The Making A Mark Awards 2006-2011


Click on a link in the award titles below to go to that award and see all past winners

About the Making A Mark Awards

  • In 2006, I decided to start an Annual Review at the end of December about Blogging and Art.  I also decided this needed a fun part and so the Making A Mark awards were created.  The idea was that I wanted to recognise those art/illustrated blogs which had been most influential. However, in 2006, in order to avoid spurious accuracy I limited this to those blogs which had most influenced me for one reason or another . Some also made it in to the awards list for clearly having a verifiable influence on others.
  • In 2007 I sought and got nominations and votes for the best artwork on an art blog.  
  • In 2008, I extended it a little further and asked for nominations and votes for the best portrait by a female portrait artist
  • In 2009, I opened up the nomination process to ALL the categories of awards.  I also divided the best artwork award into three categories - and sought nominations and votes for all of these.
  • In 2010, I added a new award for the Best Picture of the Year (Nature)
Only independent blogs are eligible.  The awards exclude all corporate blogs.  
Thus they are limited to those who are blogging becausee they want to
and not because they are employed to do so (even if they may be very good bloggers!)
The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Portrait/Figures) on an Art Blog
The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Place) on an Art Blog
The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Still Life) on an Art Blog
The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year (Nature) on an Art Blog
The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog
(new in 2010)
The 2008
MAM Prize for The Best Portrait by a Female Artist on a Blog

The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
NEW IN 2011 The Best Art Society Blog
The MAM Award for Best Picture of the Year on an Art Blog
Best artwork on a blog - see the voting - Vote for the best artwork on an art blog in 2010
BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR 2010: Hands of Time by Karin Jurick A Painting Today

(1) portrait/figures: Hands of Time by Karin Jurick A Painting Today, 8 x 11" oil on masonite Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell
place: joint winners:
Canal Sunrise a pastel painting by Loriann Signori (Loriann Signori's Painting-a-Day). Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell
Waiting by Michelle Basic Hendry (Artscapes – Musings on Art & Life). Nominated by: Michelle Basic Hendry (self)
(3) still life:  Black Grapes #3 by James Neil Hollingsworth (Paintings in Oil). Nominated by Belinda del Pesco.
(4) natural world: The Right Side a mixed media drawing by Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint); Nominated by Katherine Tyrrell

Best Picture - Portrait/Figures - Shortlist:
 Best Picture - Place - Shortlist:
 Best Picture - Still Life - Shortlist:
 Best Picture - Natural World - Shortlist:
2009BEST PICTURE OF THE YEAR Palm Sunday" by Karin Jurick (A Painting Today)
: "Palm Sunday" by Karin Jurick (A Painting Today)
place: "Lazy River" by Casey Klahn
still life:
'Sometimes I Feel Like You Look Right Through Me'  by Sally Tharp
 Best Picture - Portrait/Figures - Shortlist:
 Best Picture - Place - Shortlist:
 Best Picture - Still Life - Shortlist:
2008A Walk in the Ocean Margaret Dyer (Small Pastels and an Occasional Oil)
2007Up from the Abyss by Carol Carter (Carol Carter)
The 2008 MAM Prize for The Best Portrait by a Female Artist on a Blog
(one year only)
2008Zen by Nicole Caulfield (Nicole Caulfield Art Journal)
The Painting a Day Stickability Shield
for daily painters who maintain a consistently high output of onsistently good quality paintings over the course of the year and set a good example to others
2006 shared by:
They posted a new painting a day on their blogs for well over a year and, although they're not now posting a new painting absolutely every day, they're still managing a lot more than most 'painting a day' blogs.
2007Carol Marine (Carol Marine's Painting a Day) The person who, in my eyes, has been consistent, has posted most often during the year and who has also continued the tradition, started by Duane, of also sharing her talent and her approach with a wider public through the workshops she has been teaching this year.
2008Edward Gordon (Edward B. Gordon) who started doing daily paintings back in November 2006. Edward has created a painting a day virtuallly every day in 2008 and did the same in 2007. He completed 700 daily paintings back in October. His blog is popular and it indicates that he sells most of the paintings he produces.
2009Loriann Signori (Loriann Signori's painting-a-day) - This award is for stickability - Loriann's complete dedication to getting out and about whatever the weather and wherever she is. She created 344 posts in 2009.
Nominations in full
2010Lisa DariaLisa Daria (Lisa Daria) - Significantly, Lisa Daria is the only nominee to have produced a painting every day this year. I've had a lovely time looking through her blog at her wonderful paintings this afternoon and was very nearly distracted and started to buy a painting!  Always a good sign of a very promising painter!

After one year of painting every day (including Christmas) I've no intention of stopping. For me, daily painting is a daily appreciation for living via the canvas. I'm a young adult cancer survivor so I have a persistence to make sure every day matters. Daily painting has become a reminder every day can bring with it reason.
2011Stephen Magsig - (Postcards from Detroit ) He consistently posts (nearly) every day and has done for more than four years.  He paints subjects which artists frequently shy away from.  His work documents the industrial and urban areas of Detroit and reflects the current state of our economy and the effect it has on our cities, businesses and neighborhoods by frequently showing the closed down, boarded up and graffiti tagged facades of buildings.  He also provides something of a role model for the way in which you can convert the asset of regular daily paintings into other products for sale to those who want to collect artwork.    
  2011 nominations
  Nominations in full
The Best Art Blog Project Virtual Challenge Cup
Art can be quite a lonely activity and it's noticeable that people often like to have some sort of involvement in groups and projects related to art! This award is For EITHER 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
2006shared by:
  • the Crackskull Bob Self-Portrait Marathon - a new blogging project which generated 390 entries overall from those participating and a stunning level of creativity
  • the Daily Painters Blog - a blog, website and mailing list providing contemporary original art for sale by painting a day artists and habitual painters.
2007the International Sketchcrawl drawing marathons - a project which I have participated in which is global and involves lots of people, a lot of whom are bloggers.
2008Different Strokes from Different Folks - a well thought out project which also involves Karin Jurick in providing tutorials and guidance to participants how to improve their art.  Primarily this has been about encouraging people to see that using photos as references need not involve copying - that making choices, using your imagination and interpreting a photo are skills which are also important.
2009Urban Sketchers - has developed and become a landmark art blog during the last 12 months.
Nominations received in full
2010The Virtual Paintout - Bill Guffey has succeeded in attracting a large number of participants every month.  I like both the accessibility and the impact of this art blog project.  You can see all the pictures on the blog which makes it very easy for non-participants to understand the project and see its results. It also shows people that they can find places to go and paint plein air using Google Street View and consequently its impact is not just limited to this blog!
2011The Help Japan Challenge Auction involved a lot of art bloggers contributing artwork to raise funds via an auction to help those affected by the Tsunami in Japan.  The challenge was created by Keiko Tanabe and David Marine of Daily Paintworks hosted it on the Daily Paintworks website.  To date, art to the value of $29, 218 has been posted and very many of the paintings have been sold.  
2011 nominations
The Painting Plein Air Plus Prize
This award is for excellence in plein air painting plus a strong commitment to sharing information
2006 Ed Terpening (Life Plein Air)
Ed has been blogging consistently since June 2005 and edged ahead due to his strong focus on sharing information on his blog as well as his commitment to plein air painting.
2007William Wray (Urban painter William Wray) Bill varies as to how much he talks about his subjects and his settings - but his comments, especially about the light he is painting in and its impact on the painting plus choices made in relation to composition are always worth reading
2008shared by:
  • Michael Chesley Johnson (A Plein Air Painter's Blog) Michael has published a new book in 2008 about Backpacker Painting. He specialises in painting in both oils and pastels and a lot of his painting is done plein air. He shares useful information in workshops and in his blog as well as in the book.
  • Linda Blondheim (Linda Blondheim Art Notes) who combines practical tips about marketing, painting and painting plein air with recipes.
2009shared by:
  • Loriann Signori, (Loriann Signori's painting-a-day) This year Loriann produced 342 blog posts - almost all about plein air paintings! She also knows how to paint in pastel on top of frozen watercolour! Loriann posts her thoughts about hiow she constructs her paintings, the materials she uses, how she addresses problems in the field - it's the nitty gritty behind the great colourist paintings she produces.
  • Marc R. Hanson, (Painting My Way Through Life )  In April 2009 Marc had a Painting Marathon and painted 4 plein air paintings a day. They are not three strokes, one for sky, one for tree and one for land. These are beautiful paintings with composition, theory and all included. He also wrote about the paintings each day.
Nominations received in full
2010Adebanji Alade (Adebanji Alade)  My choice this year is informed by the way in which Adebanji Alade shared on his blog the whole experience of creating over 200 paintings of Bath in just 8 weeks. Adebanji has demonstrated that his work is also about sharing and helping others to get involved in plein air painting.  He also managed to generate a major exhibition of his work as a result of his Bath Challenge and that's no mean feat.
2011Enrique Flores  (4ojos)  caught my attention when the popular uprisings which have so characterised 2011 started in Spain.  He created a set of reportage paintings which capture a live event as it happened - drawing and painting while not knowing what was going to happen next at any time.  Bear in mind he's also standing and painting wherever he can within the context of a crowded square in Madrid.  It's a truly remarkable record - I've never seen anything like it before. This is what I had to say on this blog back in May. This week I've been watching one of my favourite sketchers Enrique Flores (4ojos) posting reportage sketches about the amazing peaceful protests by young people in Madrid within the context of today's elections. This, in a way, is the Spanish version of the revolutions which have been sweeping through the Arab world since the beginning of the year.  It's always worth recording the fact that those who sketch and blog can also contribute to a much wider understanding of how life is lived in some parts of the world. It's the drawing version of the cameraphone!
Blog Post:   Getting out of the Studio - Making A Mark Art Blog Awards 2011 
Nominations in full:
The Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy
combined with the 'Get Off Your Blogging Bottom and Sketch' Brass Plate from 2007.  This award goes to the most intrepid and/or industrious artist travelling with a sketchbook.
2006Laura Frankstone (Laurelines) primarily for blogging her sketches of Paris in October while she was still there but also for the way she planned a whole year of themes for her artistic endeavours – much of which involved getting out and about with her sketchbook - or rather sketchbooks!
2007Martha (Trumpetvine Travels) of Berkeley California, for her well written, nicely linked and lavishly illustrated posts from all corners of the USA in 2007.
2008Cindy Woods. (Learning Daily) This was a posthumous award.  Cindy was always an intrepid traveller to all sorts of places with her friend Ronda and was still travelling with her sketchbook as she visited all the places and people she loved best in the months before she died in November 2008. Not everybody will be aware that Cindy did all her travelling in a wheelchair
2009 Enrique Flores (Cuatro cosas) What I most like about Enrique's sketchbooks is the fluidity with which he extracts and simplifies the scenes in front of him - and the ease with which he draws with a brush in watercolour.  Enrique also goes to many interesting places and posts videos of his sketchbooks on YouTube
2010Liz Steel (Liz + Borromini) Sydney Australia  Frankly I never really expected there to be any serious competition for this award this year.  I knew prtty much who I wanted to give it to just on the basis of last year's efforts. Then just in case I had any doubts, Liz took herself off on a 12 week extended vacation to sketch her way round the USA, UK and Europe!  To top it off, she also sketches the most amazing complicated buildings in double quick time as well as sketching while eating and drinking tea.    After she's finished travelling she then gets down to the serious busines
The Making A Mark Awards 2010 (Part 1 - Getting Out of the Studio)
2011Urban Sketchers - 2nd International Sketching Symposium   There was only ever one candidate for the Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy.  My reason for saying this is that 200 or so Urban Sketchers from over 20 countries descended on Lisbon for the sole purpose of sketching and talking about sketching during the 2nd International Urban Sketching Symposium - July 21-23, 2011.  It was a resounding success.
'Get Off Your Blogging Bottom and Sketch' Brass Plate
now incorporated into the Travels with a Sketchbook Trophy (see above)
2006Julie Oakley (One Mile from Home) This was for the artist or illustrator who has used their blog to make me feel most like I ought to do more exercise!  The brass plate is, of course, in recognition of all that brass monkey weather she has endured.
The Going Greener Gong
This award is for the art blog which I've found most stimulating in relation to getting us in touch with nature and the environment. It encompasses those who blog about animals, birds, flowers and plants. Blogs are not required in any way to limit themselves to just those topics but they do need to have a feel for being green and sustainable about them. They also get extra points for getting out and about and drawing from life!
2007Richard Bell's nature diary Wild West YorkshireRichard started his nature diary in 1989 and continues to set a standard which is hard to beat.
2008Shared by:
  • Irene Brady (Nature Drawing and Journaling Workshops) Irene has a very strong emphasis on drawing natural history and shows the work done in workshops in both the USA and overseas -.  She provides lots of tops about how to draw nature up close and personal.
  • Debbie Kotter Caspari (Drawing the Motmot) whose blog is described as being about sketching adventures in the wide world of nature, with how-to sidebars and a bias for birds.
2009Sketching in Nature - a group blog started in April 2009 by Cathy Johnson.  It has revived an interest in and highlighting the joys of nature journaling
2010Jeanette Jobson (Illustrated Life)  - Newfoundland, Canada
My choice was in the end informed by:
  • the consistent high quality of her unique artwork in producing prints of fish using the gyotaku method,
  • the long path travelled by this artist in arriving at the art she now produces
  • the quality of her comment on the sustainability issues relating to the local fishing industry and the changes within her local environment in the seas around and about Newfoundland.
  • the combination of the good quality art and informative comment about the changes in the life of the fish and the fishing industry is an unbeatable combination in terms of making art which relates in a very meaningful way to the place where Jeanette lives and the community she is part of
2011Sherrie York (Brush and Baren) - Salida, Colorado, USA
My favourite blog - and one which I always make a point of reading in a leisurely way - is Sherrie York's Brush and Baren.  I love the way her linocuts emerge slowly - through the cutting processes and the different inks until a wonderful image emerges at the end.  The combination of structure and creativity is awesome!  What is especially noteworthy is Sherrie has the ability to make you look more carefully at nature - at what you take for granted when out and about.  I see what she can make of something and feel inspired to do the same.  Her artwork speaks volumes about her love of her environment and the natural world - and the video below does quite a good job too!  
The FAQs and Answers Really Useful Medal
value blogs which also aim to share good information including what they have learned with others.
2006Justin Clayton (Daily Paintings) who started doing daily paintings on January 1 2006 and provided an extremely informative set of answers to questions he found he was frequently being asked.
2007Charley Parker (Lines and Colours) for his series of very comprehensive posts on how NOT to display your art on the web
2008James Gurney (Gurney Journey) James very much deserved this award because of the vast number of posts he has provided during the course of this year (and last) which have been both extremely informative and highly educational.  James is a one-man course in how to draw and paint! People pay fees for workshops from tutors who know much less than James does!
2009Roz Stendahl (Roz wound up)  Roz is articulate and writes very well and at some length about the topics which interest her. Two of these topics are visual journaling and art materials. Her series on journaling superstitions is a masterpiece! She enjoys experimenting with art materials and paper and her very thorough testing of art materials sets a standard for artists writing reviews on the Internet.
2010Stapleton Kearns (Stapleton Kearns) Stapleton is the artist who most often tackles the spread of topics which most appeal to me.  He achieves a nice balance between art technique, art history and art business (although I think he needs to rationalise his two art business labels into one!)
2011Artists Helping Artists on Blog Talk Radio   (Leslie Saeta and Dreama Tolle Perry) This is an art blog/social media entity which has emerged as being very focused on Artists FAQs.  It started in the summer of 2010.  Leslie and Dreama have filled a gap in the market and created a need we didn't know we had!    
2011 nominations
Leslie Saeta (Artists Helping Artists / Blog Talk Radio)
Deborah Secor Landscape Painting in Pastels and Deborah Secor: Today's Art Class.
Richard McKinley (The Pastel Pointers Blog)
The Make Me Think Gong
Anybody who makes me think and offers insights which are transferable to the activity and business of being an artist is eligible for this award.
2006shared by:
  • Alyson Stanfield (ArtBiz Blog) Alyson is focused on the business end of being an artist and her e-mail letter arrives in my inbox every Monday and always gets read as does her blog.
  • Robert Genn (The Painters Keys) Robert Genn's has been twice weekly letter and subsequent clickback for the artist community since 1999.  I've been subscribed to the Painters Keys and reading his letters for a very long time
2007shared by:
They refer to the wider aspects of how we live our lives, difficulties we have to deal with and approaches which seem to produce good results. They speak about both everyday matters and bigger concepts in an everyday way. They often make me step back and think about what I'm doing and how I relate to what they are talking about. In other words they take my perspective out for a spin!
2008Seth Godin (Seth's BlogI rarely miss reading one of his posts and very often find that they trigger thoughts about ways in which his thoughts could be applicable to the practice of art and/or marketing within the art economy.
2009Edward Winkelman (edward_ winkleman) He's a very generous blogger who consistently provides some very useful advice for artists wanting to pursue a career as an artist and/or want to get into a gallery and/or keep being a gallery artist. He also attracts a diverse group of readers which makes his thought-provoking open discussion posts very interesting.
2009 nominations
Nominations infull
The Best Book by an Art Blogger Blue Ribbon
for the most helpful book written/produced by an art blogger in 2009
2009Imaginative Realism : How to Paint What Doesn't Exist by James Gurney (Gurney Journey) James' book is going to become a standard and do very well for a very long time. You can read my rave review of it here - Book Review - Imaginative Realism by James Gurney.  This is a book which is highly recommended by me.
2009 nominationsNominations received
“The Moose” - the award for the best animal in an illustrated blog
Named after the first winner of this award.  The animal can be wild or domestic.
2006Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren Art ) - Moose
No contest - Moose won by a mile. Maggie Stiefvater characterises her cat Moose as a "criminally insane cat, furry muse, catcher of moths, grabber of ankles" but I think he's a total star. He's been breaking ACEO records and has also been featured in an article in Art Calendar about daily painting blogs. I fully expect he'll be having to complete his own tax return very soon.  Moose gets the prize for being most often featured in uncommon but totally typical images of a cat.
2007 Gayle Mason (Fur in the Paint) - “Out of Sight”
She has consistently produced excellent drawings of both dogs and cats during the course of the year – and shared her art materials and approaches as well on her blog.
2008Tracy Hall (Watercolour Artist).  his Award is just one of the many which Tracy has won in 2008 with various Miniature Art Societies in the UK and USA. This Award is for "birds" in a generic sense and a rook in particular and recognises two of her principal achievements in 2008.
2009Kimberly Santini (The Painting a Dog a Day Project) - This is to reflect Kimberley's total commitment to her painting a dog a day project since she started in 2006. She has created over 800 furry faces, posts consistently and to a high standard and won the Fifth Annual AKC/Eukanuba National Championship Commemorative Art Poster Competition .  In addition Kimberley and her patrons have, through sales of her paintings, raised over $5,500 to benefit animal welfare.
2010 nominations
Nominations in full
The “Tales from the Frontline” Amusing Musings Trophy
Originally two awards but combined into one for the last two years. 
  • The Amusing Musings Trophy is for keeping me amused. 
  • The “Tales from the Frontline” Mention in Despatches - my favourite blog by somebody who lives with an artist.
2006Ruth Phillips (Meanwhile, here in France)
won The “Tales from the Frontline” Mention in Despatches.  Ruth Phillips is the wife of artist Julian Merrow Smith and the daughter of artist Tom Phillips RA so qualifies twice over. Ruth has been blogging for some time and it shows. Read her archives - she's better than a good book. Plus you get to hear about what happens when everybody wants to buy anything your artist partner produces!
2006shared by:
  • Hugh McLeod (Gaping Void) Hugh provides both humour and images for free alongside an expert insight into the business side of blogging and marketing product in a web2.0 world.
  • Maggie Stiefvater (Greywaren Art) Maggie mostly provides daily blog posts and almost without fail demonstrates that the fresh eye which she brings to portraiture also applies to her take on the world as well. She has a very unique voice – in both words and images.
2007Dermott (I am Dog Hear Me Snore)
the Australian Old English Sheep Dog who lives in Tuscany with Mr and Mrs We Spent a Long Time Boofing This Dog - won both!
2008Tracy Helgeson (Works by Tracy Helgeson)
plus Doug and Ginger and all those who helped with the new studio.  Tracy moved her studio, had a new floor laid, new walls and storage sorted, painted it all, bought and installed new studio furniture and then renovated her ex studio/new sitting room - and took photos and took us all through the process with her. Talk about comprehensive!
2009Walt Taylor aka Wally Torta and the rest! (Crackskull Bob) - this blog has been making me chuckle for a few years now - mind you he can make me grimace too at times!
NEW in 2009!!! The Most Gorgeous Mouthwatering (MGM) Studio of the Year
For the most improved studio in 2009.
2009 Lisa Call (Lisa Call - Contemporary Taxtile Art) - For me there was no contest - this was a really heavy duty makeover and it was all photographed and documented using photo archives and blog.
2009 nominations
Nominations in full

You can read the citations for the different Making A Mark Awards in previous years in the following blog posts