Sunday, January 30, 2011

30 January 2011: Who's made a mark this week?

A Daily Self Reflection by Gillian Holding
Art Blogs

There's rather more of my posts in this "who's made a mark this week" and that's because of the hiatus caused by my domestic emergencies and the fact that we've missed two Sunday posts. So this one is making up for it........

I'll start with the fact that it still gives me great pleasure to reiterate the fact that Making A Mark achieves #2 in Top Ten Blogs of 2010!

NEW art blogs

  • A Postcard from my Walk is a new group blog.  I'm very happy to say that during my short respite from blogging I helped give birth to a new group blog.  This one is a spin off from Sketchercise which I founded in 2009 and this is my post on this blog Introducing 'A Postcard from my Walk'. 
    • A Postcard from my Walk aims to provide "the real thing" and not just the digital version to those of us who have been involved in a group which focuses on sketching and exercising.  
    • Postcards will be posted in the last week of every month - and will appear on the blog when received by the person they were posted to.
    • I've got a major challenge which is that I rarely sketch as small as 7" x 5" and I think I'm going to get group dispensation to deliver bigger postcards!  My very first effort certainly left me with a new found respect for those who produce small works of art!  Next week there will be a post about sketching small on Travels with a Sketchbook
  • By way of contrast, I've been fascinated by Gillian Holding's blog #adailyselfreflection - partly because it involves the production of an artwork daily  - a daily digital self-portrait - but also because it involves the use of digital software which is beginning to interest me as I load my iPad with art apps!  This is a link to her gallery of artwork produced this month.  This is her other blog Life and Art
The dishwasher - by Gillian Holding
    #adailyselfreflection began when I realised there was a great forum in cyberspace for showing digitally generated work, and I loved the idea that artwork with no tangible existence could be viewed in the exact form in which it had been created.
    • New artinfo blogger Karen Archey comments on the naurte of art blogging in Addicted to Hits: On Art Blogging.  However I think she forgets that not everybody who has an art blog does it for commercial reasons and not all content on art blogs is always driven by the need to make a buck or get a speaking engagement.  
    About the Artist

    This is a new section devoted to posts about the artist in conceptual or practical terms.
    Emerging is a coded term that is supposed to alert collectors and the public that the artist is all set to earn some serious cash. 
    • I also liked Robert Genn's (The Painter's KeysThe Feminine Mystique - particularly the list of characteristics and attributes at the end which he observes in highly optimistic, ambitious women who value education and are willing to put in time and treasure (when they have it) to achieve their goals.
    Coloured Pencils and Pastels
    Awake by Sally Strand
    Pastel on paper 13" x 17"
     Drawing and Sketching
    Nature Drawing and Botanical

    Painting landscapes

    Paintings of Bali by Julian Merrow Smith

    January 12th - Snow by Loriann Signori
    9x6 pastel and watercolor on Uart
      Painting - Challenges

          Art Business and Art Marketing
          Art Economy and Art Collectors
          • Clicking on a Masterpiece The Wall Street Journal discusses whether collectors are now ready to buy million-dollar artworks online.
          Art Competitions and Art Society exhibitions
          Art Exhibitions 
          •  Major Art Exhibitions in London in 2011 has proved to be a very popular post.  
            • It was quite amazing after I'd finished listing everything out to realise my stunning good fortune to have all this art on my doorstep!  
            • If you know somebody who is visiting London who likes art you can email this post to them - use the link at the bottom of the post
          • This will be a major exhibition in London next year to mark the Queen's Diamond Jubilee - The Queen: Art and Image.  In the meantime it's touring the UK and will be visiting Edinburgh, Belfast and Cardiff. 
          • Anish Kapoor: Turning the World Upside Down in Kensington Gardens a Royal Parks video - which has Anish Kapoor explaining his sculptures and how they fit into the park and also how they are animated by the skyscape.
          • Reviews of the  Norman Rockwell's America at the Dulwich Picture Gallery  include: 
            • Norman Rockwell's America – review - Norman Rockwell idealised America and America idolised him in return – but this stunning survey reveals a deep knowledge of art at the heart of his work, writes Laura Cumming
            • while Peter Preston reflects on what has changed since the cheerful escapism of Rockwell's day in a comment piece in the Observer today The norms of Norman Rockwell
          Art Galleries and Museums

          There are two new Directors of Art Museums in London.  Artinfo covered both appointments in articles:
          Art History
          Art Supplies
          Art Education 
           
          Workshop and Class
          Art Apps
            Book Reviews

            Two book reviews by Martin Stankewitz (How to draw a tree) - about books which tell you how to draw trees
            Colour
            Copyright 
            • The Google Public Policy Blog recently addressed issues to do with Making Copyright Work Better Online.  I'll comment on this in a future post but here's the guts of the changes being made.  The four key items which Google has undertaken to do to reduce piracy and copyright infringement are as follows:
              • act on reliable copyright takedown requests within 24 hours.
              • prevent terms that are closely associated with piracy from appearing in Autocomplete.
              • improve the AdSense anti-piracy review
              • experiment to make authorised preview content more readily accessible in search results. 
            • In Google search and search engine spam, (on The Official Google Blog) Matt Cutts has announced that new developments are getting even better at detecting spammy content.  Those of us who have problems with content being stolen from blogs should feel a bit happier that things are moving in the right direction.
            Opinion Poll
            • The results of the January Making A Mark Poll were published yesterday in Are you a left handed artist? (Poll Results).  I'm not sure whether the very nigh number of people voting was because of lots of new visitors to this blog in January, the accessibility of the questions and answers or what.  However 31% of 262 people said they were left handed artists.  
            • There's a slightly different version of the poll on  new "resources for artists" site - Are Left Handed People more likely to be Artists?  
            • After the poll and the research, I've come to the conclusion that rather a lot of artists are said to be left-handed with very little evidence to support this.
            Websites, webware and blogging
            and finally......

            Do you ever have one of those phases where everything goes wrong - one after the other?

            After being Out to Lunch, no sooner had I researched, located and had a new microwave and cooker delivered for those that broke down within half an hour of one another (!!!) - but my car failed to start. It's now gone to the garage to be tested with the old microwave sat in the back! I just dread the times when the same thing happens as I'm getting ready for an exhibition.........  

            What's been your worst ever experience in terms of sequential mini-disasters?

            Saturday, January 29, 2011

            Are you a left handed artist? (Poll Results)


            The first Making A Mark Poll of 2011 was very straightforward and it was maybe this reason which attracted a high number of votes.  262 people in total voted in the poll and the pattern of voting was apparent from early on.
            • 31% of those responding identified themselves as left-handed artists
            • 9% identified themselves as ambidextrous artists
            • 58% were right-handed artists
            Various studies have been done about what percentage of the population is left-handed and the conclusions are that it between 8–15% of world population are left-handed.

            I've also read some who think that this figure can rise to as high as 30% if a very loose definition of left-handedness is used.  I provided no definition - I just asked whether people considered themselves a left-handed artist - and 31% did while 40% could use their left hand for art.

            Thursday, January 27, 2011

            How to enter the Pastel Society's 112th Annual Exhibition

            The Pastel Society website

            Next month, on the 18th and 19th February, pastel artists will be making an expedition to the basement of the Federation of British artists in Carlton House Terrace to drop off the work they are submitting to the 112th Annual Exhibition of The Pastel Society.  This year it's called Colour 2011.  I guess you might call that a  hint?

            Note the "The" - that's because it's the premier pastel society in the UK - dating back to 1898.

            Of course, there'll be a bunch of other pastel artists who'll be submitting their work via the various regional pick-ups and hand-ins around the UK.

            If you'd like to read/see more about past exhibitions click any or all of my posts listed at the end.  These are my reviews of the exhibitions and contain:
            • information about artists winning awards
            • images and notes about artists who caught my eye
            • what has stayed the same and what has changed - including observations about what I observed in terms of trends in work submitted and how work was presented for exhibition.

            Works in 2010 Exhibition by Norma Stephenson

            For those of you who are tempted to submit work here is a summary of the conditions for entry.

            Wednesday, January 26, 2011

            Major Art Exhibitions in London in 2011

            Find out about the major art exhibitions the major art galleries in museums in London  in 2011.

            Have you ever missed an exhibition because you didn't realise it's on? I have - and that's the reason why I produce this list each year - so that I don't miss the exhibitions in London that I want to go and see!  This post gets printed out and tacked to my pin board!  It's good to share too.

            This list of major art exhibitions in London focuses on painting, drawing and sculpture and is organised according to the names of each of the major art galleries and museums and for each of these the listing is in date order.  The links in the names of the exhibitions are to their microsite pages (where available) on the relevant art gallery or museum's website where you can find out more about the exhibition, how to get tickets and what are the linked events.  The bigger galleries tend to have a number of events associated with each exhibition.

            The blockbuster is probably going to be the da Vinci exhibition at the National Gallery since it's a one-off and da Vinci has increased in popularity in recent years for reasons not altogether connected to art!

            However I expect the Watercolour exhibition at Tate Britain will prove to be very popular too.  There's an article about it in the current edition of Tate Etc and it looks absolutely fascinating - and I'm sure it will get great reviews.

            The big attractions for me will the Watercolour exhibition at Tate Britain, plus the exhibitions about the Watteau Drawings and the Degas Dancers at the RA and the Toulouse Lautrec at the Courtauld.  I also rather suspect I'm going to be taking quite a few trips to south London to see the anniversary exhibitions at the Dulwich Picture Gallery - there's a distinct North American flavour to Dulwich this year!  I'm also going to be interested to see the Gerhard Richter retrospective at Tate Modern.

            However I know there will be other exhibitions which will surprise and delight me - it'll be interesting to see which ones they are.

            CLICK ON THE EXHIBITION TITLE to reach the website page for that exhibition


            Tuesday, January 25, 2011

            Two opportunities to be Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011!

            The closing date for entries for two wildlife art competitions are fast approaching. Deadlines and entry conditions are detailed below for :
            I've summarised the entry arrangements below

            Adam Binder - Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 with  
            (left to right) David Shepherd CBE,  David Gower and Robert Lindsay
            at the Wildlife Artist of the Year 2010 Awards, Mall Galleries, London
            photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell



            Monday, January 24, 2011

            How to identify favourite portrait painters

            I want to create an opinion poll to find out which are your favourite portrait painters - but to do that I first have to come up with the answers to two key questions
            1. What's a "portrait painter"?
            2. Who are the popular portrait painters?
            I have to confess when I address questions like these, the process of sorting through lists and looking at artwork is enormously invigorating in terms of reminding me about the great art which has been produced in the past - particularly the portraits

            Diego Velasquez - self-portrait (Las Meninas)
            What's a "portrait painter"?

            Here are some definitions of "portrait painter".  Do you know any more?

            Here's the Princeton definition
             (n) portraitist, portrait painter, portrayerlimner (a painter or drawer of portraits)
            Princeton University - wordnet definition of "portrait painter"
            This is the wikipedia version - which focuses on what portrait painting is more than what a portrait painter is
            Portrait painting is a genre in painting, where the intent is to depict the visual appearance of the subject. Beside human beings, animals, pets and even inanimate objects can be chosen as the subject for a portrait.......Portraitists create their work by commission, for public and private persons, or are inspired by admiration or affection for the subject.....A well-executed portrait is expected to show the inner essence of the subject (from the artist's point of view) or a flattering representation, not just a literal likeness. 
            Wikipedia - portrait painter
            Websters provides a list of synonyms and translations for "portrait painter"

            Ignoring for the moment that figurative art can include subject matter which are not figures, for me the difficulty arises over:
            • Where does portraiture start and finish and where does figurative art takes over?
            • Is an artist a superior portrait artist if able to draw and sculpt as well as paint?  
            • Should the query be about which are the best portrait artists or the best portrait painters?
            What's your thoughts on these conundrums?

            Who are the popular portrait painters?
            Lady Agnew of Lochnaw by John Singer Sargent
              A portrait is a painting with something a little wrong with the mouth.
              John Singer Sargent (1856-1925), American painter of many portraits
              I also need to come up with the names of favourite portrait painters!  Plus I also need to decide who is and who is not a portrait painter - as per the conundrum re portraiture and figurative art (in the sense of painting figures)

              Interestingly Wikipedia is surprisingly silent on this topic - having a very lightweight list of portrait artists.

              This is the list of The Top 10 Best Portrait Painters according to the Encyclopedia of Irish and World Art (which is a wonderful resource for all those interested in art history)
              1. Rembrandt van Rijn
              2. Leonardo da Vinci
              3. Diego Velaquez
              4. Jan van Eyck
              5. Raphael
              6. John Singer Sargent
              7. Hans Holbein the Younger
              8. Sir Anthony van Dyck
              9. Theodore Gericault
              10. Giuseppe Arcimboldo
              Now that's not the list I would have come up with.  I don't see either Leonardo da Vinci or Raphael as primarily portrait painters - and why would you include those two and not Michaelangelo Buonarotti - unless you're ruling out an artist on the basis that representation of mythical/fantasy people doesn't count?

              Also Gericault and Arcimboldo would never make it into my top 10.  Recognised portrait artists who do nothing for me include van Dyck, Peter Paul Rubens and Sir Joshua Reynolds - and I tend to think of Gainsborough as being more of a landscape artist.

              Concept Art has a thread about Who was the greatest portrait painter? 

              My top 10 portrait painters

              This isn't so much a list as a statement of current musings!

              My top ten would include definitely Rembrandt, Holbein, Velasquez and Singer Sargent - and probably Jan van Eyck.  However it would also include some more contemporary artists such as Chuck Close - who has been amazingly innovative and has really stretched the concept of how portraiture is created.

              Doge Leonardo Loredan by Giovanni Bellini
              Does Lucian Freud deserve to be included as well?  I'm not sure - he never takes commissions.  Neither does David Hockney who has also developed a strong focus on portraiture as part of his oevre.  Should they be classified as figurative artists instead?  

              Other contenders for me would include Giovanni Bellini - mainly because of the famous Portrait of Doge Leonardo Loredan (1501), Albrecht Durer, Jan Vermeer, and Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres.  

              I'm particularly aware of the fact that I know very little about artists outside Western Europe.  I suspect that also goes for many other individuals who study western art history.  However we need to remember that other cultures have produced very good portrait artists.  For example, if one was going to include John Singer Sargent, shouldn't one also include Valentin Serov?

              Recently I've also been very impressed by Sir Thomas Lawrence - who I think is unparalled in his portraits of children.

              Holbein - Lady with a Squirrel
              Since animals can be legitimate subjects for portraits should one also consider artists like John James Audubon?

              Who are your top 10 portrait artists?

              • Tell me who are your top ten portrait artists are!
              • PLUS which are the top portrait artists missing from the above lists?
              I look forward to reading your comments.

              Wednesday, January 19, 2011

              Introducing 'A Postcard from my Walk'

              I'm happy to announce that I'm participating in a new sketching project - which involves mailing sketches around the world - called A Postcard from my Walk.

              Postcard from my Walk Logo by Cathy Gatland
              You can read all about it on the new blog - which was published today - and which you can find at http://walk-postcard.blogspot.com/.

              The project has grown out of the Sketchercise group which I founded.
              Sketchercise is a group of people who enjoy sketching from life (no photos!), have already developed the sketching habit AND have found ways of getting out and about and exercising with a sketchbook.
              The idea of this new project is that once a month we will mail a sketch done on one of our walks to one of the group of Sketchercise members who are participating in the project.  That way we get to see the real sketch rather than just the image on the Internet!

              Fellow participants are:

              The first postcards get mailed out next week and should start appearing on the blog in February when they arrive at their destination.

              I hope you enjoy following along - links to how to subscribe to this new blog can be found in the side column.

              I'd personally like to thank
              • Ronell van Wyk who has been the guiding light and driving force around this new project - she's very organised! ;) - and 
              • Cathy Gatland who contributed our new logo which you can see above
              ____________________

              PS  Re Out to Lunch,  I got a new microwave on Monday, ordered a new cooker this morning and it's arriving on Friday.  Just got to go and turn the kitchen upside down now to work out where all the bits which I used to keep in or on the cooker are now going to go!  Plus lots more stuff to do around the home so I'll be back next week.

              Monday, January 17, 2011

              Out to Lunch

              Now that got your attention didn't it? :)

              I need to take some time out.

              National Dining Rooms 15 October 2010
              8" x 10" pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine sketchbook
              copyright Katherine Tyrrell


              Yesterday my oven and microwave both decided to stop working properly within an hour of one another in the middle of cooking the Sunday Roast.

              I kid you not.  I've heard of solidarity but this is ridiculous - one is gas and the other is electric! ;)

              I confess I did utter expletives as I first tried to complete a half cooked meal and some more as I then thought about what I need to do next.

              It's even less fun when you start to realise how impossible it is to get what you need when you need it now - right after Christmas when stocks are low!  Get the picture?  It vies for top awful kitchen equipment story of all time with the year when my fridge freezer packed up without any prior notice three days before Christmas.

              So today I'm going to be off scouring the internet and the stores for new equipment and then arranging for it to be delivered and fixed up.

              While I'm at it I'm also going to take the opportunity for short break as I've had a lot of "stuff" on my metaphorical plate of late and need both a breather and time to pay attention to other matters which need sorting and fixing.

              Back soon.

              Saturday, January 15, 2011

              Techie: 9 Reasons Why the Title is Important

              Have you ever considered how important the title is to getting people to read your blog post?  

              If you think the content you put online is good but have been disappointed with numbers visiting your blog or commenting on its content maybe now is the time to find out about one of the reasons why....

              Why does your title matter?

              The title or headline of an article, blog post or advert is the main reason why a lot of people read what else you have to say
              “On the average, five times as many people read the headlines as read the body copy.”

              “Unless your headline sells your product, you have wasted 90 percent of your money…”

              "The purpose of a title is to get potential readers to read the first line of your content."

              David Ogilvy
              David Ogilvy had a point - and part of the answer as to why the title - or headline - is important.  He's the man who wtote the best primer on all aspects of advertising.  Time called him "the most sought after wizard in the business".

              This truism applies to newspapers, magazines, advertising copy as well as websites and blogs. 

              Clever blog post titles may look good but unless people click to read and/or look at your art they're entirely wasted.

              Nine important reasons why the titles of blog posts are important

              Today the reasons extend to the mechanics of search and how people read blogs for content.

              1. The title of your blog post determines whether or not most people read on - to see what else you have to say
              2. If your blog appears in other people's blogrolls, the title of your blog post is often all people have to make a decision which triggers a visit
              3. The title of a blog post appears in the results of search enquiries using search engines.  Highlighted text is likely to reference words in your search enquiry
              4. You read the title of the blog post in that email from that blog you subscribe to.  Does the blog post title make you want to open it?
              5. Blog posts which reference your blog post (such as "who's made a mark this week") very often use  the title you used. 
              6. Many people set their feedreaders to headlines only (ie the title) rather than full post so they can scan content more quickly.   If you don't attract attention with the title, then some of your subscribers will never read your post.
              7. The title of your blog post will appear on social media sites which draw their content from your RSS feed (eg Facebook and Twitter)
              8. Take a look at your archives.  Can you tell what a blog post is about just from the title
              9. If you're trying to sell your art, your blog post is the advertising image and copy and the title is the headline
              Do you have any other reasons to add to this list?

              [Update:  I think I may have caused some confusion here.  I've now amended this post to make it clearer that I'm referring specifically to the title of the blog post rather than the title of the blog]

              Friday, January 14, 2011

              Annual Exhibitions of Scottish Art Societies

              The Royal Society of Arts building, The Mound, Edinburgh
              The three major Scottish Art Societies are:
              The Exhibiting Societies of Scottish Artists, or ESSA, is a collaborative fundraising venture between ourselves (VAS), The Society of Scottish Artists (SSA), and the Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour (RSW).  ESSA organises regular selling events, such as an art auction and a postcard sale. 
              plus the Royal Scottish Academy which has an Open Exhibition in the autumn.  All have their exhibitions at the The Royal Scottish Academy Building, The Mound, Edinburgh


              Scottish Art Society Open Exhibitions : Deadlines, Venues and Dates 

              I should have done this earlier - check the deadlines!  Take this as a reminder for all those who are already prepared and make a note at the end of your calendar for 2012!
              The annual RSW Exhibition is a celebration of the practice of waterbased painting. Colour and creativity come together in this large show where RSW members and their guests show their work with non-members selected from an open submission.
              It's interesting that three of the societies appear to have arranged their deadline for artwork submissions amd exhibitions on the same days at the same venue.


              Art competition

              Deadline dates 2011

              2011 Exhibition dates

              17 January
              The Royal Scottish Academy Building (Lower Galleries), Edinburgh
              5 February - 3 March 2011
              (digital submission November 2010) 17-18 January 2011
              The Royal Scottish Academy Building, Edinburgh
              5 February - 3 March
              17-18 January 2011
              The Royal Scottish Academy Building (Upper Galleries), Edinburgh
              5 February - 3 March
              Hand-in: mid October (5)
              The Royal Scottish Academy Building (Lower Galleries), Edinburgh
              November-December 2011

              Wednesday, January 12, 2011

              The Queen: Art and Image

              Lightness of Being, 2007 by Chris Levine
                    Copyright: Chris Levine.
              Courtesy of Mr Kevin P.Burke and the Burke Children. Private Collection
              I went to a Breakfast meeting at the National Portrait Gallery this morning to hear about an exhibition which will be touring the UK from June this year to mark The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

              The Queen: Art and Image is an exhibition which brings together 60 images taken throughout her reign to mark the 60 years the Queen will have been on the throne next year. The exhibition will include images by:
              • photographers: Cecil Beaton, Yousuf Karsh, Patrick Lichfield, Gerhard RichterAnnie Liebowitz and various press photographers
              • artists: Pietro Annigoni, Andy Warhol, Gilbert and George and Lucian Freud
              It will tour to each of the capital cities of the four countries of the United Kingdom finishing in London for the period covering the Diamond Jubilee Weekend at the beginning of June 2012.  It opens in Edinburgh in June this year.
              A touring exhibition organised by the National Portrait Gallery, London 
              The Queen is probably the most visually represented person in British history.  Although eclipsed for a short while by Diana, Princess of Wales, the Queen's image has been represented across the world and throughout the Commonwealth - through formal portraiture, media photography and iconic images such as those on stamps and coins.

              A structured restrospective - focused on the six decades - is the approach chosen for the exhibition which focuses on a theme of 'representation'
              Documenting the changing nature of representations of the Monarch, the exhibition will show how images serve as a lens through which to view shifting perceptions of royalty.
              The images of her reign tell the story of her reign and the story of how life has changed in those 60 years - and the monarchy with it.  The monarchy has down-sized - as has the commonwealth.  It is now less about the imperial aspects of empire and now more about 'ordinary people' in extraordinary roles.

              Ironically although she has gone from the formal to the more familiar, virtually all we know of her is through the image.  While the mark of a good portrait is that it tells us about the person as well as what he or she looks like, with the images of the Queen we can't be sure how good they are.

              To me it seems as if there is a conundrem.  The more realistic the representation, the more formal it becomes and the more distanced from the real person.  The images which are less "realistic" may well say more about the person.  At the end of the day, the abstractions of her identity and persona define her in different contexts, by different artists and photographers for different constituencies.  

              Interestingly I learned that the Queen rather likes some of the images which the people of Britain have not taken to initially.  Now who would have guessed that!

              I was amazed at the sheer range of ways in which she has been portrayed and although some of the images will be very familiar, others will be new and some will have never been seen before.

              (PS You can see a sketch of the view from the Portrait Restaurant where the meeting was held over on Travels with a Sketchbook in...... - see View from Portrait Restaurant, National Portrait Gallery)

              Tuesday, January 11, 2011

              Watercolourists: Call For Entries 2011

              Two "Call for Entries" reminders for watercolourists in the UK - and abroad!

              Royal Watercolour Society

              First off - Wednesday 12th January 2011 is the deadline for entry form/fee payment.  Work has to be submitted in February.  So if you've forgotten to do your form now is the time to get your skates on - you've still got time to email your entry to them today.

              Back in October I did the Call for Entries post which you can find here Call for Entries: Royal Watercolour Society Open Competition 2011.  This includes everything else you need to know.

              Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolours

              The 199th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours at the Mall Galleries will be held at the Mall Galleries opens on 30th March. You can subit work at the end of this month.

              Who can submit artwork?

              The competition is "Open" meaning that non-members of the Royal Institute of Painters in Watercolour are allowed to submit work.

              What to submit

              The Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours are uinterested in painting in all watersoluble mediums.  They define a watercolour painting as:
              A painting made using water soluble media, on a paper based support.
              • Acceptable media:  Watercolour or any water soluble colour, any use of acrylic must be handled as a watercolour. Paintings must be under glass and should not be executed on hardboard. 
              • Framing:  The Mall Galleries give full information about their framing requirements in the Registration Pack
                • All pictures must be securely framed. 
                • Frames should be stout enough to withstand mirror plating for hanging purposes. 
                • No hooks are required for hanging purposes and there should be no projections whatsoever from the back of the frames. This is to prevent damage to other works. 
                • Metal frames and clip frames are inadmissible. 
                • Glazed works with unprotected glass edges are inadmissible. 
                • Non reflective glass is unacceptable. 
                • Frames and mounts of an unusual colour, size or design may prejudice the chance of hanging.
                • The website indicates that it's expected that an image will be isolated from the frame using a mount.  However I'm sure works last year which had no mount and it's certainly the fashion at present of finding other ways of isolating the work from the glazing.
              • Previous exhibitions:  Paintings entered should be recent work that has not previously been shown in London
              • Number of works:  A maximum of six works may be submitted. A maximum of four works will be selected for exhibition
              • Size of work:  The Mall Galleries state "We cannot receive pictures taller than 2.4m (8ft), please call in advance if your work exceeds this"
              • Availability for Sale:  All works must be for sale. All sales of a work by the Mall galleries - after the registration form has been submitted - take precdence over all private sales.
              • Prices:  Minimum price £300.  The price entered on the Entry Form is the catalogue selling price. Prices should include gallery commission (including tax of 45% plus VAT) and VAT if the artist is VAT registered.
              You can review my blog posts about previous exhibitions below.  These include gallery shots of works in the exhibition and links to the websites of prizewinning artists.

              Awards / Prizes 

              There are numerous prizes which include
              • The Turner Watercolour Award of £2,500, 
              • Winsor & Newton/RI Members’ Group Award, 
              • RI/Winsor & Newton Young Artists Award (aged under 30), 
              • Worshipful Company of Painter Stainers – Stoke Roberts’ Bursary Award of £1,000, 
              • The Debra Manifold Memorial Award presented by the Linda Blackstone Gallery, 
              • The Donald Blake Award and The Rowland Hilder Award presented by Lincoln Joyce Fine Art, 
              • Frank Herring & Sons Easel Awards, 
              • St Cuthberts Mill Award, 
              • The Arts Club Award, 
              • The Matt Bruce RI Memorial Award, 
              • The Ranelagh Press Award, 
              • The Buzzacott Award.
              Entry Costs and Commission
              • The fee for each work submitted is £10 for each painting.
              • A commission of 45% (plus VAT) is charged on the price paid for work or copyrights sold during or as a result of the exhibition, or on commissioned work (unless otherwise advised) arranged through the Exhibition Administrators. 
              How to submit
              • Works plus completed registration form, labels and submission fee have to be delivered unpacked to the Mall Galleries' basement administrative offices at: 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD - or to one of the regional pickup points. Select this link for information on regional handing-in points.
              • The Mall Galleries Registration Form must accompany all works. 
                • The rules and regulations in the Registration Form and the Mall Galleries Registration Pack are binding. 
                • The Form and Registration Pack can be acquired from:  Federation of British Artists, 17 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5BD (please enclose a stamped, self addressed envelope)
              • Receiving Days: Works can only be accepted on the receiving day(s) stated.  Friday 28 January and Saturday 29 January 2011, 10am-5pm
              • Collection of unaccepted work: Saturday 12 February or Wednesday 16 February, 10am-5pm
              • Collection of unsold exhibition work: Thursday 14 April , 10am-5pm    
              • Insurance: Artists are strongly advised to insure their own work
              Sales

              The Exhibition dates 2011 start with the Private View on Tuesday 29 March.  The exhibition then opens to the public: Wednesday 30 March, 10am-5pm including weekends and closes on Sunday 10 April, 3pm
              • All sales and payment for exhibited work will be handled by the Mall Galleries.
              • A commission of 45% plus VAT will be charged. Don't forget the VAT rate went up to 20% on 4th January 2011) 
              • Selling prices quoted on the form must include commission, VAT + framing costs.
              If a painting sells for £300, the gallery will get 45% (ie £135) plus VAT on the £135 (ie £27) making a total deduction of £162 leaving the artist with £138.


              Will you be submitting work this year?

              Monday, January 10, 2011

              Making A Mark achieves #2 in Top Ten Blogs of 2010!

              I'm very pleased to say i've only just found out that the very nice people at creativetourist.com awarded Making A Mark the #2 spot in their top 10 list of blogs in 2010 back in December!  See Top 10 Blogs of 2010

              Top 10 Blogs of 2010.

              An unashamedly subjective list of the best art and culture blogs of 2010. From travel bloggers to photography fans – who made the grade?
              I'm extremely flattered as the creativetourist.com top 25 art blogs in the UK is produced using various statistical and objectives measures of popularity and hence I've always been very pleased to rank high in that (Making A Mark is currently #3).

              It's also very rewarding to get their completely subjective evaluation prize too!  :)

              I'd also like to thank everybody who have been commenting recently to say how much they enjoy my blog.

              This news is even nicer on what has been a completely stress inducing day!

              This morning I became very fearful that the men driving very large excavating machinery - who are clearing a site next to my home for development - were excavating very large pits far too close to teh root system of an extremely large protected lime tree which is about 50 feet from the window of the room where I sit - and immediately adjacent to the party wall.  Frantic emails and telephone calls and me screaming like a banshee at the people driving the excavators resulted in the excavations stopping only minutes before too much damage was done to the root system.  I had visions of the tree toppling on top on my home - and me!

              Back to normal service tomorrow.  I've now managed to secure fencing to protect the tree roots which run under the party wall onto the adjacent site!
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