Thursday, April 11, 2013

In Training: Art Fields Portrait Competition

How do I get myself into these things?   A week ago I received notice that I have been accepted into  the ArtFields Portrait Contest.  It's a side-event of the larger ArtFields festival in Lake City, SC, and will consist of four rounds where the 24 artists will have an hour to create a portrait.  Each round will be judged and winners who pass elimination proceed to the next round.   When I heard of the contest, it sounded interesting in idea-- art as performance sport.  I briefly entertained the notion of dressing up like the late wrestler Macho Man Randy Savage, complete with gilded cape, and trash talking my opponents as they work.   Maybe if I was actually a performance artist, and if this wasn't in the polite South....

More than that, I'm not really a portrait artist.  What, you might ask?   Sure, I use the historical portrait form in 50% of my work., and I paint illusionistic images of people.   Yet, I rarely paint from perception these days.   I often make my people up completely from imagination.   Of course, this ability comes from years of practice from direct observation, but I am more than a little rusty these days.   And I have never painted a portrait in only an hour.   I more often keep painting over and over an image until it looks right, which may take twenty or a hundred  hours. After all, there are whole schools and societies of professional portraitists who do this for real on a daily basis far better than me.  But I like a challenge, and heard of the bigger ArtFields contest too late, and thought that this would be a good excuse to get into fighting shape and see what this Lake City is all about.   While I hope to make it at least to round two, it's going to be fun either way.   If you are in the area, the event is Saturday, April 27, 2013 from 10 am-4 pm on The Green in Lake City, SC.

Oh yes, and the above drawings were my first warm ups from a life model.   Paintings on the way soon.

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