I returned a week ago from Atlanta, USA having attended a 3 day conference of workshops, lectures and meetings, where I was made to feel very welcome by numerous fellow artists and experts, just like my last trip to New York some 8 years ago. The sell-out Gala Awards Dinner was huge, with even some of the 800 delegates unable to get a place. I was honoured to be on one of the reserved tables with other finalists and special guests, which included owners of the top art suppliers in UK and USA. I sat next to a cosmetic surgeon; we had a interesting conversation about fascial muscles, I think we was surprised I could even name a few; we both agreed portrait artists should understand them more ! As my exhibition piece was a self portrait, I guess I shouldn't have been so surprised when I was approached, stared at in the lift or pointed out ... "hey, you're the pencil portrait guy in the exhibition". Slightly embarrassing but fun I have to admit. In short, a truly memorable event.
For the record I would like to say thank you to all who made my stay in Atlanta a wonderful experience; hope to be back again. ( Images below: the awards and the Face-Off session in the large hall, where selected artists paint one of a dozen models, while attendees watch, the finished paintings being auctioned off later. I have some experience of this format at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters in London and it is great fun.)
I was delighted and taken a little by surprise to be invited as a Finalist to attend the 'Art of the Portrait' Conference in Atlanta, Georgia in May. My coloured pencil "Self Analysis" (see Nov Blog image) was chosen to be exhibited along with 20 other Finalists. The 3 days Conference is a major event in Portraiture, so I'm very honoured, and hope to meet some old friends amongst the 800 delegates.
I was pleased to receive some interesting news in October; an oil painting 'Gary Twelve Songs’ has been shortlisted for 2014 Artist of the Year, by the Artists and Illustrators magazine. (Home page) Obviously I am just pleased to be shortlisted from 3000 entries; the exhibition is to be held at the Mall Galleries in January, so that will be a good night out whoever wins; just happy to be there.
I also have two further pieces featured in Creative Quarterly design magazine and drawings in two new books, 'Strokes of Genius 7’, published in 2015, for the second time and 'Colour Pencil Treasures III', also for the second time. Its feels good to be consistent and all these little steps are good for morale.
On easel - I have a rather odd self portrait in progress, developed from a recent pencil study, not sure how this will end up, which is worrying. Also in progress is a more traditional large portrait of a well respected landscape artist who I've know for years. In a sketch book I’ve scamped out dozens of ideas which would require three lifetimes to realise, how frustrating!
Ah well, mustn’t grumble. As they say, no point worrying about anything in life, nobody gets out of this alive.