Saturday, March 31, 2012

Fechin / Gaspar Exhibit in Orange, TX

This post submitted by Dallas member, Beth VanDeventer:
The Secret is Out: Fechin / Gaspar Exhibit in Orange TX
...It might be a long drive, but the inspiration is well worth it
I encourage student and professional portrait painters to consider investing in the cost of a couple of tanks of gas to visit the Stark Museum in Orange Texas to view a unique collection of Nicoli Fechin artwork. Tucked away in the remote town of Orange, a stone throw's away from the Louisiana border is a well kept secret. The exhibit titled "From Russia: Fechin and Gaspard in the Southwest" features at least 57 works of the famed Russian, including oil paintings, drawings and sculptures.  The exhibit also features the artist's work box, brushes and several sculpting tools donated from the artist's daughter Eva.  The collection includes 21 phenomenal portraits (in oil) along with 5 completed head studies, including an outstanding drawing of his father.  

"Head of Young Girl"
(Sculpture) in Pine
The Stark Museum offers free admission and free parking.  The day I went there were only a few visitors with a friendly guard who shared with me that guided tours are available if you call ahead.  The museum hours are 10 to 5 daily, Tuesday through Saturday.  This exhibition will be open through June 2, 2012.  Visitors may take photos of artwork, however no flash photography or tripods are allowed.  
"Fechin's Father" (Drawing)
Note: Curator's note indicates
the frame was made by the artist
 Link to Stark Website:

"Nikki Rupert"


"Red Headed Girl"

"Little Girl"

Monday, March 26, 2012

Artist Spotlight: Michael Gillespie

Michael Gillespie
Michael Gillespie of Crandall, TX, is this month's Spotlight Artist. If you would like to be "in the spotlight," please email Anna at to submit your information.
Interview with our March Spotlight Artist, Michael Gillespie:

1) When and how did you first become seriously interested in Art?  I used to draw a lot when I was in grade school, but I became interested in music in high school, and studied music in college and graduate school. I was in church music for nine years before I decided to study art and become an artist.

2) What is your training, and what medium(s) / subject matter do you work in?  I earned a Bachelor of Fine Art degree at UT-Austin, and have taken workshops with Daniel Greene, Paul Leveille, Ramon Kelly, and others. I have made four trips to Europe and spent time in the great art museums there. I started out doing illustrations and portraits in pastel, and gradually started doing portraits and landscapes in oil.
"Dr. Newbury," by Michael Gillespie
3) What do you try to express in your work? With portraits, I try to show the person at their best. This involves, pose (hopefully characteristic of the individual), facial expression, color, lighting, blending, edges, everything that makes a good realist painting, with the emphasis on the face. In figure painting, I want to emphasize an idea visually, whether the idea is a pretext, an emotion, or just the beauty of the subject and the way it is painted. In landscapes and cityscapes, I want the viewer to feel what I felt when I first saw the scene and decided to paint it.
4) What artists/professionals have been your biggest influences? I was influenced for many years by Ray Kinstler’s portrait style, but lately have realized my oil portraits are more like the classical realists. I have recently studied in that tradition with Steve Armes and Ron Cheek.
5) What do you do to gain new inspiration for your work?  I mainly look at good artwork whenever I can, but I also take note of what inspires other artists: literature, poetry, music, and so I have been looking to the other arts for inspiration and ideas.

6) What would you like to be doing with your art ten years from now? 

Using the things mentioned above to inspire and create beautiful and compelling paintings.

"Delane," by Michael Gillespie
7) Do you set goals for yourself concerning the making of your art? Not exactly goals, but I usually have in mind the next painting and how it will be my best.

8) Are you happy with your job choice as an artist? Do you have any regrets in this career choice or things you would have done differently?  I wouldn’t want to be doing anything else. But on the other hand, I would advise any young person to have a back-up plan, to learn some practical skills, or plan to teach, especially if you have a family who depends on your income. And besides, it’s good to be more well-rounded.

9) Any fun or interesting facts about yourself that you'd like to share? I teach a class at Dallas Baptist University called “Introduction to Fine Arts”, a survey of all the fine arts except literature. There I really get to use my background in music and visual art.
10) Best piece of advice for other artists? Never stop studying and learning.

Contact Info:

"Richard Blakey," by Michael Gillespie
"Don't Bother Me," by Michael Gillespie

Friday, March 16, 2012

Call to Artists: 1st Annual Coleman Museum Open Art Show

This post submitted by Edna Krueger

Get Ready - Get Set - Start Painting!!  The First Annual Coleman Museum Open Art Show will be May 3rd through May 19th.
The show will be held at Heritage Hall, 400 W. College Ave, Coleman, Texas.

Below you will find the General Information and Entry Sheet.

Information about the formation of a Guild and Gallery, for artists to display and sell their work,  will be available at the Open Art Show.

GoodSearch & GoodShop for Coleman Heritage, Arts & Preservation Society.

Please consider supporting the Coleman Museum and Heritage Hall just by searching the Internet with by Yahoo), or shopping with  Each web search gives the Museum $.01 and every penny counts!

Click to download Art Show Flyer
Click to download Entry Labels

Recap: Judith Carducci Workshop, January 2012

Hi everyone,
This is your TX ambassador, Anna Rose Bain writing...
I hope that this spring is finding you happy, successful, and painting up a storm! I thought I would share a little about a recent workshop I attended with one of the Portrait Society's most esteemed faculty members, Judith Carducci. If you've ever had the opportunity to learn from her, or hear her speak at PSOA conferences, you know that Judy is a firm believer in working exclusively from life. Because of her purist dedication to life drawing and painting, and her passion for her craft, Judy's work is incredibly strong and vibrant. She is also a great storyteller and for every point she makes in her teaching, she can give an example from her wealth of experience. Personally, I have gained a great deal from her instruction and advice, and I hope that if you get a chance to study with her, you will take advantage of the opportunity! She is a great artist and person, but... she won't let you off easy. Prepare to be challenged! The 14 of us who took her January workshop in Dallas, certainly were!

Here are some pictures from the 5-day workshop.

Judy at the beginning of her demo, day 1. The model was WWII veteran, Jim.

Explaining the anatomy of the ear.

Measuring the length of the face.

Judy's finished charcoal demo of Jim (with a sketch of eye - part of her demonstration of the anatomy of facial features)

Our wonderful host was Michael Mentler, head of the Society of Figurative Arts. The workshop took place at his studio (samples of his artwork in the background). I really love this shot of him! :-)

Judy would demo in the morning, and then the students got their shot at it in the afternoon to impliment what they learned. Above: artist Christen Benat, working on a profile view.

The first day was focused primarily on values, so we stuck to black and white, or in my case, brown and white. Here is my little monochromatic sketch of Jim, in oil on canvas. I only used Rembrandt's transparent oxide brown and white.

The model for day #2: Sylett, an artist's model with 30 years of experience! Judith really enjoyed doing this demo for us, and we enjoyed watching! She was working on a brand new line of Canson pastel board, courtesy of Canson via Michael Mentler (Michael represents their brand).

The finished demo. A solid, colorful, and exciting portrait!

The students hard at work.

My little 12x9 profile study of Sylett.

 Michael Mentler posed for Judy on day 4.

She began and finished the portrait in charcoal, realizing early on that it didn't need any color; it was already a strong impression! 

The finished portrait of Michael... or should I say, Gandalf the wizard? (Sorry, Michael, couldn't resist!)

Our afternoon model, Buck, was no less exciting! Here he is posing with a wolf skin hat, turquoise jewelry, and a staff. 

Artist Rebecca McClure off to a very strong start. You could really feel the energy in the room!

An exciting rendition by Ellen Moore.

 Here's mine. I really took Judy's advice to heart: no matter where you are positioned in front of the model, find something you LOVE about the pose and run with it!I loved the backlighting on the furry hat, as well as the mysterious shadow that the rim cast over Buck's eyes.

On the last day of the workshop, Judy did a self-portrait as her demo. 

The progression was very exciting to watch! We all sat riveted and humbled by her masterful execution of the self portrait.  

Here it is finished. One of the students purchased this piece.

Finally, a group photo (sans two of the students, Carole Fadal and Connie Erickson -- we missed you, ladies!), with Judy holding her magnificent portrait.

Here's what Judith herself had to say about the workshop after it was done:

I've just returned from Dallas where I was a guest of Becky and Hank Pearson (Becky is the pert redhead on the right in the group photo) and the workshop was hosted by Michael Mentler of The Society of Figurative Arts. Michael's studio is an ideal place for a workshop, with good lighting, space, easels, materials, and absolutely splendid models with variety of characteristics to challenge the por...traitist. Michael, and his assistant, the artist Anna Bain, were always available to make things work for our comfort.

It was a wonderful group! VERY enthusiastic artists. Three of them had been in my workshop in southern France last summer.

One of them bought the self-portrait I'm holding. She had asked earlier "Why would anybody want to buy a portrait of a person they didn't know?"

I told her that sometimes people are intrigued by the character, or it reminds them of somebody they know and love or a member of their family; I have a painting over my desk of a young man I don't know but he looks like my son and could be an "ancestor" - portraits of one's ancestors being prized where I come from. And sometimes they are bought by artists who are impressed by the work, the composition, the color, the brushwork, the lighting - and want to go to school on it. Or they are just beautiful or wonderful works that the person wants to own and enjoy looking at. Ironically, she then fell in love and couldn't resist mine!

To find out more about Judy's workshops and see more of her amazing portrait work, visit her website at:, or her Facebook page at:

Also, if you would like to share about any workshops you may have benefitted from recently, PLEASE do! Send your written blog post, along with some photos, to Anna Rose Bain at: Your fellow Texas portrait artists look forward to hearing from YOU! :-)

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Upcoming Master Figure Painting Class - Don Mullins

Master Figure Painting Class
A class that puts it all together, drawing, design, anatomy, block in, color, the likeness, painting form, edges, details, finish and much more
...including a live model during each class.
Instructor Don Mullins

Don Mullins is one of only five Texas artists who have won awards from the Portrait Society of America. Don started his professional painting career in landscape, and then fell in love with figurative art.  He attended the renowned Lyme Academy of Fine Art  in Connecticut where he studied in the classic tradition of figurative anatomy. His colorful and distinctive style attracts clients from families and the business community. He has also received awards for his work from Oil Painters of America, Artist’s Magazine and the Lyme Academy of Fine Art.

Rail Station Studios
1013 15th Place 
(Historic Downtown Plano)
Plano, Texas 75074
"Lexie" by Don Mullins

March 30 – April 1
(Friday, Saturday, Sunday)

9 am to 4 pm


Please contact Rail Station Studios for registration and your supply list, or contact Don Mullins at 817-465-6064 (