cambridgeshire.
    • Heather Harding: website | Facebook | Twitter - a figurative artist living in East Sussex who loves to paint and takes commissions.
    Taking part in BBC One's The Big Painting Challenge was a blast. A fabulous adventure which helped me gain more confidence in my painting and 9 new artist friends. It was the key that unlocked the door and gave me permission to go through. Heather Harding

    The men

    • Jan Szymczuk: website | Facebook - born in Stannington, in Northumberland in 1958 of Polish Parents. Joined the Metropolitan Police in London, and after 30 years, ended his service at New Scotland Yard, and retired in 2009 as the senior Detective Police Artist. Currently an Ambassador for SAA Artists Acrylics and sponsored by the SAA (The society for all artists).
    • Melvyn Flint: website - a representational painter living and working in Kent. My work covers landscape, portrait, still life and animal subject matter.
    • Paul Bell: website | blog | Facebook | Twitter - a contemporay artist born in 1964 in Scotland. He is currently  living and working in Beaconsfield, England. His style seems to have changed quite dramatically since the programme.
    • Richard Salter: website | Twitter - studied Fine Art with Buckinghamshire University. Served 21 years in the British Army and was medically discharged in 2017 - having painted throughout his military career - and since.

    Friday, November 20, 2020

    THE MISSING LINK to ING Discerning Eye Virtual Exhibition 2020

    The ING Discerning Eye Annual Exhibition is online this year.

    You'd be hard put to find it though.  That's because the normal website makes no obvious link to the actual exhibition!

    So what we have is

    For the first time this year the ING Discerning Eye exhibition is being held online. A virtual gallery of the works selected this year is live online where you can view and buy this year's works .....
    • and includes a link described as
    • so you click the link and go to this site which for some reason has this link (i.e. not the domain name referenced) 
    • BUT you are not at the actual exhibition. Instead what we have are 
      • ENORMOUS photos of the six selectors and 
      • a top line menu 
      • as if the whole thing is about the selectors and NOT THE ART!
    This is as much as I can see on my 27" iMac screen - really bad design!!!

    • so then you click the "Exhibition" tab on the top line menu.....
    • .....and you wait
    • .....and nothing happens
    • .....which is puzzling
    So I'm really not sure after following this tortuous route how people are supposed to find the exhibition!

    The people involved with creating the new virtual exhibition obviously do not have a clue that simply because you create a website does not mean people will find it.

    For example - here is the top half of the first page of Google for the search query "ING Discerning Eye 2020 exhibition". The two websites which get a mention are:

    This presumably explains why this week I was approached by a PR person who wanted me to highlight the proper URL for the exhibition

    I thought what they were doing was asking me to review the exhibition in advance - in much the same way as I've been invited to PR previews for exhibitions and hence see them before they open, write a review and then people turn up because I've recommended it (or not as the case may be)

    However it turned out that I wasn't allowed access to the website in advance! 
    All they wanted me to do was tell people about the correct URL!!!

    I pointed out to them yesterday that my blog is not an advertising vehicle and this is not the way it works.

    However - because very many artists have artwork on the site - I am now going to tell you THE MISSING LINK - because I have it even if you don't!


    i.e. the domain URL MINUS the extension which links to "the page about the selectors"
    - and nothing like the domain name URL it purports to be i.e. does not exist! 

    If writing or linking to a domain name URL you need to do it correctly!! 
    Plus "www" prefix does matter if that's how the site is setup!!

    However if you click the link I was supplied with  you get this home page

    Thursday, November 19, 2020

    Call for Entries: Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour 209th Exhibition in 2021

    The Call for Entries for the 209th Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI) at the Mall Galleries in London in April 2021 has been published this week. The deadline for entries to this exhibition - which is open to international artists - is 12 noon (in London) on Friday 5 February 2021.

    View of the RI's 208th Annual Exhibition September 2020 

    The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours seeks the best in contemporary watercolour and watermedia painting

    Features of the exhibition are:
    • It is open to both International and British artists over 18 years of age. 
    • This Exhibition offers 
      • several prizes and awards (see below)
      • the chance to have your work seen alongside artwork by RI members
      • the opportunity to exhibit at a prestigious gallery in the heart of London 
      • have your work seen by very many visitors - some of whom regularly but art
    Below you will find:
    • Call for Entries 2021 unpicked
      • about the exhibition
      • terms and conditions
      • who can submit an entry
      • what sort of artwork can be submitted
      • Prizes & Awards - The exhibition includes several prizes and awards, open to all participating artists
    • Summary of RI History and key metrics from the 2019 exhibition (see Pricing a Watercolour & RI Annual Exhibition Metrics)
      • a brief review of the history of the RI 
      • exhibition metrics for the last exhibition in 2019 - which provides a very solid reason why this is an exhibition worth exhibiting in - and at the same time provides some very clear guidance on pricing.

    Summary of Key Dates for Artists submitting an Open Entry

    These are the key dates for all those wishing to submit work to this open exhibition. More details below.
    • Submission closes: Friday 5 February 2021
    • Selection notification: Friday 19 February 2021, 12 noon [Log in to see if your work has been pre-selected]
    • Receiving Day: Saturday 13 and Sunday 14th March 2021, 10am - 5pm
    • Exhibition: Thursday 1 - 15th April, 11am to 5pm 

    Call for Entries

    You can find details of the Call for Entries for the exhibition in 2021 in two places:

    New for 2021 - Digital Selection ONLY

    To make the process of submitting and selecting work simpler and safer, the Society will select works for exhibition from online only this year.
    How this works:
    • Selectors will make an assessment of each work based on the digital images supplied, 
    • Selected artists must deliver their accepted work to Mall Galleries for exhibition.

    What you can submit 

    Tuesday, November 17, 2020

    Review: Episode 4 of Portrait Artist of the Year Series 7 (Autumn 2020)

    I was supposed to be writing this review of Episode 4 of Portrait Artist of the Year (Series 7 Autumn 2020) ahead of the broadcasting of Episode 5 - but the news from the hospital of the fact I'm grinding bone and need a shoulder replacement as well as surgery to have n ankle fusion left me somewhat discombobulated - hence why it this week instead

    I have a side bet with myself every week which involves guessing the winner. I'm doing pretty well so far!

    I spotted the winner of this episode within a few minutes of the episode starting - and it was all about how the artist started......

    The end of the painting for Episode 4

    Episode 4: The Artists, Self-portraits and Sitters

    Below is a short description of each of the participating artists. Plus who is professional and who is amateur is determined by the artists. It does not necessarily follow convention. 

    The links are to websites and social media sites in the artist's name. Most of the group were not social media savvy.  Somewhat surprising only three artists are listed as having a website on the  About the Artists page for Heat 4

    (NOTE: I have to say I'm not impressed with the actions of whoever got the job of doing the links to the artists because I've picked up a number of omissions and two mistakes so far i.e. I do NOT depend on that page and this page provide better links!)

    The Professional Artists

    This heat had 4 professional artists
    • Sarita Maharjan Website | FacebookInstagram | Twitter - Born in 1985, Sarita comes from Nepal but is currently based in Birmingham. She has been painting for more than 14 years. She graduated with a Masters Degree in Fine Art from the University of Wolverhampton in 2011 and has been showing in the open exhibitions of the Royal Birmingham Society of Arts.
    • Ryan Jowitt Instagram ) - a 24 year old artist from Margate in Kent. I'm struggling with the professional description given the lack of much of a presence online - however he exhibited at Turner Contemporary while still at Grammar School in Kent. Admits to "winging it" in terms of his approach to the competition and portrait.
    • Rosso Spoto ( Website - (my browser blocks it because of filters I use) | Facebook | Instagram ) - Born in Sicily (1978), Rosso lives in London since 2004. She has an an academic background in Politics and Human Rights and a professional career in digital marketing and advertising. Primarily self-taught, she trained briefly at the Prince Drawing School and at LARA (London Atelier of Representational Art) in London and has been painting full time since 2016. Her art revolves around femininity and her identity as a woman in our contemporary society. She won the Emerald Winter Pride Art Award in 2016 and The Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize 2017. Participated in PAOTY 2019.
    • Eugenie Vronskaya ( Website | Facebook | Instagram ) Born in Moscow in 1966 and started studying icon painting age 9. Attended Moscow School of Art (1981-83) and Moscow University of Art (1983-89). Arriving in London in 1989 (age 23) with 14 years of classical training behind her She was the first Russian Student at the Royal College of Art in London (1991-93). Invited by Sir Anthony Caro to participate in the International Triangle Workshop in New York state. Married with two children she went to live and work in the Highlands of Scotland (near Inverness) before returning to London. She's represented by the John Martin Gallery in London. Her paintings are in many private collections across the world as well as Tate Britain, V&A Museum in London, Pushkin and Tret'yakov Gallery in Moscow. This iarticle in The Independent is an interview about Eugenie Vronskaya: How to paint Scotland from London
    every year on my birthday I paint a self portrait

    The Amateur Artists

    Plus 5 amateur artists
    • Londonna Evans Instagram ) London based Artist and former retail manager. Heatherley School of Fine Art - Diploma in Portraiture
    • Wayne Fallon ( Instagram ) Head of Art @brookfield_school_art in Chesterfield
    • Ian Legge - a part-time art technician from Maidenhead and self-confessed perfectionist 
    • Emma PileWebsite | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter) a Digital Artist based in London, specialising in theatre, exhibitions & events. She trained in Theatre Design at Central School of Speech and Drama and works as a Theatre Design Assistant at the National Theatre. This means she's involved in creating backgrounds and the technical drawings for them (which maybe explains her painting)
    • Allegra Wilder ( Website | Facebook | Instagram | Twitter) Recently qualified as an architect.  The Judges loved the close-up of the thumbs up in her self portrait.  Allegra loved Ray's pink eye shadow and wanted it to infuse her painting. (PS I love the domain name of her website!!)
    won't paint your cat but keen to paint your sister

    The Self Portraits

    Reviewing the self portrait wall (PAOTY Episode 4)

    This is a summary of the size, format and content of the self portraits in this heat
    • SIZE
      • Large x 3
      • Medium x 3
      • Small x 1
      • Very small x 2
    • FORMAT
      • Landscape format x 0
      • Portrait format x 7
      • Square format x 2
    • CONTENT OF SELF-PORTRAIT - as always, for me, the only ones in the running for making a difference as to outcome are those that are more than just a head and preferably include hands and/or are full size.
    "We very rarely get an entire figure" Kathleen Soriano

    That's a bit like saying, if you do submit a whole figure the Judges are going to spend more time assessing it re whether you can be a heat participant.