Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Award for Outstanding Acrylic!

I am so honored to announce that my painting, "The Team", was awarded  
Outstanding Acrylic
was selected as part of the FAV15% (jury's favorite 15% of the entries) in the 

"The Team", 7"x 8 1/2", Acrylic

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Portrait Society of America Conference, Atlanta 2017

The Art of the Portrait Conference in Atlanta is now in the history books. I returned with copious notes and hundreds of photos, some of which I will share over several posts. Meanwhile, you can almost feel like you were there by visiting Underpaintings Magazine, a website belonging to Matthew Innis. There you will find the Competition Winners, paintings from the Face-Off and the artists in action. 

Below is the painting that took the highest honor, the Draper Grand Prize, by artist extraordinaire, David Jon Kassan

A truly masterful work!

David Jon Kassan 
Draper Grand Prize
"Love and Resilience, Portrait of Louise and Lazar Farkas, Survivors of the Shoah," 46x42", oil on panel

Friday, March 17, 2017

Pastel Landscapes, Water (2 of 2)

This is my favorite of the paintings done in Marla Baggetta's workshop. It's very similar to an oil I painted several years ago. I considered painting a series way back then but never got around to it. Maybe I will do it in pastel. The task will be finding the reference photo...I only have a bazillion to go through! I thought about taking another photo but it looks very different now. 

My Favorite, 8"x 6", pastel on paper

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Pastel Landscapes, Water (1 of 2)

Day Three of Marla Baggetta's workshop was dedicated to Water. I painted two that day and will save what I consider to be the best for last. This one is approximately 5"x 5" and was painted from a very dark thumbnail photo. That means I had to invent the light and the colors. It doesn't have a title yet but every time I look at it "Lyrical" comes to mind....but lyrical what? Maybe "Lyrical" is good enough. 

"Lyrical", 5"x 5", pastel on paper

Monday, March 13, 2017

Pastel Skies

Day Two of Marla Baggetta's workshop was dedicated to Skies. I felt the reference photo had too much going on for one painting so I painted each half separately. By the way, one of Marla tips for painting more loosely is to print out small thumbnails of your photos. Doing so eliminates a lot of the superfluous details. It's a great tip! Both of the following are approximately 7"x 5". 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Itty Bitty Pastels

I recently took a pastel workshop with one of my favorite pastel artists, Marla Baggetta. I have been following Marla and her work for quite a while and was finally able to meet her. She is a wonderful teacher, very passionate, dedicated and fun! Check out her website, click on every link, and be prepared to be inspired!

Day One was dedicated to Trees. The following are the first two pastels I did in the workshop.  They are itty bitty...about 3" wide,  and a great way to try different pastels, pastel papers and have a plain ole good time!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Full to Overflowing!

My heart is full to overflowing at the wonderful turnout to the unveiling of 
This has been quite an emotional undertaking from the very beginning. There were no plans for what would happen when these portraits were completed. I didn't allow myself to think any further than the painting being worked on at the time... it was simply a labor of love. Having it accepted by the City of Pleasanton to be installed in the Longhorn Museum, a One-Woman Exhibit at the Pleasanton Civic Center, the interest, the attendance, especially by the cowboys themselves, well....for the first time in my life, I am at a loss for words. 

For more "behind the scene" information, please see the following article in the  Pleasanton Express 

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Unveiling of 50 COWBOYS ~ 50 PAINTINGS

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Catching Up

Monday, November 21, 2016

Make An Artist's Plumb Line

Image by Mark Norseth

I have been looking for a plumb that is more convenient than the big ones you find at Home Depot. While it is possible to use anything with a little weight to it, I wanted something pleasing to the eye as well. I could picture what I wanted, but couldn't find it anywhere. That is, until I came across this post by Mark Norseth. Check it out for step by step instructions. 

Amazon offered a package of two, so I promptly placed an order. My husband said that Home Depot carries them, and that they are probably cheaper, but I got two for about $5 and I am a happy camper. Thank you, Mark Norseth!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Degas: A New Vision, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Part Two

Here are a few more of the photos from the Degas exhibit at MFAH in Houston. Click here to see more of his beautiful works. 
Again, please excuse the reflections and glare on the photos.

Roman Beggar Woman, Oil on canvas

Woman Drying Herself. Charcoal and pastel on tracing paper on paper
Yes, that's what it said.

Dancers, Pink and Green. Oil on canvas

Mary Cassatt at the Louvre: The Painting Gallery. Etching, soft-ground etching, aquatint and drypoint, on China paper, intermediate between 15th and 16th of 20 states

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Degas: A New Vision, The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

What a treat to see the Degas Exhibit at MFAH, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. I must admit to having had Degas in a mental box entitled "Pastel Ballerinas". I knew he did a few oils and a sculpture or two, but WOW!  The following photos were taken with my iPhone, so please excuse the glare and reflections.

Self-portrait in a a Soft Hat, Oil on paper mounted on canvas

The Dance Class, Oil on canvas (cropped) 

Woman Seated on the Edge of a Bath Sponging Her Neck, Oil and essence on paper on canvas

I love the beautiful pink bow and ballet slippers.

Portrait of a Young Woman, Oil on canvas
Dancer Stretching, Pastel on pale blue-gray laid paper
(Sorry about the crooked photo)

Group of Dancers (Red Skirts), Pastel
The titles of many of his paintings indicate that he painted those subjects so often that specific names became quite a challenge. What a prolific and masterful artist! I now have an even greater respect for Edgar Degas. 
More to come...

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

2017 Texas Top Ten Competition is OPEN

Texas Top Ten Competition

Call For Entries
All Artists Living in Texas
The "Texas Top Ten" is a FREE online competition open for artists living in the state of Texas; Portrait Society of America membership is not required. This online competition is presented to you by the Texas State Ambassador, Gaye Sekula, in coordination with the Portrait Society of America. 

Certificates recognizing the Top Ten winners will be awarded. The winners will also be featured in the Portrait Society of America's Website, State Ambassador E-News and our quarterly journal, The Art of the Portrait .

The submission form is available now through
Sunday, December 11, 2016 at midnight.

Rules and Eligibility
  • Artist must reside in Texas. (Portrait Society faculty, juror, board members, and Texas ambassador are not permitted to enter the competition.)
  • Only one work may be submitted per entrant. (Sculptors may submit up to four views of a single work.)
  • Submit Portrait and Figurative works only
  • No works involving photographic printing or mechanical processes in the actual final product will be permitted.
  • No classroom works or works produced under assistance of instructors will be permitted.

Image Specifications
  • The .jpg format is required. Your file dimensions should be at least 400 x 400 pixels but should not exceed 1024 x 1024. 
  • Please label your .jpg image with your first and last name. For example, gaye-sekula.jpg

If you have any questions or concerns about the Texas Top Ten Competition, please contact the Portrait Society's 
Texas State Ambassador, Gaye Sekula, at

Portrait Society of America presents:
The Art of the Portrait Conference
April 20 - 23, 2017, Atlanta, Georgia 

The Portrait Society of America is returning to Washington, D.C. to celebrate our 19th annual conference. Attendees will have a chance to fuel their artistic journeys with exciting programs from new and returning faculty. Join us, along with 800 artists from around the globe, to spend four days experiencing a diverse array of demonstrations, illustrated lectures, portfolio reviews, our 6 x 9" Mystery Art Sale, an exhibit of finalists of the prestigious International Portrait Competition, and so much more.

Click HERE to visit our website for more information and to register today.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Art News DFW Article, "We the People" Exhibit, Keller, Texas

There is a very nice article on the Art News DFW website about the current "We the People"  exhibition in  Keller, Texas. The exhibit features six Texas members of the Portrait Society of America, including yours truly. If you are in the area, please come by and visit with D.K. Richardson, Kathryn Holter, Gene Dillard, Ken MacFarlane, Tim Woolsey, Stefan Huyghe and me, Gaye Sekula,  at the Artist's Reception and Face-Off!

An Evening with the Artists Reception
Date: 11/10/2016 7:00PM - 9PM

Join us for refreshments and enjoy as Texas Members of the Portrait Society of America participate in a "Face-Off". 

"We the People" Exhibit 
November 1 - 23, 2016; 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday

Keller Town Hall
1100 Bear Creek Parkway 
Keller, Texas 

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

"We the People" Exhibit, Reception and Face-Off

"We the People" Exhibit, Reception and Face-Off

November 1 - 23, 2016; 8 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday

An Evening with the Artists Reception

Date: 11/10/2016 7:00PM - 9PM

Join us for refreshments and enjoy as Texas Members of the Portrait Society of America participate in a "Face-Off". 

Keller Town Hall
1100 Bear Creek Parkway 
Keller, Texas 

Featured Artists: Texas Members of the Portrait Society of America: Gene Dillard, Kathryn Holter, Michael Holter, Ken MacFarlane, DK Richardson, Gaye Sekula and Tim Woolsey. 2015 Keller's Got Talent "Best in Show" and 2016 First Place - Oil Painting awards recipient, Stefan Huyghe.
As we come together to elect a new president, the Keller Public Arts Program shares an exhibit of portraits which draws the viewer into the diversified citizenry that encompasses our societal melting pot. The Texas Members of the Portrait Society of America; Gene Dillard, Kathryn Holter, Michael Holter, Ken MacFarlane, DK Richardson, Gaye Sekula and Tim Woolsey, along with our own 2015 Keller's Got Talent "Best in Show" and 2016 First Place - Oil Painting awards recipient, Stefan Huyghe bring their interpretations of the human face and its similarities and complexities to life through oil, acrylic, pastel and scratchboard media. 

Visit Keller Town Hall between November 1 and 23, between 8 am and 5 pm Monday through Friday, and view the portrait creations of these nationally known, award winning artists. You are invited to attend Thursday evening, November 10th for our Evening with the Artists, from 7 to 9 pm. Some of the artists will be demonstrating their artistic talent while our guests enjoy the art, conversation and refreshments.
Gene Dillard, currently a Plano resident has a background in graphics. He received a degree in Fine Arts from the University of Texas, Austin and another from The Art Center College of Design in Los Angeles.  Visit his website at
Kathryn Holter, "has a passion for creating realistic images that tell a story. Every person has their own unique inner beauty which I hope I've captured on canvas." See more of Kathryn's work at
Michael Holter says "My work is impressionistic. I like to represent people or places and allow the painting to evolve from the recognizable. The challenge is to balance the care needed to make the representation interesting...and perhaps believable.."

Stefan Huyghe, born in Antwerp, Belgium and raised in Switzerland, says "My art has been the means to an end, the tool to find my true self and to discover the real world around me. Painting for me is a spiritual experience. I try to bring straight-up photo realism with a twist. When my hand adds or subtracts from reality I don't only report, I create."
Ken MacFarlane was raised in Carrollton, Texas and has homes in both Tucson, Arizona and Breckenridge, Texas. He has used pencil as his primary media, "turning a flat piece of white paper into horses and people and rivers or anything I want." More recently he has discovered the art of scratchboard. "It is like pencil in reverse." 
DK Richardson offers, "For millions of years humans have portrayed their story on cave walls, animal hides, papyrus, linen, and silk in their fundamental need to leave their legacy for a measure of historical eternity." Her art is a mix of contemporary and classical painting, with the focus on realism.
Gaye Sekula believes "Painting is much like meditation. It is being present and keenly aware, but at the same time, letting go and trusting in all you have learned thus far. Whether it is described as "following the muse," "Feeling the hand of God on yours," or "being in the flow," it is something undefinable, yet undeniable. The following quote sums it up quite well, "We lose ourselves in the things we love. We find ourselves there, too." 

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

What Could Be Better Than Taos?

Taking a workshop with Albert Handell in Taos! 
I took hundreds of photos and pages of notes; inspiration and guidance for a long time to come. Thank you Albert and Jeanine!
It was a wonderful, informative and enlightening week. 

Albert Handell, Demo in Progress

Adobe Demo, Albert Handell

Friday, August 26, 2016

Please Vote for "Andrea"

"Andrea", 7"x 5", Pastel

I am happy to announce that I have made the shortlist in the the Pastel Portrait Competition held by Jackson's Art Supplies in London! A panel of judges will determine the winner, but they are also allowing the public to choose three addition winners. Please forgive my brazen request to place your vote for me and my painting "Andrea". Here is the link. It is on the second page of the listings. The winners will be announced September 9th.
Thank you! Gaye

Saturday, August 20, 2016

A Visit with Walt Gonske

 Walt Gonske & Me
My husband, granddaughter and I visited New Mexico this past June. The highlight of this trip was getting to finally meet one of my very favorite artists, Walt Gonske. After a tour of his beautiful home and studio, we sat down to visit for a little while. I had always wanted to meet him and being able to visit was something really special. It was interesting to learn that we are both of Slavic descent. This may explain why we are both so drawn to the work of Nicolai Fechin, who also once lived in Taos, NM. Walt's work very much reminds me of Fechin's. He has even had the honor of exhibiting his work in Fechin's home, now the Taos Art Museum

Thursday, August 18, 2016

Plein Air in Taos, New Mexico

Walt Gonske's Garden

It’s always a good time to visit New Mexico so, when I heard that Ron Rencher was offering a plein air workshop in Taos, I signed up! It had been years since I had painted en plein air, a fancy, schmancy way of saying “painting outside”, and boy, was I ever rusty! That’s ok…it was Taos after all!
The above photo is our group and Walt Gonske after painting in his beautiful garden. In the back right of the photo you can see the view poor Walt has to endure…the Sacred Taos Mountain. 

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Monochrome Head Study, Drea II

"Drea II", 8"x 10", Study in Oil.

It's a bit of a shock to look into the camera and see a beautiful young woman instead of a little girl. That's what happened when I took a picture of my granddaughter, who was our model for portrait group yesterday. This is a one hour study on Utrecht 100% Cotton Panel, using Rembrandt Burnt Sienna and Gamblin Titanium White. 
(Aint no substitute for painting from life!)

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Monochrome Heady Study, Drea

"Drea", 8"x 10", Study in Oil
This study was done on Clayboard. The initial layer was absorbed immediately, even more so than on Arches Oil Paper. After the first layer on Arches, the surface feels much like canvas. Not so for the Clayboard where subsequent layers were more "fluid" than on canvas. Maybe "slick" is a better description. Still, I found it a very nice surface and plan to experiment with it further.  

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Monochrome Head Study

"Dennis", 8"x 10", Study in Oil
Study using Burnt Sienna and Titanium White. 
Thank you, Dennis, for being such a great model! 

Playing with Acrylics...

...on Arches Oil Paper. Colors used were Ivory Black, Yellow Ochre, Cadmium Red and Titanium White. I love the Zorn palette!

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Featuring Texas Members of the Portrait Society of America

Texas Delegation, Portrait Society of America Conference 2016

The annual Portrait Society of America Conference was a wonderful experience with so much knowledge, beauty, and expertise under one roof!  I must say it ran like a well-oiled machine. Every event started and ended on schedule, no small feat for an event of this size, and each presentation and demo was of the highest quality. My hat is off to all who organized the Conference and who run this organization day in and day out. I am very proud to be a member and to serve as the Texas Ambassador.

I invite you to take a look at our blog, the Texas Portrait Network,  which is dedicated to Texas Members of the Portrait Society of America. We have many world class artists in our midst, many of whom offer classes and workshops, and you will find them featured here.  You will also find announcements for shows, demos and exhibitions. Enjoy!