I was excited to attend the Portrait Society of America's annual Art of the Portrait Conference, held last week in Washington, D.C.. Highlights included the Artist-to-Artist Face Off live portrait demonstration, which showcased the talents of fifteen accomplished portrait artists simultaneously, and breakout panels that offered painting techniques and business acumen.
A personal favorite was a lecture by my mentor, Everett Raymond Kinstler, entitled, Yesterday is Tomorrow. Mr. Kinstler discussed the 150-year history of influence that past painting masters have had on the modern day. He spoke of such significance from Flagg, Cornwell and Johansen to Dumond, Sargent and Sorolla. Mr. Kinstler is a nationally-renowned portraitist and artist who has worked professionally for over 70 years. It is remarkable to realize his own direct lineage of study to the very masters he referenced.
The Gala Banquet & Awards Presentation was a popular high point, at which the PSoA honored watercolor artist Mary Whyte with the Gold Medal for Lifetime Achievement. The event also announced the winners of the 2016 International Portrait Competition, with Michael Klein receiving the William F. Draper Grand Prize Award for his portrait, New York City Entrepreneur.