Portraiting in Atlanta with PSoA 2015

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Conference, April 30-May 3, 2015

Allison and I are getting all hepped up about the upcoming conference being held at the Grand Hyatt in Atlanta in Buckhead. The Portrait Society of America is putting on its 17th annual Portrait and Figurative Artist Conference, along with 800 artists from around the globe. For four days we will experience a “diverse array of demonstrations, illustrated lectures, portfolio reviews, 6×9” Mystery Art Sale, Art Material’s Room, the International Portrait Competition finalist’s.”

PSA is tops in furthering portraiture and figurative art in America. We are in with 3,200 other members.

This year, I’ve reached a milestone I’ve only dreamed of in my teaching career, even though I’ve been teaching over 30 years! What is that? I’m taking one of my students with me (figuratively speaking, of course)! Allison Coleman, a practicing artist in Raleigh–who, by the way, came to me first as a young student, and returned as an adult artist past art college–will be working to help PSA this year and attending the rest of the time. Together, we should be able to strategize better for entering their phenomenal shows and sharing crucial tips when we attend different events in the choose-your-emphasis sessions.Paint Out 2014,1

We don’t want to miss opening night where 15 artists paint together in one room from live models, in groupings of three to a model. They are centered, and we mull around the wider circle, watching awhile at one station, and then onto the next. In front of each section is a wedge of chairs from which to view the artists in action. Here are some pictures of last year’s Thursday night favorite event of mine, the paint out.

The next day we will need training shoes with wheels to make it to the many other demonstrations, panel discussions, workshops and breakout sessions. As professional full time artists, Allison and I want to take our art to the next level, so we can’t wait to see artists demonstrating, discussing techniques and methods, and to network with fellow artists from all over the world. Two years ago, I sat next to an Estonian (Estonia is the setting for Veiled in White) who attended art school in St. Petersburg, Russia. Fun!

Where else can you have individual artist-to-artist exchanges and your portfolio critiqued?

From there, it’s demonstration after demonstration from the best artists in the world sitting on stage with their model and mirrors which show the model’s face beside the in-progress work as the artist paints it. We will hear lectures about varying phases of the professional life of an artist or progress within a painting. What I love is that in one place, I get expert oil painters in still life’s and portraits, expert watercolor portraitist demos, how-to’s, professional art supplies being sold, books you die for–autographed–and you get to study portfolios for different presentation techniques.

I’ve also bought paintings from these artists each year in the paint-out’s silent auction.Paint Out,9

Just for joining PSA, you get a full color The Art of the Portrait Journal, the International Artist, member tuition rates, become part of the mentoring program, can receive signature status. Winners receive over $60,000 in cash and prizes. The Draper Grand Prize includes cash and prizes totaling over $10,000 and a feature article in International Artist magazine.

Unforgettable moments. Our dream, where we network with artists and agents, travel to area museums and visit with friends, new and old…and maybe next year, get in the show.






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