Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Portrait Society Conference Highlights

The first evening commenced with the "Face-Off," during which 15 artists painted from models for two-and-a-half hours. There were three artists per model, and I had the enjoyment of painting alongside Ellen Cooper and Susan Lyon. All the models were Colonial character re-enactors; our model was dressed as an Irish indentured servant.

Here we are in the first few minutes. I'm trying to stay calm as I block in the major forms. 

Putting the finishing touches on my painting.

On the second day of the conference, Mary Whyte, Daniel Greene, and I presented our new work. One of the most interesting things about the conference is having the opportunity to see what other artists are doing and hear them talk about their work. Okay, so I admit I also like to talk about my own work! But whether you are on the giving or receiving end, this kind of sharing opens up a dialog between artists, or between artists and other people. You always end up appreciating other artists' work more if you know something about the motivations and interests that underly it. The added benefit of talking about your own work is that, every time you do it, you understand your own work and articulate your thoughts a little more.

Cocktail hour: with friends Diana Ansley and Linda Vizi.

Son Julian, husband Steve. Thank you both for being there!

As the awards banquet progressed, I grew increasingly nervous. Luckily, my family and friends were there. My friend Diana, the subject of the painting, had flown down from Maine for the conference.

Artists Nancy Bea Miller and Mary Walsh: tension mounts as the prizes are awarded.

Here I am as I receive my award for Year at Sea.

Award winners on stage.

Many of my friends also received awards for their wonderful work. This year, there were 20 finalists and 30 semi-finalists, a record number!
After the ceremony, the conference-goers headed to the bar to celebrate. During the evening the amazing KAWAS (a group of women artists organized by Anne Nelson Sweat) posed for a series of group photos. Hardly anyone wanted to get down on the floor so somehow I ended up there along with some other terrific ladies. You all rock!!

The conference ended at noon Sunday, and the finalists' paintings had to be packed and shipped. This was one of those times when I was thankful the conference was in my home town and the painting fit in my car.
Nancy Bea snapped this photo of Mary Walsh helping me pack up.

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