Wednesday, November 22, 2017

I’m not usually star-struck or celebrity conscious, but when I read about FACE, the first art convention focusing on figurative and representational art, with its line up of contemporary, master artists - I was hooked.

The roster of the amazing included-
FACE 2017, Max GInsburg
Max Ginsburg's portrait demo at FACE 2017
  • Juliette Aristedes 
  • Daniel Graves 
  • Daniel Gerhartz 
  • Sherrie McGraw 
  • David Leffel 
  • Jordan Sokol
  • Max Ginsburg 
  • Patricia Watwood 
  • Michael Mentler
  • Steven Assael 
  • Jacob Collins 
  • John Coleman
  • Graydon Parrish 
  • Gregory Mortenson
Some demonstrated, some spoke. All were there to promote representational art as a source of soulful beauty in a world where Modern Art has come to mean just about anything. Well, anything except skillful rendering and execution (in my humble opinion).

FACE2017, Steven AssaelBelow is an example of classical drawing technique by Steven Assael from his talk, Evolution. Steven said an artist should first "respond" to the subject and then plan the artwork. He told artists,
"develop an awareness of your world - what matters, how you absorb and make use of the past - to find your subject."
(Hmm, maybe that's why I'm always painting old crap! But I do like the sentiment)

Several talks included discussions on upholding the value of skilled representational painting. Shannon Robinson of Collectors for Connoisseurship described visual art as providing personal expression, social function, spirituality, aesthetic expression and more. Artist and art educator Virgil Elliot stated,
“To create compelling visual imagery, I maintain, is itself an intellectually challenging endeavor worthy of the utmost respect.” And “The best artwork ever done has the power to inspire, all by itself. It needs … only to be seen, to work its magic”
Artists and art lovers were challenged to help the work to be seen, to foster and honor the classical traditions of representational art. Ideally realism goes beyond the skill of “painting things to look like things” and captures the spirit and emotion of the subject, as in this self portrait by Daniel Graves, aptly titled, Surviving Modern Art.
FACE 2017, Daniel Graves
Surviving Modern Art, ©2014 Daniel Graves
Publisher and marketing expert Eric Rhoads and magazine editor Peter Trippi discussed the art market today including the role of galleries and social media. They emphasized that even if an artist is working with a gallery, it’s important to have a website and to maintain a presence on social media. We have to be our own best advocates in order to be seen above the busy-ness of our media-driven world.

If you’re reading this I already know that you appreciate representational art. So I challenge you to spread the word, promote the artists whose work you admire and perhaps bestow a bit of beauty in the form of original artwork to those you love this season. Being a Patron of the Arts sounds like a lofty term but it really applies to all who support artists and fine art. Your support will be appreciated more than you know by the artists whose work you collect as well as those who get to enjoy work you admire. More beauty for everyone.

Studio session at FACE 2017 in Miami
For me the convention culminated with artist/professor Brian Curtis’ presentation entitled Beauty, Quality and the Good: Art as a Material Reflection of a Spiritual Reality. That’s a daunting topic. My takeaway is this quote, which sums up the “why” of appreciating representational art:
“Art is an implicit, intuitive, metaphorical, spirit-enhancing sensory experience that nurtures the soul and drives life’s evolutionary arrow forward.”
Who doesn’t want more of that in the world!

In the spirit of Thankfulness for your ongoing interest and support, here are some links of other artist friends whose work you will enjoy… and perhaps collect! I know I'm forgetting some and others don't have a website yet (don't worry, I won't tell Eric) but I'll be happy to share when they do!

Cindy Sacks
Chrissanth Gross
Peggy Davidson Post
Rich Alexander
Laura Gould
Sally Franklin
Lori McQueeney
Jamie Grossman
Johanne Morin
Paula Wittlin
Todd M. Casey
Happy Thanksgiving
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” Albert Schweitzer
Or, in other words -
"... we get by with a little help from our friends."John Lennon and Paul McCartney
Workshop in my studio with Todd Casey and friends, old and new.

Thank you for joining me on my art journey.

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