Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Just Stop Oil now threatening to slash artworks

The ignorant idiots who've been assaulting artwork around Europe are now reportedly threatening to start slashing paintings - despite the fact the oil in the paintings is nothing to do with the oil they are protesting about.

Alex De Koning, a spokesman for Just Stop Oil, said it was "insane" that "more people are outraged" about the activists targeting artwork than the devastating floods in Pakistan, which displaced millions of people.

The 24-year-old - who describes himself as a climate scientist - told Sky News that the protest group may follow in the footsteps of suffragettes who "violently slashed paintings in order to get their messages across".

In 1914, Mary Richardson attacked Diego Velazquez's painting The Rokeby Venus with a meat cleaver in a protest against the arrest of Emmeline Pankhurst.

Later that year, suffragette Anne Hunt entered the National Portrait Gallery and hacked away at a painting of Thomas Carlyle, one of the gallery's trustees. (Sky News)
The most ludicrous excuse is that they're going to act "like the Suffragettes"

Clearly these ignoramuses have never studied history. As my other half pointed out this morning the spokesman 

  • neither understands how suffrage was actually achieved 
  • nor how to get people on their side.

The FACTS are:

  • the movement for women's suffrage started in 1872
  • it became a militant campaign in 1906
However over the course of 42 years absolutely nothing was achieved in terms of change in suffrage prior to World War I.

Women got the vote after the First World War only AFTER women had thrown themselves wholeheartedly into the war effort.

  • the outbreak of the First World War saw all political activity suspended - including the suffrage movement
  • After the War, Lloyd George wanted to recognise the efforts of those who had contributed to the War Effort and in 1918 Lloyd George's Coalition Government passed the Representation of the People Act 1918, enfranchising 
    • all men over 21, 
    • as well as all women over the age of 30 who met minimum property qualifications.
    In 1928 the Conservative government passed the Representation of the People (Equal Franchise) Act 1928 equalizing the franchise to all persons, male and female, over the age of 21.
My other half said he did not understand why those protesting did not grasp that aggressive, combative and damaging protests rarely if ever achieve anything. Nor do they achieve public support if they constantly annoy the public at large.

In contrast peaceful non-aggressive protests can be much more successful.

So, he asked, why do the protestors not act voluntarily to do something of positive and public benefit to the community at large - while wearing clothing indicating they are "#Just Stop Oil" Protestors.

I think he's making a great point.

In the meantime I notice that 
  • protestors are acquiring criminal records and sentences of 6 months in prison.
  • the security at major art galleries and museums has been significantly toughened up since their "attack" efforts started.
National Gallery in Trafalgar Square this month (November 2022)


Tuesday, November 29, 2022

Call for Entries: Royal Society of Portrait Painters Annual Exhibition 2023

Those wishing to raise their profile as a portrait painter should be interested in the latest Call for Entries for the 132nd Annual Exhibition in 2023 of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

The deadline for the digital entries for the annual exhibition in May 2023 of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters is Friday 27 January 2023, 12 noon so now is a good time to start thinking about how you can use any extra time over Christmas and New Year to get an entry (or entries!) together.

This post is about:
  • the annual exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters - and why it's a good idea to enter
  • who can enter
  • what you can enter
  • how to enter
  • the timeline of important dates

About the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters

The Royal Society of Portrait Painters (RP) invites portraits completed by non-members to be entered in their annual open exhibition at the Mall Galleries in central London.

The Society welcomes paintings, drawings and original prints including digital/ipad prints from artists over 18, from the UK and internationally to be shown alongside members of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters at their Annual Exhibition.
The Royal Society of Portrait Painters seeks submissions of new and traditional artistic models and perspectives in portraiture.


Reasons why you should enter the RP's annual exhibition

For those wondering whether and why they should submit an entry to this exhibition, take a look at the following.

Entry is digital

  • You only need to go to the expense of framing and transport IF invited to progress to the second stage of selection. So most entries only incur the expense of the submission fee.

The Importance of Exhibitions to Portrait Commissions

artists accepted for exhibition will be invited to advertise portrait commissions through our Commissions department on which a commission will be payable.

Some significant prizes

This is an exhibition with some heavyweight and prestigious cash prizes. It has the most valuable prizes awarded by any national art society in the UK.

Monday, November 28, 2022

Prizewinners at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2022

I'm very pleased to see that both the website of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters and the Mall Galleries have lists of the Prizewinners at the Annual Exhibition 2022 - currently on display at the Mall Galleries until 10th December 2022

You can view them via the following links 

AND Alastair also handed me a list of the prizewinners when he saw me having a cup of tea.  The Mall Galleries are back to producing a listing for each exhibition!

I use it as a checklist when going round trying to spot the prizewinners!

I've written about the exhibition in The Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2022 & Events and will be writing further about what I thought about the exhibition and the artwork I liked in another post this week.

Prizes and Awards

Here's the list - split into types of awards. 
  • Links to the artists' websites are embedded in their names. 
  • I've also taken the first paragraph of their "About" page to provide a description of the artist underneath. (As in it's a good prompt to make other artists go and look and see what they say when introducing themselves!)

Cash Awards

I've listed the awards in order of cash value.

The Phyllis Roberts Award

An award of £2,000 for an artist aged 30 or under.
Kayoon was born in Seoul, South Korea in 1997. She studied architecture at the University of Cambridge and painting at Siena Art Institute before returning to England to specialise in portraiture at Heatherley School of Art. She currently works as a figurative painter in London. She looks to Italian and Korean art as influences in her painting practice.
(Some of you may recall Kayoon was the Heat Winner of Episode 1 of Portrait Artist of the Year 2020. She also painted Clive Myrie for Portrait Artist of the Week.)

Self Portrait with James, 100 x 75 cm
Kayoon Anderson

I remember thinking when I took a look at this that it struck me as being very angular and architectural. Small wonder!

Somebody was very critical of this painting on my post about the prizewinners on Facebook. So, in return, I offered my opinion of his comment. In my experience, sniping is almost always associated with people whose paintings were not selected for exhibition - but I can only speculate....

The Alan Gourlay Memorial Award

In memory of Past President Akan Gourlay, an annual prize of £1,000, awarded for a painting of outstanding merit.

Thursday, November 24, 2022

Review: Semi Finals of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022

This is all about the semi-finals of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022 (Series 9) which was broadcast last night. It covers various observations about the Semi-Final (the reality and the programme) including:

  • The Semi Finalists
  • The Wild Card
  • The Heat Paintings
  • The Sitter setup and setting
  • Decision-making
  • The Finalists

Episode 8 - The Semi-Finals of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022

The Semi Finalists

I listed and profiles all the semi finalists in my previous post Portrait Artist of the Year - The Semi-Finalists - with my view of how well they would do. They are - in Episode order:

Plus a wildcard!

The artists in the PAOTY Semi Finals

The Wild Card

In my last post I wondered if the Judges would bring back a wildcard - somebody who deserved a place in the semi-finals even if they didn't win their heat - and they did! 

Tuesday, November 22, 2022

The Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition 2022 & Events

This week the Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters opens to the public at the Mall Galleries on Thursday, 24th November 2022. 

I haven't been to one since 2019 - so am really looking forward to going this year. This is after the ROI experienced the worst luck possible of having both its 2020 and 2021 exhibitions clobbered by you know what - plus I was avoiding exhibitions pre-surgery last year.

That said, I'm still not attending Private Views (I'm still averse to large crowds indoors), so I'm not going to be visiting until Friday at the earliest so thought I'd take the opportunity today to highlight below

  • the Online Exhibition - which you can view now
  • the many Events - including painting with the ROI members - being held during the Exhibition

ROI Annual Exhibition 2022

Venue: Mall Galleries
Dates: 24 November 2022 to 10 December 2022
Hours: 10am to 5pm
Admission: £5, Free for Friends of Mall Galleries, ROI Friends, under 25s. Concessions available. No booking required.

ROI Online Exhibition

You can view the ROI Online Exhibition of all the artwork selected for the exhibition in 2022 on the Mall Galleries website.

You can also view the ROI Catalogue on ISSUU. This includes images of artwork by members and the complete listing of all the artworks and artists - with media and prices - in the exhibition

Landscape paintings by members of the ROI in the Exhibition Catalogue 2022
(Left clockwise: Andrew King, Julia Hawkins, Tom Stevenson; Right: Nicholas Verrall)

It was very sad to see from the catalogue that the ROI has lost five members in the last year - in alphabetical order

ROI Events at the Annual Exhibition 2022

Some of these events involve painting and hence require some planning ahead of time - so best to highlight BEFORE the exhibition!

Monday, November 21, 2022

Portrait Artist of the Year - The Semi-Finalists

 Do you think you know who is going to win Portrait Artist of the Year this year? Can you work out - in advance of the Semi-Final on Wednesday 23rd November - who will make the Final?

Why not have a go after reviewing this year's semi finalists - SEE BELOW - for Portrait Artist of the Year?

Don't forget the challenge for the eventual winner - who has to paint a £10,000 commissioned portrait of Sir Lenny Henry for the National Portrait Gallery. 

  • He's a big man and a big personality 
  • So, in my book, that means the artist has got to be somebody who has demonstrated at some stage the capability of "going big".

BELOW are listed 

  • all the Heat Winners alongside their self-portrait and heat painting. Links to websites are embedded in their names and other social media sites are listed if identified.
  • PLUS MY REVIEW of what I think - including who I think will make the Final.

Episode 1 - Morag Caister

Morag Caister - (Facebook | Instagram) BA. Painting, University of Brighton (2019). Brighton Metropolitan College, Foundation, Art & Design (2014). Heat winner and PAOTY semi-finalist in 2020. Has exhibited her art internationally. Has her work in Brighton Beach House, Soho House, 2022 (i.e. known to Kate Bryan)

Morag Caister: Self Portrait and Heat Painting

Morag Caister with her heat painting

My view: She's always been a very strong contender for me and I'd be very surprised if she doesn't make the Final
  • I was pretty confident she was going to win the heat 
  • she's been selected again after participating in a previous PAOTY in 2020 - and making it to the semi-final in 2020. 
  • She paints big (most of the person on large canvases); has got a strong consistent contemporary style and doesn't faff around with backgrounds - which saves a lot of time. 
  • Her Instagram also demonstrates that she has previously painted people of colour.

Episode 2 - Noah Rush

Noah Rush (Instagram) is the youngest participant aged 19. He's an art student at Goldsmith's College in London. (his self portrait)

My view: I was somewhat surprised he was chosen as the winner in the heat and I'd be even more surprised if he makes it to the semi-finals.

While not doubting his potential career as an artist, I'm not sure he's demonstrated enough so far to persuade me he'll progress beyond the semi-finals e.g. so far he's not gone beyond head and head and shoulders. I'm not seeing much on his Instagram which suggests he can go beyond this.

Sunday, November 20, 2022

Review: Episode 7 of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022 (Series 9)

I'm so long this week in posting this review that I'm going to use a pic from when the one of the shortlisted artists was announced as the introduction!

the winner of Episode 7 is announced

This is my review of Episode 7 of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022 (series 9). You can find my reviews of previous episodes of the current series at the end of this post.

Below you can find
  • brief profiles of the nine artists competing for a place in the semi-final
  • names of the three sitters - one for each segment of the set-up above
  • themes I identified in this episode
  • what the judges liked a lot and what they were less impressed by who was shortlisted - and Judges comments on each
  • who won this heat

The Artists

The artists in Episode 7

Artists in Episode 7 are listed below in alphabetical order. I provide some detail which got left out of some of the bios on television. Links to websites are embedded in names.
  • Alexandra Beteeva (Instagram) - from Russia and is now an art student currently studying painting and printmaking at the Glasgow School of Art 
  • Jeannie Kinsler (Instagram) - born in 1963 in England, Jeannie was raised and schooled in Zimbabwe and then South Africa. She studied Graphic Design at the then Natal Technikon. She has had two portraits accepted for the Royal Society of Portrait Painters annual exhibition.
  • Richard Kitson - he paints, draws and makes etchings in his studio in Barnsley, South Yorkshire. He also previously participated in PAOTY 2018 when he painted Kadeena Cox. He's had a portrait accepted for the annual Royal Society of Portrait Painters open exhibition at the Mall Galleries. 
  • Jodhie McCourt (Instagram) - an accountant from Norwich, whose self portrait was an oil in board
  • Thompson Osim - a research technician at University College, London
  • Lee Turbill - a charity worker from Northampton.
  • Simon Turvey - an award-winning professional artist who who lives in Orpington and paints animals for a living and whose art has been sold at Christies! He's a member of the Society of Wildlife Artists and is its past Secretary. Once I looked at his wildlife art on line I knew exactly who he was - but didn't connect the artwork to the face! He spent two years at Ravensbourne College of Art and became a professional painter at the age of 20. He's also a portrait artist and his work was included in 500 Portraits (National Portrait Gallery Publications)He did his self portrait - which had three views of Simon - in 10 days. 
  • Jude Wainwright - a fine art graduate who works in creative branding and lives and works in Manchester. Her self portrait was very small.
  • Lucie Wake (Instagram) - a professional artist from York
If often wonder how they decide how to allocate artists to each heat - other than the obvious make a point of having a mic of professional and amateur artists. This week we seem to have rather more from the end of the alphabet - which one might assume means this was the last heat - except when you know that the order of the episodes bears absolutely no relation to the order of the Heats!

The Sitters

The sitters for this heat were
  • Lemar - an English singer, songwriter and record producer who emerged from Fame Academy and has had considerable chart success with his music
  • Candice Carty-Williams - a British writer, best known for her 2019 debut novel, Queenie - which won 'Book of the Year'
  • Henning Wehn - a German stand-up comedian based in London.

Size and Content of Self Portrait Submissions

[No decent view of the self portraits lined up this episode - which is a pity]

Every week I look at how the self portraits can be analysed in terms of format, size and content.

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Images from ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2022 plus Prizes

I viewed the six different displays of small artworks selected by six different selectors for the ING Discerning Eye 2022 Exhibition at the Mall Galleries yesterday. 

My general impression was that much of the content was better than in previous years - while some still had me wondering about "what is taste?" in art and even "what is art?"!

The Different Displays

I've done two things after getting home

The link in the name is to my Facebook albums

The second link to the number of artworks is to the website gallery version on the ING Discerning Eye website. You can then compare the digital image version with what it looks like on the wall.

One of the things you may find interesting as you look at the artwork is to see which artworks have sold - bearing in mind that the exhibition had been open for a week - since 11 November - when I saw it on 18 November. Keen collectors tend to buy online or early on in an exhibition.

I saw quite a few sales. I also saw quite a really silly prices. In future, I think some artists need to remember that we are now in a recession and won't be coming out of it for quite a long time.

Never ever forget 'Affordable Art' sells well! Small works are a great opportunity to create affordable art.

Prizes and Awards

Interestingly on the IMG Discerning Eye website the awards are not matched up with images of the awards. However if you click the link that takes you to the dedicated page for that artwork. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Call for Entries: Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours 211th Exhibition in 2023

The OPEN Call for Entries for The Royal Institute of Water Colours (RI) Annual Exhibition in 2023 has been published.  It invites submissions from both International and British artists over 18 years of age. 

The RI's annual exhibition has been described by Rosa Sepple, Former President of the RI as....
"the biggest exhibition of watercolour paintings in the world"

The deadline for entries for the 211th Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours in early Spring 2023 is Friday 6 January 2023, 12 noon 
  • so three weeks earlier than last year! 
  • Something to focus your mind on over the Christmas Holidays - if not before!
Two years ago I wrote the following and I'm happy to restate it in this post today.
I highly RECOMMEND this exhibition to ALL those who paint in watercolour media - no matter what your subject or style. I'm a big supporter of those art societies which try hard to recognise that their annual exhibitions are
  • a major way of helping 'emerging artists' with their careers - and
  • finding good quality new members for the society in the future

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 buy watercolour paintings

There are no images from the 2022 Annual Exhibition in this Call for Entries 

Call for Entries

The RI seeks the best in contemporary watercolour and water media painting.
You can READ the official details of the Call for Entries for the exhibition in 2022 in two places:
Below is a summary - but the rules you need to abide by are in the above links!

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

The ING Discerning Eye Exhibition 2022

This is about the ING Discerning Eye Exhibition which can be seen both online and at the Mall Galleries this week - until 20th November.

The exhibition includes more than 500 small artworks by 359 artists

To be honest I thought the exhibition was next week and I'd not seen any reminders on my Facebook feed. 

More importantly, having just realised(!), I haven't yet seen it - and could go today but my osteoarthritis especially hates lots of heavy rain (today) which is why I'm sat writing about it before I've actually seen it!

You can find details of how to visit and the DAILY demonstrations at the end of this post.

I'm going to start by taking a quick look at the two organisations involved in this exhibition - because without both of them this open art competition and exhibition of small works would not exist. I've usually focused on the exhibition - but the very fact that the exhibition continues to exist when so many have fallen by the wayside I decided a different approach is relevant this year.

ING Sponsorship of Art

I'd like to start by applauding ING for their continued sponsorship of this open art competition / exhibition. 
  • ING has been supporting this exhibition every year since 1999! 
  • This makes it one of the longest corporate art sponsorships in the UK
At a time when art competitions are fast disappearing off the scene (Sunday Times Watercolour / Lynn Painter-Stainers / BP Portrait Award) it's really great to see a commitment to continued sponsorship.

In part I think it comes because the ING have their own art collection in their UK Offices at 60 London Wall in the City of London, which I've been privileged to see - see my 2011 post about The ING Art Collection.  I'm not surprised that back in 2016 ING’s art collection wins Corporate Art Awards. As a Dutch Bank it has also sponsored the Rijksmuseum since 2005.
The ING Collection is a living, evolving collection that is constantly questioning its relationship to art and its boundaries. It is a modern collection that reflect ING’s international, contemporary and innovative character. It reflects the figurative tradition of ING in an experimental and new way.

For me, a commitment to art by a sponsor is a very good indication of whether or not the sponsorship is likely to be enduring. It also says something about the nature of the organisation.  

Art and culture have always been important to us and we believe in the power of art to inspire, make connections, and portray times we live in. Through our partnership, it’s our privilege to support emerging artists and make art accessible to collectors in the UK and beyond.

The Discerning Eye Collection

The Discerning Eye aims to encourage wider conversations around the understanding and appreciation of the visual arts.
The main focus of the organisation is the annual exhibition - but has also expanded into other activities

  • the website now includes an archive of images of every artwork shown at every ING Discerning Eye exhibition.
  • The Discerning Eye Collection has been developed using the annual Founder’s Purchase Prize and includes artworks by some of the UK's leading artists - many of home have featured as prizewinners in various exhibitions.
  • they created the Drawing Eye Bursary
  • exhibitions have also been held at the Temple Church
  • an online exhibition was set up in response to the constraints caused during the pandemic

However during 2021, they have diversified into providing online webinars for artists - delivered via Instagram.

You can see the recording of the last LIVE TALK on How to promote your work as an artist on Instagram

The next LIVE TALK on Instagram is on Wednesday this week at 5pm 

Instagram LIVE TALK for artists: 'Working with a gallery' 🆕⁠

🗓 When? Wednesday, 16 November from 5pm UK.⁠
Tune in on the day or catch up after on our page.⁠

We are delighted to have @cynthia_corbett, Director of ⁠
@cynthiacorbettgallery and Elspeth Edmondson, Director of @thewhispergallery answering your questions


ING Discerning Eye Exhibition

The ING Discerning Eye annual exhibition is a show of small, domestic scale, works independently selected by six prominent figures from different areas of the art world: two artists, two collectors and two critics.
I wrote about the Call for Entries for this Exhibition back in July - see Call for Entries: ING Discerning Eye Annual Exhibition 2022

Last year I was none too impressed by the technological aspects of the exhibition - see Cons and Pros of ING Discerning Eye Exhibition's tech makeover - and I'll wait to I get to the exhibition to comment on any issues re accessing information about the artwork this year.

On to what the Exhibition involves....

Out of 7,300 entries from 2,900 artists, 420 works from 325 artists were selected from the open call for the ING Discerning Eye 2022 exhibition. That means 
  • just under 6% of the open call artworks submitted made it through to the exhibition. 
  • around about 11% of the open call artists who submitted had artwork selected - which is a very respectable percentage
There are 527 artworks by 359 artists in the complete exhibition - as some artists are INVITED by the selectors rather than selected from the open call.
  • i.e. 107 artworks by 34 artists were invited NOT selected.
The Selectors are normally split into Collectors, Critics and Artists - but other than the latter I'm not entirely sure which is which.
  • Alison Bevan, RWA Director
  • Gurinder Chadha, Film director
  • Aindrea Emelife, Curator
  • Kate Enters, ArtCan Director
  • David Ferry, Artist and RE President
  • Ansel Krut, Artist
Each Selector mounts their own exhibition within the different galleries at the Mall Galleries and shows the work they want to. If you click the link to Selectors and then image of the selector on then you can see the artwork they selected.e
Getting to the final selection was incredibly painful - it was so hard to choose between such a wealth of great art! In the end I chose work in the same way that I select artwork for my own home: does it light a personal spark, and would it reward spending time with? I also considered how each fitted with my invited artists, who are a small cross-section of RWA Academicians and Artists' Network members, all of whose work I personally love. Alison Bevan
some of the artwork selected by Alison Bevan

All artwork in the exhibition MUST BE within the maximum size limit of 20 inches (50cm) including frame. That means lots of artworks - but they're all small. Many of them are also very affordable.

Artists can also submit up to six artworks - and it's always really interesting to see which were the artists that the selectors were competing over - as in the artist ends up in two or more selectors exhibitions

You can also see the online exhibition in its entirety via

Note that this page states "To explore this year's catalogue either scroll down to view the entire selection or search for a particular artist, title or medium" but I can't see how you do this since all those filters are missing from the menu of filter options!


This is the Instagram reel of the announcement of the awards. I can't see anything on the website as yet as to who won what.....


Online Exhibition Artworks will be available to browse and buy online until 31 December 2022.
Exhibition Venue: Mall Galleries The Mall London SW1 - North, East & West Galleries
Dates: 11 - 10 November 2022
Hours: 10am - 5pm
Admission: FREE
  • Tuesday 15 November - Jane Dickins and Paul Trussell
  • Wednesday 16 November - Elizabeth Meek and Rae Birch
  • Thursday 17 November - Tony Anderson and Guglielmo Alfarone
  • Friday 18 November - Thomas Cameron
  • Saturday 19 November - Annam Butt
  • Sunday 20 November - Paul Regan and Shirley Cullum

Monday, November 14, 2022

M. Stephen Doherty has died

I'm always brought up short when a name which has been very familiar to me for the last two decades of the online art world suddenly comes up on Facebook for all the wrong reasons.

Steve Doherty (known formally as M. Stephen Doherty) died of a heart attack on Saturday 12th November 2022.

Steve was one of those people who straddled the old and new world of communicating to ordinary people about art. He worked in the art magazine industry for 39 years

  • He was Editor-in-Chief of American Artist, Watercolor, Drawing, and Workshop magazines between 1979 and 2010 - which used to be part of the Watson-Guptill art operation which I always highly rated (I used to be a subscriber to American Artist and Drawing)
  • From 2011-2018, he was the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir magazine (Streamline Publishing, Austin, TX) - and I followed its activities through newsletters and social media

However, having been through the demise of one publishing set-up (when its competitors bought it out, snaffled the subscribers and then closed it down) I'm guessing he also understood the importance of communication with target interest groups via social media. He certainly maintained a Facebook Page which he used to communicate with other plein air enthusiasts and display his plein air work.

He lived in Waynesboro, in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia and was married. The following is from his website 'about' page.
M. Stephen Doherty majored in art at Knox College in Galesburg, IL and graduated summa cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking from Cornell University in Ithaca, NY; taught art in public schools, a community college, and at Knox; worked in the marketing department of a company that manufactured screen printing art supplies; and then moved to a suburb of New York City. For 31 years, he was the editor of American Artist magazine and launched three other art magazines: Watercolor, Drawing, and Workshop. In 2011, he became Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir magazine and moved to the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He continues to edit PleinAir, participate in plein air events, judge art shows, teach workshops, exhibit paintings, and give lectures. He writes a blog ny that manufactured screen printing art supplies; and then moved to a suburb of New York City.
This was the video that was made about him to honour his career when he retired in 2018.

He wrote extensively on plein air painting. 
He also wrote two other three books
  • The Watson-Guptill Handbooks of Landscape Painting (1989, Watson-Guptill Publications, Inc)
  • Dynamic Still Lifes in Watercolor, the Art of Sondra Freckelton (1983, Watson-Guptill, Inc)

Sunday, November 13, 2022

READ: The Age of Social Media is Ending

For any artist who is active on the internet and/or social media and/or thinks they ought to be, I have a recommendation for an article which I think is a "must read". 

The Age of Social Media Is Ending is by Ian Bogost and it's the first article that I've read which makes cogent sense of the last 20 years and how both the internet communication, social networks and social media have developed - and now appear to be declining. 

It may well make you pause for thought about how you might proceed in future. At any rate it provides context for the future - as well as the past.

It’s over. Facebook is in decline, Twitter in chaos. Mark Zuckerberg’s empire has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in value and laid off 11,000 people, with its ad business in peril and its metaverse fantasy in irons. Elon Musk’s takeover of Twitter has caused advertisers to pull spending and power users to shun the platform (or at least to tweet a lot about doing so). It’s never felt more plausible that the age of social media might end—and soon. 
Introduction to The Age of Social Media Is Ending is by Ian Bogost
You can find the article online in The Atlantic Magazine (which I recommend in general anyway!)

In terms of whether it's written by somebody who knows what they're talking about

Ian Bogost is an American academic and video game designer. He holds a joint professorship at Washington University as director and professor of the Film and Media Studies program in Arts & Sciences and the McKelvey School of Engineering. He previously held a joint professorship in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication and in Interactive Computing in the College of Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he was the Ivan Allen College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Chair in Media Studies  Wikipedia

Friday, November 11, 2022

Review: Episode 6 of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022 (Series 9)

This is my review of Episode 6 of Portrait Artist of the Year 2022 (series 9)You can find my reviews of previous episodes of the current series at the end of this post.

PAOTY Series 9 / Episode 6 at Battersea Arts Centre

Below I consider:

  • the profiles of the nine artists competing for a place in the semi-final
  • the three sitters - one for each segment of the set-up above
  • themes I identified in this episode
  • what the judges liked a lot and rather less
  • who was shortlisted - and Judges comments on each
  • who won this heat

The Artists

The artists in Episode 6 of PAOTY Series 9
sat on the steps at the side of Battersea Arts Centre in April 2022

Artists in Episode 6 are listed below in alphabetical order. I provide some detail which got left out of some of the bios on television. Links to websites are embedded in names.
  • Lanceford Brown (Instagram | Twitter) - a civil servant and spare time artist from South London who likes working in coloured pencils
  • Owen Lennox  (Facebook) - born in Sunderland in 1950. He is a retired art teacher who taught art for over 30 years. He lives in Braintree, Essex and still teaches art to local groups. He graduated from Sheffield in 1978 in Fine Art and History of Art before training as an art teacher. After being head of art in several London schools, he established himself as a painter specialising in portraits in oils.
  • Patrick Morales-Lee (Instagram) - full time artist and illustrator who lives in Whitstable and works from a studio 5 minutes away. He graduated in Fine Art in 1998 from Plymouth University and initially worked as a graphic designer. He appeared on PAOTY 2020 and was asked by Kate Bryan to exhibit in 2021. He has a very distinctive mature style which focuses on drawing and he works mainly in mainly pencil, charcoal and charcoal powder.
  • Rosie O'Mahony (Facebook) - full time artist from Omagh in Northern Ireland. She studied Fine Art Printmaking at National College of Art and Design and now lives in Dublin and works at the Irish Film Institute (IFI)
  • Marcia Patterson (Instagram) - a full time carer for her adult son in Bedford
  • Leanne Pearce (Facebook | Twitter)- a full time artist (and mother) who lives and works at home in Newcastle. Her first degree was  in fine art at Northumbria University. She took part in PAOTY 2018 and became a full time artist afterwards. (See Review: Episode 7 of Portrait Artist of the Year 2018 - when Robert Bathurst of Cold Feet and Downton Abbey fame chose her painting)
  • Anastasia Russa (Facebook | Instagram) - She was born in Russia and studied Monumental Painting, the V.Surikov State Academy Art Institute, Moscow. She relocated from Russia to live with her husband in North London and work as an art lecturer. She has been selected for some art competitions and open exhibitions in London.
  • Ruby Scott-Geddes - a full time artist who works as an illustrator, portrait artist, printmaker, event sketch artist, muralist, sign-painter, life drawing teacher and craftsperson - and speed sketcher of people - and makes art in both Edinburgh and Bristol, UK. She studied as follows 
    • History of Art MA(hons) | University of Edinburgh, 2019
    • Building Crafts Program: Heritage Skills | The Prince's Foundation, 2018
    • Figure and portraiture drawing | Edinburgh Atelier of Fine Art, 2017
  • Natalie Williamson (Instagram) - from Huddersfield. Worked in art licensing before becoming a full time artist. Not a lot of info about her on her website.

The Sitters

The sitters this episode were:
  • Jim Carter - a very experienced actor whose roles have included Mr Carson from Downton Abbey - who brought a cricket bat
  • Benjamin Zephaniah - a British writer, poet and activist - who brought his bright red Tai Chi suit
  • Ellie Simmonds - a former paralympic swimmer with five gold medals, recently seen in Strictly Come Dancing - who brought her diary because she loves being organised.

Size and Content of Self Portrait Submissions

Every week I look at how the self portraits can be analysed in terms of format, size and content.

Eight of the nine self portraits.
 I do wish they'd hang them closer together so we can see them all together


  • Portrait x 4
  • Landscape x 2
  • Square x 3


  • Large x 2
  • Large/Medium x 1
  • Medium x 4
  • Small x 1
  • Tiny x 1

SCOPE (in terms of representation of artist's body)

Five of the nine artists failed to paint any hands in their self portraits - which in my book is a major missed opportunity
  • full size or most of body (including hand) x 1
  • head + upper torso + hand(s) x 3
  • head + upper torso (no hands) x 2
  • head and shoulders x 2
  • head x 1


We're getting near the end of the heats now - so less to talk about that's new. Hence in this review I pick up on a couple of broader issues.