I can’t resist posting about my current art endeavour.

In November I learned I had been selected to appear as a participating artist in STAR PORTRAITS—a television series based on a British show of the same name which aired on BBC One for three seasons and boasted the largest audience of any arts show ever in the UK.

In Canada, Star Portraits is produced by PTV Productions Inc. and will air on Bravo! in the Fall of 2009. The series combines the art of portraiture with celebrity biography and is hosted by Canadian musical theatre star Louise Pitre. The premise for each 1/2 hour episode is that three artists meet a mystery Canadian celebrity on camera at a location revealed only the day before. The artists spend a few hours hastily sketching the celebrity and then return to their studios where they have two weeks to finish the portraits. Afterwards, the artists and celebrity reconvene, the portraits are unveiled, and the celebrity chooses one for his or her own collection. Of the remaining portraits, six will be chosen by the Portrait Gallery of Canada for their permanent collection and the rest will be auctioned off at Joyner Waddington’s Auction of Important Canadian Art, with proceeds going to the celebrities’ charity of choice.

It's nerve-wracking to be in the spotlight, and two weeks is a very tight deadline for a finished portrait in oils, but I think the complete series will be great to watch.

Drawing and painting as a spectator sport (at least one in which I am part of the spectacle) is very new to me, and I was ill prepared for the performative act of painting on demand—in an unfamiliar space with unfortunate lighting and television cameras inches from my canvas. But in spite of my anxiety at being on camera and in the public eye, I am very happy to have had occasion to paint the portrait of such an exceptional Canadian as…

To learn more, stay tuned, or visit the official Star Portraits site to see the entire cast and learn more about the show. See if you can guess which celebrity I painted. I’ll post more closer to the air dates. My star portrait will appear on this blog and on my website after my episode airs.


Dale Sherman Blodget said...

Interesting concept. But does the artist get paid?

Shannon Reynolds said...

The artists each receive a modest honorarium.