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.




Tuesday, December 10, 2013

5 Days of Holiday Cheer is Back!

The 5 Days of Holiday Cheer is Back!  Enter for your chance to win one of two daily prize giveaways or take advantage of our buy-one-get-one free! 
Day One - December 9
Enter your name to win either a free year of membership or one free hotel night during
the annual The Art of the Portrait conference at the Hyatt Regency Reston.

 Day Two - December 10
Buy a conference DVD and receive one DVD of your choice for free.

Day Three - December 11
 Enter your name in a drawing for a complementary Artist-to-Artist critique or a $50 room
credit during  The Art of the Portrait conference at the Hyatt Regency Reston. 

Day Four - December 12
 Purchase the 2013 Everett Raymond Kinstler critique DVD and receive the free the 2011 panel discussion FIVE + THREE: Steps to Professionalism, Leadership and Service featuring Gordon Wetmore, Judith Carducci, Bart Lindstrom,
Rich Nelson, Patricia Watwood and Jennifer Welty


Day Five - December 13
Our biggest give away of the week - enter your name to win free tuition to the 2014 The Art of the Portrait conference being held April 24-27, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Reston, just outside Washington, D.C. or 3 years of free membership!

Visit our Website to enter or for BOGOs:


Happy Holidays from us to you!


Friday, March 1, 2013

Nine Great Reasons to Attend

Nine great reasons to attend the 2013 Art of the Portrait Conference! This year as we gather in Atlanta to celebrate our 15th annual Art of the Portrait Conference, we look forward to seeing old friends - and welcoming some new ones! In our effort to bring you a new and diverse program each year, we have filled this year's distinguished faculty list with nine new artists, who are eager to share with you their expertise. Our new faculty members are Sam Adoquei, James Gurney, Quang Ho, Evert Ploeg, Lynn Sanguedolce, William Schneider, Daniel Sprick, Joseph Todorovitch, and Aaron Westerberg. Sign up for the 2013 conference today, for your chance to meet these distinguished artists!

Friday, February 15, 2013

6x9 Limited Size, Unlimited Talent

Can you guess which of your favorite artists painted this work? Come find out on April 26th at our 2013 Art of the Portrait Conference, during the 6x9: Limited Size, Unlimited Talent Mystery Art Sale.

Back this year by popular demand! Our 6x9: Limited Size, Unlimited Talent Mystery Art Sale will take place Friday night April 26th at our Art of the Portrait Conference event.

Over 100 artists have contributed original pieces, which you will have the opportunity to purchase for $250.

Register today for our 2013 conference and have the chance to take home original artwork from your favorite artist. This is a great chance to start your own fine art collection, or to find a unique piece for the established collector. 

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Members Only Competition reminder

Mark Your Calendar - Members Only Competition Deadline is December 14, 2012
Last year Karen Kaapcke was awarded First Place in the Self Portrait category and shared these thoughts about her painting and career.

1st Place
Karen  Kaapcke, Self-Portrait with Crooked Glasses
9 x 11", oil on panel

Karen Kaapcke:  This painting came about when my private student cancelled her session at the last minute.  I was at my studio, and realized that I had the gift of about 3 solid hours of painting time.  Though I also had a work in progress that I could have continued with, I thought instead to do a really quick self-portrait, with the challenge of getting it accomplished within this time frame. I have been strongly drawn to self-portraiture for the past 6 or 7 years, and have been painting all sorts and manners of self-portraits, to investigate more deeply this unique category of observational painting.  I enjoy balancing off work on longer-term pieces with quick studies, and had been teaching how to bring an oil sketch or study to the level of a more fully resolved painting in a quick and fresh way, and so it was also done in a somewhat instructional manner, as something I would later share and discuss with my student.   I also felt it would be good to show my student that it is important to paint no matter what, with your materials at hand, come what may - to paint all the time and in every context!

With this kind of painting, I usually start on a toned panel - but here, I worked directly on the white gesso since the painting came about in a very unplanned manner and that was all I had in my studio.  This was actually somewhat helpful, as I had to work really quickly initially to try to get rid of the distraction of the white.  I lay in quick strokes to mark out the general map of the placement of forms in a neutral earthtone, and then really quickly got into painting in patches of dark, then the possible lightest light, and finally everything in between with an eye towards building the structures.  When I feel things are getting too fussy, I reclaim my energy to obliterate it - bringing it constantly back to a level of simplification.  It is important to also constantly observe yourself working, to make sure you are simply, and clear-headedly seeing what's in front of you.  Again, when this seems not the case, I gather up the energy to obliterate the marks that have deviated and seem too symbolic, to replace them with the results of pure (as pure as possible!) observation.

After receiving my MA in Philosophy, I trained mainly at the Art Students League in NYC where I studied sculpture with Barney Hodes for a couple of years.  At the same time I was studying drawing with Ted Jacobs, and was waiting to get into his painting class.  When I began painting, I left sculpture behind in order to focus on the world this opened up.  When he relocated to France I continued to work with him there for some time, but also continued to work at the Art Student's League when I had to return to NYC to earn money.   There I worked with several abstract painters who influenced me quite a bit, mainly John Hultburg whose monitor I was for a couple of semesters. 

This painting, as a part of a larger series of self-portrait investigations that I have been working on for many years, represents a vision of the self that is quick and quirky, a real moment of the self captured, in order to portray an honestly observed and felt reality. The notion of painting honestly has been becoming more and more important to me as I mature as an artist - and the crooked glasses, in particular, stand for that  - for the goal of painting as a response to reality, not correcting what your vision tells you by what your mind tries to tell you 'should' be there.  When I noticed that I rather unthinkingly painted my glasses as crooked as they really were, not only did I find it a little humorous (since I kept putting off getting them fixed, and it was becoming a real problem!), but true and unjudged.