Thursday, May 10, 2007
Back from Portrait Society of America Conference
Wow! What a great conference in Reston, VA! I drove up on Thursday of last week and returned on Monday full of inspiration and motivation to do the best work I can! There was an oil portrait demonstration by the preeminent Everett Raymond Kinstler, 80 years old and as witty, talented and skillful as ever! (His portraits in the National Portrait Gallery of Tom Wolfe, Gerald Ford, and others are some of the best offered there!) Scott Burdick, the young and talented artist who, together with his wife, Sue Lyon, travel extensively, particularly to places like Tibet and Nepal and come back with fabulous paintings we see in all the art magazines, did an alla prima painting that was wonderful. Something very different for the Society was a watercolor portrait demo by the renowned Charles Reid, which was really interesting to watch. Robert Liberace, the young and oh, so talented young man whose drawings are reminiscent of DaVinci and Reubens, gave a marvelous slide show presentation.
Between seminars and presentations there were portfolio critiques, book signings, vendor exhibitions with great deals on supplies. After hours found many members, yours truly among them til the wee hours, talking and talking and talking about art! Everyone is so willing to talk about techniques and ideas and suggestions to improve your work. It is invigorating and exciting all at once. And certainly rubbing elbows and being on a first name basis with many of the world's great contemporary masters pumps you up so that you can't wait to paint and then come back again next year!
Each year the Society has a portrait painting competition that yields incredibly beautiful work. Of 1600 entries, only ELEVEN (11) finalists are chosen. This year's finalists' works were superb! They aren't posted yet, but they will be soon at www.portraitsociety.org if you would like to see them.