Friday, April 09, 2021

Prince Philip (1921-2021) - the painter

Many will write today about the passing of Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh and consort to HM The Queen who died peacefully at Windsor Castle this morning.

I wonder if any will mention his interest in painting. 
(They did - see 2021 articles referenced below)

Below I'm going to comment on what I know of his interest in art and design - and in painting.

Prince Philip painting on Britannia - by Edward Seago

I've seen many paintings by Prince Charles - which are regularly exhibited in art society exhibitions in London. I guess that this interest in painting was probably derived from the fact his father also had an interest in painting during time available for leisure.

The Duke of Edinburgh has had a life-long interest in art and design, both as a patron and collector, and as an artist himself. His atmospheric oil painting of Duart Castle from the Sound of Mull in the Western Isles is included in the exhibition. Prince Philip: Celebrating Ninety Years at the Drawings Gallery in Windsor Castle | artdaily

Paintings by Prince Philip have however been rarely seen - until relatively recently. 

Tuition by Edward Seago

Thursday, April 08, 2021

Making A Mark is a Top 10 art blog in 2021 - again!

Making A Mark has again been named one of the Top Ten Art Blogs in the UK in 2021.
Which means I get to put a new image in the side column of this blog to indicate this

The Top Ten Art Blogs

I record the blogs which get listed each year - mainly because the URL stays the same and hence the listing is lost

You can see from the art blogs that there are a lot which have stayed the same and ......
  • a number have been around for a very long time - and we've all been in this listing together for ages!
  • there is a distinct bias towards street art
  • there is a preponderance of team blogs - and I've indicated below which are solo efforts and which are team blogs
Vuelio uses a proprietary algorithm to create these rankings, based on topic-related content in blogs on its system – you can read more about the process here

 For the record, the top ten art blogs in 2021 are listed below:

  1. StreetArtNews (TEAM BLOG) - Urban art for "art geeks". This blog has been around since 2009.  I've always thought of this one as a team blog -  I think the giveaway is that Rom Levy is described as Founder & Editor-in-Chief 
  2. Jackson's Art Blog (TEAM BLOG) - I always highly recommend this blog for all those interested in art materials and techniques with art materials. This is a team blog and its most regular writers are Julie Caves, Clare McNamara and Lisa Takahashi - with contributions with other occasional writers
  3. We Make Money Not Art (SOLO BLOG) written (somewhat irregularly) by RĂ©gine Debatty - and which seems to have been around forever. 
  4. Art Plugged (moves up one place) - a contemporary online platform which features art news from across the globe and interviews with artists.  Basically you can't read the posts unless you register and join the Art Plugged Community. It's one way of driving up subscriptions. Unclear whether it's solo or a team, effort but it's definitely commercially driven.
  5. Hookedblog (SOLO BLOG moves up one place) - Created by Mark Rigney in 2005 and focused on the street art scene
  6. ArtWeb Blog (TEAM BLOG)  says it's "For Aspiring And Professional Artists On The Internets".  Basically a front end for selling artist websites. However it does have useful content for those trying to develop online marketing. 
  7. Making A Mark (i.e. me) at an exhibition
    (SOLO i.e. Just me! ;) Except I started it in 2006, and since then it has received over 5.4 million visitors and 16.8 million page views - from visitors from all over the world.  I'm always absolutely amazed at the number of people it reaches. 40% of visitors come from the UK, 25% from the USA and the remainder from the rest of the world. Mainly focused on the UK but lots of content is more generic and applicable to artists all over the world.  I've got used to people who recognise me and stop me in the street when I'm walking to and from an art exhibition in London - despite the fact I post very few full face pics of myself!! I'm very struck by how pedestrian my blog design is compared to others - but it works for me....
  8. Inspiring City (SOLO BLOG) - another covering the urban / street art scene set up by Stuart Holdsworth in 2012. He also does podcasts
  9. Scribblah (SOLO BLOG) - Selling artwork from a blog. Rose Davies describes herself as: ‘artist, printmaker, scribbler, ageing headbanger, feminist, activist, mad-cat-woman, cake-maker, accidental-archaeologist, mud-wrangler, wild, Welsh and opinionated’ - so more than just about art!
  10. The Primary Art Class (SOLO BLOG) - I think Emily Gopaul's blog is a wonderful idea and will doubtless be invaluable to all primary school art teachers - and parents!
A number of these have been in the top ten for a long time. I get that's the payoff for being persistent in our blogging!


Friday, April 02, 2021

The Natural Eye Bursary 2021 - Call for Entries

The Society of Wildlife Artists has published its Call for Entries for The Natural Eye Bursary 2021 
The deadline for entries is 1st June 2021 - so plenty of time to prepare an application.

What is The Natural Eye Bursary?

The Society of Wildlife Artists (SWLA) offers this Bursary each year to artists aged 16 and over who are interested in portraying wildlife in art.
the selectors are looking for proposals that demonstrate a sense of enquiry into the natural world through original and thoughtful creativity that will result in a genuine artistic and personal response to the wildlife subject.


What is on offer?

The award has two components:
  • Awards of up to £750 are available to artists submitting exceptional proposals that focus on wildlife as a main subject to:
    • carry out independent projects, 
    • develop research - involving artwork
    • or training in art practices .
  • Successful applicants also have the opportunity to 
    • exhibit an example (or examples) of their bursary work during The Natural Eye exhibition held annually at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London’s West End
    • have their report of their project published on the SWLA website.
In addition
  • several past bursary winners have gone on to become active members of the SWLA 
  • the bursary has helped with exhibition opportunities and professional relationships that continue into the future
  • most award winners have continued to diversify in the arts, often citing their bursary project as a pivotal moment in their practice. 
I was immersed in nature for a month, observing wildlife every day and for the first time learning to identify those methods of field drawing that work for me
CHRISTOPHER WALLBANK Bursary Winner 2008 - Read his report 
Urban Black Kites of Delhi by Chris Wallbank (won 2008)
- a subsequent project - as exhibited 10 years later in the SWLA Annual Exhibition in 2018

Essentially, it's an opportunity to demonstrate your interests, the scope of your enquiry and the knowledge, skills, talent and innovation that you bring to bear on creating a focused piece of research and artwork.
Christopher Wallbank (bursary winner 2008) discovered his fascination for combining art with ecology during his project drawing the wildlife of two extremes, depth and altitude, in the Bay of Biscay and Picos de Europa mountain range. He has since gone on to collaborate with several field-based conservation projects, including the long-term monitoring of guillemots, the preservation of urban black kites and as an SWLA member on the Wallasea and Wadensea projects. 
Green Bridge Loomery by Chris Wallbank

What are selectors looking for?

Successful proposals will reflect the SWLA’s main ethos to generate appreciation and delight in the natural world through fine art.
The current context changes the bursary slightly this year:
  • Both the Pandemic and the subsequent lockdown(s) has meant that many more artists have found inspiration in nature. 
  • However they also been limited in how far they can travel - and many in the UK are still limited by how far they can move away from their local area.
Many of the society’s members and associates working under lockdown restrictions have demonstrated how successfully artistic enquiry can capture the awe and wonder found in nature without the need to travel to exotic corners of the world.
Consequently in 2021, the SWLA have very sensibly suggested that they are particularly interested in proposals that 
  • either celebrate the wildlife found close to home
  • and/or projects by artists who have, perhaps for the first time, discovered a new focus for their work by engaging more with the natural world. 
That does not exclude other proposals - but the focus enables a much clearer focus on wildlife near people's own homes than hitherto.

Previous Bursary Awards

Previous bursary work has included a wide range of different media including; 
  • drawing, 
  • sculpture, 
  • painting, 
  • online journals, 
  • artist’s book-works and 
  • installation.  
Successful bursary projects have focused on one (or more) aspects - see below
  • many document their experience of wildlife first hand - by working from observation in the field. 
  • artistic development through education and building practical skills e.g. Gareth Williams’ bursary award enabled him to join a print studio for a year and develop his observations of wildlife through print making.
I was able to learn this entirely new way of working, which gave my work a new visual language and, complimented my style
  • research resulting in remarkable portfolios of work on display at The Natural Eye Exhibition. 
The resultant 2008 exhibition gave me the opportunity to invite peers and contemporaries to see my installation at the gallery — a great space — which led to an invitation to exhibit the work at "The Animal Gaze: Contemporary Art & Animal/​Human Studies" — Whitechapel
HELEN J. BULLARD, THE NATURAL EYE BURSARY WINNER 2006, 2007 - read about her 2007 project and her 2006 project


How to apply for a Natural Eye Bursary Award