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Portrait Society 2024

My first demo at Portrait Society!

Portrait Society is the largest figurative art convention in the States, and one of the most prestigious internationally. The artists working as faculty each year are some of the very best, and the competition finalists' work is regarded with great respect and admiration.

This is my fifth year attending the conference, and by this point, it feels like a wonderful family reunion!

I remember the first year I went, I signed up for multiple portfolio critiques, and Dawn Whitelaw was one of the most impactful I received. Her experienced eye and warm-hearted guidance have stayed with me and helped me ever since. One thing she said that stood out to me was,

"What is your five-year goal?"

If you know me well, you'll know I am a selective planner. Most things I accomplish intuitively/spontaneously. It is a process I find the least stressful (in most cases) and the most enjoyable.

I was unprepared for her question - especially as a 17 yr old uncertain of her potential and insecure of her abilities.

This question continued to echo in my mind weeks after the conference, and I found my answer: to establish a career I could live off of and to teach nationally.

An intimidating goal, that I was very unsure of being able to reach!

But five conferences (and 7 years later) I am living in a home I have bought with my friend, thanks to my art income, and my dream became a true reality when Portrait Society reached out and invited me to be a part of their Future Generation Faculty along with Mattie Ree Neal, Kai Lun Qu, and Samuel Walters.

I can't take personal credit for these dreams/goals coming true... yes, I've worked hard and poured my soul into my art, but I know with all my heart that it is God who made it possible.

Art isn't meant to be created or enjoyed in isolation. Art is meant to be shared, to be a collaboration of artists and viewers, to be given to others. Success in art is simply not possible by one person. It takes a village of supporters, collectors, loved ones, and mentors.

Portrait Society exemplifies this beautifully, not only in their extraordinary annual conferences, but in their regular blog posts, social media, community, and regional exhibitions.

Being able to demo at Portrait Society was such an exhilarating experience, and I was so thankful to receive so much positive feedback afterwards.

Any time I have an opportunity to teach, it only confirms my desire to do it more! I have learned from and been inspired by so many incredible artists, and I am eager to pass on what they've taught me and encourage others in their artistic journey.

Speaking of teaching... I have some exciting news coming up in the next month or so... so if you want to stay in the know you can sign up for my website emails/newsletter so you don't miss anything!

Happy painting, friends!


1 opmerking

It was a phenomenal demo. Perfect balance of art instruction and art demonstration. What a treat to see!

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