I’m taking a 12 Month Portraiture Mentorship

Woman with dark hair, abstract flowers, gold leaf
Woman with dark hair, abstract flowers, gold leaf

I’m participating in a monthly mentorship program for figurative and portrait artists. Here’s what that’s all about.

At any point in your career you can start being a student again. My husband gave me a year-long art mentorship with Rosso ( #rossoartist on Instagram). It consists of a 3 hour class on once-monthly Wednesdays. We alternate art instruction weeks and art critique weeks.

I love Rosso’s work, and have been following her on Instagram for a long time. She has appeared on Portrait Artist of the Year, which is my favorite show, although there’s a delay in accessing episodes in the US. (It’s made in the UK. Some seasons are available on Tubi and Prime. There may still be some episodes on YouTube, and at one point there were some on PBS.)

Rosso and I have very different painting styles when it comes to portraiture, and I’m trying to do things her way to ensure that I learn what I can from the class, but I’m not really good at that. I’m at a stage of my life where I’m stubborn and opinionated. I’m also not too sensitive about being told to do things differently, so I’m working on it. I need to fix the facial structure here, and I’m not pleased with my amateurish brushwork. She coached on painting flowers yesterday, and I tried to follow along, but but the end I was frustrated and abstracted them out. I added some gold leaf, but I’m not sure how much of that will still show when I’m finished.

I’m an avid learner as an adult. I was as a kid, too, but it was different. I didn’t love mean school learning where if you didn’t know it yet you got in trouble. I like real learning where if you don’t know it yet you still get to learn it. You can explore, find aspects of a topic that are interesting, figure out how to tackle problems. That’s learning. That’s better than grading someone to learn fast and rote. It means you can take what you’ve learned and apply it elsewhere. That’s how learning should be.

So far so good! Rosso is a gentle instructor with good things to teach us. I’ll be sure and let you know how her influence has changed my work by the end of 2023!

Onward and Upward,