I can be really cheap sometimes. I’ve actually taken a black sharpie to the pink stripes on some sister-grown-out-cleats in order for my son to wear them. Yet, I also bit the bullet and had an oil portrait commissioned of all three of my children. I’d rather not say how much it cost, but I think it’s fair to say “a slightly used Honda.” Yep, this means I’ll be driving my own very used Honda minivan until it is at least 10 years old and putting the sharpie on many a cleat in my future. It’s a balancing act and one I’m glad to be in.
Hands down, our portrait is the best purchase of my life. Really. I’m thrilled with it. I will keep this portrait forever and I love knowing that future generations will continue to enjoy it. If I could change anything, it might be to have supported a local artist instead of looking out of state.
Today, we are thrilled to introduce you to Mark Alan Burnett and Ann Cowden, two admired portrait artists who live right here, in Nashville.
Mark Alan Burnett
Mark Alan Burnett is known for his way of capturing the essence of his subjects. I asked Mark about why he thought people continue to seek out painted portraits when photography is so available and abundant. He compared the differences to food: you can get a lot of great fast food today, but a slow cooked home meal will leave you more satisfied in the end. The love, care and time that a portrait takes is amazing. Most people wait between 6 months to 12 months for their portrait. During that time you want to 1) like the artist you are working with and 2) know that your money is being spent in a way that will leave you completely satisfied. One of Mark’s clients grabbed their portrait when their house was on fire. I concur that as far as possessions go, that is what I, too, would grab. Mark has painted portraits of several generations within the same family. They come back because, yes, they love the outcome, but they also like working with Mark, the attention he gives his clients, and the obvious joy he takes in his work. I also just found out the Mark is about to be published in Volume 1 of the World Wide Best Artist series. See, I knew I was impressed!
The length to which Mark goes to assure he understands his subjects shines through in the finished portrait. Before picking up a paint brush Mark enjoys getting to know the person he will be painting. For example, Mark sits in on the classes of each Professor he has been commissioned to paint. He wants to watch them in action. Their public personae is being honored and needs to be portrayed, but he also is interested in their interests and stories. It’s not about painting from a single session of photos, although the experience is augmented by photographs. His approach is about capturing a personality, an essence, a completeness in the moment that is beyond the scope from what I have seen with other artists. If you are looking for someone who will approach a painting beyond capturing the physical, then I highly suggest calling Mark Allen Burnett. Mark will only paint a few paintings a year and he has won numerous awards for his portraits, both in oil and pastel. STYLEBLUEPRINT READERS: Just for you Mark is offering 10% off any portrait commissioned before the end of March. Since I’ve never known Mark to work through a portrait broker, advertise or offer a discount, this is a rare opportunity. To read more about Mark, click here. Also, I love that additional figures are just 50% additional in his pricing. Many artists do not discount additional figures at all.
Ann Cowden is an amazing portrait, landscape and pet portraiture artist – she’s also just a nice person with whom you will enjoy your time spent. Her energy is infectious and she really feels that it is a gift to be able to paint a portrait for a family. I love this quote from Ann, “I am truly in love with painting, and I get excited about every project I begin. I strive to grow as an artist and to continue to learn and improve each day, each year, forever more!”
Ann works both through individual contacts as well as through Portrait Artists of America. Her latest portrait is of the Mary Hartong’s daughter, Mary Liza. I bring this up as Mary Hartong is the Nashville rep for Portrait Artists of America and thus the fact that she choose Ann to paint her daughter speaks very highly of Ann’s talent. Ann recognizes that the economy is not good right now and is giving significant discounts on portraits. Depending on what it is that you want, you might be able to get up to 25% off. Call her and her joy for working with you will be felt. See her website and her talent will have you hooked.
If you have ever thought about having a portrait commissioned, now is the time! www.markalanburnettportraits.com