Last week, hundreds of artists gathered for the 3rd Annual Figurative Art Convention & Expo. Enjoy the following visual recap of the event, and join us next time in Baltimore, Maryland, October 29-November 1, 2020.
Day 1: Live Demos with Daniel Maidman and Casey Baugh, and Painting Costumed Models Outdoors
This year we were in historic Williamsburg, Virginia, in a beautiful Inn complete with cobblestone sidewalks and brick archways. Indoors, a group of the world’s leading artists gave painting demonstrations, took questions from the audiences, and spent time just getting to know everyone in this intimate setting.
Early-comers were able to join Daniel Maidman and Casey Baugh for live five-hour painting demonstrations, and a large group of artists enjoyed a plein air painting session in town, including costumed models. Next year, you’ll have the opportunity to study with Juliette Artistides in the pre-convention workshop!
3 Tips from Daniel Maidman
1. You cannot pursue style directly. Style emerges as part of your maturing as an artist. The only way to do that is endless practice.
2. Only the brightest brights get some white. I may change that rule and have a light dusting of white over the light area and then brighter whites over the lightest. Ultimately it will be legible to the viewer but they will understand that drawing.
3. Don’t feel obliged to fill in the shadows. Build up slowly. Start in one area and develop outward from there.
3 Quotes from Casey Baugh
1. “The right painting can change your entire outlook on life.”
2. “The secret to life is finding the right soundtrack.”
3. On choosing a photo reference: “I can’t verbalize why I like it. I’m tasting with my eyes.”
Lifetime Achievement Awards, Live Portrait Painting, and More
After the pre-convention painting workshops and the outdoor painting session with colonial-costumed models, attendees took advantage of a seminar on “Strategically Building Your Brand: How to position and sell your art.”
Later, we officially kicked off #FACE19 with a dynamic opening ceremony that included honoring Daniel Greene and Wende Caporale with Lifetime Achievement Awards. This was followed by Daniel and Wende modeling on stage for Gabriela Gonzalez Dellosso and Joshua LaRock.
We then had greetings from Steven Alan Bennett and Elaine Melotti Schmidt from The Bennett Prize, which sponsored an energetic cocktail party for all attendees.
After accepting the awards, Daniel and Wende shared personal photos and examples of their works from over the years, including what certain paintings meant to them and why. In the painting shown on this screen, Daniel talked about the varied colors he used to express the model’s skin tones. They also took questions from the audience and provided insights from their experiences.
On art > “It’s difficult and it’s fascinating, and that’s why we do it.” ~Wendy Caporale
Gabriela Gonzalez Dellosso painted a portrait of Daniel Greene, and (below) Joshua LaRock painted a portrait of Wende Caporale.
Above: Our 2019 FACE Scholarship Recipients. Read about the this scholarship for artists and the winners here.
“If there’s a secret to painting, it’s value.” ~ Tony Curanaj (above) during his “Oil Painting Process and Helpful Techniques” seminar, during which he explained how to know which colors to buy, including standard paints to use and what to stay away from.
One of Tony’s tips: Use a shadow box to create a stage for your still painting, and visit a theatre supply house to find great props for your painting setups.
“I think we’re all here to support something we care deeply about,” Tony said. “It’s a skill that’s really difficult to master. It is steeped deeply in tradition. I think it makes the world a better place. It makes us human. Understanding art helps us understand each other a little better. We need that more than ever. When I had children this dawned on me more than ever. It’s an involuntary thing that they do, making art. They are perfectly wired.”
During Charles Miano’s “Old Master Portrait Drawing” demo (above), he explained how he stretches first because he likes to “draw from the core,” and how he practices tai chi to develop a quiet mind. Charles drew Mardie Rees, a representational sculptor who was on the FACE faculty in 2018.
One of our favorite quotes from the session: “Drawing isn’t a snapshot. It’s a time and place,” he said.
During Daniel Maidman’s life drawing demonstration on the main stage, attendees could see each stroke he made, and the tools he used. Early in the sketch, he told us, “I’ll gradually discover what this drawing is about.”
He added that “the real reward of drawing on toned paper is when you get to the whites because they just come to life..I’m getting a sense of the model’s body; how he moves, what’s natural for him. It helps expand my understanding of what’s natural, what will have grace and poetry.”
Carolyn Anderson explained how a portrait can be more than a picture with a likeness. Her demonstration taught that “the most difficult part of painting the face is overcoming our symbol system for the things we name. Instead of creating a solid shape with information defining eyes, nose, mouth, etc., it’s possible to see the painting as made up of visual elements – line, shape, value, color, and edges – all in a relationship within the space of the canvas.”
Artists and art-lovers watched Casey Baugh energetically paint this portrait, with a great soundtrack to add to the atmosphere. When someone asked, “Do any of your paintings cause you to be emotionally drained?” He answered simply, “All of them.”
One of the things many of us love about FACE is the spontaneous acts of art. Above, Dan Thompson drew a crowd in the Expo Hall as he drew a portrait of Vered Shamir Pasternak at the Savoir Faire booth.
As the models, including those who were clothed, costumed, or nude, got into positions, a room full of artists settled in with their easels, canvases, and sketchbooks in the Art Studio at the Figurative Art Convention (above). There was a soft murmur of brushes and pencils moving as everyone concentrated. Joshua LaRock, one of the many faculty members who were there to critique or help students, remarked, “Ah, the sound of art school.”
During the Closing Ceremony, artists shared their personal stories about how the week has so greatly inspired them. In addition, an auction was held for demo paintings by Casey Baugh, Nikolai Blokhin, and Reisha Perlmutter (coming in over $26,000 total), and one lucky attendee won a free ticket to FACE 2020!
Earlier in the day even more painting demonstrations took place, led by Scott Waddell (A Form-Based Approach to Painting Facial Features), Edward Minoff (painting Suggested Donation Podcast co-host Tony Curanaj), Jennifer Balkan (Exploring the Intensity of Color Using a Chromatic Color Palette); and William Suys, Jr. (Bringing Life to Portraits and the Figure).
Join us next year in Baltimore, Maryland, for another unforgettable gathering to help support the contemporary realism movement!