Saturday, April 30, 2011

2011 PSoA - 6 X 9 Limited Size - Unlimited Talent


Now that the 6 X 9 Limited Size - Unlimited Talent Sale is over, I can finally post the painting I did for the event.  Thanks to Susan Lyon for purchasing it;  you made my day!

Leo Sunning - 6 X 9 in., oil


2011 PSoA Awards

Jesus Villarreal  -  The Mirror


Jesus Emmanuel Villarreal


Evert Ploeg


Ellen Cooper


Teresa Oaxaca


Casey Childs


Patricia Watwood

HongNian Zhang

Jeremy Lipking

Rose Frantzen

Alicia Ponzio


David Bowers

Scott Burdick

James Hill

Amy Kann

Juan Martinez

Thomas Reis

Joel Spector

Ardith Starostka

John Seibles Walker


Ellen Cooper

Friday, April 29, 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011

2011 Portrait Society Finalists - Cast Your Vote!


Joel Spector  -  O. Aldon James  -  50 X 34 in., oil

Rose Frantzen  -  Mrs. Zimmerman  -  42 X 50 in., oil

Casey Childs  -  Biangle (Portrait of Lauren and Everett)  -  55 X 42 in., oil

Teresa Oaxaca  -  Father Time  -  54 X 62 in., oil

Patricia Watwood  -  Fate  -  35 X 24 in., oil

Alicia Ponzio  -  Claudia Regina Del Fiume  -  20 X 7 X 10 in., plaster

Jesus Villarreal  -  The Mirror  -  68 X 42 in., oil

Jeremy Lipking  -  Skylar in Blue  -  16 X 12 in., oil

Ardith Starostka  -  The Bishop  -  50 X 36 in., oil

Juan Martinez  -  Robin  -  18 X 12 in., oil

Amy Kann  -  Berkely  -  9 X 9 in., bas relief

William Nathans  -  Sean  -  60 X 36 in., oil

Evert Ploeg  -  Self Portrait in Bathroom  -  44 X 54  in., oil

Ellen Cooper  -  Defiance of Erebus  -  62 X 36 in., oil

David Bowers  -  The Collector  -  38 X 30 in., oil

Scott Burdick  -  Undercover  -  40 X 30 in., oil

James Hill  -  Contemplation  -  22 X 10 X 12 in., ceramic

Thomas Reis  -  The Twilight Hour  -  12 X 16 in., oil

John Seibles Walker  -  Mary Rinehart  -  54 X 36 in., oil

HongNian Zhang  -  A Hero of Nanjing:  The Courage of Minnie Vautrin 


PSoA Certificate of Excellence - Seth Haverkamp


Seth Haverkamp  -  The Matriarch  -  36 X 48 in.

2011 Certificate of Excellence winner Seth Haverkamp has had previous successes at the Portrait Society of America's International Competitions.  Another painting of his won the Best in Show award at the 2008 conference.  To see more of Haverkamp's art, please visit his website.


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

PSoA Certificate of Excellence - Joshua LaRock


Joshua LaRock  -  The Artist's Wife  -  18 X 15 in.

Texas native Joshua LaRock was pursuing a career in music when a fortunate discovery led him to a new vocation.  LaRock, who  had only been aware of contemporary Modern Artists at the time, stumbled upon the growing group dedicated to traditional ideals and techniques of draughtsmanship and fine painting, and was astonished to find classical art was still being produced today.  In representational art, LaRock felt he found his true calling, and he traveled to New York to seek tutelage under Jacob Collins at the Water Street Atelier.  His talent and dedication quickly earned LaRock prizes and scholarships, and within just three years of beginning his study, his prodigious skill merited him a position as one of the core instructors at The Grand Central Academy of Art.

"I am captivated by the way a simply designed portrait can represent a connection with another human being," says LaRock.  "In this case, I was trying to capture the special bond between my beautiful wife and myself, and others have attested that this somehow comes through in the painting. I find the successful expression of emotion and personality rewarding beyond the satisfaction of an accomplished rendering of a face. It is a wonder how a slight expression, clear eyes and subtle gestures can be profound;  Bouguereau's portraits exemplify this again and again, and this piece was certainly inspired by him in both conception and technique."

To see more of Joshua LaRock's paintings, and learn his teaching schedule, please visit the artist's website.


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Giveaway at the PSoA Conference

The first person who comes up to me at the Portrait Society of America conference and says, "MK is the MVP of APVM," will receive free copies of the Spring and Summer issues (Volume 1) of American Painting Video Magazine on DVD.  See you there!

PSoA Certificate of Excellence - Marina Dieul


Marina Dieul  -  La fille au fil  -  48 X 48 in.

French-born Marina Dieul was encouraged by her parents to pursue art when, at a young age, she showed a love for, and skill at painting and drawing.  After moving to Montreal in 2000, she studied with two students of Ted Seth Jacobs, the painters Tim Stotz and Michelle Tully, of Studio Escalier.  Since then, she has garnered many awards, including Best of Show at the Inspiring Figures exhibit held last year at the Butler Institute of American Art.  In addition to being a member of the Portrait Society of America, Dieul is also a member of the Portrait Society of Canada, and the International Guild of Realism.

Of her Certificate of Excellence winning painting, Marina Dieul says:

"'La fille au fil' is a portrait of my younger daughter, but I used her more like a symbol. For me it's a portrait of the new generation, our children's generation. As a mother, I have many questions about the world we will give to our children as a legacy, and a lot of questions about what we should or shouldn't teach them. I used my painting process to represent the child in the process of being created, from the unfinished monochromatic underpainting at the bottom , to the colorful realism of the face and hand using trompe-l'œil to push her out of the canvas. All the meanings I put in this painting are questions;  I have no answers. And if someone sees some completely different meanings, I'm comfortable with this too, as we all have different life experiences...

On a purely technical point of view, my whole painting process can be seen in this work. I first toned my canvas, and began painting the body with a monochromatic underpainting. Then I painted using a wet-into-wet technique, rounding forms in one layer of paint. The close value range between the neutral skin tones and the intense chroma of the blue light was quite challenging, but very enjoyable. For the concrete frame, I played with very thick textures. I rendered the strings in a careful trompe-l'oeil way, and at last I added the strings' shadows, keeping them transparent enough so the pattern of the underpainting can be seen through them."

Marina Dieul is represented by The Weatherburn Gallery in Naples, Florida, and The Legacy Gallery in Scottsdale, Arizona.  To see more of Dieul's artwork, please visit her website.


Monday, April 25, 2011

PSoA Certificate of Excellence - Clete Shields


Clete Shields  -  Michael Demaray  -  14 X 22 X 12 in., plaster

Clete Shields (Maffett) of Philadelphia has had a varied and successful career in three-dimensional art that really began when friends of Quentin Tarantino discovered Shield's sculpted caricatures of Pulp Fiction characters and championed the young man's work to the movie's director.  Since then, Shields has created works for Tarantino, Robert Rodrieguez, Kevin Smith, and Samuel L. Jackson; has designed collectibles for the Franklin Mint and maquettes for video games and the movie Spy Kids; and has sculpted the Longshoreman Memorial in San Pedro, California.

Recently, Shields was commissioned by Capital Area Statues, Inc. (CAST) to sculpt an eight foot tall statue of country music star Willie Nelson for the city of Austin, Texas.  CAST, a non-profit group which honors Texas' history by building public sculptures, plans on unveiling the bronze figure later this summer.  The making of the sculpture will also be the subject of a documentary by Charter Tech High School and filmmaker David Von Roehm, a partner with Willie Nelson in the company, Luck Films.

Clete Shields' work is currently on display as part of a group show at Gallery 50 in Bridgeton, NJ.


Bouguereau and Sculpture

A painter ought sometimes to consult a sculptor, and vice versa.  ~  Alfred Stevens

As picture teaches the colouring, so sculpture the anatomy of form.  ~  Ralph Waldo Emerson

Many have, at some time, heard Jules Olitski's sardonic observation that "sculpture is the stuff you trip over when you are backing up trying to look at a painting," but if a painter were to actually adopt such disdain for sculpture, he would be ignoring the valuable lessons contained within that difficult art.  Students have certainly benefitted by working from the plaster cast, and those contemporary ateliers which place as much emphasis on drawing from the cast as did the late 19th century Academies, are still producing the best draughtsmen of today.  Painters who also sculpt, even if if is only occasionally, report that the three-dimensional work aids them in understanding and portraying form in their two-dimensional works, and painters who have made a study of sculpture have walked away with a better understanding of composing figures.  With such factors in mind, it is no doubt that when famous Belgian artist Alfred Stevens suggested to other painters that they "ought sometimes to consult a sculptor," that it was not advice lightly given.

The Plaque of the Ergastines, 445-438 BC, Louvre Museum

William Adolphe Bouguereau was one artist who was very fond of sculpture.  His workman-like studio at rue Notre-Dame-des-Champs, had little of the exotic decor found in the studios of his contemporaries, but it did house plaster casts from which his students would draw, and several other sculptures he seemed to keep for his own enjoyment.  It was sculpture, after all, which spurred him on to be a better painter.
During that period of my studies - around 1846 - when progress was slow or almost nil, and when no one was willing to provide the explanations my soul craved for, I experienced (it was just after my arrival in Paris) many discouraging weeks.
I was in this state of mind one day when, strolling through the Louvre, I saw the casts of the Parthenon pediment.  How can I describe the emotion I felt?  A veil fell my eyes.  Never had I experienced such a deep and intense joy.  What was it I saw in those wonderful plasters?
I understood that the subtlety of accents, in contrast with large planes, is what makes a drawing great.  This truth, which I have yearned all my life to express and which still drives me on, is the secret of art.  It applies to composition as well as to drawing proper.  It is the principle that must guide both the young beginner and the fully developed artist.¹

Many of Bouguereau's alabaster-skinned figures resemble statues.

American painter Richard Lack may not mention the influence of sculpture on Bougereau, but in his essay on the French painter Lack certainly acknowledges Bouguereau's mastery of tone, which was the result of inspiration from the Parthenon's friezes.
Alongside his mastery of line, Bouguereau utilizes tone relationships with commanding authority.  Harmony of dark and light tones is of first importance in a painting.  It is even more critical than color since tone arrangement must underlie every color scheme.
Color or hue cannot exist without value.  Painters often say that any color scheme will suffice if the values are harmoniously conceived.  Bouguereau's handsome value harmonies are like music of great beauty and subtlety...²

I say that sculpture is eight times as great as any other art based on drawing, because a statue
has eight views and they must all be equally good.  ~  Benvenuto Cellini

Finally, it must also be noted that Bouguereau would, on occasion, rely on the work of sculptors for his models, when his regular models could not suffice.  James Caroll Beckwith, an American artist who studied in Paris from 1873 through 1878, recounted this story:
Entering Bouguereau's studio one morning, before he had come up from breakfast, I was studying with interest a large canvas half completed, representing a group of laughing children with a donkey.  A gaudily attired Italian woman was endeavoring to pacify a curly-headed cherub, the model for the morning, who was ruthlessly rubbing his dirty fingers over some exquisite pencil drawing which lay on the floor at the foot of the easel.  I rescued the drawings, while the mother apologetically explained to me in Neopolitan French that M. Bouguereau spoiled all of her children so that she could do nothing with them at home or elsewhere.  The drawings were beautiful reproductions of the "Laughing Faun" in the sculpture gallery of the Louvre.  As Bouguereau entered the room, he began a series of frolics with the youngest which quite verified the words of the mother.  [When he stopped] at last to set his palette, I asked him when he had made the drawings.  "Oh, you see, that mauvais sujet is so wicked," said he, pointing to the curly-headed urchin turning somersaults on the floor, "that I can use him for nothing but color and was obliged to spend nearly all of yesterday afternoon at the Louvre, making these notes for the form."³

Good painting is the kind that looks like sculpture.  ~  Michelangelo


¹ William Bouguereau, "Allocution de M. Bouguereau" in Distribution des Prix de l'École de dessin au Grand Théâtre, 1899, (Bordeaux, 1899), pp. 17-18.
² Richard Lack, Bouguereau's Legacy to the Student of Painting (Minneapolis:  Atelier Lack, Inc., 1982), p.4.
³ Caroll Beckwith, "Bouguereau" in The Cosmopolitan, January, 1890, Vol. 8, No. 3, p. 264.

The above excerpts were all taken from Mark Steven Walker's "Bouguereau at Work," William Bouguereau (The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, Montreal, 1984), pp. 73-79.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

PSoA Certificate of Excellence - John Michael Carter


John Michael Carter  -  Lauren  -  24 X 18 in.

Kentucky artist John Michael Carter is a multi-award winning painter who has, since 1975, had 39 one man shows.  His training began in Chicago at the age of 16 under the tutelage of his father, E.L. Carter, a successful commercial artist.  In 1968 he went on to study at the American Academy of Art, and then, in 1970, traveled to Los Angeles to attend the Art Center College of Design, from which he graduated in 1972 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree.  Since then, Carter has kept a busy schedule, teaching on the university level or at workshops, while at the same time maintaining his thriving career as a gallery artist and portraitist.

2003 PSoA Finalist

"The subject of the portrait," says Carter, "is a 6yr old by the name of Lauren. I was commissioned to paint her portrait about two years ago. I loved this one particular expression that she gave me while wearing the little antique lace dress, it reminded me of those turn of the century black & white photos of Italian children you see in the history books, however my client thought it a little sad and chose a pose that portrayed her with a happier countenance. I later went back and painted this finished version of the pose and expression I liked for myself."

Please visit John Michael Carter's website to see more of his work.


Workshop Bulletin Board


WHO:  Marvin Mattelson

WHAT:  12 Day Portrait Painting Workshop

WHEN:  July 10th - 23rd (no class July 17th)

COST:  $1800 plus $100 model fee (includes five evening lectures)
              $1000 for non-painting observers
              $50 per lecture a la carte


Binders Art Supplies and Frames
3330 Piedmont Road Suite 18
Atlanta, GA 30305
Contact:  (Eli) 404.237.6331 ext 203 or

To register:  Visit Binders website.

For more information, visit Marvin Mattelson's website.


WHO:  Dorian Vallejo

WHAT:  Painting without Rules

WHEN:  May 28th and 29th (7 hours each day)

COST:  $325


Burlington Lyceum
432 High Street, Burlington, NJ 08016


WHO:  Thomas Valenti

WHAT:  Watercolor Demonstration

WHEN:  June 17th, 7:30 PM



Salmagundi Club
47 Fifth Avenue
New York, NY 10003


WHEN:  August 1st - 13th (no class August 7th)

COST:  $1800 (plus field trip to Metropolitan Museum of Art;  discounted entry, price TBD)


School of Visual Arts
209 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010

To Register, contact the SVA Continuing Education Department by phone (212.592.2050) or email.  Online registration is also available.

For more information, visit Marvin Mattelson's website.


WHEN:  August 15th - 19th

COST:  $900


School of Visual Arts
209 East 23rd Street
New York, NY 10010

To Register, contact the SVA Continuing Education Department by phone (212.592.2050) or email.  Online registration is also available.

For more information, visit Marvin Mattelson's website.


WHO:  Thomas Valenti

WHAT:  Watercolor Methods and Techniques

WHEN:  June 10th, 11th, and 12th

COST:  $330


Jerry's Artarama
3060 Wake Forest Road
Raleigh, NC 27609


WHO:  Marvin Mattelson

WHAT: 12 Day Portrait Painting Workshop

WHEN: June 6th - 18th (no class June 12th)

COST:  $1600 (including five evening lectures)


Cleveland Institute of Art
11141 East Boulevard
Cleveland, OH 44106
Contact:  (Patty) 216.534.6080 or

To register:  Call 216.421.7461 or fax registration form (pg. 3) to 216.754.4089

For more information, visit Marvin Mattelson's website.


WHO:  Lea Colie Wight & Stephen Early

WHAT:  Advanced Portrait and Figure Workshop

WHEN:  August 15th - 26th

COST:  $1750


Studio Incamminati
340 North 12th Street (southwest corner, 12th and Callowhill streets) Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Contact:  215.592.7910  or 


WHEN:  June 20th - 24th

COST:  $550


Studio Incamminati
340 North 12th Street (southwest corner, 12th and Callowhill streets) Suite 400
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Contact:  215.592.7910  or
Registration Form

Supply List


WHAT:  Figure Drawing/Painting Workshop ; Landscape Painting Workshop

WHEN:  Figure Drawing/Painting:  August 1st - 27th

              Landscape Painting:  August 4th - 6th
                                                 August 11th - 13th
                                                 August 18th - 20th
                                                 August 25th - 27th

COST:  Figure Drawing/Painting - $1250 for the full 4 weeks

             Landscape Painting - 1 week :  $275
                                                2 weeks : $375
                                                3 weeks : $450
                                                4 weeks : $525

             * Tuition to attend all weeks of the Figure and Landscape combined - $1600


43 East 20 South
Springville, UT 84663
Contact: Ryan Brown 801.822.8802 or

For additional workshop information, please click here.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

PSoA Certificate of Excellence - Carol Arnold


Carol Arnold  -  Pearls  -  26 X 40 in.

Artist Carol Arnold was first inspired to become a painter when, as a child, she became fascinated by the plein air painters her family encountered on vacations in seaside Gloucester, Massachusetts.  After graduating from the Vesper George School of Art in Boston, Arnold spent several years working as a commercial artist before turning her attention fully to fine art painting.  She is currently very active in the arts community of Vermont, being both a member of Andrea Scheidler's High Street Painters in Brattleboro, and one of the regular members of Richard Schmid and Nancy Guzik's Putney Painters.  Arnold's work, executed primarily from life, has been steadily winning recognition, including taking the First Honor Award at last year's Inspiring Figures Exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art for the painting of her son, titled, End of the Season.

End of the Season  16 X 26 in.

Of Pearls, Arnold says, "This is a portrait of my daughter Grace. She loves wearing layers of clothing, which usually includes hats, scarfs, and lots of jewelry. I made the blue apron for Christmas and she wears it any chance she gets! She was sitting at the kitchen table playing with the necklace. I just loved the shadow falling over her eyes, the light on her soft cheek, the layers of clothing and the bright blue apron against the softer colors of her shirt and pants. I asked if she would pose for me and she agreed. The cat decided to join her, which I thought was a great addition!"

To see more of Carol Arnold's artwork, please visit her website.