Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Switzerland: An Artist's Paradise!

Now that we are in Venice, I've managed to get some faster Wi-Fi, and here are the pictures I promised from Switzerland. While I had a little difficulty finding painting subjects in Milan, Switzerland had me chomping at the bit to paint from the moment I arrived. It was completely wonderful and overwhelming to be surrounded by this majestic beauty, to breathe such clean fresh air, and to feel so small beneath the towering mountain peaks. Steve and I loved every minute in this glorious country... this haven for artistic creativity. While the views everywhere are fantastic, our hotel also had an amazing view. You can see the Jungfrau itself, a peak of 13,642 feet, from our room's balcony. A sampling of the views from our hotel room balcony (above and below) - one at later in the afte… Read more »


Friday, May 27, 2011

Museums and Mountains: From Milan to Switzerland

I've gone from sweating as soon as I step outside to having to wear four layers! But, for Steve and I, it is a welcome change. I am now at the Hotel Beausite in Beatenburg, Switzerland, just 10-20 minutes up the mountain from Interlaken. But before I share about Switzerland so far, I should mention a few things from my last couple of days in Milan. I decided to make Tuesday a museum day, since my back has been "out" for the last couple of days and it's difficult to carry my supplies around. While my Milan guidebook tends to paint a positive picture of the city, it has failed to mention how dirty the streets are or how every inch of wall and bridge has been defiled by graffiti. It's very sad, and unfortunately, has left me somewhat uninspired. Still, I've found a… Read more »


Monday, May 23, 2011

Miles logged in Milan = Unknown

Even though I remember well the hours of walking through Florence, I knew I would have to tough it out once again for these first few days exploring Milan. Three days in, my feet are covered in blisters and bug bites that swell up to the size of quarters, and yet, there is so much to do and see that I keep on going out every day to take it all in. The Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie (to the right is the refectory with "The Last Supper" Yesterday Steve and I visited perhaps the most famous of Milan's attractions, Leonardo Da Vinci's "Last Supper." We booked our tickets several weeks ago, knowing that was the only way we had a chance of seeing it. The painting is well-known and has been recreated over and over again, even though it has deteriorated a great deal… Read more »


Saturday, May 21, 2011

Milan, a City that Embraces Old and New

Five years ago after finishing a summer class with the Florence Academy of Art, I left Italy and promised myself that I would return, but not alone... I wanted to come back with my husband, Steve. This week, the dream came true, and it was all made possible by Steve's new job working for a company called Festo. Last week, he was in Germany, where Festo is internationally based, for work. This week, he was scheduled to work in Milan, so on Thursday/Friday, I flew in to join him. After his work week is finished, we will spend the next two weeks exploring Switzerland and Italy. It is an opportunity I never thought would be possible so soon, and I am grateful to be here! I've promised many of you that I would blog about this experience, so consider this my first little update. Of cour… Read more »


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Final notes from the Portrait Conference before Taking off to Europe!

I've got Europe on my mind (flying out tomorrow)... but before I forget, I wanted to post the last of my notes from the Portrait Society. This last segment was a panel of professional portrait artists giving us tips on “Steps to Professionalism." So here you go: Gordon Whetmore: One of the first steps to professionalism is the sale of your work. - Make a portfolio of excellent photos, including a biography and price list. Include only your best work. - Make a client list of at least 20 prospecta, and make appointments to speak with them about a portrait. - Paint demos for prospective clients - Paint your best sample portraits - don't show anything you're not proud of. - Build a solid reputation by being timely in your completion and delivery. - Set up an article about you… Read more »


Sunday, May 15, 2011

"HeArt of Hope: a Portrait of Sudan" - Teaming up with Makeway Partners

After attending the first exhibition of "HeArt of Hope: A Portrait of Sudan" last night, I wish that I had advertised for it a little better. It was absolutely amazing. Here was the general event information that was posted to our local radio station's website (KLTY, 94.9FM): Kimberly L. Smith, President and co-founder of Make Way Partners and author of Passport Through Darkness will speak on the topic of human trafficking. Make Way Partners is a Christian mission agency committed to prevent and combat human trafficking and all forms of modern-day slavery by educating and mobilizing the Body of Christ. Following her speaking engagement, Kimberly will sign books and an art exhibit and sale (HeArt of Hope:A Portrait of Sudan) will follow. HeArt of Hope is a fundraising effort … Read more »


Saturday, May 7, 2011

More Notes from the PSOA Conference 2011

One of my favorite moments of the weekend with the Portrait Society of America was when Michael Shane Neal painted his mentor and long-time friend, Everett Raymond Kinstler . To give you a little background: Kinstler is well-known as a painter of presidents and movie stars, with a bravado of brushwork that could rival Sargent. He estimated that he painted nearly 2000 portraits in his lifetime, an acheivement few artists will ever be able to match. His student, Michael Shane Neal, has an extensive resume of official portraits as well, including Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Conner. But it wasn't their experience that held the audience's rapt attention - it was the relationship they have and the humorous conversation that ensued during the 2-hour demo. Kinstler never held st… Read more »


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Notes from the Portrait Society of America, Continued

If you've ever met Bart Lindstrom or heard him speak, you'll probably agree with me in saying he's one of the funniest portrait artists in the business. There's nothing better than having a sense of humor about this profession, especially when times get hard. While Bart is great for a laugh, I have to say that he is an amazing professional who takes his work very seriously. Here he is at the Face-Off demo from Thursday night: And the finished painting: On Friday afternoon, I had the privilege of hearing Bart's talk about "Creating Timeless Compositions." Here are some of my notes from this lecture: - Composition is the foundation of your painting. We get impatient sometimes and just want to start throwing on paint. Just as it’s smart to carefully think throu… Read more »


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Weekend with the Portrait Society of America, Atlanta, GA

I just returned late Sunday night from the "Art of the Portrait" conference, held by the Portrait Society of America. This event is always one of the biggest highlights of my year, and I look forward to the next one almost immediately as soon as the previous one is over! The finest artists all gather together for a weekend of learning from and fellowshipping with one another, and I've found that even the most famous of portrait artists are kind, generous, and approachable. They're some of the nicest people you'll ever meet. For the sake of many of you who were unable to make it to the event this year (it was held in Atlanta from April 28-May 1), I've decided to type up my notes from some of the lectures and demos that took place over the course of the weekend. Ho… Read more »

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