Click to see Portrait Competition Winners
May 2-5, 2002 in Jackman Hall, AGO has been a wonderful week out. The first unique Conference and Competition in Fine Arts Portraiture brought together the most outstanding portrait artists across Canada, USA, Europe and Asia. Taking time out of our busy schedule the artists enjoyed sharing the ideas, experience, methods and techniques. The demonstrations, lectures and discussions were helpful and stimulating for all the participants, established artists and students.
On the last day of the Festival the frequent comment was: "This is so great, helpful and knowledgeable event with the stunning quality of competition art works and performing artists."
Thanks to everyone who attended the Conference this year.
Our young Society was very pleased to welcome members of the Sculptor Society of Canada and the Distinguish guests from Portrait Gallery of Canada, Mrs. Lilly Koltun, Acting Director, and Mrs. Eva Major-Marothy, Senior Chief Curator, to our Festival.
Lilly Koltun made the introduction of the Portrait Gallery of Canada, the new National Museum in Ottawa, and Eva Major-Marothy presented slides from the unique collections of the portrait painting, drawing, photos and caricatures, collected by the National Archive of Canada for many years.
The Sculpture Society of Canada was presented by Adrienne Alison - member of the Society.
Dan Everett Thompson
The conference began with the Charcoal Portrait Demonstration, presented by leading American artist Dan Everett Thompson.
Dan Thompson showed his contemporary view of the human head, model shape and proportions, based on accurate measurement, and classical anatomy.
"The academic training helps one to interpret the shapes of nature while building solid dexterity not the hand/eye. It demands, in a way that builds the youngster's character, that one master a certain stage of drawing or painting before being allowed to progress to another, unlike modern art schools, where you pay your fee and walk into any class. It perhaps most importantly, builds one's inner core of art appreciation: the aesthetic sense. It is no coincidence that students have drawn and painted from such classical sculpture for thousands of years. This connection itself is so important to the isolated painter."
The next day May 3, the schedule started with the illustrated lecture presented by Adrienne Alison, classical Portrait Sculptor, and member of Sculptor Society of Canada.
Everybody enjoyed the displayed sculptures and history of Sculpting a portraits. Adrienne shared her method, technique, process and materials.
Adrienne Alison has been sculpting for 20 years and has studied both in North America and England. She has a rich artistic background that spans both art and the fascinating field of art as applied to 'reconstructive medicine'. This unique background allows her to combine artistic sensitivity with disciplined, professional process and anatomical accuracy.
The second Lecture on May 3 was presented by professional photographer David Bernstein Photographing the artwork.
David reviewed the nature of light, physical aspect of correct positions of the sources of
light. He introduced all types of materials, cameras and explained the common mistakes.
Commercial Photographer David Bernstein has studied and practiced photographic theory for many years. He is a graduate of the University of Waterloo and a qualified member of the Professional Photographers of Ontario and the Professional Photographers of Canada. He is the president of Product Photo Inc., a full service Commercial Photography studio located in the north end of the city.
David is a masterful "technical photographer" who applies his expert knowledge of lighting theory to everyday commercial work including the photography of artwork for reproduction and viewing.
The afternoon oil demonstration Stroke of Masters was presented by Yuqi Wang, professor of Tainjin Academy of Fine Arts, China. The first demonstration of the most outstanding Chinese artist in Canada becomes a historical moment in our Festival.
Yuqi worked fast and even with stroke sketch the viewers can wonder the stunning likeness of the model.
The world known portrait artist Yuqi Wang, who was born in China and currently lives in New York, has recognition of an accomplished Portrait Artist and Master Teacher. Professor of Tiianjin Academy of Fine Arts in China, Member of A.S.O.P.A., Grand Prize Winner of 2000 Portrait Arts Competition, he serves on a Board of Advisors for Portrait Society of Canada.
"For too long it has been difficult for Art students to unlock the secrets of the Greatest Masters of the past five centuries"
With magnificent Oil Portrait Demonstration presented by Yuqi Wang you will reach another step to your professional development and understanding of Old Masters' Traditions.
The third day of the festival starts with the Pastel Portrait Demonstration, presented by the European artist Gwenneth Barth.
Gwenneth worked on tint paper using pastels with different softness. Understanding the personality of the model becomes the main objection on the demo. All participants were pleased with the high technique of sketching and applying materials.
Swiss artist Gwenneth Barth has lived and worked in the Geneva area most of her life, having moved there from America when she was a child. She attended the Ecole des Beaux Arts, and graduated from Geneva's Ecole des Arts Decoratifs. Her fascination with traditional painting - from portraits to landscapes to still life - has led her to study ancient techniques in depth and to respect the methods of the old masters who have influenced her most, from Bellini to Pissarro and Degas. She likes to think of her work as creating heirlooms. Besides accurately recording her subjects' outer
appearance, Gwenneth's particular talent remains in sensing the inner self, allowing viewers to perceive a person's character, rather than merely recognizing it.
The afternoon demonstration Fresh portraits
Fast was presented by the
Canadian leading artist Igor Babailov. Igor presented the "Ala prima" method to finish the portrait in one session introducing step-by-step building up technique.
"Your challenge is to quickly, yet accurately, capture the personality and features of your subject. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to improve your concentration,streamline your actions and make more careful observations. Based on experience, I have developed an economical approach to quick portraits in which every stroke counts."
"The more you work from life, always with the goal of increasing efficiency and accuracy, the more you will be able to quickly see things that are normally hidden from an inexperienced eye. With practice, you will soon be creating fast, fresh portraits that effectively capture the essence of your model's character."
The Saturday night continued in the Tudor Ballroom, Four Seasons Hotel at the Awards Banquet and Art Exhibition of Top Finalists and Performing Artists. More then 150 artists, guests, friends and relatives came to congratulate the participants, finalists and winners of the competition.
The last day, May 5, starts with the critique session conducted by Yuqi Wang, Gwenneth Barth, and Igor Babailov. The young artists got the professional advice, help and answer to improve the professional skills and techniques.
The Festival was ended with the book sales and the Portrait Agency registration.
The Board of Advisors of the Portrait Society of Canada would like to thank all the artists and participants of the 2002 International Portrait Art Festival, the First Annual Conference and Portrait Competition in Fine Arts Portraiture.