It’s that time of year again when the competitions across the country start calling for entries. My choices for February are the BP Portrait Award, the Lynn-Painter Stainers Prize, and the Royal Portrait Society Annual Exhibition. They are all due in at pretty much the same time and are all London based, so the considerations are mainly the cost of sending the work down there from Glasgow rather than having enough work to go round.

I have been working on a series of portraits of the incredibly beautiful Missy Malone. I love every painting I make of her, and I was very honoured when she agreed to come and model for some paintings. She has given me a painting challenge in return, to portray her sitting on an elephant, so watch this space during March for progress. The pose I chose for the portrait is a demure one, where she is at rest sipping a nice cup of tea. I have been moving towards portraing the burlesque performers, not only in the throws of a performance, but also at rest. The final one is an oil painting, 100 x 80cm large, and is simply called ‘Missy’ and I hope she likes it as much as I do.

So back to the competitions; the Royal Portrait Society has started an interedting idea of judging works online, so you still pay your £12 per work, but you only send it down if you get picked. This is a great bonus for artists living outside London. The Stainer-Painter prize always has interesting mix of work, but as I want to try and  promote myself more as a portrait painter, so the other two win my money this year. Wish me luck!

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