Monday, August 31, 2009

MAM Poll (August) results: the MAIN way you've sold art in the last 12 months


Results of the survey run on Making A Mark - August 2009
(n = 56 responses in 3 weeks)
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

The three most important ways you've sold art in the last 12 months are:
  • via traffic to/from your own website and/or blog (21%)
  • through commissions (21%)
  • via a gallery - as a gallery artist (15%)
This means that the two major sources of sales for the artists who responded to the poll were both entirely driven by their own marketing efforts.

The Making A Mark Poll for August asked What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months? It's important to emphasise that:
  • you may have made sales in a variety of ways - this poll just examines the MAIN way in which artists achieved sales.
  • this poll only focuses on the last 12 months - while we've been experincing a really serious recession which has doubtless had an impact on the sales of very many artists.
This post also compares the results with the results of the same poll done at the same time last year (which you can find out about in this blog post What's the MAIN way you sell your art? - The Results). The number of respondents were virtually identical - and this number is significantly lower than the number who regularly respond to polls on this blog.

You can see the results of the 2009 Poll in the chart at the top of this post right click and open in a new tab or window to see the chart as a bigger image.

Below you'll find my analysis and a commentary - but I'd be very pleased to hear your views about the results - and any explanations you may have for why the results are as they are.
A note of caution about interpretation at the outset.
  1. This is a poll rather than a properly conducted survey. People responding selected themselves and as such almost certainly do not represent artists in general. I have no knowledge of whether or not they are professional, semi-professional or amateur artists. Nor do I know whether or not they make a living from their art or sell an occasional drawing or painting.
  2. Artists make sales in a variety of ways - this poll focuses on the main way respondents sold their art ONLY. This could mean it's the channel which is most effective or, alternatively, it could means this is the channel which they find easiest to use.
  3. Similarly since the poll asked about which channel produced most sales, NOT most profit. Quite a lot of artists never crunch the numbers to work out which are their most profitable channels for marketing and sales. Asking which is your most profitable channel for generating sales may have generated a completely different pattern of results - although I rather suspect it could have been very similar.
  4. The results of this poll do NOT suggest that you can set up a blog or website to sell art and resign your job tomorrow! ;)
Analysis of the 2009 Poll

My analysis is influenced by reading widely in the 'trade press' and artists blogs and forums. Also influential are the observations I've made while viewing the very many exhibitions I go to see in London - only some of which have been reported on this blog in terms of specific galleries, exhibitions and artists.

Of the artists who responded to the poll:
  • 60% indicated that they generated most of their sales without the involvement of a gallery or art fair. Last year some 53% of artists responding to the poll say that the main way they sell their art is independent of organisations which sell art for artists. I have to say I'm not surprised is the trend is towards more sales generated by artists largely independently of the activities of third parties.
  • 21% of artists said their main sales came from commissions. This wasn't identified as a category last time (aklthough it should have been!). It seems likely that most of these artists work as portrait artists as this tends to be the main source of commissions. I didn't clearly identify illustration work commissioned for a fee as a way people sold art but it is possible that some artists have counted their illustration work (as opposed to sales of fine art works) in this category. Reviewing your website or blog to identify just how easy it is for people to commission your work might be an exercise that some artists will now think worth doing.
  • 18% of artists make their sales as gallery artists and via galleries. Getting to be a gallery artist is not easy and this source of sales is never going to be a significant source of sales given the wide range of artosts who read this blog and respond to the polls. However it is worth noting that the percentage of artists reporting gallery sales as their main source of sales has increased since last year!
  • Friends and family continue to be important - 11% of artists identified this network as generating most of their sales. However this is a smaller figure than last year when it was 16%. This in all probability reflects the general impact of the recession on levels of spending on non-essential items.
  • 11% of artists identified online third party gallery/auction sites as being their main source of sales - via eBay, etsy and other online sites. In theory - if everybody interpreted the categories the same way - these are sales where traffic is not generated by the artists' own website or blog
  • 10% of artists generate sales though renting a space - either at an art fair (5%) or in a gallery (5%). Renting a gallery is generating about the same level of response as last time. However sales via art fairs are way down when compared to last year.
  • Art competitions and Art Society Shows are very unlikely to generate significant sales for most artists - although it's likely that some artists may make an odd sale through this route. No artist generated most of their sales through this route - which is a significant decline on the response this got in 2008 (7%). Overall I'd say this is a picture of contrasts. From personal observation I've seen good quality and attractive art (dare one say decorative!?) sell well and established and well known artists also continue to make sales via this route. However overall sales appear to me to be down and there are some very definite thresholds on pricing which are influential. Large pictures appear more difficult to shift and I've seen an awful lot of smaller paintings this year. I've also seen some shows where sales were minimal - but generally have not reported them on this blog. I would not be surprised if some art societies have to start thinking long and hard about about the duratation and location of their annual exhibition next year. However - by way of contrast - the buying public are still turning out in high numbers for certain specialist genres (eg miniatures, botanical, wildlife). My overall view is that artists should never depend on such shows to generate major sales. However I do believe they might see more sales when art societies start to understand the work and website support involved in generating sales in the context of the current climate and frameworks used for selling art. It's such a pity as such exhibitions could generate much more income for both artist, art society and the gallery where the shows are held if they got to grips with their websites and the support it requires. One suspects it's more a question of not knowing what's involved and not knowing where to start rather than a total disinclination to make a move.
Conclusions

I've revised my conclusions from last year and reiterate them - with revisions below. The comments on the change from 2008 are indicated in italics.

Overall, the conclusion one might draw from this survey is that
  • working hard at selling via your personal networks and your own blog and website can really pay off in terms of sales. (same as last year) This applies whether you are an individual artist or an art society or other art group which aims to sell art
  • If established artists become convinced of the merits and profitability of selling direct, then selling which has a high cost to sales ratio - through art fairs and galleries - might start to come under review if the economic situation worsens. (Gallery sales as a gallery artist have increased while sales via art fairs have decreased) Well we all know what happened about two weeks after this post last year! The global economy went into a banking meltdown as a result of the credit crunch and many countries entered a recession. It seems likely to me that artists selling art at art fairs decided to cut their costs in various ways - including how many art fairs they did or how far they travelled to an art fair. Gallery artists which are fortunate to belong to a gallery which is surviving the recession (and not all have) are possibly benefiting from the fact that there is now reduced competition for the purchasing £/$ which are still around
  • By way of contrast, the "less expert" or "less focused" channels or entities which do not market art as well as the artists themselves appear to be much less successful at generating sales. It's very interesting that once we focus on how sales are generated via online sites it becomes very apparent that HOW the artist gets people to their online third party site where sales are made is absolutely critical to making a sale. Sales by online galleries/auction sites independent of the artist's website or blog are minimal. Last year the situation was confused due to the way the categories were described. I believe that changing the designation of the categories has created a much clearer picture of how artists who responded to the poll make most of their sales. By combining the website and blog and indicating that sales should count if generated by the website or blog - even if the sale actually took place on another site - this has highlighted that an artist's own website and blog are now very important in generating sales. I'd also observe that some of the organisations holding exhibitions (eg some art competitions and some 'go ahead' art societies) now also recognise the importance of having their websites are now set up to drive traffic to an exhibition and support the creation of online sales. I've got some more questions about this aspect which I'll explore with those who are interested in a future poll.
  • Artists using less successful options should consider how they compare to available alternatives which are more successful for some artists - and what they need to do to work at marketing their art (same as last year)
For me the results of this year's poll are an emphatic reinforcement of the need to make sure that:
  • you are organised around direct sales and
  • you don't rely on third parties to make the sales for you.
Only if you are a gallery artist can you hope to make serious sales via third parties.

Below you can find the chart - and the categories - from 12 months ago.
Results of the survey run on Making A Mark - August 2008
(n = 55 responses in 5 weeks)
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

Do you agree with my analysis? I'd love to hear your views onbe way or the other.

Do you have any further comments that you'd like to share?


Making a Mark reviews......

Sunday, August 30, 2009

30th August 2009 - Who's made a mark this week?

What's been making a mark on me this week is a book I'm currently reading - The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art by Don Thompson.

It's about the curious economics and psychology which underpin how the contemporary art market now works and the ways in which the auction houses it - notably Christies and Sotheby's.

Sotheby's, 34-35 New Bond Street, London
photo from wikipedia
Why would a very smart New York investment banker pay twelve million dollars for the decaying, stuffed carcass of a shark? By what alchemy does Jackson Pollock's drip painting No.5 1948 sell for $140 million? And why does a leather jacket with silver chain attached, tossed in a corner and titled 'No One Ever Leaves', bring $690,000 at a 2007 Sotheby's auction?
Book jacket of The $12 Million Stuffed Shark: The Curious Economics of Contemporary Art
It provides an insight into the overall marketing strategies and and branding tactics used for contemporary art and explains how the contemporary art market transformed itself from being about art to being about investment portfolios.

It's so good I've started to feel the need to say something about it before I've even finished reading it - hence this blurb today!

There will be a review of the book posted on Making A Mark reviews...... in the very near future - I've just got a few more pages to go!

Also this week, of particular note, is the fact that one of the main 'players' in the book, advertiser and mega art collector Charles Saatchi has today provided an interview to The Observer newspaper - see 30 things about art and life, as explained by Charles Saatchi is. Saatchi very rarely gives interviews
In the past, he has explained his silence with, "I'm very shifty and very nervous - that's why I keep my gob shut," and he's renowned for never attending his exhibition openings.
.....so I was more than a bit astonished when I saw this article. Plus it's got some really great quotes - the one below starts the article. This article is very much the second of this week's recommended reads!
By and large, talent is in such short supply that mediocrity can be taken for brilliance rather more than genius can go undiscovered.
Don't whatever you do miss the bit towards the end where he provides caricatures of those constants of the art world - artists, curators, dealers, collectors and critics.

Curators

With very few exceptions, the big-name globe-trotting international mega-event curators are too prone to curate clutching their PC guidebook in one hand and their Bluffer's Notes on art theory in the other. They seem to deliver the same type of Groundhog Day show, for the approval of 250 or so like-minded devotees. These dead-eyed, soulless exhibitions dominate the art landscape with their sociopolitical pretensions.

The interview is of course also about marketing and is an article with a global advertising icon which is NOT unconnected with the fact that he has a book about to be published and a television series in the making - but c'est la vie!

NOTE:

Art Blogs

Drawing and sketching

Amalie's birthday - at the Boating Pond on Hampstead Heath
11.5" x 17", pencil and coloured pencils in Daler Rowney Sketchbook
copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Cartoons
  • I've always had great admiration for cartoonists - bringing as they do an abuility to get a graphic image down on paper while using elements of irony and wit. Peter Preston of The Observer laments the demise of the political cartoonist The coils of the net are filled with dead cartoonists. In particular he laments the apparent disappearance of the idea that a picture tells a story instead of just accompanying a story

Illustration and Fantasy Art

For those who like their illustration art to be firmly located on the fantasy side take a look at

In addition to her own terrific blog, The Art Department (required reading for anyone interested in science fiction and fantasy illustration),...........
Charley Parker
"Spectrum" is on display at the Museum of American Illustration at the Society of Illustrators. Featuring the best contemporary "fantastic" art from renowned fantasy, science fiction, horror, and surreal artists from around the world. September 1 through October 17, 2009.

Painters and Painting

Congrats to Marie Fox (Marie Fox) whose work "Sounds of the Sea" was accepted to the 2009 California Open Exhibition in Santa Monica, California (65 selected out of over 400 works entered) - and then won first prize and $500! She then wrote to me to tell me about its story.........definitely worth a read
The magic for me is that "Sounds of the Sea" is only my 2nd figurative painting - and 2nd large painting. After all this time creating small still life oils (and years of folk art), I took a great leap to a new subject matter and size - to be rewarded by this level of recognition. I've always had a passion for drawing the human figure, but never dared paint it. I'm painting big too - which feels good because I'm tall....All this excitement on the eve of my 64th birthday! Happily, I'll be creating more big paintings of strong women at age 64, rather than worrying who will "still need me, who will still feed me", as the song goes.....
Marie Fox
Sculpture

Art Business and Marketing

Art and the Economy / Art Collectors

  • The Government Art Collection has spent £556,911 of taxpayers money on new artworks in the past year, including £14,000 on a piece of art made from old lightbulbs for an embassy. - see Government art cost taxpayers £500,000. Do you think the Shadow Culture Secretary has a point?

"It is deeply disturbing that during a recession the Government is spending so much of taxpayers' money on additional material for the Government's art collection....There are already thousands of pieces in the collection that aren't on public display so surely this is an area where the Government should cut back during tough times."

Jeremy Hunt, the shadow culture secretary

Art Competitions

Just a reminder that:

Art Exhibitions and art fairs

Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniques

Art History

Art Supplies

  • Read my Product review: Pentel Waterbrush which also references two very useful reviews of waterbrushes by Russ Stutler and Roz Stendhal
  • pencil talk has a review of the Faber-Castell Pitt Oil Base pencil
  • Richard McKinley has been writing about A New Surface for Pastels - a new paper called Pastelmat - on his Artists Network blog Pastel Pointers. This is always an excellent blog with lots of good advice and helpful reviews
  • I'm afraid the same can't be said for another Artists Network blog Anatomy of Art Materials and this has now been removed from the blogroll of Making A Mark Reviews. There were only ever sporadic posts at best - but 5 months is quite long enough! I just find it so surprising that an art magazine empire which gets such a lot of its advertising from people advertising art supplies should have so much trouble providing useful blog posts about art materials. Maybe it's time to have a rethink of the blogging model used for this blog? After all blogs don't have to be written by one person!
  • Which means I'm still looking for art blogs which are as useful in terms of reviewing art materials as one's like Roz Wound Up by Roz Stendhal. Roz always does a very thorough and very informative review - see for example her review on Friday of Commercial Sketchbooks: Exacompta 9920 Sketchbook and also Paper Choices: Strathmore Illustration Board for Wet Media
  • I'm 'auditioning' a few new blogs for the MAMreviews blogroll. However if you've seen another reviews oriented blog which is worth taking a look at please do leave a comment and provide a link.
Every so often you have to make an expensive purchase to support your art habit and that was certainly the case for me this week - as recorded in Printers come...and printers go..... It's had lots of comments and it sounds like a fair few other people need to change/upgarde their printers too. Isn't it amazing how long we continue to 'make do' with something that has stopped performing (or never could) at the level we really want and/or need?

Book Reviews

Opinion Poll

  • Just a quick note to say that you have less than 24 hours left to vote on What's the MAIN way you have sold art in the last 12 months? I'll be posting an analysis of the results tomorrow in terms of the poll and a comparison with the results from the same poll carried out a year ago.

Websites, webware and blogging

Clickthrough decay: Twitter time passes 10 times faster than email time.

the shorter it is, the more important it is to design text for usability.

and finally........


Has a President ever generated quite so much art before? Take a look at this website which is about The Art of Obama? There's 416 entries and counting.........

Making a Mark reviews......

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Watercolour pencil techniques

Thanks to Pauline Longley (Pauline Longley's ArtBlog) who discovered this YouTube Video about watercolour pencil techniques by Tim Fisher.

It's crammed full of tips for working watercolour pencils and is well worth a watch. In just under ten minutes it manages to compress an awful lot of the information you get in many books about working with watercolour pencils - and this video is free!

I've got details about the watercolour pen brush he's working with over on Making A Marks reviews...... - see Product review: Pentel Waterbrush



Making a Mark reviews......

Friday, August 28, 2009

Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize 2009 - deadline 21st September

The deadline for submissions by artists for the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize - which seeks to encourage creative representational painting and promote the skill of draughtsmanship - is fast approaching.

This is the fifth year and the Prize is now a well established feature within the fraternity of the UK figurative artists.
  • Artwork starts being collected from regional collection points next Thursday 3rd September.
  • Those who can get to the London Hand In Centre at St Mary Abbots Centre, Vicarage Gate, London W8 4HN have until 20th-21st September 2009 to submit their work
How to enter

To give you an idea about numbers, in 2008, the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize attracted nearly 800 entries from all over the UK. From these the selectors chose just 64 paintings for an exhibition held at Painters’ Hall, City of London in November 2008.

Images from the first five years of the Prize

That means there's less than 10% chance of getting work accepted - but this is a prestigious exhibition so you're in very good company if you do.

This art competition is administered by Parker Harris. Entry forms, further information and labels are available on their website to download as follows:
The basic rules of the competition and conditions of entry are as follows:
  • To enter you must be over 18 on 20 September 2009 and resident in the United Kingdom, Channel Islands or Isle of Man.
  • You may only submit original, two dimensional works in any painting media which have been completed in the last three years and have never been been previously exhibited.
  • All works submitted must be available for exhibition until the 31 December 2009
  • You can submit up to four works which must not exceed 72 inches (183 cms) in their largest dimension including frame.
  • Specific requirements regarding framing and/or cross-bearers for canvases. There must with no projections are the rear of the frame.
  • All works must be for sale, except commissioned portraits.
  • All work needs to be fully labelled (artist’s name, address, title of work, price)
  • All work must be submitted unpacked (ie no support for unpacking/packing) with a fully completed Entry Form and an entry fee of £15 (per work) to a collection point
  • Final deadline for receipt of entries in London: 21st September 2009. The guidance provides details of receiving dates for 16 towns and cities (and motorwat service stations) throughout the UK besides London. The earliest receiving date (in Birmingham) is 3rd September
  • Unselected works to be collected from London on 25-26 September
  • Commission of 40% +VAT will be levied on works sold during or as a result of the exhibition, or by means of the website, www.painterstainers.org.
  • Unsold works to be collected 27th November
  • The judges’ decision will be final and binding.
On Thursday 24 September 2009, a list of the accepted artists’ names and registration numbers will be viewable at www.painterstainers.org or www.parkerharris.co.uk.

Selectors
The 2009 panel will include the following judges:
Ian Fair, a Trustee of the Lynn Foundation, will act as the non-voting Chairman of the panel.

Prizes

The prizes are
  • The Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize - £15,000 plus an engraved Gold Medal
  • 5 Runner-Up Prizes each at £1,000
  • Young Artist Award - £2,500 - to be awarded to an artist who is 25 years of age or under on 20 September 2009
Exhibition

The 2009 Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize Exhibition will be held at The Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers at The Painters’ Hall in Little Trinity Lane, London EC1 on 19 November to 30 November 2009 10am to 4pm Monday to Saturday. Admission is free

During the exhibition a series of Master Classes have been organised on the art of still life and portrait drawing. All classes are free, but booking is essential. Further information will be available shortly.

The Lynn Painter-Stainers Fish
(Four fish out of water)
14" x 18", coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

I attended one of these last year and had fun drawing these fish while sitting in the magnificent Livery Hall hall of Painters' Hall - the home of the Worshipful Company of Painter-Stainers in the City of London - with magnificant chandeliers overhead!
____________

REMINDER: The final deadline for receipt of entries (in London) for the ING Discerning Eye is 5th September 2009!


Links to previous posts on Making A Mark about the Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize - which include images of previous exhibitions
Links:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Printers come...and printers go....

My new printer arrived today - and I'm just about to unplug the old one and get the new one installed.........(gulp!)

My old one was a Canon Pixma MP780 - which is a multifunction with a good quality scanner and a copying and fax function as well as the normal colour printing set-up.

It's a huge beastie and needs replacing as it's developed a red line across scanned images and frankly although I can adjust scans to get rid of it I've got really fed up of doing that!

I've also never ever used the fax function so paid extra for a facility I didn't need - so haven't done the same thing with its replacement. It's now being relegated to the bottom shelf as the back-up printer. I might use it just for black and white text printing. (Which means it's time to find a good home or heave my trusty old HP Laserjet which I haven't used in yonks!)

My new machine is a Canon PIXMA MP630 All-in-One Printer, Copier and Scanner - you can see the Canon product tour here. The main difference besides qualitative improvements to the technical spec. is it's much smaller and neater.

The MP bit means that it's set up as a photo printer rather than as a general dogsbody workhorse.

It's being replaced next month by the Canon PIXMA MP640 Network ready Premium All-In-One Photo Printer which means that's the 630 is still listed as £179 by Canon but is now listed for £109 by Amazon who obviously would now like to shift the old stock.

I sat and compared the two specifications and decided I didn't need what the 640 offered and hence could save myself £70 and one of them shifted itself in my direction!

I don't think I'll be installing all the software supplied as I use Adobe Photoshop Elements 7 (PC) for scanning and digital manipulation of images. I also previously found that the software for scanning supplied by Canon to be absolutely awful. Plus I didn't install the scanning software on the new computer and haven't needed it to use the 780.

I did idly think about going for an A3 scanner and/or an A3 printer and decided that for the prices charged I could leave it. I do wish though that they'd reduce the good quality A3 scanners in price sooner rather than later!

Now to find out whether it comes out of the box and hooks up to the computer OK.

There'll be a review on Making A Mark Reviews...... in due course.
_______

There was no post yesterday as I was spending time becoming a 'very nearly' great aunt and was also out sketching - see Hampstead Heath and the Boating Pond

Links to Canon UK:

Monday, August 24, 2009

Musée Picasso in Paris now closed until 2012

Musée Picasso

Yesterday was the last day that the Musée Picasso in Paris will be open until the end of 2012. The museum plans to:
  • spend €20 million on extensive renovations and expansion of the museum building which will upgarde the electrical/digital capacity, improve access for people with mobility problems, expand exhibition space and improve facilities for educational activities.
  • move the collection to a super secure location. Nobody is saying where as the value of the 5,000 works in the collection is literally inestimable.
  • stop loans of items to other museums for the duration of the closure
  • start the works in January 2010 and complete them by February 2012 - meaning the museum will be closed for the next two and half years. (However it could be much later if the renovations to the Musee de l'Orangerie are anything to go by - that museum was closed from 2000 until 2006!)
  • Continue educational and cultural activities in other locations.
Besides the works listed by the museum, I'm guessing that two further aspects of the museum's activities will receive increased attention:
  • Security: I think it's very likely that further thought will be given to how the works are housed from a security perspective following the theft from the museum, in June this year, of a Picasso sketchbook worth more than €8m (£6.9m). It had apparently been kept in an unlocked cabinet without an alarm system!

Picasso is the most stolen artist in the world because of his prolific output, recognisable signature and valuable works. There are more than 500 missing Picassos on the London-based Art Loss Register of stolen art.

The Picasso museum houses the world's largest collection of his work, ranging from paintings and ceramics to sketchbooks, handed to the French state by relatives in lieu of taxes after his death. The museum has about 1,500 Picasso drawings, many in sketchbooks.

Guardian - £6.9m Picasso sketchbook stolen in Paris

  • Digitisation: I'd be very surprised if they didn't take the opportunity to create a complete digital record of the collection while it's off site. It's the logical thing to do which will enable much better access to the complete collection.
Picasso died in 1973 and the Musee Picasso was opened by the national museum authority in 1986. It's housed in the Hôtel Salé in Rue de Thorigny, in the Marais district of Paris. It's a very imposing old building (it was built between 1656 and 1659).

Location of the Musee Picasso
map from the museum website

I'm a big fan of the Museum.

I started out as not being particularly interested in Picasso but paid a visit to the Musee Picasso while on a stopover in Paris and became an instant convert!

What I particularly liked was the way you could follow his development as an artist in chronological terms - with works of art paralling information about what was going on in his life when the artwork was created. For me, it just made sense of the man for the very first time. That visit led to a much better appreciation of both the man and his genius, the work he has produced - and how hard he worked over the course of his lifetime. This was an artist who reinvented his work again and again and again and grew and developed right to the very end.

If you'd like to see a little more of it before 2012, here's all the photos on Flickr which are tagged Musee Picasso

Future Picasso exhibitions and other places you can see works by Picasso

So - what does that leave us with until the museum reopens?
this exhibition will reveal a fascinating new insight into the artist's life as a tireless political activist and campaigner for peace, challenging the widely held view of the artist as creative genius, playboy and compulsive extrovert.
  • Picasso in Provence - this site provides details of where you can see museums and places relating to Picasso's life and work

Sunday, August 23, 2009

23rd August 2009 - Who's made a mark this week?


Art and design bloggers go to Brussels for the day!

The big deal this week for me in 'making a mark' terms was getting a letter indicating two of my works had been accepted into this year's UKCPS annual international exhibition. This means I've now earned my signature membership of UKCPS - see Signature membership.

Here's a list on the UKCPS News blog of all the other people who got their work into the exhibition - Artists selected for the 8th Annual UKCPS International Open Exhibition. This year for the first time artists were allowed to submit up to four works and it's worth noting that four artists got all four pieces into the exhibition:

Art Blogs

Art and Design bloggers go to Brussels

More from the day trip to Brussels - including the You Tube video which you can see at the top of this post - and yes I really do have my sketchbook out on every possible occasion! Violette looks like she's a dab hand at editing!

Part of the Grand Place in Brussels
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils

copyright Katherine Tyrrell
Lunch at Bruxelles Les Bains
pen and sepia ink and coloured pencils
copyright Katherine Tyrrell

But what I also want to focus on David's is second post are we connected? which provides an interesting reflection on the the trip and talks about the role of bloggers in the context of social communication, random connections and reviews. David in part focuses on the way the world has changed for him as an older blogger. Anybody else make a connection?
But here's the rub: ten years ago it would have been journalists being offered free trips with the aim of getting a feature into a Sunday supplement. But we all know what's happening to the newspaper industry, don't we? And so now we've reached a point where in order to make a connection with you, Eurostar no longer expects that to be via the Sunday Times or the Observer, but via this humble little blog, and others like it. So for any readers of my generation who might have got this far down this post: this represents the world that's changing before our very eyes. And yes, I know, it's harder for us, because we have to adapt: anyone under the age of thirty doesn't, because this is their world.
Davidthedesigner - are we connected?

Drawing and sketching

Coloured Pencils and Pastels

Fibre Arts

Painters and Painting
Dorset in Gouache
copyright Robyn Sinclair
Printer and printmaking
Group Blogs

Art Business and Marketing

Art and the Economy / Art Collectors

Art Competitions and Art Societies

Art Exhibitions and art fairs

From the outset of her career, Georgia O'Keeffe credited her introduction to modernism as deriving in part from a reproduction of a pastel by Arthur Dove she saw around 1913.
Also there's an interesting article by the New York Times about the impact of the credit crunch on exhibitions And Now, an Exhibition From Our Sponsor
Traditionally museums have been loath to allow the sponsors of an exhibition a significant role in curatorial decision making — particularly when the sponsor is a corporation, given the potential taint of commercialization and artistic compromise. And most major museums still draw the line there......Given the economic downturn, which has forced the cancellation, postponement or prolonging of exhibitions across the country, more small and midsize art institutions may be increasingly open to ready-made shows (by sponsors with art collections)

Art Education / workshops / Tips and techniques

Art History

Art Studios

Art Supplies

Book reviews

I've started to transfer book reviews which I've done in the past on to Making A Mark Reviews - partly because I've got the LinkWithin Widget on that blog and it pops up relevant and similar items for any post you are looking at. I'm not repeating the reviews - just boiling them down to a summary!
Of interest to botanical artists and coloured pencils artists: Ann Swan (Ann Swan) announced this week - Latest News - that her new book is completed and should be in the shops next March.

Websites, webware and blogging


On Friday I posted about :
Other useful posts I came across last week included:

and finally........


This is just weird - Ursus Wehrli tidies up art

Making a Mark reviews......



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