Saturday, December 31, 2011

Best Picture of 2011 on an Art Blog

You have voted (see Vote for the best artwork on an art blog in 2011) and today I can announce who has won Best Picture of 2011 on an Art Blog.

Many thanks to
  • first - all those art bloggers who came up with the nominations.  Your assistance in identifying good work is certainly valued by me.
  • second - all the people who took time out over the festive season to come and view the nominations and vote in this Making A Mark Awards Poll. 
So the way this works is that first I tell you who won in each category and then I announce who won Best Picture of the Year - which goes to the person with the most votes overall.

Do please click the images and open them in a new tab if you want to see a bigger version.

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Portrait/Figures) on an Art Blog 2011

This poll traditionally has the most votes of all the polls - and it achieved that again this year.

This particular poll had me on the edge of my seat.  The lead kept changing and as it drew to a close I started to think it might end up as a dead heat....and so it came to be!

The joint winners of the Best Picture of the Year (Portrait/Figures) each with 27% of the vote are:
"Dream" 
© Sophie Ploeg (Sophie Ploeg)
oil, 30x40cm
"Leah at Sea" 
© Taryn Day (Awake and Painting)
oil on panel, 6"x6"
I wasn't familiar with Taryn's work before but her blog has now been added into my Google Reader!

"Black Sun" by Dirk Dzimirsky (Dirk Dzimirsky - Drawings) was in third place.


The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Place) on an Art Blog 2011

This was another fascinating poll with the lead changing on a regular basis.  I really didn't have any idea which piece was going win this year.
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Place) is Pacific Passage by Robin Purcell (Robin Purcell - Watercolours in the Plein Air TraditionNominated by Katherine Tyrrell
I'd like to point that I'd have been very happy to have nominated any of Robin's watercolour landscapes of California - which I think are fabulous.  It just so happened that I've actually stood on this spot on a clifftop walk at Point Lobos (just south of Carmel in northern California) and wanted so much to be able to do justice to this view!

Pacific Passage 
© Robin Purcell (Robin Purcell - Watercolours in the Plein Air Tradition)
14" x 14", watercolour

The runner up was Back Door by William Wray (William Wray) - which is another very fine picture, definitely a keeper!


The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) on an Art Blog 2011

This category had a run away winner right from the off and the painting which won got 42% of the vote.
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) is "Bottles, Bottles, Bottles #736" by Lisa Daria (Lisa Daria's Everyday PaintingNominated by Katherine Tyrrell
Bottles, Bottles, Bottles #736
© Lisa Darier (Lisa Daria's Everyday Painting)

Lisa Daria was last year's winner of the Painting A Day Stickability Shield (which has been won previously by a number of very well known daily painters).  She has been posting a painting every day for two and a half years and has a very good reason for why she doesn't want to stop.

The runner up was Glass & Floral II by Jelaine Faunce (Jelaine Faunce: Contemporary Realism) - which was a completely different interpretation of painting glass containers

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Natural World) on an Art Blog 2011

We have a bit of an awkward situation with this category (and having received a rather odd comment, I've amended this section since the original publication to avoid any misinterpretation)

David J Teter who nominated Ant by Suzanne Berry let me know that, after his nomination, Suzanne  pointed out to him that she had not taken the photo used as reference for the painting.  He apologised for his mistake and for not checking with Suzanne first. I'd like to thank both Suzanne and David for letting me know - I'm very happy to acknowledge that this was a genuine mistake on David's part.  However as the poll had already started I decided to let the situation ride and then work out what to do if the painting won!

Which it did.

So here's what I'm going to do.

The issue is not that somebody else's photograph has been used as a reference - which of itself is not unusual for those painting the natural world.  Hence the nomination was not ineligible purely because somebody else's photo had been used as a reference.  The issue was purely about whether or not the painting was "overly reliant on a photograph taken by somebody else" ie the criteria I'd laid down.   (This is the point at which I started looking at an awful lot of photos of ants!)

It seems to me that there are three points which favour allowing the painting to be eligible.  First, ants of the same species look pretty similar no matter who takes their photograph; they also seem to have a pretty limited number of positions which they adopt. Second, this is one painting in a long series of paintings of bugs by Suzanne.  Looking at the design and composition of the paintings in her series it's very obvious to me that there is painterly interpretation of reference photographs. This is a painter who clearly adds value to a reference photo.  Third the post about the painting eulogises about the colours she's been able to bring out in the painting.  To me they are a lot more obvious in this painting than they are in photos of similar ants.

Consequently my view is that the painting is eligible and I'm very happy to allow the vote to stand.  As I indicated when choosing a shortlist I always look at the art blogs of the painters first and it's my view that Suzanne is an accomplished painter with a very effective approach to portraying bugs!
The winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Nature) is "Ant" by Suzanne Berry (Suzanne BerryNominated by David J Teter
Ant © Suzanne Berry (Suzanne Berry)
16x16" oil on cradled hardboard

The runnerup was Sanderling by Tracy Hall (Watercolour Artist Diary)


The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog 2011

This is awarded to the picture which got the most votes cast in the poll.

It’s always fascinating to see how the different categories fare in terms of the number of votes they attract and how art bloggers rate different work when they start acting as the jury rather than the artist whose work is being judged.

The painting which won this year was in a commanding lead - across all categories - from about six hours after the poll started all the way to the end.  I was pretty sure who was going to win on the first day!


Bottles, Bottles, Bottles #736
© Lisa Darier (Lisa Daria's Everyday Painting)
The other placements, according to the number of votes cast, were as follows:
  • Second - Ant by Suzanne Berry
  • Third - Pacific Passage by Robin Purcell
I guess the very hard fought competition in the Portrait category ended up sharing the votes around rather equally!  This category has however won the Best Picture of the Year for the last two years so it was kind of nice that other genres got a look in!

I hope you've enjoyed the Picture of the Year Competition and all the Making A Mark Awards.  I've listed them below - and you can also see them within the context of past winners in two places.  Both summarise the reasons why people won the award.
The Making A Mark Awards 2012

I keep a running list of potential nominations for ANY of the Making A Mark Awards all year round. 

So if you'd like to feature in next year's awards and/or want to nominate an art blog and/or an artwork by an art blogger that you spot in the course of the year all you have to do is write to me at any time (see side column for contact details) or leave a comment on the blog page.  All nominations have to comply with the rules.

Links:  Making A Mark Awards 2011

Read who won the awards - click the link in the bold sub-heads below

Generating Art
  • The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
  • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
  • NEW IN 2011 - The Best Art Society Blog
Getting Out of the Studio
  • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
  • The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy
  • The Going Greener Gong
Learning about Art & the Art Business
  • The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal
  • The Make Me Think Gong
  • The Best Book by an Art Blogger Blue Ribbon
The Home Front
  • NEW in 2011 The Art Innovation of the Year Award
  • “The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog
  • The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
Best Picture of 2011

Shortlist and poll results - VOTE for the Best Artwork on an Art Blog in 2011

    Friday, December 30, 2011

    The Home Front - The Making A Mark Awards 2011

    The fourth section of the 6th Annual Making A Mark Awards relates to those matters relating to the practical aspects of our artistic art and/or make life at home with the artist that bit better.

    There are three awards:

    Learning about Art & the Art Business - Making A Mark Awards 2011

    On to the next part of the Making A Mark Awards - this is the section related to Learning about Art and the Art Business.

     There are three awards:
    This particular section of the awards focuses on our personal development - whether that's via:
    • regular posts on a blog wholly focused on the development of artists 
    • a really good series of posts on a particular topic of major relevance to artists
    • a new art instruction book
    • a new book about the artist and the art business

    Thursday, December 29, 2011

    Getting out of the Studio - Making A Mark Art Blog Awards 2011

    This category of awards is all about people who draw and paint outside their studio - sometimes producing finished sketches or paintings plein air and sometimes producing material to develop further in the studio.

    They are:
    They're also awards for people who place an emphasis on sharing.

    Generating Art - The Making A Mark Awards 2011

    Today's awards relate to generating art either as an individual artist or as an art group - formal or informal.
    • The Painting A Day Stickability Shield
    • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
    • NEW IN 2011 - The Best Art Society Blog Prize

    Introducing The Making A Mark Awards 2011


    Welcome to the sixth year of The Making A Mark Awards 2011.   Over today and tomorrow I'll be publishing five blog posts (see below) identifying which art blogs have won the following awards in 2011.

    (My apologies to those who don't like more than one post a day - now you know what's happening they are you can now choose to either open or ignore them!)

    BEST ART BLOGS IN 2011

    Since 2006, the aim of the Making A Mark Art Blog Awards has been to identify:
    • excellence in blogging about art and artists; and 
    • the art blogs which set high standards and are the most influential.
    The awards are organised as follows

    Generating Art - TODAY
    Getting Out of the Studio - TODAY
    Learning about Art & the Art Business - TODAY (if possible)
    The Home Front - TOMORROW
    Best Picture of the Year 2011 - TOMORROW

    See VOTE for the Best Artwork on an Art Blog in 2011 - you have until 6am tomorrow (GMT/London) to vote for your favourite.
    • Nature
    • Still Life
    • Landscape/Place
    • Portrait/Figures
    • Overall Winner - most votes
    The first award announcements follows shortly.

    This page on the Making A Mark website also references every award, everybody who has been nominated, all the nomination posts and all past winners.

    If you keep an eye on this you'll see the nominees for 2011 - including my nominations - posted throughout the day.

    Monday, December 26, 2011

    VOTE for the Best Artwork on an Art Blog in 2011

    You are invited to vote for
    the Making A Mark Award
    for the best artwork on a blog in 2011

    Earlier this month, you were invited to nominate artwork for the Making A Mark Awards for Best Picture in different categories.  I posted the results in the four posts published on Christmas Eve (listed at the end of each category below).

    You can now VOTE for what YOU think is the best picture in the FOUR polls for the best artwork for each category - based on the artwork shortlisted from the nominations and my own nominations

    Before the display of images of the shortlist I've said a few words about why I chose the works that I did.

    What YOU have to do now - VOTE!

    DECIDE WHICH ARTWORK YOU LIKE THE BEST (see images below) in each of the FOUR different categories below and then vote in the poll relating to each category - but only one vote per category please! ;)
    • Make sure you get the result right first time as you'll be blocked from changing your vote 
    • The deadline for voting is 6.00am (GMT/London) on Friday 30th December 2011
    • I will then formally announce the winner of each category in the second part of the Making A Mark Awards in a post later on the 30th December.
    • You'll only be able to see the percentages of the vote which each piece attracts. However the work which attracts the most votes in total will also be declared Picture of the Year!
    I suggest you click on the images before voting so you can see all the work properly. When you've voted you can then view the results by clicking on the 'view result' link in the bottom left hand corner (just above the polldaddy link).

    You can also share a link to any of the polls on your own blog.  Just click the 'share this' link for the poll you'd like to share.

    You now have four days to vote for which is the best artwork in each category (see below). There are FOUR polls below - please take your time and vote on each.

    Please note: Lobbying is not allowed beyond a selected artist posting a link to this post on their own blog and explaining how to vote.  Others can feel free to share a link to this vote if you want to encourage people to look at the options generally.


    Saturday, December 24, 2011

    MAM Awards 2011: Portrait Nominations for Best Artwork

    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Artwork - Portrait / Figures 2011 aims to celebrate and highlight excellence in portraiture and/or artwork predominantly involving figures

    Below you can find the nominations I received for the  best picture (portrait/figure) on an art blog in 2011.
    • I've still to select a work for my nomination. I'll then be selecting three works to go forward as the shortlist for you to the vote on for the best still life picture on art blog in 2011. 
    • I'll be including larger images of the three shortlisted works in the invitation to vote for the winner.
    • You then have until 29th December to vote for the work you think is the best (ie voting closes a minute after midnight GMT on 30th December )
    This is a link to the
    The details of the nomination process and criteria for submissions can be found in Nominate the Best Artwork (Portraits/Figures) on a blog in 2011

    Now for the nominations.....

    MAM Awards 2011: Landscape Nominations for Best Artwork

    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Place 2011 aims to celebrate and highlight excellence in creating pictures about places in our environment

    Below you can find the nominations I received for the best picture (landscape) on an art blog in 2011.
    • I've still to select a work for my nomination. I'll then be selecting three works to go forward as the shortlist for you to the vote on for the best still life picture on art blog in 2011. 
    • I'll be including larger images of the three shortlisted works in the invitation to vote for the winner.
    • You then have until a minute after 29th December to vote for the work you think is the best (ie voting closes a minute after midnight GMT)
    This is a link to the
    The details of the nomination process and criteria for submissions can be found in Nominate the Best Artwork (Place/Landscape) on a blog in 2011

    MAM Awards 2011: Still Life Nominations for Best Artwork

    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Still Life in 2011 aims to highlight and celebrate excellence in creating pictures which help us to reflect on how the small and inanimate can be beautiful

    Below you can find the nominations I received for the best picture (still life) on an art blog in 2011.
    • I've still to select a work for my nomination
    • I'll then be selecting three works to go forward as the shortlist for you to the vote on for the best still life picture on art blog in 2011
    • I'll be including larger images of the shortlisted works in the invitation to vote for the winner - which gets posted tomorrow.
    • You then have until a minute after 29th December to vote for the work you think is the best (ie voting closes a minute after midnight GMT)

    MAM Awards 2011: Natural World Nominations for Best Artwork

    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of Nature in 2011 values the natural world and its plants and animals and celebrates excellence in portraying every aspect of nature.

    This was a new award last year and I'm not sure people have yet understood what the category covers as it drew only a small number of nominations.  I've still to decide what my nomination is.

    Below you can find the nominations I received for the best picture (natural world) on an art blog in 2011.
    • I'll be posting a shortlist of three works inviting you to vote for the one you think is best on Monday 26th December
    • I'll be including larger images of the shortlisted works in the invitation to vote for the winner
    • You then have until 29th December to vote for the work you think is the best (ie voting closes a minute after midnight GMT on 30th December )

    Friday, December 23, 2011

    Reviewing Art Business in 2011

    This post is the second part of an annual "who's made a mark this year?" review of art from the perspective of an independent art blogger  (Yesterday I posted Reviewing Art on the Internet in 2011 which looked at it from an individual artist's perspective)

    This post focuses on a macro perspective on the world of art in 2011 and my perspective of how the business of art changed in 2011.  It covers:
    • the art economy - a macro perspective
    • art media and genre
    • art galleries and museums
    • selling art online
    • art shops and art supplies
    I look at what happened to my art predictions for 2011, identify what I missed and outline my predictions for 2012.

    While I try to take a global perspective, inevitably my analysis is biased towards
    • the UK. 
    • business and the more financial aspects of art.

    Other Reviews of Art

    If you've written a review of art or art blogging in 2011 please do let me know and I'll reference it  on this blog in the first "who's made a mark this week?" of 2012.

    If you like reading about what the past year looked like in previous years try checking out my previous "who's made a mark this year?" posts as follows:
    On to the review!

    Thursday, December 22, 2011

    Reviewing Art on the Internet in 2011

    This post is the first of a two part "who's made a mark this year?" annual review of art from the perspective of an independent art blogger.  Have a break, grab a cup of your favourite beverage and a comfy chair and have a read and see whether it chimes with your perspective.

    Essentially it's a structured rumination about art on the internet in 2011 and has three parts
    • what stayed the same in 2010
    • what changed in 2010. In this section I reflect on how well my predictions did and what I missed.
    • PLUS I make predictions about art on the internet for the coming year.

    TOMORROW - I review what's happened to the art business and more institutional aspects of art and how the overall economy is having an impact on art and the online artist and art blogger.
    I always start thinking I don't have a lot to say - but it's amazing how the process of structuring and writing a review ALWAYS makes me really think more about what's happened in the last year.

    Other Reviews of Art

    If you've written a review of art or art blogging or art on the internet in 2011 or your own personal development as an artist in 2011 please do let me know and I'll reference it on this blog in the first "who's made a mark this week?" of 2012.

    If you like reading about what the past year looked like in previous years try checking out my previous "who's made a mark this year?" posts as follows:

    Don't forget that the deadline for NOMINATION for the BEST ARTWORK on an art blog in 2010 is shortly after midnight on 24th December<
    • Links to the nomination threads can be found at the top of the right hand column.  
    • The results of nominations - including links to the art blogs of those who nominated - will be published later on 24th December

    On to the first part of the "who's made a mark" annual review!

    Wednesday, December 21, 2011

    Art Exhibitions in London over Festive Season

    These are some of the Art Exhibitions which can be seen in London over the Festive Season.  Each is listed against its host museum or gallery with a short summary  Click the link in the title of the exhibition to find out more details.

    London is the top capital in the world for the number of top ranking art galleries and museums.  Below you can see some of the reasons why.

    The Lady with the Ermine (1496) by Leonardo da Vinci

    Tuesday, December 20, 2011

    Creating Christmas Products from your art (Poll Results)

    This month's poll asked you whether artists who read this blog create Christmas and/or Seasonal products from their artwork.  There were a few surprises.

    Making A Mark Poll December 2011 - 48 responses in 2 weeks

    The question "Do you create Christmas / Seasonal products from your art?" is actually a little bit more complex a question than it looks at face value.

    The critical implied questions which respondents had to tackle were:

    • Is marketing my artwork within a seasonal context a good idea - or not
    • What's the best way of spending my time if I'm going to make more of an effort?
      • producing new art?
      • converting existing art to new products?
      • market my existing art more effectively?

    Below you can find out what the 53 respondents (in two weeks) determined were the answers.

    The main findings are that
    • half (50%) the respondents engaged in some form of marketing artwork as suitable for the season
    • nearly a third (30%) of those who responded indicated that this was not a way they wanted to sell their art.  I'm sure there will be a variety of reasons for this view but I'm not too clear which are the most important.
    Of those who wanted to make something of their art for Christmas there were some distinct preferences:

    • 44% create original art with a seasonal theme
    • 36% create seasonal cards from their artwork
    • activities in relation to marketing prints, vouchers and calendars were small scale only
    Rather than create new art or convert existing art to new products, one group use their time to sharpen up their marketing efforts.  13% spend more time on marketing their art rather than on creating or converting art

    Just under 10% opted to do nothing not because of a conviction that this was not the way they wanted to market art but rather because they simply did not have the time

    On the whole my view would be that the most effective strategy in the long run would always be to ratchet up the marketing effort at Christmas having determined in advance which aspects of your artwork were most likely to appeal to those buying presents for others

    Your views

    I'm also interested in your views as to:

    • whether you think your choices as to how you spent your time and effort were effective?
    • how you know whether or not the choices you made were effective?  
      • For example - do you have a baseline for measuring "not done anything special this year" available as a comparison (ie how much might your sales have increased by at Christmas even if you did precisely nothing?)
    • what your theory is as to the best approach to selling art at a time when people are spending money on presents
    and finally..... famous artists who created art about Christmas

    I was intrigued as to which of the more famous artists might have created artwork for Christmas.  Particularly when I saw there was a strong trend saying "this is not what I want to do".  So I did a search........


    ________________________________________________________________
    Click the link to NOMINATE Art Blogs for The 2011 Making A Mark Awards

    Monday, December 19, 2011

    Christmas e-cards 2011 - by artists, art galleries and museums

    A couple of years ago I did a post about FREE Christmas e-cards by artists, art galleries and museums.  This is an update.  I've been looking to see if the same sites have updated or changed their URL links and also whether more people have got involved with the provision of artists e-cards.

    There are lots of FREE Christmas e-cards available - and some of the best are on museum sites!  There are some subscriber services created by independent artists and illustrators - usually working as a small team.

    I'm trying to find what I might call "the niche site which has some artistic flair".  Do let me know if you've found any not in my listing.

    Liverpool Museums: Vintage Christmas Cards
    2011 - Christmas e-cards on UK museum websites
    2009 website - no longer in existence

    The Victoria and Albert Museum website has been redesigned and, as I've noted previously it appears to have lost a lot of content in the process - including the Christmas e-cards!  Which is a pity as they had some of the nicest ones.

    2011 Christmas e-cards USA museum websites

    We seem to have pretty much the same situation as in 2009 with not a lot happening in American museums.
    • Museum of Fine Art, Boston - Christmas - includes lots of Japanese prints of winter scenes.  It's quite difficult to spot the bit where it says "send an e-card".  Look at the bottom left of the image - underneath "previous"
    2011 Christmas e-cards on artist websites

    There are some small groups in the UK who have decided to create a cottage industry out of e-cards - however their cards are NOT FREE.  I'm including them this year as it seems to me there's some scope for people to do this ie the market is certainly is not saturated with good quality Christmas cards.

    I'm only listing those who have more than one card for Christmas/New Year and have cards that don't make me gag.
    Do tell me if you've found any other sites.  Note that I'm not including any which are not artist/illustrator oriented and/or don't have a Christmas section.


    _______________________________________
    Click the link to NOMINATE Art Blogs for The 2011 Making A Mark Awards

    Sunday, December 18, 2011

    18th December 2011 - Who's made a mark this week?

    Nativity (1654) - etching by Rembrandt
    Just a week to go to Christmas Day! Here's wishing you and yours all the best in this festive season.

    I continue to have "green" difficulties with sending out masses of Christmas cards to people and will be limiting them to close family members and close friends and making a donation to the Save the Children Fund instead.

    The Making A Mark Art Blog Awards 2011

    I've now got all the Calls for Nominations posted (see links below).  This year there are two new awards in 2011
    • The Best Art Society Blog Prize
    • The Art Innovation of the Year Award
    In addition, there are a lot more group art blogs around in 2011 and it's worth mentioning that group blogs will in general be looked at under The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup

    I've been making lots of notes about art blogs which I think are eligible for different awards.  However I've not had a lot of nominations as yet.  I will be adding in my nominations and I won't be only adding in one or two.  However you won't see mine until the shortlisting

    Ester Roi demonstrated very effectively yesterday how to get your art blog nominated i.e. by making a simple announcement about the award on her blog and showing people what they have to do if they want to nominate her blog (and in this case her art innovation).

    You can do this too!  What you cannot do is lobby for nominations (or votes) outside your own art blog as the intended audience for these awards is art bloggers only.

    The Wisdom of the Crowd

    One of the benefits of blogging is that we can all get a better result by sharing our experiences - through the wisdom of the crowd.

    Please show your appreciation of your fellow bloggers and NOMINATE an art blogger you think should get a MAKING A MARK AWARD

    These are the links to the invitations to nominate.
    If you've got any queries don't hesitate to contact me - details of how to do this are in the side column.

    I'll be posting the nominations for the Best Picture award on the 24th and then inviting you to vote on the 26th.

    Artists and Art Blogs

    Drawing and Sketching

    Saturday, December 17, 2011

    The Home Front - MAM Art Blog Award Nominations 2011

    You are invited to nominate art blogs which make a difference to the practical aspects of our artistic art and/or make life at home with the artist that bit better.

    There are three awards:
    • NEW in 2011 The Art Innovation of the Year Award
    • “The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog
    • The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
    I'm particularly pleased to be introducing the last award and can't think why I hadn't thought of it before.  Art bloggers are a creative lot in more ways than one!

    NEW in 2011 The Art Innovation of the Year Award

    The Art Innovation of the Year Award is awarded to highlights those artist bloggers who experiment and/or create and/or share innovations which help the practice of other artists. 

    The sharing may be through:
    • the invention of a new tool or art medium to aid artists
    • testing and reviewing a new art medium or material
    • experiments with existing or new art media, materials or equipment and the creation of a new way of doing things 
    Ester Roi - who invented the Icarus Drawing Board™
    see my 2008 post The new Icarus Drawing Board™
    I've been very struck in recent years by artists who are art bloggers who have gone that extra mile and addressed their practical needs by creating a new tool or experimenting with new media - which they then share with other artists.

    Ester Roi (Ester Roi Fine Art) (see right) is a good example of the sort of person I mean.

    Some have shared within a commercial context - especially when, like Ester, they have invented, commissioned and manufactured a new material or tool which is not cheap to produce.

    Others focus on sharing new ways of working with media, materials or equipment produced by others.

    The net result of all their experimentation and sharing is that for many of us our kit and materials now look very different as a direct result of their efforts.

    We've all benefited and this award is one way we can share our appreciation!

    Only an independent art blogger can receive the award.  My only constraint on this award is that which relates to all the Making A Mark Awards ie the awards exclude all corporate blogs.  MAJOR manufacturers whose business is art materials and equipment cannot receive the award and neither can they nominate.  However independent art bloggers who have developed a new tool or material and are selling it commercially are eligible for the award.

    In this first year, I'm also going to take a liberal view as to what can and cannot be included in terms of dates of when it was introduced.  Ideally I'm looking to make an award in relation to 2011 but am willing to stretch this timeframe.

    Now for the more established Making A Mark Art Blog Awards.

    Friday, December 16, 2011

    Wildlife Artist of the Year 2012 - Call for Entries (x2)

    There are two art competitions in the UK for the Wildlife Artist of the Year.  These are:
    Amur Ambush by Stella Mays
    Overall and Endangered Species Winner - BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year 2011
    pastel painting on pastelmat
    This post summarises both art competitions for ease of reference of those wildlife artists who anticipate entering these competitions

    It spells out
    • where you can find the rules of entry and any additional information about the competition
    • who can enter
    • what you can submit (and, as important, what is ineligible)
    • how to enter
    • the deadline
    • details of the exhibition and other ways in which artwork is displayed
    For those contemplating both exhibitions and wondering which one to enter, the main differences are as follows.  Anybody spotting any other significant difference please leave a comment!
    • Prizes
      • There's a significant cash first prize of £10,000 for the DS WAY 2012
      • The top prize for the BBC WAY is a 10-day painting safari with Pip McGarry in Botswana in October 2012,
    • Deadlines for entries:  
      • You have a few extra weeks to submit an entry for the BBC WAY (deadline 29 February compared to 20 January for DS WAY). 
      • Both require (BBC) or encourage (DS) digital online entries.
      • Maximum digital image size is 6mb for DS WAY and 1MB for BBC WAY
    • Eligible artwork
      • BOTH insist that all artwork must be original and the artist's own work.
      • the DS WAY 2012 permits 3D work while the BBC WAY does not
      • The DS WAY is very specific that any image used must not have been published or seen in public before anywhere
    • Categories: DS WAY has seven categories and BBC WAY has 13 categories
    • Eligible media:  Both are quite flexible about media which can be used - but also stipulate media which cannot be used for an entry.  Neither accepts digital entries or computer generated artwork.
    • International Artists:  the BBC WAY judges all submissions from international artists digitally whereas DS WAY only selects for exhibition from digital images
    • Exhibition:
      • Only the winning picture from the BBC WAY will be displayed at the Mall Galleries in London (at the Annual Exhibition of the Society of Wildlife Artists) whereas the whole exhibition of the  DS WAY is at the Mall Galleries.
      • The main exhibition for the DS WAY is at the Marwell International Wildlife Art Society exhibition in August.
      • the winning and commended entries in the BBC WAY are displayed online whereas all entries all displayed online by DA WAY
      • the BBC Way publish images of all the category winners in the BBC Wildlife Magazine.


    Now for the nitty gritty details......

    Thursday, December 15, 2011

    Call for Entries: RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition 2012

    I'm very pleased to see that the Royal Watercolour Society (RWS) has relaunched its major Annual Open Competition as the RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition and is calling for (digital) entries.  I missed the exhibition last year due to being unable to walk any distance so am particularly looking forward to seeing it this year.

    The Royal Watercolour Society is the oldest watercolour society in the world.  Its home is the Bankside Gallery, on the south bank of the River Thames - right next to Tate Modern.

    This means that in 2012 the TWS will have three major exhibitions
    A rainy day in Perugia with cars by David Paskett PRWS
    watercolour and pen
    exhibited at the RWS Spring Exhibition 2011
    (you can view more of the President's work on the Bankside Gallery website)
    This post:
    Note in particular that although the RWS is flexible about the nature of the watercolour media that can be used in artwork submitted to the exhibition, it is insistent that:
    • all works must be on paper - so hopefully we'll see rather less of the impasto acrylic works which were trying to look like oils and which were, to my mind at least quite out of place in a watercolour exhibition
    • all works must initially be submitted online using a digital image and an online form.  
    • artists submitting work will need access to an email address to be able to enter - but it can, with their permission, be one belonging to a family member or friend!
    The aim of the Open Competition

    The aim of the competition is to encourage innovation and experimentation in watercolour.
    The RWS Contemporary Watercolour Competition is an annual competition open to non-Members. It aims to encourage innovation and experimentation in watercolour painting, spanning work on paper in watercolour, acrylic, gouache, pen & ink and watercolour mixed media. Artists may enter up to three works which, if selected, are exhibited at Bankside Gallery, the home of the Royal Watercolour Society.
    Works exhibited at the Bankside Gallery in the RWS Open 2010
    all paintings copyright the artist
    Who can enter the competition?
    • The competition is open to non-members of the Royal Watercolour Society.
    What to submit

    Wednesday, December 14, 2011

    Learning about Art & the Art Business - MAM Art Blog Award Nominations 2011

    You are invited to nominate those who promote learning about art and being a successful artist.  

    The next section of the Making A Mark Awards relates to Learning about Art and the Art Business.

    There are three awards:
    • The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal
    • The Make Me Think Gong
    • The Best Book by an Art Blogger Blue Ribbon
    This is the area which focuses on our personal development - whether that's via:
    • regular posts on a blog wholly focused on the development of artists
    • a really good series of posts on a particular topic of major relevance to artists
    • a new art instruction book
    • a new book about the artist and the art business
    Nominations for this category are not limited to artists but they must write about art or artists. To date, people who are not artists have won awards in this section in three of the last four years.  They can be
    • artists with an art blog
    • non-artists writing about art, artists and/or the art business
    Instructions on how to nominate for these and other awards are set out at the end of this post.

    Tuesday, December 13, 2011

    Getting Out of the Studio - MAM Art Blog Award Nominations 2011

    Today NOMINATIONS ARE INVITED for the Making A Mark Awards which are all about getting out of the studio!

    You are invited to nominate artists and their art blogs for the awards summarised below.
    • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
    • The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy
    • The Going Greener Gong
    Instructions on how to nominate for these - and other Making A Mark Awards - are set out at the end of this post.

    Monday, December 12, 2011

    Generating Art - Making A Mark Art Blog Award Nominations 2011

    Since 2006, the aim of the Making A Mark Art Blog Awards has been to identify:
    • excellence in blogging about art and artists; and 
    • the art blogs which set high standards and are the most influential.
    This is the third year that all the readers of Making A Mark and the wider community of art bloggers have been invited to nominate which art blogs YOU think are excellent and which art blogs influence YOU.

    I've been keeping a list of art blogs which have had "made a mark" during the course of the year but I'd love to hear which blogs have had an impact on you.

    Instructions on how to nominate for these - and other Making A Mark Awards - are set out at the end of this post.  Basically all you need to do is leave a comment on the relevant post.

    GENERATING ART

    I'm going to ask for nominations for the remaining awards in four separate blog posts to try and keep it simple.

    Today I'm looking at nominations for three awards relating to generating art
    • The Painting A Day Stickability Shield
    • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
    • NEW IN 2011 - The Best Art Society Blog Prize
    Leave a comment on this post nominating the art blog you think should get one of these awards in 2011 (further details at the end)

    Sunday, December 11, 2011

    Call for Entries: BP Portrait Award 2012

    Flora MacGregor by Jo Fraser, 2011
    © Jo Fraser
    The National Portrait Gallery has published the Call for Entries for the BP Portrait Award 2012 - which has a first prize of £25,000.

    Before I start, I'd just like to highlight that at least one artist has read this post in the past, then entered a portrait and won a prize.  It was very pleasant surprise to find this out!

    As a result I now write this post every year expecting that one of you reading this is going to win a prize!

    This year it could be you!
    The Portrait Award, now in its thirty-third year at the National Portrait Gallery and twenty-third year of sponsorship by BP, is an annual competition aimed at encouraging artists to focus upon and develop portraiture in their work.
    The closing date for this very prestigious competition is Monday 13th February 2012 

    You can find out who can enter and how to enter below.

    This post provides:
    • an overview of the requirements for all those who would like to enter a portrait
    • links to past exhibitions and reviews on this blog
    All quotations are from the BP Portrait Award website.

    Saturday, December 10, 2011

    Nominate the Best Artwork (Natural World) on a blog in 2011

    You are invited to NOMINATE an artwork on an art blog for
    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of Nature in 2010
    This prize values the natural world and its plants and animals and
    celebrates excellence in portraying every aspect of nature 

    The final category for the Best Picture on Art Blog in 2011 is the Nature.  You are invited to nominate for the Making A Mark awards - starting with a call for entries for The Making a Mark Prize for Best Picture - Natural World 2011.

    This post covers:
    • eligibility of the artist 
    • eligibility of the artwork
    • who can nominate
    • how to nominate
    This award was created in 2010 and last year's winner (who is ineligible for this year's award) was The Right Side by Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint)


    Winner of The MAM Award for
    Best Picture of the Year (Natural World) on an Art Blog

    The Right Side
    by Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint)
    10 x 8", coloured pencils and acrylic
    PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK WITH OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED

    Friday, December 09, 2011

    Nominate the Best Art (Still Life) on a blog in 2011

    You are invited to NOMINATE an artwork on an art blog for 
    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Still Life in 2011
    This prize highlights and celebrates excellence in creating pictures
    which help us to reflect on how the small and inanimate can be beautiful 

    Making A Mark Awards 2010
    The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) on an Art Blog

    Black Grapes #3 by James Neil Hollingsworth

    Today the nominations open for the Making A Mark awards - starting with a call for entries for The Making a Mark Prize for Best Picture - Still Life 2011.

    This post covers:

    • eligibility of the artist 
    • eligibility of the artwork
    • who can nominate
    • how to nominate
    Previous winners of this award (created in 2009) - who are ineligible for this year's award - are:
    PLEASE SHARE A LINK TO THIS POST WITH OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED

    Thursday, December 08, 2011

    Nominate the Best Art (Place/Landscape) on a Blog in 2011

    You are invited to NOMINATE an artwork on an art blog for
    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Place 2011

    This prize celebrates and highlights excellence in
    creating pictures about places in our environment

    Today the nominations open for the Making A Mark awards - starting with a call for entries for The Making a Mark Prize for Best Picture - Place / Landscape 2011.

    This call for entries is also going to highlighted on The Art of the Landscape blog.  If you'd like to nominate take a look at some of the blogs in the blogroll of that blog - there are some excellent artists!

    Joint Winner of
    The MAM Award for Best Portrayal of a Place on an Art Blog 2010

    Canal Sunrise 
    by Loriann Signori (Loriann Signori's Painting-a-Day)
    pastel
    This post covers:
    • eligibility of the artist 
    • eligibility of the artwork
    • who can nominate
    • how to nominate
    Previous winners of this award (created in 2009) - who are ineligible for this year's award - are:
    Will another pastel artist win in 2011?

    PLEASE SHARE A LINK TO THIS POST WITH OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED

    Wednesday, December 07, 2011

    Review: 124th Annual Exhibition of The Royal Institute of Oil Painters

    The 124th Annual Exhibition of the Royal Institute of Oil Painters opened today at the Mall Galleries and continues until 18th December 2011.  The show is largely figurative within the realism/impressionism range with a range of subject matter across portraits, landscapes and still life.

    There are 243 paintings in the main part of the exhibition.  Plus a further 19 paintings in the Winsor & Newton Young Artists section.  I understand there were about 700 paintings submitted to this open exhibition by both UK and international artists.

    You can read more about the painters who won prizes and the ones who caught my eye below.

    Ken Howard painting June Mendoza painting Ken by June Mendoza OBE RP ROI

    I was at the Private View yesterday and managed to catch up with Adebanji Alade (Adenbanje Aladi) who now has Provisional ROI status and a portrait in the show - which sold yesterday at the PV.  We also share an enthusiasm for the paintings by David Curtis of which more anon.

    As with the NEAC show, most of the West Gallery was devoted to members' work.  Work by non members tends to be on the small side.  I think this might be because the ROI was not exhibiting in the North Gallery this year.  (It has an excellent exhibition by a very skilled potter)

    I wonder if this means smaller paintings by non-members have a better chance of being selected?

    Below is the wall underneath the bookshop where I found a lot of non members work.

    A sample from the Wall of small works in the West Gallery

    Tuesday, December 06, 2011

    Nominate the Best Art (Portrait/Figures) on an Art Blog in 2011

    You are invited to NOMINATE an artwork on an art blog for
    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Picture - Portrait / Figures 2011
    This prize aims to celebrate and highlight excellence 
    in portraiture and/or artwork predominantly involving figures 

    Today the nominations open for the Making A Mark awards - starting with a call for entries for The Making a Mark Prize for Best Picture - Portrait / Figures 2011

    This post covers:
    • eligibility of the artist 
    • eligibility of the artwork
    • who can nominate
    • how to nominate

    SHORTLISTED IN 2010
    by Antti Rautiola (Antti Rautiola)
    100 x 70cm, 2010 
    Previous winners of this award include:
    Will it be another female artist who wins in 2011?

    PLEASE SHARE THIS LINK WITH OTHERS WHO MAY BE INTERESTED
    Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...