Saturday, 29 December 2007

Happy New Year!

.....And a very productive one, to all of the UKCPS membership!

We start the New Year with some good news and some bad news. The good news is that we seem to have a few more volunteers for posts on the Executive, and, after Peter Weatherill has let the Christmas Turkey settled a bit and twisted a few arms a little higher up some peoples backs, we hope to be able to announce four additions to the Executive, initially in a job share/support role, but who knows where that might lead - we hope!

The bad news is just a reminder of what was decided at the AGM in October - subscription rates will rise this year for the first time since the Society was launched in 2002. The new rates, which will apply to anyone joining this year or renewing during the year, are:
  • UK Resident Full member - £28
  • UK Resident Assoc member - £20
  • Add £5 to each of these for Overseas residency.

The new rates are now on the website, you can join from our membership page. We feel that with the increased postage costs, increased size of Talking Point, and increased fees for prestigious gallery space in 2008/9, the increased fees are both warranted and value for money. And we hope you agree!

Happy Scribbling!

Friday, 21 December 2007

News from Derwent

Take a good look at this lovely box of Derwent Signatures - after December 31st 2007, they will no longer be available. I have just received word from Derwent that their Signature range will be discontinued. I will particularly miss the Signature water-solubles, not just because of their lightfastness, but also because they were lovely pencils. I am reassured that this will not mean that Derwent are easing up on their commitment to bringing us lightfast pencils though. I know the testing they do, I have seen it, and I know that they will strive to bring us the most lightfast pigments that they can source. I also hope they will continue to publish lightfast data on all of their pencils, so that, as producers of fine art, we will know what we are using.

Some much better news from Derwent is that they are extending their wonderful Inktense range from 24 pencils to 72 (71 colours plus a non-soluble outliner), and these should be available from January 2008. So save some of your Christmas money for these!

And a very Merry Christmas, Holiday Greetings, and a Colourful New Year to all CP Artists everywhere!

Saturday, 8 December 2007

Call for Entries for CPSA

Alistair Howie "Palm House at Kew"

Time to get your pencils out again. The call for entries has just gone out from our sister organisation, the Colored Pencil Society of America, for their main exhibition in 2008. All of the details can be found on the CPSA website, and further useful comments and analysis can be found in Katherine Tyrrell's Making a Mark Blog, so I don't really need to repeat that all here, just point out a few features.
  1. Entry is Open to all, as long as you are alive and over 18!
  2. Entry is by digital submission - there are quite complex restrictions on this, you may need to be a bit computer literate to sort this one out. If you need help, I will be glad to do what I can.
  3. The definition of what kind of image is permitted has changed over previous years - they have really tightened up on copyright issues, and now insist that it must not be copied in any way from another artists work (including photographers), even from copyright free sources, or under licence, and must also not have been completed with help from another artist, in a workshop, for example.
  4. We - by that I mean the UKCPS - have never had a prizewinner in this competition - so it is about time we did! In fact, as far as I am aware, only two of our members who are not US based have ever been accepted into the CPSA exhibitions - Takako Ikuta, who is a Japanese member who actually entered our first ever exhibition and travelled over here to see it, was one, and Alistair Howie from Bristol was the other. Their prizewinning entries to our first ever exhibition can be seen here, Alistair above and Takako below.
  5. It can be a very expensive business sending work over and back if you do get accepted. There is a very real risk of damage or loss - several US artists have discovered this to their cost sending work to the UKCPS exhibitions. Work has to be framed and mounted to CPSA specifications, and then VERY SECURELY packed. Our own noble ParcelForce may also - apparently at whim - decide that it does not want to send your package if it is too big, leaving you at the not-so-tender mercies of UPS or Fedex. Please do not let this put you off, but check with me first that the way you want to send work will be OK. Wrapped up in a towel and brown paper - I kid you not! - does not do the job, believe me.
  6. Best of luck!
Takako Ikuta " On a Monday Morning"

Tuesday, 4 December 2007

Newsletter and Exhibition Comments

The latest edition of "Talking Point", which should be dropping through your letter boxes as I type, is the usual "exhibition special" at this time of year, letting all members who were unable to visit the exhibition see what they missed. Following that theme, I thought you might like to see some of the comments recorded in the "Comments Book" during the exhibition, which was described by the Gallery Owners as being worthy of a London Gallery:

"Amazing use of pencils - incredible!
Awe inspiring detail and patience and incredible pieces of work
Many hours of hard work with excellent results
Lovely exhibition
An Inspirational exhibition
An extraordinary display of talent
What wonderful work - loved them all
Fantastic exhibition
Beautiful work
Inspirational - provided us with a lot of discussion
Extraordinary high standard of work with CP
Lovely work throughout
Enjoyed every picture
Inspiring and extremely skilful
Very varied exhibition
What versatility
Beautiful - such precise work
Absolutely delightful - good variety and wonderful skills
Very good - liked the more painterly ones
Very good - much better than I could do!
Impressive and interesting
Fantastic achievements with such a simple object - a pencil!
There is only one word - Impossible!
Absolutely superb collection
Excellent collection showing what can be achieved with coloured pencils
Truly Inspiring
Fantastic works of art
Wonderful! Very inspiring
I never knew colour pencils could produce such excellent pictures

I think they liked us.

We hope you like your Legion Paper samples of Stonehenge - and look forward to seeing 500 pictures on black paper in our next exhibition! Please also read and reply to the letter that was enclosed - we really do need help on the executive.


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