More than I thought

A good chair is hard to find.  Graphite on paper - WORK IN PROGRESS
A good chair is hard to find. Graphite on paper - WORK IN PROGRESS

Well this is a work in progress.  I have yet to add our secondary  subject matter.  Which will draw attention to the chair.  Also doing some fun perspective alterations throughout… more to come… Check back over the next few days to see how it progresses.

I didn’t know what to expect from this portrait convention.  I did expect fellow portrait enthusiasts to be bounding around the hotel for four days, to learn invaluable new techniques that would change my working style and to be inspired.  That said, as I listed here last night (below) I walked away with most valuable lesson of all from a painter named MARY WHYTE. I don’t have her website.  But you can see her work at http://www.marywhyte.com/flash.asp?artID=7

I have to say, I have never seen her work until this weekend.  But I knew the minute she started to speak, she was one of the “Greats”  I drove back this morning to hear her speak at the Cecilia Beaux forum.  She spoke on how to become a great artist.  As she spoke, my “creative” soul came alive, my visions, my failures, my mistakes the past few years (huge mistakes – trust me), and I had several life changing epiphanies that were worth more to me than all the crazy money I spent at this convention.  I came for some answers to show me where I was suppossed to go with my art.  I realized she had given me everything I really needed to know to move forward.   I need to be bolder.  My works have been constrained by my concern that the public at large would like them.  The works I love are the ones where I just wanted to put me out on this blank canvas.  I have a crazy amount of boldness cooped up and now I have the ok to release it.  The 6 un-finished works will be  the first beneficiaries of this.  I have had problems with what Mary refered to as “the creative vocabulary” and that I am already working on with this blog.  I will work harder, longer and more diligently on that.

She spoke of the private epiphanies that occur from hour and hours of canvas time.   She doesn’t mean meandering about on a canvas, she means serious bold, creative time.   I have been searching for a road to hop on and realized this weekend… I have to paint it.  I had the opportunity to thank Mary White today.  I wanted her to know her advice and mentorship from afar had changed everything for me.   It’s like finding out you were wearing the red shoes all along and now you just have to dream and make it so.  I had great expectations for a creative resurgence this year, but now I have even higher expectations of the more bold experimentation and self revelation than I was hoping would come some time in the future, after I had worked really hard at technique and the sort this year.

There were approximately 700 eager participants at the conference.  The sign up sheet was a veritable buffet of class options.  I chose a session with Michael Sane Neal titled: The Accuracy of an Impression and Robert Liberace’s: Expressive Portrait in Limited Palette.  I can’t begin to tell you who much I learned about technique and progress from them.  The funny thing is that the most life changing aspect of the convention so far is what I learned from the evening Business Side of Art.  Although, None of what struck me was about business,  it was about decisions, style, and having the guts enough to push into becoming the best I can be.  It caused me to take a hard and unforgiving look at my work, my time and my life as an artist (or lack there of) and fundamentally plant my feet a step further in a definitive direction.  It’s just what I have needed and most importantly, it changes everything for finishing my 6 paintings.

Robert Liberace portrait demo © Britt Conley
Robert Liberace portrait demo 3
Robert Liberace portrait demo 3

Robert Liberace portrait demo 4

MIchael Shane Neal portrait demo

Robert Liberace portrait demo 2
Robert Liberace portrait demo 2
MIchael Shane Neal portrait demo

Michael Shane Neal portrait demo 4
Michael Shane Neal portrait demo 4