Grand Prize – Michael Shane Neal
When Michael Shane Neal first met Dr. Flanagan, he knew he had to paint his portrait. Shane explains, “He has one of those great heads, solid and angular with a handsome, flowing beard. A well-spoken, highly intelligent man…[he] strikes me as someone out of a Henry James novel, …a man from Sargent’s era and the Gilded Age. I thought it would be terrific fun to create a traditional gentleman’s portrait, one that might hearken back to that era, simultaneously creating a portrait of a man from my own time.”
Shane painted two oil sketches from life, getting to know his subject better. Later he took more than 100 photographs of his sitter with various poses and lighting. The sketches and photographs helped “determine my approach to the painting while recording an image that will aid me in the process.”
His palette used fewer than ten colors and white. Turpentine was the medium during the early stages of the portrait and a mixture of poppyseed oil and turpentine in the later stages.
Shane concluded, “Although my time is filled with commission work, I am reminded by my teachers and friends that you must also find time to paint for yourself.”