Monday, September 26, 2016

Knowing Your Subject by Scott Burdick

We are pleased to announce that Scott Burdick will be joining the 2017 The Art of the Portrait faculty. Scott will be part of a Friday afternoon panel and on the main stage Sunday morning demonstrating with Susan Lyon.  In the following article Scott shares his thoughts on knowing your subject and the importance of the emotional connection, including this quote, "One of my favorite aspects of portraying the human species is the excuse it provides to travel and explore the world and people within our marvelously diverse planet. This is what being a 'portrait painter' means to me."

On a three-week trip that Susan and I took over Christmas and New Year to New Mexico is a perfect case in point that illustrates the process of getting to know your subject and how it both enriches one as an individual as well as informs the larger work that results in the studio from the studies and photographs.

For the first two weeks we rented a north-lit studio a few blocks from the main square of Taos and painted a steady stream of people from the area. Here’s a photo I took of Susan and Sherri McGraw painting a wonderful Pueblo Indian woman named Rhoda in the studio/apartment we rented.

Yes, it was fun painting and a valuable experience to study the colors and values from life for the larger studio paintings we’d later tackle back home; but the most important thing, by far, was the emotional connection we established with the people themselves.

There’s nothing like spending three or four hours painting someone, hearing their stories, later having dinner at their house, and even going to the Pueblo at midnight for a bonfire celebration, and then shivering through a traditional sun-rise ceremony that has occurred annually for a thousand years.

You might think I’m exaggerating, but I firmly believe that these are the emotions that make the studio portraits from my references more than mere technical exercises. When you get to know a person, a culture, their struggles, dreams, family—it intensifies your desire to portray them as real people, rather than mere models for a painting to decorate a wall; and the best portraits convey this sense of humanity as a result.

Pueblo Boys, 60x30", oil
Here is a studio piece I recently completed of two brothers of a Pueblo family we spent a few days with. Though there were no photographs allowed during the religious ceremonies at the Pueblo, I decided to photograph these two boys near a window in their home as I’d seen them do outside at the dances. I especially loved the timeless quality of the setting, but hope their faces convey their individuality as well.

My goal in doing any portrait is to convey something characteristic about the subject, both through their unique features, as well as the objects of clothing and surroundings which accentuate the sense of who they are inside. I feel that the entirety of the painting is the portrait, and not merely eyes, nose and lips.

And here’s a larger studio painting I did from some photos I took of her after we finished painting in the gallery. I could try and describe what I was attempting to convey about Janira, but my hope is that the painting does a far better job than I ever could in words.

Janira Cordova, 60x30", Oil
Janira, detail
So spend the time getting to know the people you want to paint. You will have your horizons expanded, even some of your assumptions challenged, but you will certainly grow as a person and an artist—and hopefully share those insights with the rest of us through your paintings. Isn’t that the point of being an artist, after all?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Painting Close to Home by Mary Whyte

Persimmon, 2012, watercolor
40 3/4 x 28 3/4 inches
Our 2017 The Art of the Portrait conference will open with Mary Whyte and Jeff Hein demonstrating on the main stage.  An award winning artist and teacher, Mary previously shared her thoughts on painting subjects close to home and the wealth of opportunities that surround our everyday life.

Painting what you feel strongest about can be one of the most important ingredients to a successful work of art.  Although it’s possible to produce appealing paintings of subjects you care little about, you are more apt to create a dynamic work when you feel a palpable response to your model.   This sensation of heightened emotional familiarity can produce greater freedom of expression and give way to paintings that are more original and earnest.  I call this being “close to home”, and have discovered that a wellspring of creative avenues can open up and surprise you along the way.

Twenty-one years ago I moved from Philadelphia to a small barrier island near Charleston, South Carolina.  It was there that I met a group of senior Gullah women, many of whom were direct descendants of slaves.  Although we had little in common, I felt a strong emotional response to these women, and a compelling desire to tell what I saw and felt in watercolor.  One painting lead to another, and then another, until two decades later I discovered that I had done hundreds of paintings and drawings.  More recently, I spent three and a half years traversing the south painting blue collar workers in vanishing industries, completing fifty works for a museum tour.  I learned that as an artist you can never grow bored with your subject matter when it speaks to your heart.

Tips, 2007, watercolor on paper, 22 1/2 x 30 3/4"

Beekeeper's Daughter, 2008, watercolor
28 3/4 x 21 3/4 inches
As artists, we all share this compulsion to explore, feel and create. Unfortunately, along the way many artists get mired in the trappings of everyday mechanics, are unsure of what to paint, or feel stifled by the conventions of what is popular in the market place.  If this is the case for you, I urge you to read The Art Spirit by Robert Henri.  In this collection of the Art Student League instructor’s critiques and letters you may find many inspiring lessons about finding your true creative voice.  Henri admonished his students that if they don’t feel strongly about what they are painting, then neither will the viewer.  And that, above all, artists have to know themselves in order to know what it is they really want to say in their work.  So, get to it.  Read the book, visit museums, perfect your craft, and paint what is truly “close to home”. 

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Jeff Hein - Three Other Reasons to Put Away Your Camera: Spirit, Growth and Fulfillment

In this article, Jeff Hein discusses his artistic journey and his transition from using photography at the beginning of his career to now solely painting from life.  Jeff will be demonstrating at the 2017 The Art of the Portrait as well as serving on a breakout panel with fellow artists discussing the creative process.
 After teaching a workshop in Houston, a few fellow painters and I visited the Museum of Fine Art Houston for a few hours. Walking through the museum, I saw a number of breathtaking paintings. Among them was “Portrait of a Young Woman”, by Rembrandt. While studying the Rembrandt piece I became enthralled with the subtle rendering of form, the variety of hue and temperature in the skin, details in the clothing and hair and the amazing illusion of depth that he was able to create. While these technical and aesthetic features might have been enough to hold my interest, something else about his work moved me. I felt something that I can only describe as the spirit of the model. I imagined the many hours, centuries ago, that Rembrandt spent with this woman as he painted her. Perhaps during breaks they would discuss their personal lives, Rembrandt’s past or future projects, her life as an aristocrat, or maybe they discussed their families or the weather. I can imagine her peaking around the easel to see the progress and perhaps even making comments such as “is my nose really that big” or “it's interesting how you see me”. To me the events that took place in the studio while this was painted had been infused in the paint in much the same way a historical event can seem to infuse to its place. As a child growing up in Hudson Valley, New York, I would occasionally visit such historic sites as Washington Headquarters and Knox Headquarters. I found it fascinating to imagine the revolutionary war period civilians, solders, generals and etc. going about their lives on that very ground. It was as though they left something of themselves in the buildings; as though the events and people were permanently connected to the place. A few years ago I visited a “historic” site here in my current home of Utah. As I stood in one of the buildings, I asked the tour guide if everything in the building was the property of the historic figure whose home this was. She said, “No, in fact the home itself and everything in it are replicas of the originals. He never actually lived in this home”. She followed by saying “but it is exactly like his home would have been”. While the site was still very interesting as an educational tool and even as a work of craftsmanship and historic detail, it now lacked the spirit of the man. 

It's in part because of experiences like these that in 2008 I chose to discontinue the use of photography in my painting process. I don't want another one of my paintings to be a “replica of the original”. I want my work to be a record of a direct interaction between me the subject(s) and the medium. When I look at the work that I had done from photos, years ago, they seem emptier to me. My memories of the process consist of me, alone, with a monitor. No experiences, people or place are infused into these works. I may be proud of the design and craftsmanship of some of these paintings but they will never be whole to me. Don't misunderstand. I’ve never ‘copied’ photos. This is not an issue of creativity or departure from the reference material. I don't even ‘copy’ when I work from life. A good artist always edits. It's about creating paintings that are one with the subject being portrayed by building a collective history between the artist, the work and the subject.

An extreme example might be two portraits of the same loved one. Perhaps both are done by the same artist but one was done from life and the other was done from a photo after his/her death. If all other aspects of the paintings are equal which do you find more interesting?

For a variety of reasons, it wasn't until the age of 26, in the year 2000, that I tried my hand at painting. By this time I knew how to draw quite well, and painting came very easily to me. For the first few years it seemed that every painting I made was twice as good as the last. By 2004 I was able to support a family of four with my painting sales. Things continued to go well until 2008 when I began to feel burned out with my current body of work. I had been very successful but had plateaued. Long gone were the days of quick and steady growth as a painter. I began to think about how I could bring my skills to the next level. I wasn't taking any shortcuts. “Why wasn't I growing like I used to?”, I thought. As I assessed my situation, I asked myself what was different about me and my work habits than that of the masters, such as Rembrandt, who I admired. It didn't take me long to conclude that I was using photography in my work and he never had. I also concluded that it wasn't the photos themselves that were contributing to my dissatisfaction in my work. I knew this because neither I nor anyone else could tell the difference between a painting I did from life and one I did from a photo.

A few years earlier a very well respected art historian challenged me that he could tell the difference between any painting done from a photo and any done from life. I took his challenge with a few of my works and won. To this day I believe that photography is a very useful tool and if used appropriately can only serve to simplify and improve an artist’s work. In fact, almost all of the nineteenth century masters used photography with amazing success.
So if all of this is true than how could photography be hurting me? I wasn't sure at the time but believed very strongly that photography had become too good. It wasn't hurting me at all but rather helping me too much. With digital photography, editing software and other tools, ones reference could be made as good as or better than life itself. This is because with some training and tools one could make an exceptionally accurate photo with virtually all of the value and color information of a live model but without the movement, cost, inconvenience and etc. Also, with Photoshop, decisions such as color scheme, design and composition can be entirely resolved before painting even begins.

So, if photography is ‘too good’ why not use it to improve my work? Because I believed it had become my spell check or calculator. I didn't have to be as smart as those who didn't have these modern tools to do similar work. I wasn't being challenged enough mentally. I believed that to move to the next level I had to make my work harder. I'd painted many portraits from life up to this point. That was relatively simple. To push myself beyond my comfort zone I set out to do children, animals and multi figure composition without photography. I believed that, as with exercise, strength only comes with resistance. Since 2008 I've put this to the test. I haven't used a camera even when the task at hand seemed almost impossible without it. I believe that I have proven my theory beyond my expectations. I've had plenty of failures along the way because it's hard. Some aspects of my current work may not look as natural as if I had used a camera, but my skills as an artist have grown dramatically. As long as I can afford to I will continue to challenge myself in this way because it has opened up so many more avenues for personal growth.

I've already admitted that giving up photography has made some of my work look less natural then I'd like. I hope to conquer that in the future without a camera. Despite feelings of inadequacy, I am more fulfilled now than I was when I used photography. Before I was a painter I made custom furniture, all by hand. I wasn't the best furniture maker in the world but I thrived on the personal satisfaction of making something by myself, with my two hands and a few tools. Due to the slow nature of making furniture by hand I didn't make much money but I knew that if I invested in fancy tools, to increase productivity, I'd lose some of that personal satisfaction that I'd grown accustomed to. In my early painting career fancy tools, like cameras, were stealing a little of that satisfaction from me. I never felt like I was cheating when working from photos, only that I could put more of myself into my work without them. I was missing out on the high that comes from making something from nothing. I think I'm a lot like my daughter. “No Daddy, I’ll do it” is a phrase I've heard many times from her over the past twelve years. She always understood the thrill and fulfillment that comes from doing things by herself.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

International Competition Winners

Congratulations to our Top Ten award winners in the 18th annual The Art of the Portrait competition. Christine Egnoski recently interviewed these artists asking them about the inspiration behind their award winning work and their individual journey to a career in art.


William F. Draper Grand Prize Winner: Michael Klein

My Inspiration
The subject of "NYC Entrepreneur" is a dear friend of mine who does real estate work here in the city.  The idea behind the title to the painting is that Stephen is always busy with a bunch of different projects and he is the perfect example of a 21st century entrepreneur in NYC.

My Path to Art
In my last year of high school I saw an American Artist magazine and there was a John Singer Sargent portrait on the cover, it was a life changing moment for me. Growing up in a small town there were no museums to visit that would have any master paintings, so this one the first time in my life I was exposed to real painting.  Inside the magazine there was an article on contemporary portrait painters including information on the business side of their careers. It inspired me to pursue painting as a full time profession.

First Place Painting: Brooke Olivares

My Inspiration
This painting is part of an ongoing series of works started two years ago, based on my 93-year-old grandmother, Nana.  Most of the paintings about Nana are based on her daily routine in and around her home and the quality moments she spends with my sister in the kitchen, making tortillas and preparing food from the garden. Although Carlotta's mobility is limited to a wheelchair, her mind is not.  In this particular painting I wanted to depict her deep in thought on the couch. 

My Path to Art
I have always loved to draw and paint and was extremely fortunate to have parents who always encouraged me to pursue art. My sister and I both had a love for art at a very early age and they always took us to art classes together and we had each other for support. I had many outstanding art teachers and later enrolled at the Ringling College of Art and Design where I received a BFA in Illustration.  I currently teach there as an adjunct Instructor.

First Place Drawing: Olga Krimon

The boy in my drawing is a son of a family friend and is a portrayal of a relationship between a boy and his dog.  One completing another, one relying on another.  There is that calm trust and complete devotion of an animal, and the security of a boy leaning over him.  This portrait was about experimenting with textures, the softness of the boy’s skin, the fur of the dog, the fabrics of the pillows and the sofa. 

My Path to Art
I trained very hard in Kazan art school for 4 straight years, through many still lifes, plaster casts, art history exams and so on.  But I stopped creating art as soon as I received my diploma – I thought, enough of the still lifes already!  I didn’t know any contemporary artists in Russia, so the prospect of an art career didn’t even cross my mind.  I received my MBA and established a successful career in IT consulting.  It was at that point I realized, art was my singular desire and I worked diligently over the next few years on my technique. I love the very process of creating art, be that a drawing or a painting. I love the fact that the more I learn and work on improving myself, the more I see that I need to reach and the bigger the art world becomes. 

First Place Sculpture: Alicia Ponzio

Portrait study I: Mr. Koch is a study in preparation for a larger two-figure composition I was working on at the time, called the Echo Chamber in which two subjects are engaged in an argument. The composition deals with barriers to communication; and in it, I asked the model, ‘Terry Koch’ to portray a stern, dogmatic draw on feelings of anger and portray the aggressor in the conversation. 

My Path to Art
As long as I can remember, art has been my main interest; though after high school, I took a different route for various reasons and became a nurse in the United States' Navy.  I gravitated back toward art during my last years in service and began pursuing it more seriously after discharge. When I discovered sculpture, I was overcome with a desire to learn as much as possible and enrolled full time in the Florence Academy of Art sculpture program. Currently, my studio is located in downtown San Francisco and I work mainly in bronze and plaster and continue to develop my work both in portrait and figure.

Second Place: Casey Childs

I was asked to paint Mrs. VanderNaald's portrait but was forewarned that she may be apprehensive about the process.  As soon as she stepped into my studio, I could see she seemed nervous and I mentally prepared for the worst. We chatted for a moment to take both our minds off the task at hand, and while she told me about herself and her family she relaxed into a beautiful pose. The awkwardness was gone and I was able to capture a sweet, sincere moment with her that can only happen between artist and sitter.

My Path to Art
I have loved drawing from an early age, and it was during my first "real" art classes in college when I knew I wanted to become a painter. However, after continuing my education and receiving my BA at Brigham Young University, I was enticed by the notion of a paid profession and took a graphic design job.  I worked in graphic design for 10 years, and now paint professionally full time.  I remain grateful for that design job, as the background and knowledge it yielded helped my work to grow and improve over the years.

Third Place: Adam Vinson

“Social Commentary” was inspired by a trend I noticed in the media of what seemed like a spike in stories regarding violence and firearms. Coupled with a culture of bullying, rampant social networking that encourages a voluntary sacrifice of privacy and a conversation of individual as well as national identity, anger and basic disregard for compassion is what is at heart of the painting. The subject is a self-portrait made-up as a stereotypical “nerd”. The tape painted over the mouth symbolizes silence but the stoic gaze and the BBs lodged in the target represent resilience in the face of adversity. 

My Path to Art
I studied drawing and painting with Anthony Waichulis from 1999-2001 and then at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts until 2005. I’ve been exhibiting since 2000. I have always been interested in all forms of creative expression. There was no great splash that landed me into this as a “career” but rather small steps of curiosity, meeting the right people along the way to help harness that curiosity into a tangible craft, and some great opportunities to reaffirm this pursuit.

Fourth Place & People's Choice Award: Rose Frantzen

This work, entitled "Locket" represents a range of contrasting themes including, life, death, youth, aging, future and past. In a way this is about mothers, daughters, daughter's daughters... roots, trees, nests, seeds, life, flowers, decay, eggs, potential, youth... reaching, aging, death and not death.  Life.  Future, past, present to before, fore, after.   What, who is future?  What, who is past?  Is the past here?  Is now a seed, an egg, a future? Held as one, a look at a life,  as in a locket.

My Path to Art
I am from a small town in Iowa, where, in the 80's, before the internet, saying you were going to be an artist had people scratching their heads, a little worried.  I bumbled my way to art school in Chicago, was stirred around and directed toward a career in advertising art.  I followed this guidance, yet, beguiled by the smell of oil paint, I broke with the norm and found a way to split my day between markers and a brush.  I was lucky to have Richard Schmid as a mentor.  I continue to be a student of every passionate, creative maker that crosses my path.  Professionally, I try to represent the values of life-long learning, allowing my work to evolve in unpredictable ways.  

Fifth Place: Jeremy Manyik

The subject is my four year old daughter, Acacia. I believe I have painted her more than any other person. She is always available, and I can pay her with gummy bears! Although she is always an inspiration for me, the motivation behind this particular piece was to do something completely different from my previous paintings of her. My goal was to simplify and create the conditions for a very narrow value range on the subject. This would put the emphasis on subtle changes in temperature and chroma. 

My Path to Art
From the time I could hold a pencil, drawing and creating has been the only thing I ever wanted to do. Growing up, I spent all my time drawing with my twin brother. Toward the end of high school, I started to attend the Artist of America Exhibitions in Denver. There, I attended demonstrations and lectures and met artists that I had only read about. This was an introduction to a whole different art world than the one I knew of in the rural area I lived in. That was the type of art I wanted to do! That ignited the fire in me to keep working and to make each subsequent piece my best.

First Honor Award: Seth Haverkamp

The girl in the painting is of my seven year old, Penelope. She always does interesting hand movements and gestures as she makes her way through daily life. I wanted to try to capture that, as well as a hinting of childish innocence that seven year olds posses. The bird house represents a house, they come and go. The nest is home which is where the heart is. The house is just a place we inhabit; the nest is where we grow into individuals and become who we are. 

My Path to Art
My college years consisted of two different art schools, followed by a BA in Painting from a small liberal arts school in East Tennessee. This is where I decided to abandon illustration and focus on realism. A few years later, I spent an amazing year at Studio Incamminati where I learned what actual painting was. Following that, I moved to northern Virginia and took classes with Rob Liberace.   I have been painting commissioned portraits, teaching, and showing through galleries since 2008. 

Second Honor Award: Aapo Pukk

When I began this self portrait, I decided to paint myself as the artist I aspire to be. From the very start of this painting, I wanted to forget everything I knew about painting portraits, and paint freely from my sub conscious mind without any control and hesitation.  I started the painting with only warm primary colors using them only one at a time and then I introduced transparent, cold primaries to complete the painting. 

My Path to Art
When did I become an artist? It happened when I was born, because when I came into this world my mother took me from the hospital to where she worked to the teachers’ room of the children’s art school, because that was the only home she had. When we got a flat we were still very poor, but we always had pencils, paper, watercolours and a brush ready. According to my mother ,I used to sit on the floor on top of a big sheet of paper and draw all the time, even before I learned how to speak.  Today I am a teacher at the Estonian Academy of Arts and I also organize courses of classic figurative art at the Aapo Pukk Art School.
Awards of Exceptional Merit (alpha order): 
Dominic Avant, Matteo Caloiaro, Rick Casali, Casey Childs, Carla Crawford, Michelle Dunaway, Deon Duncan, Jeffery Hein, Amy Kann, Katie O'Hagan, Pramod Kurlekar, Susan O'Neill, Jim Salvati, Mary Sauer, Adrienne Stein and Dan Thompson. 

Competition Finalists during Gala Banquet Awards Presentation

Friday, February 26, 2016

The Portrait Society of America is returning to the Washington, D.C. area to celebrate our 18th annual The Art of the Portrait conference, April 14-17, 2016.  Artists from all over the world are gathering together for a weekend of learning, sharing, and experiencing unforgettable moments.
Won't you join us?
Where can you go and see over thirty five artists and experts demonstrate their skills and discuss a variety of fresh topics concerning today's artists? Or participate in dynamic group sessions and receive an individual portfolio critique?  The 2016 Art of the Portrait conference will provide attendees a chance to fuel their artistic journey with exciting programs from new and returning faculty.
Our 2016 faculty will feature Sam Adoquei, Carol Arnold, Anna Rose Bain, Ryan Brown, Wende Caporale, Judith Carducci, Casey Childs, TJ Cunningham, Romel de la Torre, Michelle Dunaway, Rose Frantzen, Daniel Gerhartz, Max Ginsburg,  Daniel Greene, James Gurney, Jeffrey Hein, Quang Ho,  Edward Jonas, Scott Jones, David Kassan, Everett Raymond Kinstler, Sam Knetch, Robert Liberace, Beverly McNeil, Ricky Mujica, Michael Shane Neal, Richard Nelson, Teresa Oaxaca, Alicia Ponzio, Anthony Ryder, Rhoda Sherbell, Joseph Todorovitch, Dawn Whitelaw, Mary Whyte and Elizabeth Zanzinger
Register today and be part of this extraordinary weekend to remember!
To Register:  Call 1-850-878-9996 and speak with one of our friendly staff
OR Go online at and click on events and conference

Each day is packed with demonstrations, lectures, and special programs. Below are some partial highlights from our program.
The International Portrait Competition: The original artwork by 20 finalists from around the globe will be on display.  Share in the excitement as the competition's winners are unveiled at the Gala Banquet.
Award-winning & Nationally Recognized Faculty: Our faculty is comprised of 36 of the nation's esteemed artists and experts, gathered to share their knowledge and expertise with fellow artists.
Be Part of the Special Opening Event -The Face-Off: Experience a variety of approaches. Watch as 15 of the country's leading artists paint together from live models. Completed paintings will be sold throughout the weekend in a silent auction.
Receive an Individual Portfolio Critique: One-on-one portfolio critiques from top artists, agents, and brokers are offered during the Friday and Saturday Portfolio Critique Session.
Hone Your Craft: From drawing to incorporating composition and movement in your work, attend the seminars throughout the conference to learn new techniques and be a part of today's artistic community.
Invigorate Your Art Supply Shelf: Survey the latest art products while leading manufacturers host displays and demonstrations of their newest materials.


Immerse Yourself:  On Sunday afternoon, attendees have the option of going to The National Portrait Gallery and viewing the 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition exhibition.
Make Yourself a Priority: Perhaps you need to brush up on some skills, re-connect with fellow artists, or are looking for a fresh burst of inspiration. Allow us the honor of being part of your artistic journey! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Bruno Lucchesi

2015 Gold Medal recipient

We are pleased to announce that this year's Gold Medal will be presented to Bruno Lucchesi.  He has had a lifelong passion for portraying the figure, and after graduating from Lucca's Art Institute, he taught at the Florence University before moving to the United States.   

He has received numerous awards from the National Academy, National Arts Club, the Architectural League and was a Guggenheim Fellow.  He continues to travel yearly giving workshops throughout the US and Europe.  On Saturday, May 2 at 7:00pm during the annual Gala and Awards Program, Mr. Lucchesi will accept the Portrait Society's highest honor.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Mark Your Calendars

Signature Status 

Application Deadline September 1, 2014

Signature Status recognizes those practicing and accomplished artists who are dedicated to the educational mission and high aesthetic standards of the Portrait Society of America.  The artist's work must consistently demonstrate a high level of skill and sophistication of aesthetics.  This honorary status grants the right to use the initials of the organization (PSS-Portrait Society Signature) on all personally created works as an indication of our harmonious high standards and goals, to create, to advance and to share.
Criterion for Honorary Designation
To qualify for Signature application the artist's work must demonstrate exceptional merit, the artist hold current membership in the Portrait Society of America and have been accepted in either:
            a)  Portrait Society International Portrait Competition, held annually
            b)  Portrait Society Members Only Competition, held annually
            c)  or any other national exhibition of equivalent level



Cecilia Beaux Mentoring and Membership

Mentoring Program Application Deadline is October 15th


We are now accepting applications for the 2015 Cecilia Beaux Forum Mentoring Program! The Mentoring Program is a project of the Cecilia Beaux Forum developed to support the aesthetic and technical growth of female figurative artists in America. 
The program fosters relationships between individual established artists and advanced emerging artists. Click here for application requirements, deadlines, and more information.

CBF Membership Renewal

The annual renewal period for the Cecilia Beaux Forum is currently in progress. Annual membership is only $15 a year and is open to all Portrait Society members. If you are currently a member we ask that you go online and renew your support today.  If you are not a member we invite you to join with other members to support our efforts.  
The purpose of the Cecilia Beaux Forum is to strengthen the role of women artists by providing programs and resources to enhance the quality of, as well as the public's knowledge and appreciation of their work.  As a member you will receive the quarterly e-news as well as be able to apply for the Mentoring program.

2014 Members Only Competition

November 13, 2014

Consider entering this year's Members Only Competition, in one these 5 distinct categories.  Members can enter one, two... or all five categories:      
  •       Commissioned Portrait
  •       Non-Commissioned Portrait
  •       Outside the Box
  •       Portrait in Sculpture
  •       Still-Life
All winners will be recognized on the Portrait Society’s website and The Art of the Portrait Journal. First Place winners will be featured in International Artist magazine.
Entry is by on-line only, upload of your files by November 13, 2014. For the on-line entry form visit:  Members Only On Line Entry

Save the Date - Celebrating 17 Years

April 30 - May 3, 2015, Atlanta, Georgia

We are excited to share that the 17th annual The Art of the Portrait will return to Atlanta, Georgia, April 30 - May 3, 2015. You are invited to join us, along with 800 other artists from around the globe and spend four days experiencing a diverse array of demonstrations, illustrated lectures, portfolio reviews, gala banquet and awards, artist book signings, and so much more!
This year we will also be returning to the beautiful Grand Hyatt hotel in Buckhead. We invite you all to come early or stay late to explore all that Atlanta has to offer. Attendees will also have the opportunity to register for an organized visit to the High Museum following the conference closing ceremonies.
Make your plans early to join us for a weekend full of art, friendship and learning!

Artist-to-Artist Critique

How can you take your artwork to the next level? By having your work critiqued by today's top portrait and figurative artists. Every artist seeks resources, techniques and tools to improve their artwork and business.
The Artist-to-Artist Critique Service Program offers Portrait Society of America members the opportunity to receive detailed, one-on-one, interactive feedback from professional artists. 
Take advantage of this exclusive member benefit today. You may use this unique member benefit as often as you wish. All proceeds benefit the Portrait Society's scholarship fund and other educational programs. You can now submit your request for a critique and your work on-line.