Lisa Pulhofer – Sky Portrait Artist of the Year Semi-Finalist

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Earlier this year former Portrait Diploma student, Lisa Pulhofer, reached the semi-finals of the Sky Portrait Artist of the Year competition. Here she shares her experience with us:

‘I entered last minute after finishing my self portrait (one that I had started in Daniel Shadbolt’s 3 week project, when our model was ill). I cannot tell you how surprised I was when I got the call from the programe!  I was walking on air all day! What a confidence boost.
Then the reality of a 4 hour portrait set in.
The whole experience was a whirlwind of excitement and nerves, though it was all made manageable by the friendly and supportive crew at Storyvault Films. They were so encouraging and helpful, both on the lead up to the day and during the filming. It was so exciting to meet the presenters, judges and my sitter Sophie Martini. I didn’t really have a plan, just to paint what I saw and try to capture something of her essence and character. Luckily she was a great sitter, hardly moving at all and so beautiful!
The relief among the artists when the 4 hours was up was palpable. I must say I felt pretty good by then, the crowd were saying such lovely things about my painting. When I looked at the other artists work however, although happy with what I had done, I did not think for a minute I would get through.  They were all so talented!
When Frank called my name as the winner at the end I was shocked and overwhelmed. It was such an exhilarating feeling.
Then the panic set in! I had to do it all again in a couple of weeks time in the semi final…
Again the crew were so helpful. We were treated almost like celebrities. Hotel and trains booked. All that was left for us to do, was show up. I did practice a few quick portraits prior to the day, however, I made a bold decision on the day which I will always regret.  But a painting is a journey and sometimes you take the wrong path. The whole semi final day was more difficult; 2 sitters in 4 hours and we were positioned much further away from them. Lovely as they both were, they didn’t sit still all day, so for those of us who were painting from life, this made it an even greater challenge.
The whole experience is one I will never forget. To anyone thinking about entering, I would say go for it!! ‘

About heatherleys

Heatherley's blog on art, artists and life in an art school
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