It was brought to our attention that we have not had a portrait challenge in quite a WHILE! (thank you Shubert!) In recognition of that fact and to mark the passing of who may be, perhaps the artist-laureate of the United States ( Nelson Shanks 1937-2015). (also, thank you for the suggestion Shubert!)..
For participants - you may post at any time as long as the thread is available! Please feel free to post works-in-progress and you are welcome to share your thoughts on the works of other members! Most often, a second ( or third) pair of eyes will improve our works! Enjoy and have fun! Please note that this is for study/learning purposes only!
At the bottom of this post - a brief bit about Mr Shanks excerpted from the
New York times Obituary:
Here are some Vermeer-esque images for practice and a few Shanks portraits for study.
John Nelson Shanks was born on Dec. 23, 1937, in Rochester and grew up in Wilmington, Del.
He enrolled in the University of Kansas intending to become an architect, but soon transferred to the Kansas City Art Institute to study painting. After a semester he enrolled in the Art Students League in New York and traveled on a grant to Italy, landing in Florence, where he succumbed to the spell of the great artists of the Renaissance and Baroque.
After teaching art at the Memphis Art Institute and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, he returned to New York, where he taught at the National Academy of Design and the Art Students League. He moved to Bucks County in 1968 and lived in Andalusia, Pa.
There he painted landscapes and still lifes and developed a reputation as a skilled portrait painter. Over the years he painted Pope John Paul II, Margaret Thatcher, President Ronald Reagan, Luciano Pavarotti, Mstislav Rostropovich, Diana, Princess of Wales; and Arthur O. Sulzberger, after he had retired as publisher of The New York Times.
Mr. Shanks was a realist painter who took a dim view of most trends in contemporary art. He and his wife, also a painter, founded Studio Incamminati to promote and preserve the principles of traditional painting. In addition to her, Mr. Shanks, whose first marriage ended in divorce, is survived by a son, Alexander, and three daughters: Renée Hofferman, Jennifer Shanks and Annalisa Shanks.
Despite his commitment to traditional artistic practices, Mr. Shanks bristled at being described as an academic painter. “I incorporate subjective allusions into my work,” he told The Chicago Tribune in 1994. “And even if I wanted to paint like a former master, it wouldn’t be possible. My taste and vantage point are too different. And I’m just not interested in emulating something because it’s old and venerable.”
Commissioned by the Union League of Philadelphia, he painted Reagan shortly after he had left the White House in 1988. It was a chore, he recalled, because Reagan kept regaling him with funny stories.
“He’d tell a joke, and wait for a reaction, and finally he’d say, ‘You didn’t get that, did you, Nelson?,’ ” Mr. Shanks told The Miami Herald in 1995. “I couldn’t lie, I hadn’t heard a word. Then he’d start the joke all over again. It must have been very frustrating for the Great Communicator.”
In 1994, when he undertook the first of two commissions to paint Mrs. Thatcher he rejected the big-shouldered power suits she had planned to wear for the sitting. In the end, she chose a romantic ensemble — a purple jacket and sweeping purple dress.