Monday, April 29, 2024

Podcast: Antony Gormley: Art, religion, and the battle for culture

Antony Gormley spoke at length in a podcast recently. It included some of the most intelligent and articulate points about art and culture that I've heard in a very long time. Particularly since programmes about art history disappeared along with BBC4 original programming.

One of the reasons I'm highlighting it because I've listened to Gormley speak at length about his art, drawing and the processes he used in person a long time ago - but I still remember how impressed I was with him and his thoughts at the time (see the end for more about this encounter - and my blog post with quotable quotes plus my sketch of Gormley's head)

PODCAST: Antony Gormley: Art, religion, and the battle for culture

This is:
Can Britain remain a cultural superpower post-Brexit? How does religion and philosophy inform creativity? How can we prevent arts from being cut from curriculums?
  • The podcast show you can find it on is LEADING which is hosted by "Alistair and Rory" (they've left their surnames off the blurb so I will too!) - but don't let that worry you. There is remarkably little politics about it for those who are more used to their "The Rest is Politics" podcast.

TALK: Antony Gormley on Drawing (21st January 2008)

'Drawing what you can't see'
pen and ink in Moleskine sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

This is my blog post Antony Gormley on drawing - at the Jerwood. It includes some soundbites which I kept writing down as he was talking as he is so articulate and incisive! Here's a couple

"Drawing is like thinking out loud"

"Drawing is a form of explanation. It's a notation of a journey"

I drew Antony Gormley - and made notes - while he gave a Gallery Talk to a small audience at the Jerwood Space.  The exhibition was about the relationship between sculpture and drawing. 

Three artists, for whom drawing is a major part of their professional practice have been invited to give Gallery talks during the course of the exhibition and Antony Gormley gave the first of these last night - "Drawing From & Drawing Out".
I had a partial view of him so drew what I could see until I got a better view - hence the starts which never finished! 

I've been told in the past I draw like I'm sculpting - which is a pretty accurate way of describing what I think I'm doing when drawing heads.

Sunday, April 28, 2024

10th Anniversary Prize Commission for Landscape Artist of the Year

One of the artists who has applied for the next series of Landscape Artist of the Year - by the deadline for entries of 3rd May 2024 - will win a £10,000 commission.

Last week Sky Arts announced the organisation which will receive the commission and the  location of the 10th Anniversary Prize Commission for the next series of Landscape Artist of the Year has been announced.
Following in the footsteps of famous painters like Monet, Cezanne and Van Gogh, the winning artist will travel to the south of France to create a work inspired by one of the most famous coastlines in the word.

At this point I'll just insert my sketch of Monet's painting of Antibes in the 'old' Courtauld Gallery!

My sketch of Monet's painting of Antibes in the Courtauld Gallery

plus Cezanne's landscape painting of Mont St. Victoire - also in the Courtauld

The Montagne Saint-Victoire (c.1887) by Paul Cezanne (1839-1906)
oil on canvas
Samuel Courtauld Trust: Courtauld Gift 1932

I've also tried drawing the landscape in the south of France like Van Gogh and have certainly visited a number of places which he drew - and a number of places where he drew from.

If you want to get more insight into what that Commission trip might involve - just take a look at this article for Architectural Digest - An Art Lover’s Road Trip Through the South of France. I've done all of it apart from the last bit - and it is a location which provides masses of inspiration. 

Applications close on Friday 3rd May and the filming starts in June.
You can read more about how to enter via my blog post Call for Entries: Landscape Artist of the Year Series Ten

Thursday, April 25, 2024

RBA Rising Stars at the ROSL and three prizewinners!

Rising Stars are those whose profile is in the ascendent!
RBA RISING STARS is an exhibition which showcases the extraordinary talent of 41 artists, aged 18-35, including those shortlisted for the Rome Scholarship offered by the Royal Society of British Artists

This post looks at:
  • the RBA Rome Scholarship - and what an amazing prize it is
  • the RBA Rising Stars Exhibition at the Royal Overseas League in London - which opened yesterday and continues until 7th July 2024.
  • the RomeScholarship prizewinners and awards ceremony
  • how the Rome Scholarship winner is determined
  • Artists selected for the RBA Rising Stars exhibition
  • Exhibition details
I'm also uploading images of the artwork in the exhibition to an album on my Facebook Page and will insert a link here when it has been published

I highly recommend a visit to the exhibition for all those interested in applying for the 2025 Rome Scholarship!

President of the RBA, Mick Davies begins the prizegiving at
RBA Rising Stars Exhibition held in the central foyer and stairwell
at the Royal Overseas League HQ in London.

RBA Rome Scholarship

  • a prize of £5,000
  • a return flight to Rome in September 2024
  • Four weeks accommodation at Sala Uno, a highly prestigious gallery and international arts centre in the heart of Rome - Staying in a self-contained apartment, situated within a wonderful and extensive walled garden in the grounds of the gallery
  • Studio space which will be available within the galler; and
  • 2 meals per day at a local restaurant.
The prize is sponsored by Huaicun Zhang who is an Honorary Member of the RBA.

Huaicun Zhang, sponsor of the Rome Scholarship and prizes 
with Mick Davies, President of the Royal Society of British Artists

This competition is open to artists who live, work or study in the UK and who are aged 35 years or under.

RBA Rising Stars Exhibition at the Royal Overseas League

The RISING STARS 2024 exhibition has opened
The exhibition comprises one artwork from 41 artists.

At the end of this post you can find out more about what else ROSL offers to artists.

RBA Rome Scholarship Prizewinners

On Tuesday night, at the Private View for the Exhibition, the names of the three artists who have been shortlisted for the Rome Scholarship were announced.

This is the process used to progress applications to an awards ceremony and the award of the Rome Scholarship.

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

PRISM Textile Exhibition at The Art Pavilion - featuring Lynne Chapman

Last Friday I visited "Edgelands" on its opening day at at The Art Pavilion in Mile End Park, Clinton Road, E3 4QY. I was there because I've been following Lynne Chapman for years - and I very much wanted to see her dress "Ruby".

Lynne Chapman with "Ruby"
the dress she created which records the experience of having 
Aphantasia - which means being unable to have visual memories of events in her life

Edgelands is the 2024 Exhibition of Prism Textiles
Our international exhibiting group brings together a diverse group of selected textile artists showcasing high-quality fine art textile practice and craftsmanship from around the world. Exhibiting as a group since 1998, we currently have 70 artists participating within PRISM Textiles, working together to challenge the common misconceptions surrounding textiles as an art form.


You can find 
  • details on venue, dates, hours and FREE workshops at the end of this post.
  • details of the member artists who are exhibiting with Prism in the link to the website

The Edgelands exhibition comprises:
  • work by international textile artists
  • a commitment to push the boundaries of textile art
  • use of a diverse range of materials and techniques
  • showcases fine art textiles at a very level. 
It's certainly the best textile art exhibition I've ever been to.  I found aspects of it to be very positively 3D and sculptural. It left me wondering why more textile artists don't enter their work into more conventional art exhibitions which accept 3D artwork.

I've uploaded my pics of the exhibition to an album on Facebook 
- and you can see more about it there. See Edgelands by Prism Textiles

Lynne Chapman

I went to the exhibition only because I've known Lynne Chapman and followed her work for many years. (She also has past lives in Illustration (as a picture book illustrator) and Urban Sketching and specific websites for each of these. I initially encountered her work via the urban sketching). 

She now paints fabrics and draws with stitches and tells stories through textiles. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Beyond Realism: Figurative Art in Spain and China

I spotted an amazing reel on Miriam Escofet's Instagram account about the opening of Beyond Realism: Figurative Art in Spain and China

I highly recommend you watch it for:

  • the wonderful paintings - she has done an absolutely marvellous video of the exhibition!
  • the amazing gallery in the Royal Palace in Madrid in which it's being exhibited
  • the music which just transports you to Spain!

About "Beyond Realism: Figurative Art in Spain and China"


The above includes an image of the painting by Miriam Escofet included in the exhibition.

The works presented here demonstrate the remarkable achievements of Chinese and Spanish painters over the past half-century, coinciding with the 50th Anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. This dual significance serves two important purposes: in a complex international environment, it promotes mutual understanding and trust between the two peoples; and it provides an opportunity for painters from both countries to exchange ideas and skills, fostering the prosperity of artistic culture in both nations.

The exhibition is on from 13 April to 26 May 2024. Hours are:

  • Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 7 pm (last access 6 pm)
  • Sundays from 10 am to 4 pm (last access 3 pm)

The exhibition page also includes 

  • photographs of sections of the exhibition
  • lists of the names of the Spanish artists and the Chinese artists
It almost makes me want to book a ticket! 

Note: I've written about Miriam Escofet a number of times on this blog - see various posts highlighted below
This is Miriam's website
and her Facebook Page

Tuesday, April 16, 2024

World Art Day - the best interactive tour!

Yesterday was World Art Day and I forgot!
Today I'm posting one of the best of what was posted yesterday.

Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain

Starting with the Prado Museum in Madrid - where they are promoting a Virtual Tour of the Museum for World Art Day.

Make sure the language selected is English to get it in English below the image. 


This is the image which explains how to use the commands during the InteractiveTour

The introduction to the Tour has Spanish labelling throughout the video - but if you scroll down this page you can see what's on offer

This includes Ten Tours of the Collection

The digitization was done between November 2022 and March 2023.

The tour includes all the rooms and spaces that have works from the Collection have been digitized, including spaces such as the Entrance Hall, the Jerónimos Cloister as well as corridors and stairs. It excludes the Basement Floor and the Dolphin's Treasure

Did you know that 15th April was decided as the day for World Art Day - because it was Leonard da Vinci's birthday

Next up, the National Gallery in London didn't do anything to mark the day on Facebook.  Other than point out that Leornardo da Vinci was born on 15th April.

Other contributions were many and varied
  • from the Yorkshire Evening Post which invited people to share their favourite artists in Yorkshire - which got an amazing response!!
  • to Care Homes and Community Services celebrating the way art brings happiness to people in later years
  • not forgetting the very young - who also enjoy making art.
The trick to capturing an audience was to be community oriented.

I'll try not to forget next year!

About World Art Day

Each year, on 15 April, World Art Day celebrations help reinforce the links between artistic creations and society, encourage greater awareness of the diversity of artistic expressions and highlight the contribution of artists to sustainable development. It is also an occasion to shine a light on arts education in schools, as culture can pave the way for inclusive and equitable education.
World Art Day, a celebration to promote the development, diffusion and enjoyment of art, was proclaimed at the 40th session of UNESCO’s General Conference in 2019.

World Art Day is an international celebration of the fine arts which was declared by the International Association of Art in order to promote awareness of creative activity worldwide.

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Holbein: Drawing, Painting, Materials & Techniques

The Holbein at the Tudor Court Exhibition at the King's Gallery closes today. I'd spent forever making up my mind about when to go - but not booking - and then realising I need to get a move on. Which is how come I saw it yesterday. You can see some of my pics from it on my Facebook Page

To be absolutely honest, I enjoyed the "Holbein in England" exhibition at Tate Britain in 2007 much more and it remains a vivid memory for me. (see Holbein in England - and at Tate Britain). Mainly because it which contained more portraits by Holebin including my favourite Holbein portrait "A lady with a Squirrel' plus Holbein's portrait of Erasmus

The Kings Gallery exhibition had three parts about artworks by Hans Holbein the Younger (1497-1543)

  • mainly paintings from other artists of the same era
  • drawings by Holbein and miniature portraits by Holbein
  • large paintings and some large portraits and more drawings by Holbein + four miniatures by Holbein
One of the most interesting part of the exhibition came after the exit. A small exhibition in one room at the top of the stairs contained information about Holbein's art materials and the techniques he used for his portrait drawings and also his miniatures.

Holbein: Materials and Techniques

A view of part of "Holbein: Materials and Techniques"

I promptly took photos of all of it and have uploaded them all to an album on Facebook on my Facebook Page called Holbein: Materials and Techniques - so 
  • if you missed it or you enjoy finding out about the materials used by artists in the past, you can have a peek and see for yourself.
  • I've also added comments about specific materials and techniques where I knew something which wasn't included in the exhibition.
There are also more resources about Holbein on the Royal Collection website - listed below
What I find interesting is that Holbein was a royal artist - he was appointed the King's Painter in 1536.  To all intents and purposes his stay in England related to his contacts within the Royal Family and the Tudor Court. 

I've not yet found an explanation for why so many of the better known paintings by Holbein are NOT in the Royal Collection. For example, 
  • the 'cartoon' drawing of King Henry VIII by Hans Holbein the Younger is in the National Portrait Gallery. This was made in preparation for the very large painting which used to hang in Whitehall Palace - but was destroyed in the fire in1698.
  • The Ambassadors - which is a very large, important and unique painting - is in the National Gallery.
The other interesting fact about Holbein is just how many portraits there are by artists "after Holbein". He was a much copied artist. There again he is regarded as one of the most important portrait artists ever!

If you look at the collection of Holbein portraits and drawings in the National Portrait Gallery, you'll find that most are "after Holbein"

Monday, April 08, 2024

Review: The 7th Derwent Art Prize (2024) Exhibition

This is a summary of my thoughts about the Derwent Art Prize Exhibition at gallery@OXO. This is in addition to:

The aim of the Derwent Art Prize Exhibition is to 
  • reward excellence by showcasing the very best artworks made in pencil by artists from around the world.
  • showcase c.80 artworks in an exhibition.
The Prize invites artists to submit the very best 2D and 3D artworks created in any pencil, including colour, water soluble, pastel, graphite and charcoal pencils.

This year, the Judges shortlisted just 68 artworks, however 2 artworks did not make it on to the walls because they got stuck in Customs! See the end for tips for getting your work through Customs

I'm writing this post essentially for all those who might like to submit artwork to the next Derwent Art Prize because, although you can see the images online, you cannot see how they are presented. 

That said, judgement is always on the basis of the digital image of the art.

Artwork at the entrance
varying sizes, subjects and presentation

My perspective on the Derwent Art Prize Exhibition 2024

First off, the main point I want to emphasise is that there is a lot of exceptionally good artwork in this exhibition. I'm guessing that the reputation of the Prize - and the fact it's still going - means that this prize attracts many more professional artists these days as well as young / aspiring / emerging artists.

For me, the appeal of the exhibition is that:
  • it often presents novel perspectives on the very ordinary 
  • as well as extraordinary insights into the very unusual. 
  • ALL delivered while demonstrating an exceptional degree of technical accomplishment.
Essentially, it's NOT artwork which is technically good but actually dull - as much hyperealistic artwork can be.

Nor is it exciting concepts which are then delivered by people lacking in skills associated with creating art - which is the sort of art I hate.

To get selected, the artwork has to move mind or spirit AND also be executed by somebody who demonstrates they're very good at wielding the media used for pencil art.

For me, it has come on a lot since the very first exhibition - which I remember really well because it demonstrated news of thinking and recording in pencil media.

I'd just like to see some 3D artwork next time!

PS There are emphatically no cats, dogs or horses or any other sort of animal mammal in this exhibition! There is one very dead bird.... (Just saying....)

The exhibition demonstrates a wide diversity in terms of
  • styles
  • subject matter
  • size
  • age of the artist
  • country where the artist lives
It is truly international - with over 6,000 entries by 2,324 artists from 77 countries

That means it's getting an entry way bigger than most of the prominent open art exhibitions of national art societies!  One might be tempted to ask what is this art competition offering that other open exhibitions are not. My answer would be "big cash prizes". Any time you have an art competition with very significant cash prizes you get a lot of entries.

Friday, April 05, 2024

Derwent Art Prize Exhibition 2024 - Prizewinners

Yesterday, I visited The Derwent Art Prize 2024 Exhibition at gallery@oxo in London and this post is a review of the exhibition and the competition.
the Derwent Art Prize is now very much an international prize and one seen as prestigious to the careers of young up and coming illustrators. (from my review of the 2020 Exhibition)
This is my first post about the Derwent Art Prize - focusing on the prizewinners. 

My second will come shortly and will focus on the exhibition. 
I'll also be uploading my photos of the exhibition to a folder on my Facebook Page

The Derwent Art Prize - the competition

What's remarkable about this art competition is that:
  • It has more entries than most national art societies: This competition received more than 6,000 entries 
  • It attracts entries from a very large number of countries: entries were received from 77 countries,
  • 68 artworks - of a very high standard - were selected for The Derwent Art Prize Exhibition 
  • Five artists received over £13,000 in prizes at the opening, on Wednesday 3 April 2024. (see below)
At the end of this post you can see my posts reviewing previous exhibitions.

The exhibition is free to visit at gallery@oxo, London
  • from 11am to 6pm, from 4th April to 13th April, and 
  • from 11am to 2pm on the closing day, 14th April 2024, 
  • with daily artist demonstrations.

Derwent Art Prize 2024: Prizewinners

Three of the prizewinners

The shortlist and winners were chosen by an international panel of art professionals: 
  • Sergio Gomez, Miami-based artist and gallery director; 
  • Curtis Holder, London-based artist; 
  • Valérie Sonnier, artist and professor, Ecole des Beaux-Arts, Paris; and 
  • Helen Waters, Director, Cristea Roberts, London.

First Prize (£4,000 and a year's supply of Derwent Art Products)

This was awarded to June Collier for Hetty in Hospital 1.

June Collier Hetty in hospital - 2020
oil paint and pencil on canvas - 80cm x 65cm

All four selectors were profoundly moved by the depth of sensibility displayed in this work, stirring profound emotion.

Wednesday, April 03, 2024

Review: 212th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours

I visited the 212th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours twice last week - for the Private View and then, because that was packed, again the next day so as to see the exhibition properly. 

View of the RI 2024 Annual Exhibition in the East Gallery

The good thing is that, besides being a very good exhibition, that this exhibition is on for an extra week and finishes on 13th April - so lots of time to see it.

That's because it's taken me some time to wrote this post which I started ages ago. That's because

  • I decided I wanted to write a blog post about one new artist I liked a lot - check out Miranda Brookes - an exquisite Landscape Artist
  • Then I loaded all my photos of the exhibition into Facebook albums on my Making A Mark Facebook Page - all now annotated including some detailed comments

Then Easter and "life" intervened (dentist / blood test / big birthday party / lost voice etc etc)

But finally, I'm trying to finished this review which I started last week. It:

  • covers features of the exhibition
  • looks at changes to the exhibition in 2024
  • comments generally on the standard of the exhibition
  • highlights some of the individuals whose work is worth highlighting.

Features of the RI 212th Annual Exhibition 

the end of the West Gallery
(photo taken just before the gallery closed)

This is the biggest exhibition dedicated to paintings in water colours in the UK. 

I highly recommend a visit to the exhibition - I've always enjoyed visiting it and I am sure any genuine fan of watercolour paintings will do too.

Features of the exhibition are:
  • There are 465 paintings in the show 
  • around 50% of these are from the Open Submission
  • many of the artworks in the exhibition are of a very high standard and 
  • some are absolutely amazing in terms of the expertise on display
  • It also displays a wide diversity in approaches to paintings using watercolour media and subject matter - from traditional to the more contemporary.
However, if you want to find "very edgy, fresh, new and very contemporary" you probably need to go the pop-up galleries or do what Charles Saatchi does - and go to the degree shows! 

National Art Societies are emphatically not edgy and tend to just look very foolish when they try to be! (I can point you in the direction of one in another place which has made that very silly decision). 

Fortunately I found relatively little of what I tend to term the "can't draw, can't paint, won't sell" school of painting which lacks application to both concept and craft. which seems to be regarded by some as legitimate art. But not by me!

Bear in mind, the Mall Galleries does not serve a "high end art, wealthy clientele" who, in any case, typically head to the major Art Fairs! 

Instead the Mall Galleries serves what I have very frequently characterised as a very large population of people most easily characterised as "Middle England, Middle Aged, Middle Class with a Middle Income" audience for the most part. They tend to be solid buyers of not overpriced artwork when the economy is not experiencing turmoil and uncertainty. They can even be very spontaneous if you get your pricing right! Bottom line, the sort of people who have bought their homes, had their children and are now indulging themselves from time to time. People who come to London for the day and do an exhibition or two!

Fortunately, I fall into my own characterisation and I enjoyed the show a lot and was tempted by a few paintings - but other buyers got there before me!

You too can see the exhibition:

In addition, there's a very extensive events programme taking place up until 13th April. 

Unfortunately there's an absolute dearth of public information about the prizewinners. 

Although I've received an email notifying me of the prizewinners, when I started this review, the Mall Galleries website had NOT yet been updated re.
But it's now nearly a week after the PV when these prizes are announced and there's nothing!

UPDATE: now posted on Mall Galleries News page a week late Award Winners | RI 212th Exhibition (Just before this post was published. I'd looked everywhere once. I wasn't looking twice.)

I'd be very miffed if I was a sponsor or a prizewinner to be so totally ignored.
Prizegiving is a big feature of the Private View and should be a priority for online/written communications too.
Otherwise it potentially jeopardizes ongoing sponsorship.

  • Somebody at the Mall Galleries very much needs to update the project plan and TO DO LIST re what is supposed to happen when an exhibition opens - or join up the dots better!
  • At the same time, the webmaster of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours really needs to be rather more proactive at making sure all relevant information about the exhibition is ON THE RI WEBSITE promptly - and that they're not just relying on the Mall Galleries.

Changes at the RI Annual Exhibition in 2024

Monday, April 01, 2024

Jackson's Art Prize: Vote for the People's Choice Award

The longlist of the Jackson's Art Prize has been revealed and the shortlist will be announced on the shortlist on Friday 12th April 2024.
An amazing 15,345 submissions were entered this year, and the judging committees faced the daunting task of selecting just 426 entries to go through to the longlist. 
(Two notes:
  1. Might I be so bold as to ask why National Art Societies are not attracting this level of entry for their actual exhibitions of art - with decent prizes?
  2. Anybody noticed they've changed the title of the prize from Jackson's Painting Prize to Jackson's Art Prize?)

The People's Choice Award

The vote has now opened for the People's Choice Award - which is one of the prizes (£150 Jackson’s Art voucher) in the Jackson's Art Prize competition.

You can VIEW the longlist of artworks eligible for a vote on this link

You can also vote (see below). However be prepared for the daunting task that all Judges face - but on a much smaller scale!

How to Vote

To vote for your favourite works to win the People's Choice Award and in the spirit of operating a fair voting system, you are required to register as a voter.
  • Voting opened on 28th March and continues until 11th April. 
  • The shortlist will be announced on the 12th April.
  • you need to register with an email to vote - to prevent cheating (not that this will stop some people from trying - but there are ways of detecting cheating once you've got an email! :) )
    • You can vote for as many artworks as you like.
    • You can only vote once for each artwork.
    • If you change your mind, your vote can be revoked.
  • this is the link for where to register