Since last Spring I have been giving away a portrait every month. The way it works is that our favorite restaurant in the whole wide world is Jimmy T’s New York Deli in Hernando, Florida. Jimmy makes the best homemade soup you can find. He also has a very loyal customer base. Many of his customers eat there every day of the week except Sunday when he is closed.
I gave Jimmy a decorated box and a couple hundred business cards and people who would like to win a free portrait put their name and number in the box. Once a month Jimmy pulls out a name and the lucky person comes to my studio to sit for their portrait. When finished the portrait hangs in Jimmy T’s Restaurant for a month.
I bought a nice gold plaque to go underneath with the words “Jimmy’s Patron of the Month” engraved. There are no strings attached. The portrait is free and I give away an inexpensive acrylic frame or they have the option of buying a better frame from me at my cost.
This has been a wonderful way to get my work into the community and I know that eventually it will pay off. Plus, I have the wonderful experience of models coming to my studio where I can paint them in wonderful north light. My studio, by the way, used to be my dining room. It never received much use as a dining room but it is the most perfect studio I could imagine
So here is February’s “Jimmy’s Patron of the Month,” a wonderful guy named Al.
Since January of 2009 I have had the good fortune to belong to a wonderful group of artists who meet every Friday to paint from the live model.
The props are simple: a chair for the model to sit in, a lamp to provide light and shadow, and tables and chairs for the artists to gather round the model. Our models receive a small fee for sitting and they are all ages and come from all walks of life. We paint for 3 twenty minute sessions with a 10 minute session at the end and with generous breaks in between. During the breaks we look at each other’s work and share what is happening in our lives. At the end we finish with a critique of the paintings/drawings in which we share our perceptions and insights about how to make our work more effective.
Although there is no official teacher, it is the best learning experience I have ever had. In the group are brand new artists and those who have had years of experience. There are no put downs…only encouragement and honest but kind suggestions. Although I have taken workshops from many awesome artists, the Portrait Group of the Citrus Art Center has been my best teacher. I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to my fellow artists of the Portrait Group of Citrus County, Florida.
Today is the Feast of the Epiphany or the Day of the 3 Wise Men and marks the official end of the Christmas season for those who observe such things. It is the time when the world returns to normal after weeks of festivities and celebration. The days are getting a little longer. It is time to get back to whatever it is we do. For me that means painting. I am looking forward to painting again. It will be fun to discover what has been incubating while I have been away from the easel. Watch for new paintings coming soon!