First Honor Award

International Artist - - The Art Of The Portrait -

Spon­sored by: Por­trait So­ci­ety of Amer­ica and Sourcetek

Si­mon Watkins Lon­don, Eng­land, UK Stephan, oil, 31½ x 39" (80 x 99 cm)

In­spi­ra­tion: Stephan, the sub­ject of Si­mon’s por­trait, is a young ac­tor he met through a friend. Si­mon finds that ac­tors have a great un­der­stand­ing of what they bring to the process; how they sit, how they hold them­selves and their fa­cial ex­pres­sions all have a great ef­fect on the paint­ing be­cause ac­tors un­der­stand that sit­ting for a por­trait is a kind of per­for­mance. As a por­trait painter, Si­mon is con­scious that por­trai­ture can be a record of this per­for­mance, but it can also cap­ture a glimpse of more un­guarded mo­ments when the per­for­mance is for­got­ten, and other parts of the sub­ject’s char­ac­ter are seen. Si­mon al­ways hopes to show some­thing of the com­plex­ity of each in­di­vid­ual life.

Artis­tic Path: Si­mon stud­ied art his­tory at the Uni­ver­sity of York, fo­cus­ing par­tic­u­larly on the por­trai­ture of 18th-cen­tury Bri­tain. His artis­tic train­ing was in Florence, Italy, at Charles H. Ce­cil Stu­dios where he stud­ied for three years, end­ing in 2012. Since then, he has been work­ing from his stu­dio in Lon­don, pri­mar­ily paint­ing por­trait com­mis­sions, but also teach­ing and ex­hibit­ing his other non-por­trait work.

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