The Time I Almost Got Invited to Portrait Artist of the Year

Man with beard, glasses
Man with beard, glasses

I’m not even lying or kidding.

But first, this is Chelsea, my niece. She was the 3rd of my 100 Faces Portrait challenge. She specifically suggested that I paint her silly face. I did.

3 of 100 Faces

Chelsea Hutchinson

I was just scrolling through my Instagram stuff one day a few weeks ago, and what do you know, I had a DM from Portrait Artist of the Year (PAOTY). For those of you who don’t know, this is an amazing show from the UK that features several artists painting one of 3 famous people in 4 hours. The famous people get to choose one of the paintings of themselves to take home, and then the esteemed judges, Kathleen Soriano, Kate Bryan, and Tai-Shan Schierenberg select the overall winner. At the end of the season, an overall winner from all the episodes is chosen, and that person gets to paint a famous person for an esteemed collector, such as a museum or public space. This is a reality show that goes for a season, and it’s my favorite show. Unfortunately I’ve seen all the episodes available in the US, but hope springs eternal that I’ll get to see more.

The DM was from one of the PAOTY producers. She said she’d seen my work and would love to see me submit to the program. I responded, as you can imagine. Well, after we communicated, lo and behold, I am not eligible because I live in the USA, not Great Britain, but I just feel so stinking flattered. I mean, really. It’s just so exciting to have been noticed by someone who looks at art all the time.

Why isn’t there a show like this in the US? There is also a show called Landscape Artist of the Year. Same concept, but with the artists painting outside (en plein air) at a wonderful picturesque location. A Canadian version of that was released, but I think it only lasted one year.

Anyway, that’s the story of how I was almost famous one time for about a second. It still makes me feel really good, and I hope that one day I’ll get to actually participate in something cool like that.

Onward and Upward,