Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Western Art Collector!

We all get those emails...the ones that attempt to stroke our egos with misspelled words and incorrect syntax. This was not one of those. It stroked my ego all right but it was well written which made me wonder if this was the real deal.
Well... a box of August issues of Western Art Collector arrived today complete with my feature on page 112!
This has been an amazing year. If it is a dream, please don't wake me.

Friday, July 7, 2017

"Abigail" is on her way to Park City, Utah!

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

"Little Muse"

"Little Muse", 9"x 12", Pastel
I have painted this in oil, acrylic and now pastels. I am very pleased with how it came out. 

Friday, June 30, 2017

June Newsletter

"The Team", was awarded the honor of Outstanding Acrylic in the April Bold Brush Competition. The judge for the April competition was Fongwei Liu.
Click on his name to see his beautiful works.
The Team

"Pensive" was juried into the Discovery 2017 Show at the Milan Gallery in Fort Worth, Texas. The show runs through July 9. If you are in the area, please come by! 

The past several months have been very busy and very exciting. Along with teaching and maintaining my own art studio, I have the great honor of serving as the Portrait Society of America's Texas Ambassador.

We had a great turnout in Dallas where Texas members participated in a Face-Off. There three more planned for 2017, one is Houston, one in Alpine and one in Bastrop.

I am currently working on a big event for Texas members, which will be announced in the next few months. If you would like more information about the Portrait Society of America, please contact me at sekulastudio@gmail.com.


The next class sessions begin August 7, 2017.

Beginner to IntermediateMonday9:00am to Noon. Cost: A six-week class is $153, plus studio fee.

Portrait and Figurative, Intermediate to AdvancedMonday1:00 pm to 4pm Cost: A six-week class is $153, plus model and studio fees.
All classes are limited to 10 students
For more information please send an email to sekulastudio@gmail.com


Thursday, June 15, 2017

The Post Exhibit Blues

"Alexandra on the Volga" After Fechin
I had heard about artists experiencing the post exhibit blues but, since I was aware of the possibility,  I was sure it wouldn't happen to me. Well, being aware wasn't of much help. The only comfort was in knowing it was common, I wasn't alone and that it would pass...if I kept working.

I spent almost a year working on 50 Cowboys~50 Paintings.  For more information about this project click here.  I was very focused and disciplined, finishing one portrait before moving to the next. They are all monochromatic, burnt sienna and white,  and while I was working on them, I didn't allow myself to paint anything else for fear of losing my focus.

A year of complete and total focus...and now what? Will I ever feel that passionate about a project again? If I spend too much time worrying about all of that I won't get much done. The advice from those who had previous experience was to get in the studio and do something....anything....just get back in the studio!

I was excited to work on color again and love painting portraits so I determined to paint a self-portrait every day, using acrylic and not allowing myself to be overly concerned with the outcome. Note: painting self-portraits when you're down in the dumps should be approached with caution.

Abandoning self-portraits, at least for now, I painted others in oil, acrylic, and pastel then switched it up and painted landscapes and florals.

It feels like I am getting my footing again...YAY...I think I will go back to studying my favorite old, and not so old, masters. The first of which I present to you today..."Alexandra on the Volga" by Nicolai Fechin. Mine is a pastel version of his oil.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Informed Collector Feature by FASO

Informed Collector Recommends:

Gaye Sekula

Acrylic 7 x 8 1/2
The Team by Gaye Sekula was awarded Outstanding Acrylic in the April 2017 BoldBrush Painting Competition.


Follow this artist on FASO and get alerts in your email inbox when new artworks are posted

Many thanks to Fine Art Studio Online (FASO)!


Saturday, June 10, 2017

"Peonies", Pastel

"Peonies", 4.5" x 8.5", Pastel
The first time I ever laid eyes on peonies was in Poland. It's a pity they don't grow in South Texas.  Thankfully, we can get them at Central Market or Whole Foods. 

“There are always flowers for those who want to see them.” -Henri Matisse

Thursday, June 8, 2017

"Texas Summer", Pastel

"Texas Summer, 8.5" x 4.5", Pastel 
I primarily work in oils but also love other media.  Last week was for pastels, experimenting with a new paper and a subject that I rarely paint...flowers. 

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Renoir Changed My Life

Pierre Auguste Renoir

Many of you probably don’t know that I used to be a potter. I was having a great time working on my pottery wheel, mixing my own glazes, creating my own designs... I was probably having too much fun because one day my thumb started jumping out of joint…even when I was asleep! 

I can only chalk it up to mega-repetitive injury. Yeah, I’m kind of obsessive-compulsive.  

Many trips to doctors, countless injections and it still wasn’t getting better. Talk about depression! I felt my life was over and it hadn’t even begun. What was I going to do with all this creativity that needed to be expressed?

This is where Pierre Auguste Renoir comes in. I had always loved Renoir’s work. I found it beautiful, comforting, soft and romantic. I must have picked up a book or read an article, maybe it was a post on the internet, where doesn’t matter. What did matter was it changed my life!

Renoir suffered from rheumatoid arthritis and was quite crippled in his later years. It was hard for him to sit to paint and impossible to hold a brush. 

But his creativity had to be expressed.... so he hired someone to tie a brush in his hand. Reading this flung open a door I thought had been locked and the key thrown into the abyss. I told you I was really depressed. 

I began oil painting the summer of my 12th year and continued all through high school. But life happens, focus changes, I got married, had a daughter and painting took a back seat. 

When I read of Renoir’s courage and determination, I was reminded of my love of painting...I could hold brush without excessive stress on my thumb and, if I need be, I could also have a brush tied in MY hand! 

I owe my artistic progression to many people but most of all to Pierre Auguste Renoir

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 sekulastudio@gmail.com

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 www.legacyportraitpainters.com
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 www.kathrynholter.com
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." www.facebook.com/stefanoilpaintings
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." www.muleheadstudios.com 
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. www.facebook.com/DKRichardsonPortraitsAndFineArt
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." www.sekulastudio.com