Thursday, 27 November 2008

A portrait of an eminent man - in coloured pencils

Last week Ann Holden, the Editor of the UKCPS Newsletter "Talking Point", was introduced to HRH the Duchess of Cornwall at the unveiling of Ann's portrait in coloured pencils of Emeritus Professor Leslie Vaughan DSc DVR FRCVS, a very eminent and long-serving member of the veterinary profession.

The portrait was commissioned by the Royal Veterinary College to mark the opening of the new wing of the Queen Mother Hospital for Small Animals at Potters Bar by the Duchess of Cornwall and Professor Vaughan's role in originally instigating the project. The hospital is one of the largest veterinary teaching hospitals in the UK.

As an ex-vet herself, Ann was thrilled to receive the commission especially as the commissioning committee had originally intended that the portrait should be in oil. Her veterinary background also enabled her to add some relevant background, as she knew that her subject had been an orthopaedic surgeon. Sadly, Professor Vaughan died the week before the new wing was opened.

Ann completed the portrait using coloured pencils (mainly Faber Castell Polychromos with some Derwent Coloursoft) on Fabriano Artistico HP. The framed size is about 28 in x 33 in.

Note: Members can contact Ann at any time with items for the newsletter. (Click the title in the link for the email address)

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

8th UKCPS Annual International Open Exhibition 2009 - key dates

This is an early alert about the key dates for the 8th UKCPS Annual International Open Exhibition which comprises 100% pure coloured pencil art.

Another picture from the UKCPS Annual Exhibition 2008 at Bristol
copyright Felicity Grace and used with kind permission

The formal Call for Entries, with full details including notice of changes to the conditions of entry previously announced, will be published in March 2009 - in Talking Point (the UKCPS newsletter sent to all members), on the UKCPS website and on this blog.

However, for those of you who plan ahead and are beginning to mark up next year's calendars and diaries with important dates, here are the key dates you need to make a note of if you're thinking about entering next year's exhibition.
  • Exhibition dates: Monday 21st September to Saturday 3rd October 2009
  • Closing date for entry: Wednesday June 24th 2009
  • Handing in day: Sunday 20th September 2009
In 2009, the exhibition will be held at the gallery of the Royal Birmingham Society of Artists, 4 Brook Street, Birmingham B3 1SA. The number of entries selected and hung in 2008 was limited by the size of the gallery in Bristol. However, the Executive have fortunately anticipated the growing enthusiasm for coloured pencils and in 2009 the annual open exhibition will be held in a much larger gallery.

As usual, there will be a number of awards and prizes (details to be announced with the formal Call for Entries), however UKCPS is pleased to acknowledge and announce that the major sponsor for next year's exhibition will be Derwent.

Just to recap, there will be an announcement on this blog when the formal Call for Entries is available on the website. Details will also be sent separately to all members.

In the meantime, if you have any queries you should contact Pat Heffer, the Exhibitions Secretary. Pat's contact details are available on the website (Click the 'email' next to the Exhibition Secretary title to get the email address).

Friday, 21 November 2008

Reflections on Art Materials Live 2008

Here's a report from Rachel Stirling - who did a splendid job of organising the UKCPS Stand and volunteers for the Art Materials Live event at the NEC.
The boxes are packed, the pictures returned, the pencils sorted (thank you Peter) and the aching muscles tended for another year.

Art Materials Live was as usual a mad, cheerful rush of an event.

It was good to see so many old friends and to make some new ones. Several artists demonstrated with us for the first time this year and I hope will return again in the future.

A big vote of Thanks to all of the volunteers who worked so hard to make this event come together…braving the cold, the crowds and the M6!

I can now happily announce that takings totalled £875.00 and that some of this will be returned to Artists shortly as profit from card sales. Other items that we found sold well this year included the “ Step by Steps” and the children’s Manga Competition. We were very lucky to have the prizes for the latter sponsored by Derwent and Hannemuhle…a very big thank you to them also.

We have managed yet again to raise the profile of coloured pencil as a Fine Art medium and, for the first time, this year I feel we have had some success in persuading the general public that to ignore the potential of CP is …well simply silly!

Now…back to the drawing board quite literally,


Monday, 17 November 2008

News from Art Materials Live #1

Art Materials Live at the NEC is over for another year.

This week I'm hoping to be able to post some photos and news from the last four days of life on the UKCPS stand at Art Materials Live 2008. However, I rather suspect that a number of the people who've made a major contribution this year might need a short break right now!

Gayle Mason demonstrating
on the UKCPS stand

at Art Materials Live 2008
copyright Bryan Mason

Fortunately, I've already heard from Gayle Mason who was demonstrating on two days - Thursday and Saturday.

Gayle has written about her experience and views about the event on her blog Demonstrating for the UKCPS at Art Materials Live.

I know Gayle met lots of people while demonstrating and enjoyed herself enormously - apart from one incident. Here's a short extract from her post........
Thursday was a major disaster for me as my husband managed to spill a full cup of coffee over the commission I was working on. Not only did the pristine white background suffer, so did my legs, feet and bag. I'd spent around 10 hours on the work up to the coffee incident so I was ever so slightly upset. However my husband was so sorry that he bought me the entire set of Luminance pencils so I recovered a little after that.
Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) - Demonstrating for the UKCPS at Art Materials Live
Do please let me know if you have
  • any photos of the event which are suitable for posting on the blog or
  • any comments about participating and/or visiting.

Friday, 14 November 2008

CPSA exhibitions - If you'd like to see one/enter one.....

CPSA - 16th Annual Exhibition

After a spate of posts about coloured pencil exhibitions, if you've ever wondered what ALL the artwork in the CPSA exhibition looks like - you can find out!

There is an opportunity to see all the CP artwork that was exhibited in CPSA's 16th Annual Exhibition in Seattle this summer on a DVD. The CPSA are producing a DVD of all the exhibition pieces which it states will be viewable through both TV and computer monitors provided both have access to a DVD player.

CPSA are also taking overseas orders. Please note the DVD will not be available until February 2009.

This post End of 16th Annual Exhibition - Order your DVD of the show on their blog Colored Pencil Society of America News outlines what to do if you're interested.


If you have been intending to submit work for jurying into CPSA's new online exhibition Explore This! 5 this is a gentle reminder that tomorrow (15th November 2009) is the deadline for online entries.

See Remember Deadline of 11/15/08 for Explore This! 5 Entries! for a reminder of and links to all the details.

Thursday, 13 November 2008

A new look for the UKCPS Blog

Welcome to a new look for the UKCPS Blog.

The existing template was causing problems when posting images or tables providing information. It also proved to be very inflexible in terms of making any adjustments to the width of the blog to better accommodate images. The actual design (rounded corners) meant any minor adjustments in width were totally impossible.

More than 80% of UKCPS blog readers should find the "new look" blog suits them much better. These are the ones who already have screens which are 1024 pixels wide (or more!) so that the blog now fills more of their screens and has much less wasted space either side.

It's also allowed me to increase the size of the font of the text which should make it much easier to read.

Those with very old monitor screens which are only 800 pixels wide will still be able to read the blog in its entirety but may need to scroll to read all the side column.

For those who are interested, the template is called 'stretch denim' and I've changed the colours so that it echoes the blue, green and red of the UKCPS logo.

Do let me know what you think of the new look.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Who's going to be at Art Materials Live?

These are the UKCPS members (and a spouse or two) who are going to be at Art Materials Live Event at the National Exhibition Centre next week (see UKCPS at 'Art Materials Live' next week for more details). They'll be:
  • staffing the UKCPS stand,
  • helping out with the workshop and
  • demonstrating the use of coloured pencils on the UKCPS stand.
Gayle Mason and feline friends demonstrating on the UKCPS stand
at Art Materials Live 2007
copyright UKCPS blogmaster

A very special thanks to Suzy Herbert UKCPS, Rachel Stirling and Peter Woof UKCPS who are planning to be there on all four days. Both Suzy and Peter won prizes at the recent UKCPS Annual Exhibition in Bristol (see UKCPS Annual Exhibition 2008 - Award Winners)

Thanks also to all those who will be helping out in whatever capacity - with a special mention for all those who are planning to be there on more than one day.

Thursday 13th
Friday 14th
Saturday 15th
Sunday 16th
Suzy Herbert Suzy Herbert Suzy Herbert Suzy Herbert
Rachel Stirling Rachel Stirling Rachel Stirling Rachel Stirling
Peter Woof Peter Woof Peter Woof Peter Woof
Diana Connor
Diana Connor Diana Connor
Peter Weatherill Peter Weatherill

Eleni McLoughlin Eleni McLoughlin

Pauline Longley
Pauline Longley
Gayle Mason
Gayle Mason
Bryan Mason
Bryan Mason

Will Johnson Will Johnson

Nick Baldwin Nick Baldwin
Audrey Weatherill Katrina Green Ann Holden Dave Richards

Mike McLoughlin Alan Wiltshire Dave Edwards

Margaret Edwards

Elizabeth Frearson

This is a great event for anybody who wants to get to know more about coloured pencils and/or about the UKCPS.

Plus even if you do know quite a bit about coloured pencils it's still really good to see how other people approach their coloured pencil artwork! For example, Gayle Mason had lots of questions to field last year when demonstrating how to use pastelbord to produce coloured pencil work which doesn't require any mount or glass when framing.

Here's a note about some of the interests and different ways of working of the people who will be there.
  • Gayle Mason has developed her work on pastelbord, colourfix and film
  • Pauline Longley works on drafting film
  • Peter Weatherill likes to work CP over watercolour washes
  • Diana Connor is a botanical artist
  • Peter Woof enjoys working with still life subjects
  • Margaret Edwards (also a prizewinner this year) enjoys portraying cats as does Gayle Mason
  • Dave Richards prefers to draw landscapes.
  • Alan Wiltshire's produces abstract geometric shapes which follow mathematical models
So, as you can see, there's lots of different subjects and varied ways of working.

Hint - Please can everybody remembers to take lots of photos for the blog! :)

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Check out the blogroll thumbnails

Blogger now has a function which really enhances the blogroll (list of blogs) for all blogs using the Blogger software. It now allows us to see:
  • the blog title
  • a thumbnail of the image in the most recent post
  • the title of the most recent post
  • and a note of how long ago the blog was updated
It's set up so that the most recent post is always at the top.

If you're visiting the UKCPS blog why not check out the blogroll? It's now a lot easier to see whether there is anything which is likely to be of any interest to you.

Also, if you are a UKCPS member and have a blog which is not included in the blogroll then please let me know and I'll add it in to the members' blogroll. (Note this facility is available to UKCPS members only).

This week I've added in Rachel Stirling's new blog called Fine Art In Focus.

Note: The two thumbnails in this post are from:

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

UKCPS at 'Art Materials Live' next week

Visitors to the UKCPS Stand at Art Materials Live 2007

UKCPS will be at the Art Materials Live Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham next week. The show is on in Halls 10 and 11 from 13th-16th November 2008 and is open from 09.30am - 17.30pm (Sun 17.00).

UKCPS would very much like to encourage anyone interested in viewing coloured pencil work to come and visit us at the UKCPS stand. The images in this post are from last year's show.

Suzy Herbert UKCPS
demonstrating how she works
at Art Materials 2007

Features of the UKCPS presence are
  • a wide range of talented UKCPS members who will be demonstrating how they work
  • an opportunity to try a wide variety of different pencil brands and discuss them with artists that use them on a daily basis.
  • a dynamic gallery of coloured pencil artwork (changed daily)
  • a childrens colouring competition for the Art Materials live show.
The children's colouring competition involves a selection of Manga drawings to be coloured in at home and then posted back to UKCPS. The prize will be a a Derwent Manga drawing boxed set.

Watch out for my next post on this important art materials event when I'll be indicating who is demonstrating each day

Peter Weatherill with a group of interested people
Art Materials Live 2007

Art Materials Live is a super opportunity to find out about coloured pencils, watch how people work and ask any of those niggling questions that you don't know the answer to.

Plus it's also an excellent opportunity to stock up with art supplies which are difficult to find and/or take advantage of art supplies at discount prices - I went home with two electric sharpeners last year!

For further information:

Sunday, 2 November 2008

UKCPS Annual Exhibition 2008 - A note of thanks

More pictures from the UKCPS Annual Exhibition 2008 at Bristol
copyright Felicity Grace and used with kind permission

As each Annual Exhibition comes to an end it's time to note the thanks that are due to all those people who helped to make it happen.

Thanks to....

First and foremost, thanks are due of course to everyone who entered a picture for the competition - both UKCPS members and non-members. It goes without saying that there is no exhibition without all of you!

After the members the next most important person to thank in terms of making the Exhibition happen is Pat Heffer UKCPS, the Exhibition Director, who kindly provided me with the notes for the content of this blog post - but not the next few sentences! Putting on an exhibition each year is a massive exercise for any art society. It starts with first meetings with a gallery, continues through the maintenance of lots of administrative records and provision of support to members and non-members who are trying to get their entries right and in on time. Then images and support need to be provided to the three jurors. Plus a team of people need to be recruited and organised who also make very important contributions to making it all happen - as indicated below. Pat is very committed to the exhibition doing well and spends a lot of time each year making sure it is a success.

Thanks to the three jurors who reviewed and rated all the entries to the competition. Janie Gildow CPSA, RWA New Gallery curator Neil Murison Hon RWA, and Hannelore Warning, Group Product Manager, Art and Graphics, Faber Castell Ltd. Prizewinners were selected after the pictures had been hung in the Gallery by Neil Murison Hon RWA, assisted by appropriate judges for the awards given by individuals.

Thanks to Faber Castell, the 2008 exhibition sponsors. Faber-Castell's sponsorship enabled the society to exhibit at the Royal West of England Academy. Marion and Mike Bray, the UK distributors of Faber-Castell travelled to Bristol for the Private View and were very enthusiastic about the exhibition and spent a long time studying every picture.

Thanks to all those providing awards - Faber Castell, Staedtler, Derwent, Caran d'Ache, Legion paper (Stonehenge), Lyra and UKCPS members President Ann James Massey SWA KA CPSA UKCPS, Founder Bob Ebdon UKCPS, Chairman Peter Weatherill UKCPS and Sophie Roger .

Thanks to the Royal West of England Academy and the New Gallery. Gallery staff were very helpful especially Neil Murison, the Curator of the New Gallery, Peter Swan and Tanya Wildgoose.

More pictures from the UKCPS Annual Exhibition 2008 at Bristol
copyright Felicity Grace and used with kind permission

The UKCPS Exhibition could not happen at all without the very special team of people of UKCPS members and helpers (and their families) who help Pat and make an important contribution to its success.
  • Thanks to Dave Richards UKCPS, who provides advice and valued support to Pat. Pat tells me that in principle Dave's main role is supposed to be running the Keswick Exhibition each year but that in reality he actually does a great deal more than that. For this year's Annual Exhibition thanks are due to Dave for designing the beautiful invitations and posters, writing all the picture labels and preparing the catalogue for printing.
  • Thanks to all those who have helped transport juried entries from around the UK to and from the exhibition. Special mention to Roland Hall and his wife, Peter Woof UKCPS, Robin Borrett UKCPS and to Pat Heffer and her family who are all involved with storing and transporting a significant number of the exhibits. A very great deal of time also goes into wrapping and unwrapping pictures and posting back all those pictures which can't be transported
  • Thanks to Jan Wilson who provided a demonstration on two days at the exhibition. This involved travelling from Maidstone and a four hour journey both ways.
  • Thanks to Bob Ebdon who despite being officially 'retired' from UKCPS duties and not in the best of health created the special page on the website for the 'virtual' exhibition of all the exhibited entries.
I'll leave the final word to Pat
This is the first time we have held an exhibition in such a prestigious gallery. It was a great success and I felt a bit like a mother hen with her babies! We certainly opened people's eyes to what can be achieved with coloured pencils and promoted both the society and our favoured medium.....I look forward to Birmingham next year with a little trepidation but with a lot of enthusiasm!


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