Monday, December 31, 2012

Best Picture of 2012 on an Art Blog

The polls have closed, the votes have been counted and it's time to announce the FIVE awards for the Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog in 2012 in this final post in the 7th Making A Mark Art Blog Awards.

I'd like to start by thanking some very important people.

First off, I'd like to thank all those art bloggers who came up with the nominations. Your assistance in identifying good work is certainly valued by me.  A special mention goes to Roger Brown who nominated in every category - and nominated a category winner! Can I ask you all to make a note of stunning pics you see on art blogs during the course of the year so you can highlight them at the end of 2013 when this all happens again - for the 8th time!  Details as to how at the end

Next I'd very much like to thank all those who who took time out over the festive season to come and view the nominations and vote in this seventh Making A Mark Awards Poll.  There were a lot more of you this year.  I think highlighting it on Facebook helped. I certainly saw a few of the art bloggers highlighting the fact they had been nominated in a perfectly proper way - for which also many thanks.

One of the things I experimented with this year was a reordering of the polls in the post during the course of the post - they all rotated daily - and the order of the pictures within the poll after the first day.  I have to say having logged the votes periodically during the voting period that I do think position makes a difference and, while I think I improved the fairness, I will be trying to think of an even fairer way of listing works next year.

So the way this works is that:
  • this post explains how works were selected for the poll - VOTE for the Best Artwork on an Art Blog in 2012
  • the awards are listed in the order of the number of votes received.
  • For each category I tell you who won in each category - and who was the runner up
  • Finally I announce who won Best Picture of the Year. This overall prize goes to the person with the most actual votes overall - as determined by you!
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 (Nature) on an Art Blog 2012

This poll received 254 votes.

The Nature Poll to date has only ever had animals as nominations.  This year three plant / botanical oriented pictures were nominated - all of which were very impressive.

However the bird won!  Sherrie York's linocut of a Magpie took a commanding early lead and maintained it throughout and won with 42% of the vote.

Winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Nature) on an Art Blog 2012
Magpie by Sherrie York
linocut
© Sherrie York
THE WINNER: Magpie by Sherrie York (Brush and Baren) Salida, CO, United States
(Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell)

The runner-up: Arc of Flight by Sheila M Evans (Sheila M Evans) - Washington, USA
(Nominated by: Casey Klahn)

For those not in the know, I have to tell you winning against a bird is very difficult!  If you ever want to know what sells in the art world go take a look at the number of bird paintings, fine art prints and sculptures which get snapped up in exhibitions of wildlife art! :)

That said, Sherrie does consistently produce some outstanding original, hand-pulled relief prints in woodcut and linocut - all of which relate to nature - and I commend her website http://www.sherrieyork.com/ to you.

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Person) on an Art Blog 2012

This poll received 282 votes.  This poll traditionally has the most votes of all the polls - but this year after I rotated the order each day it came third.

There was never any doubt who the winner was going to be right from the off.  An early lead was established and maintained throughout the period of the poll.  Finnish painter Arto Isalo's painting of a child won with 43% of the vote,

Winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Person) on an Art Blog 2012
Red Bow by Arto Isotalo
Oil on canvas board
40.7 x 30.5 cm
© Arto Isotalo
THE WINNERRed Bow by Arto Isotalo (Arto's Art) - Espoo, Finland. 
(Nominated by: Roger Brown)

The runner-upUPS Delivers at Night by Jana Bouc (Jana's Journal) - San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA  
(Nominated by: Self)

Arto Isolato is a self-taught painter living in Espoo, Finland with his wife and two kids. You can see more of Arto's paintings - and paintings of art in Finnish museums - on his blog.  I don't have a website to refer you to.

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) on an Art Blog 2012

This poll received 287 votes.

I was totally intrigued by this poll which changed direction a number of times during the course of the four days.  I literally had no idea who was going to win.

In the end, last year's joint winner of the Person Category, Sophie Ploeg won with her painting of Folded Lace and 32% of the vote.

Winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) on an Art Blog 2012
Folded Lace by Sophie Ploeg
oil on canvas, 40x30cm
© Sophie Ploeg
THE WINNERFolded Lace by Sophie Ploeg (Sophie Ploeg) - Gloucestershire, UK
(Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell)

The runner-upDelft reflections by Cecilia RossLee (Atelier Cecilia Rosslee) - Carmel, California 
(Nominated by: Self) 

Anybody who knows Sophie's paintings will know that she is totally besotted with fabrics and lace and lavishes the most enormous attention into bringing out all the textures and subtle coloration.

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Place) on an Art Blog 2012

This poll received 314 votes - with the winner, Barbara Benedetti Newton's pastel painting of light and shadow in a landscape, getting 41% of the vote.

I have to confess the winner's painting was my absolute favourite of all those up for the award this year and I had my fingers crossed for this one!  For me, it was one of those pastel paintings which did that thing every artist hopes for - it just stopped me in my tracks and I couldn't stop looking at it.  If you right click the image and open it in a new tab you can admire it at a larger size.

I was also particularly taken with the fact this pastel painting is not a size which Barbara normally paints at and was awarded two posts on her blog. The first was called know when to walk away and this is what she had to say.

At the end of this annual art competition it's salutary advice to take with us into the New Year!
This isn't the first time I've titled a blog post "know when to walk away." When I hear the lyrics of The Gambler begin to play in my head, I try to heed the advice and step away from the easel. I've been working slow and steady on this 25 x 25 inch painting with no major setbacks or wipe offs. I'm very happy with it but it is good to be finished and to be able to move on to the next one I have in mind that will be a very different palette.
THE WINNERHeartbreak Morning by Barbara Benedetti Newton (Barbara Benedetti Newton - Art Journal) - Washington State, USA (available)
(Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell)   
The runner-upGalley Hill Allotments by Haidee-Jo Summers (Haidee-Jo Summers artist - ma vie en couleurs) - Lincolnshire, UK
(Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell)  

The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog 2012
Winner of the Best Picture of the Year (Place) on an Art Blog 2012

Heartbreak Morning by Barbara Benedetti Newton
pastel on paper, 25" x 25"
© Barbara Benedetti Newton 
The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog 2012

You always decide who wins The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog.  The award always goes to the picture which got the most votes overall across all four polls.

This year the number of votes which split the two top paintings was tiny and for most of the poll there was literally less than 5 votes in it - until the winner began to pull away in 'the home straight'.  Unlike previous years, this year I had absolutely no idea who was going to win!  At the end there was only seven votes in it.

The placements were as follows:
  1. Heartbreak Morning by Barbara Benedetti Newton (Barbara Benedetti Newton - Art Journal) - Washington State, USA (available)
    (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell)   
  2. Red Bow by Arto Isotalo (Arto's Art) - Espoo, Finland. (Nominated by: Roger Brown)
  3. Magpie by Sherrie York (Brush and Baren) Salida, CO, United States (Nominated by: Katherine Tyrrell)
Thank you again for voting.

If any of those nominated would like to see the Polldaddy totals I'd be happy to show them


Making A Mark Awards 2012 - Summary

I hope you've enjoyed the Picture of the Year Competition and all the Making A Mark Awards.

You can see them all again within the context of past winners - with summaries for the reasons why people won the award - here on this blog on my static The Making A Mark Art Blog Awards page

The Making A Mark Awards 2013

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 Making A Mark Awards page.  All nominations have to comply with the rules.
I'm now off to have a break and will return to this blog on 7th January.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Home Front - The Making A Mark Awards 2012

The penultimate category of the 7th Annual Making A Mark Awards  concerns matters relating to the practical aspects of our artistic art and/or how to make life at home with the artist that bit better.

There are three awards:
  • The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
  • 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

The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year is for the Most Improved Studio of the Year and reflects the continuous efforts of many artists to improve our studio and working environments

Learning about Art & the Art Business - Making A Mark Awards 2012

On to the next part of the 2012 Making A Mark Art Blog Awards - this is the section related 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 RibbonThe Home Front
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
The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal

The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal
values those art blogs which aim to share useful information for artists - including what they have learned with/from others

Getting out of the Studio - Making A Mark Awards 2012

This second post in the Making A Mark Art Blog Awards is about the category of awards for all those 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:
  • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
  • The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy
  • The Going Greener Gong
They're also awards for people who place an emphasis on sharing.

The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize

The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize for excellence in plein air painting plus a strong commitment to sharing information


Saturday, December 29, 2012

Generating Art - The Making A Mark Awards 2012

Today I start to review the rest of the Making A Mark awards for 2012.

The awards grouped under the title "Generating Art" relate to generating art either as an individual artist or as an art group - formal or informal.

Generating Art in 2012
  • The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
  • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
  • The Best Art Society Blog

The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
"What they call talent is nothing but the capacity for doing continuous work in the right way."Winslow Homer
The Painting A Day Stickability Shield for daily painters who maintain a consistently high output of consistently good quality paintings over the course of the year and set a good example to others.

    Friday, December 28, 2012

    Introducing The Making A Mark Art Blog Awards 2012

    Welcome to the seventh year of The Making A Mark Art Blog Awards 2012.   After staring at a lot of art by a lot of artists on a lot of art blogs(!), the artists and art blogs which have won MAM Art Blog Awards in 2012 will be announced in five posts spanning, today, tomorrow and Monday.  Apologies in advance to those who don't like a lot of posts in one go - but this is a once a year thing!


    A Gentleman's Art Gallery (undated) by Thomas Rowlandson, 1756-1827, British
    Watercolor, with pen and gray and red-brown ink, over graphite on medium, smooth, beige, wove paper
    Sheet: 5 11/16 x 9 inches (14.4 x 22.9 cm)
    Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Collection

    THE BEST ART BLOGS IN 2012

    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
    • to share this with fellow artists and art bloggers.
    This year I'm reviewing how to continue with these awards in future years and I'd love to hear from you as to whether they have value to you and what changes you'd like to see.

    My current thinking is I'd like to cut back a bit - mainly because they always take a lot of time and effort!

    In 2012, the awards are organised in categories.  The general principle is that anybody who has won a prize in the last three years cannot win again in that category until at least three years have elapsed. 

    Generating Art - TODAY
    • The Painting a Day Stickability Shield - for daily painters who maintain a consistently high output of consistently good quality paintings over the course of the year and set a good example to others.
    • The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup - for a major and reputable new project which adds value and involves a large number of bloggers  OR or a project which has grown over the course of the year in question or otherwise had some significant impact during the course of the year
    • The Best Art Society Blog - for the blog which demonstrates - in both text and images - how best to promote the aims and activities of the art society AND widen the audience for the images of its member artists.
    Getting Out of the Studio - TODAY
    • The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize for excellence in plein air painting plus a strong commitment to sharing information
    • The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy goes to the most intrepid and/or industrious artist travelling with a sketchbook.
    • The Going Greener Gong is awarded to the art blog which I've found most stimulating in relation to getting us in touch with nature and the environment.
    Learning about Art & the Art Business - (SUNDAY)
    • The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal For the blog which aims to share useful information for artists including what they have learned with/from others
    • The Make Me Think Gongfor the person who makes me (and others) think and offers insights that are transferable to the activity and business of being an artist.
    • The Best Book by an Art Blogger Blue Ribbon - for the most helpful book written/produced by an art blogger
    The Home Front - (SUNDAY)
    • The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year - for the Most Improved Studio of the Year and reflects the continuous efforts of many artists to improve our studio and working environments 
    • The Art Innovation of the Year Award - artist bloggers who experiment and/or create and/or share innovations which help the practice of other artists.
    • “The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog is named after the first winner of this award.  The animal can be wild or domestic, a perennial subject or the studio pet.

    BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR 2012-  (Monday)

    You have until 6PM tomorrow (GMT/London) to vote for your favourite pictures on VOTE for the Best Artwork on an Art Blog in 2012 
    • Portrait/Figures
    • Landscape/Place
    • Still Life
    • Nature
    • Overall Winner - most votes

    The Making A Mark Art Blog Awards page on this blog also references every award and all past winners too.

    The first award announcements follow shortly.........

    PS If you'd like to see more drawings by Thomas Rowlandson, can I recommend the Yale Centre for British Art - some of which is on the Google Art project

    Wednesday, December 26, 2012

    VOTE for the Best Artwork on an Art Blog in 2012

    You are invited to VOTE for
    the Making A Mark Award
    for the 
    BEST PICTURE ON AN ART BLOG in 2012

    At the beginning of this month I invited you to nominate artwork for the Making A Mark Awards for Best Picture in different categories. It's been a pleasure to get a variety of paintings from all over the world (just take a look at the countries listed in the nomination posts listed in each category below!)

    On Christmas Eve I posted the results in the four posts published on Christmas Eve (listed at the end of each category below).

    The shortlist for Best Picture of an Art Blog 2012

    I then chose artwork to add to the nominations. In doing so:
    • I chose two works from the nominations
    • I chose two works with a broad split as follows - 1 from USA, 1 from UK & Europe - with artists in the rest of the world eligible to take either slot
    • I've listed the nominations below along with the name of the person who nominated the work
    Before the display of images of the shortlist I've said a few words about the category and why I chose the works that I did.  Below you will find
    • the award categories - and a commentary on that category
    • the shortlist - and the poll

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

    I will announce the winner of each category in the Best Picture - Making A Mark Awards in a post on Monday 31st December.  One will become Picture of the Year.....

    Tuesday, December 25, 2012

    Merry Christmas!

    Wishing all regular readers of Making A Mark 
    a Merry Christmas 
    and Happy Sketching and Painting in the New Year

    Christmas Skating Rink in front of the Natural History Museum, South Kensington
    pen and ink and coloured pencils in Moleskine Sketchbook, 11" x 16"
    copyright Katherine Tyrrell 

    Come back tomorrow to vote in the Poll for the Making A Mark Best Picture of the Year


    Please note subscriptions only become live after you have verified the link in the email you will receive

    Monday, December 24, 2012

    Nature Nominations for Best Artwork | MAM Awards 2012

    The Making a Mark Prize for Best Picture of Nature in 2012 values the natural world and its plants and animals and celebrates excellence in portraying every aspect of nature.
    The Nature category found its feet in 2012 - with the most nominations to date.  This year it's a strong category.

    Listed below you will find the nominations for the Best Picture (Nature) on an art blog in 2012. The details of the nomination process and criteria for submissions can be found in Nominate the Best Artwork (Natural World) on a blog in 2012
    • Three works will be shortlisted (including the nomination I've yet to make)
    • Larger images of the three shortlisted works will be included in the invitation to vote for the winner which will be posted on Wednesday 26th December
    • Voting for the best picture continues until a minute after midnight on 30th December
    This is a link to the

    Nominations for Best Picture of a Place on an Art Blog 2012

    Cirrhosa "Wisley Cream" by Jarnie Godwin
    watercolour on paper (A3)
    © Jarnie Godwin

    Nominated Artwork: Cirrhosa "Wisley Cream''
    Nominated Artist: Jarnie Godwin (Sketchbook Squirrel) - Hampshire, UK
    Post: After Wisley C...?
    Nominated by: Jessica Rosemary Shepherd Inky Leaves
    I love all Jarnie's work. She has made so much progress in the last year and encourages all with her blog. I particularly like this piece because she is tackling flowers of a difficult colour. Cream and white flowers are always tricky to do.

    The composition is unusual, but it works on the page and 'flows' with lots of movement. She has also captured the growth pattern of the species in the process. I love the tonal variation of the green leaves. It's a simple piece which to me works really well. It's striking, elegant and graceful.
    Arc of Flight by Sheila M Evans
    Pastel
    24" x 14"
    © Sheila M Evans
    Nominated Artwork: Arc of Flight
    Nominated Artist: Sheila M. Evans (Sheila M Evans) - Spokane, Washington
    Post: Artfest 2012
    Nominated by: Casey Klahn (The Colorist) - Washington State
    This multi-award winning artist from Spokane, Washington, is possibly the most talented artist I know. Her idea of presenting leaves, illuminated in sunlight, is such a fine focus that you feel immediately the warmth. There is some tension in the life cycle of her subject, and she sometimes paints them in browns to drive this home. Her handling of pastels is superb.
    Arc of Flight caught me with it's unique portrait aspect, subtle coloring of the leading edges, and the simple arc of color that travels the yellow to green field. Very graceful.

    Black fox by Zoe Tilley Poster
    graphite pencil drawing on bristol 
    3 1/8 x 4 1/4in (7.6 x 10cm)
    ©  Zoe Tilley Poster




    Nominated Artwork: Black Fox Sniffs the Air
    Nominated Artist: Zoe Tilley Poster (Pearled Earth)
    Post: Black fox
    Nominated by: Rodrica Tilley (Roderica Tilley's Pastel Paintings and Works on Paper)
    This artist consistently conveys both the beauty and mystery of nature. The black fox is studied in action, set in magic. The use of the moth motif is evocative of the fleeting glimpse we often get when we see foxes in the wild, floating silently at the edges. This drawing is typical of her work; it brings joy.
    An Uncertain Encounter by Roger Brown
    oil painting

    91cm x 60cm (35.8" x 23.6")

    © Roger Brown
    Nominated Artwork: An Uncertain Encounter
    Nominated Artist: Roger Brown (Art Of The Wild by Roger Brown- Botswana
    Post: First painting of 2012 finished (An uncertain encounter)
    Nominated by: Self
    The reason I like this painting is the fact that it depicts an encounter between two types of animals that very few people get to see in nature today.  Seeing rhino and elephants in the wild in itself, is a privileged, but to see them interacting with each other, is even more special.  This painting was submitted to the 2012 Wildlife Artist of the Year exhibit organised by the David Shepherd Wildlife foundation.  I was happy to find out that it passed the final judging,and although not chosen to be hung at the mall galleries in London, it was accepted into the online (Selected not Hung Gallery)
    Pike by John Larriva
    oil painting
    7" x 5"
    © John Larriva
    Nominated Artwork: Pike
    Nominated Artist: John Larriva (Paint-Tarts) - Fort Garland, Colorado, United States
    Post: Pike
    Nominated by: Crystal Cook (Art by Crystal Cook) Utah
    I love this painting mostly because of the dramatic lighting and glow that the cat seems to have, but something that I really admire about John's work is his drawing style, which is both realistic and expressive. His brushstrokes are always economical and confident and his use of color and light is just gorgeous. He's my favorite modern day art blogger and every time he posts a painting I rush to see it.

    Hippeastrum Picotee by Claire WardgouacheA3 (42x29.7cm)
    © ClaireWard







    Nominated Artwork: Hippeastrum Picotee
    Nominated Artist: Claire Ward (Drawn to Paint Nature) West Wales
    Post: Gouache Hippeastrum
    Nominated by: Shevaun Docherty Ireland
    Also nominated by Julie Whelan (Julie's Botanical Art blog) UK
    I really like all of Claire's botanical paintings, but her gouache paintings are incredible. They remind me of Sally Keir's work. I think this painting is particularly elegant and striking, it glows with light. I like that she has experimented with iridescent paints and used them to create the shimmer on the petals. She then follows up with a blog post showing the work in progress. I felt very inspired by both her subject matter and her skill with gouache, but especially liked her generosity in sharing her techniques and knowledge. I was fortunate to see this beautiful painting at the SBA exhibition in April, and felt that it really stood out from the crowd. Not surprisingly, both this and her iris were sold!
    Broken Flowers by Klara Petra Szabo
    Installation: watercolor on paper
    approx 100 x 100 cm
    © Klara Petra Szabo
    Nominated Artwork: Broken flowers (installation)
    Nominated Artist: Klara Petra Szabo (Szabo Klara Petra) - Hungary
    Nominated by: Self

    I would like to nominate a work of my own. I painted these flower during my residency period in Estonia.


    Still Life Nominations for Best Artwork | MAM Awards 2012

    The 2012 Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Still Life aims to highlight and celebrate excellence in creating pictures which help us to reflect on how the small and inanimate can be beautiful.

    Listed below you will find the nominations for the Best Picture (portrait/figure) on an art blog in 2012.  The details of the nomination process and criteria for submissions can be found in Nominate the Best Art (Still Life) on a blog in 2012 (Note: Two nominations were not eligible as they did not comply with the requirement to be painted/posted on an art blog in 2012)
    • Three works will be shortlisted (including the nomination I've yet to make)
    • Larger images of the three shortlisted works will be included in the invitation to vote for the winner which will be posted on Wednesday 26th December
    • voting for the best picture continues until a minute after midnight on 30th December
    These are the links to the other nominations for Best Picture:
    Nominations for Best Picture of a Still Life on an Art Blog 2012

    Delft Reflections by Cecilia Ross Lee
    Oil on Canvas Board
    11" X 14"
    © Cecilia Rosslee 
    Nominated Artwork: Delft Reflections
    Nominated Artist: Cecilia RossLee (Atelier Cecilia Rosslee)
    Post: Delft reflections
    Nominated by: Self
    The reason I am entering this specific piece is because I feel my work has improved since painting daily during the course of the past year. DELFT REFLECTIONS captures everything I try to encapsulate in my art work, good light, composition, 'effortless' application of paint and above all a warm feeling of enjoyment when one looks at a good still life.


    One fish, two fish....gold fish by Alvin Richard
    Acrylic on gessoed hardboard, 2012
    8 x 10'', painting # 208
    © Alvin Richard

    Nominated Artwork: One fish, two fish....gold fish
    Nominated Artist: Alvin Richard (Acrylic and Light) - New Brunswick
    Post: One fish, two fish....gold fish
    Nominated by: Roger Brown (Art Of The Wild by Roger Brown) - Botswana
    The work by Alvin Richard is always interesting,each work has a story behind it.It is clear that much thought and planning goes into each of his paintings.Aside from that ,each work is just mindbogglingly perfect.Since I have painted in Acrylics before I know that it takes real skill and practice to achieve what he has.There are many reasons why I like this particular painting of his,I love the warm and cool colors,the depiction of light and glass,as well as his subject matter and story.
    Spring Flowers in Copper by Charmaine P Jackson

    oil on linen

    10" x 9"

    © Charmaine P Jackson
    Nominated Artwork: Spring Flowers in Copper
    Nominated Artist: Charmaine P Jackson (Charmaine P Jackson) - Northern Tasmania.
    Post: Spring Flowers in Copper - Oil on 10"x9" Linen Panel
    Nominated by: Self
    The reason I am entering this piece is that I feel it represents many of the qualities I strive for in my work - strong composition, clear focal point, good natural light, colour harmony, natural setting, linking shapes, as well as contrasting values, shapes, textures, edges, refined v less refined passages ...in this particular piece I am especially happy with the brushy, more impressionistic style of the flowers against the smooth, more realistic style of the copper. This still-life was a real joy to paint and I think, and hope, that comes through.

    Shadow Shapes
    by Michaela Marsden
    oil on linen panel
    20" high x 10" wide© Michaela Marsden
    Nominated Artwork: Shadow–Shapes
    Nominated Artist: Micaela Marsden (micaelamarsden's sketchjournal) - Northern California
    Post: Sunflowers
    Nominated by:  Jana Bouc (Janas Journal) - San Francisco Bay area
    When I first saw this painting I found it stunning. I had been trying over and over to paint sunflowers in oils and was having no luck. I had looked at other sunflower paintings on the web trying to figure out what I was missing and liked very few of them. Then I saw this one, which I learned was painted plein air and really captures the light of a very sunny afternoon perfectly. The composition is marvelous, and the light and fluidity of the glass and water have such freshness that is often only seen in watercolor paintings of flowers. The color of the flowers and leaves are just right and the shadows and flowers are so alive they seem to be dancing.

    Micaela is a self-taught, prolific (she's out plein air painting regardless of weather nearly every weekend), humble and generous artist. I would love to see her have recognition for her beautiful work.
    Nominated Artwork: Improvisation
    Unfortunately this work is not eligible as it was not drawn/posted in 2012
    Nominated Artist: visioneerwindows 
    Post:
    Nominated by: self

    Nominated Artwork:  Black Jug
    Unfortunately this work is not eligible as it was not painted/posted in 2012
    Nominated Artist: Sadie Valeri (Sadie J Valeri) - San Francisco, California
    Post:
    Nominated by: eLIZabeth Floyd(eLIZabeth Floyd Studio- Alexandria, Virginia






    Landscape Nominations for Best Artwork | MAM Awards 2012

    The 2012 Making a Mark Prize for Best Portrayal of a Place aims to celebrate and highlight excellence in creating pictures about places in our environment - both landscapes and interior scenes

    Listed below you will find the nominations for the Best Picture (Place) on an art blog in 2012.
    • Three works will be shortlisted (including the nomination I've yet to make)
    • Larger images of the three shortlisted works will be included in the invitation to vote for the winner which will be posted on Wednesday 26th December
    • voting for the best picture continues until a minute after midnight on 30th December
    The details of the nomination process and criteria for submissions can be found in Nominate the Best Picture of a Place on an Art Blog in 2012

    These are the links to the other nominations for Best Picture:
    Saint Andrew's Cathedral, 
    Wells, Somerset, England
    by John Simlett
    Pen and Ink on Cartridge paper (300gsm)
    22 inches x 16 inches (56 cms. x 42 cms)
    © John Simlett

    Nominations for Best Picture of a Place on an Art Blog 2012

    Nominated Artwork:  Saint Andrew's Cathedral, Wells, Somerset, England
    Nominated Artist: John Simlett (Gatepost Pictures) - Wiltshire, UK
    Post: "Finally Posting Again! WELLS CATHEDRAL"
    Nominated by:  John Simlett - Wiltshire, UK
    I am nominating my own work and am therefore restricted in the use of 'praise.' However, ill health kept me out of art for many years, but now as I approach 75 I return to it once more (driven by my granddaughter). I started blogging this February and the support I received in Blogland has allowed me to develop to the point when I feel that this drawing takes me beyond the heights I reached in my younger days. This drawing is a new departure for me - the limited use of colour really works, and the perspective exceeded my hopes. The values, although just black and white in the main, are such that they allow the viewer to 'enter' the picture and move about the cathedral.
    Basilica Palladiana by Jane Minter
    watercolour
    32 x 41cm
    © Jane Minter
    Nominated Artwork: Basilica Palladiana
    Nominated Artist:  Jane Minter (Jane Minter's Sketchbook) - Italy
    Post: Basilica Palladiana-section of facade
    Nominated by: Sophia Khan (Sophia's Studio)

    I love this watercolor for so many reasons. The painting is loose and suggestive rather than being overly realistic and predictable. It is an interpretive depiction of the basilica, and the colors and technique convey a nostalgic dreamlike quality, as if thinking about the basilica after visiting it. I like a painting to convey the medium it has been used in, and this one exhibits the many attributes of watercolor that make it such an expressive medium. The painting applies the techniques of the watercolor wash to the subject of architecture, which in my opinion is very unique and inventive. It also leaves some things to the imagination and therefore, makes one want to learn more about the basilica after seeing the painting. 

    Raining in London by Maria Villioti
    colored pencils on Ampersand pastelbord
    45cm x 61cm
    © Maria Villioti
    Nominated Artwork: Raining in London
    Nominated Artist: Maria Villioti (Breaths of art) - Greece
    Post: The end of the road
    Nominated by: Self
    SIZE & MEDIUM: 45cmX61cm, colored pencils on Ampersand pastelbord
    It was a challenge for me to paint such a picture with colored pencils. It's one of my favorite works. It gave me the opportunity to meet many new friends. Now belongs to one of them.

    Time and Again by Terry Miura
    oil
    40 x 30
    ©  Terry Miura


    Nominated Artwork: Time and Again
    Nominated Artist: Terry Miura (Terry Miura) - California
    Post: Risks and Rewards
    Nominated by: Robin Purcell (Robin Purcell, Watercolors in the Plein Air Tradition)
    There is something that haunts me about this image even small and on the computer screen, the atmosphere around the cathedral makes me think about the spiritual purpose of the architecture.




    Classon near Pacific by Robert Lafond
    oil
    18" x 24"
    © Robert Lafond


    Nominated Artwork: Classon Near Pacific
    Nominated Artist: Robert Lafond (Mark and Remark) - Massachusetts
    Post: Classon Near Pacific
    Nominated by: eLIZabeth Floyd (eLIZabeth Floyd Studio - Alexandria, Virginia
    This painting just draws me in, I want to visit Brooklyn just to take a walk down Classon on a sunny, cloudless day. Absorbing the urban colors, the rough sidewalk, and how you can still feel so alone in such a densely populated area. I am not sure if this was the goal of the artist when he created this painting, but this is how I react to it.



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