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Florence Academy of Art - blog
May 27 14

Congratulations to all the Florence Academy winners of the 2013-14 Art Renewal Center Salon

by Basilio de San Juan Guerrero

This year has been a good year for Alumni at the ARC awards! 22 paintings and one sculpture…Well done!

Here is the list and work of the winner by categories

William Bouguereau Award

$3,000 Prize
Nick Alm


Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine Award and Imaginative Realism Category Winners $2,250 First Place Prize
Stephen Bauman
When I was Young
Oil on Canvas
45 x 60 inches
Chairman’s Choice Awards

$350 Chairman’s Prize
Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund
Two Sides of a Coin
Oil on Canvas
48 x 36 inches
Purchase Awards
$14,000 Purchase Prize
Teresa Oaxaca
Clamor Of The Unconscious
Oil On Canvas
55 x 44 inches
ARC Staff Awards
$100 ARC Staff Prize
Teresa Oaxaca
Late Hour
Oil On Canvas
54 x 38 inches
Nick Alm
Oil on Canvas
35,4 x 23,6 inches
Vitaliy Shtanko
Oil on Canvas
43.3 x 57.1 inches
Vitaliy Shtanko
Portrait of a girl in a poppy wreath
Oil on Canvas
24 x 33.9 inches
Carla Paine
‘I Died for Beauty”
Oil on Linen
22 x 30 inches
Teresa Oaxaca
Night Scene
Oil On Canvas
40 x 30 inches
Per Elof Nilsson Ricklund
An Uneven Struggle
Oil on Canvas
32 x 44 inches
Cornelia Hernes
Midsummer Night
Oil on Canvas
24 x 35 inches
Michael DeVore
The Burden of Knowledge
Oil on Linen
36 x 32 inches
Adrian Gottlieb
Oil on Canvas
43 x 25 inches
William Neukomm
30×32 inches
Jennifer Gennari
In the Deep
Oil on Panel
15 x 63 inches
Gala Gilan
The Quest
Oil on Canvas
35.4 x 51 inches
Teresa Oaxaca
Lillith, The Putto (Tasting Cake)
Oil On Canvas
24 x 24 inches
Maureen Hyde
Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors
Oil on Canvas
22 x 30 inches
Maureen Hyde
Thicker than Blood
Oil on Canvas
20 x 28 inches
Justin Hess
Endless Possibilities
Oil on Linen
32 x 76 inches
May 14 14

How You Can Learn the Ancient Techniques of Master Painters of the Past with Daniel Graves

by Basilio de San Juan Guerrero

A Note From B. Eric Rhoads, 
Publisher of Fine Art Connoisseur and PleinAir


I have to admit, I’m jealous. I know I’m not supposed to be, yet after almost two decades of painting, I simply cannot paint like many of today’s young masters. Further, I cannot paint like the Old Masters I so dearly love. I have been searching, and my endless journey still has me struggling to produce paintings with that Old Masters quality, yet in my own contemporary voice. Am I making progress? Maybe, but I cannot figure out how they get the form, the skin tones, the light and shadow, and how their paintings seem to leap off the canvas.

I think, however, my journey may have led me to a solution at last. It started with a trip to a distant land.

I was a painter before I ever launched PleinAir magazine and Fine Art Connoisseur, but I am a business owner first, and the time it takes to run a business has meant my painting has had to be relegated to nights and weekends. I know that years of brush time and momentum as a painter is necessary for me to improve. I’ve studied with many painters and taken many workshops, but I still struggle. I hate to think I won’t master it until I retire (if I ever do).

I know many painters who feel the same way. Some are working and trying to get better, others are working full-time on painting but still have not found the solution to mastering this Old Masters look.

Since I started painting and producing these magazines, I’ve been on a lifetime quest to better my own painting and that of others. It starts with showcasing the best of the best in the magazines, so we can all learn what quality really is. It has continued with events like the Plein Air Convention, and with the production of DVDs. I had no idea I’d someday be in the art education business, but I take that role very seriously. And unlike so many big corporations that own art magazines and don’t really live art, I live it every day. I do it because of my passion, my concern for others who want to grow as painters or collectors.


For decades now I’ve heard about the Florence Academy in Italy and the great work they have been doing to train young artists. They were doing it when few others were and are very much responsible for the contemporary realism movement today. That school was started by master artist Daniel Graves, who has found mentors in the lineage of great painters of the past. I met Daniel for the first time about eight years ago, when Peter Trippi and I had dinner with Daniel Graves and Jacob Collins. We have been friends ever since.


Since then Daniel has told me to come and study at the Florence Academy. He said a visit would open my eyes. So two years ago, on our Italian Art Cruise, our group visited. He was right. Since that moment I’ve craved a chance to attend the Florence Academy, either for a summer program or for a few years. But reality sinks in. I have a life, a family, a business, and no time to spend studying. So what would be the next best thing? Bring the academy to me.

I contacted Daniel and suggested I bring a video crew to Florence, to capture the essence of the academy and of the Florence art scene and have him teach the techniques that have been passed down to him from the great masters. He agreed, so last fall I went to Florence for a week, and we shot lots and lots of video.

Daniel Graves took us through all the steps of his process, starting with prepping the canvas and the colors. He gets such pure color by grinding his own, so I got that on video. He is also known for his process for cleaning oils so his paintings don’t yellow. I got that on video. We then went through the creation of sight-size drawing, sketching, blocking in, the process of creating form, and then on to the finishing elements of the portrait.


I then interviewed Daniel, and we had some very special moments (I think we both teared up at one point). He truly is a special guy with a passion for art. And as it happens, there was a 25th-anniversary exhibition of Pietro Anagoni’s work when I was in Florence. A magical moment happened when Daniel Graves, John Michael Angel, and Charles Cecil were all together for the first time since they started out together as young students more than 25 years ago. We caught that meeting on video. I also got a chance to meet Mrs. Anagoni, and I met a women who modeled for one of the artist’s portraits at age 19. She is now in her late 70s, and it was beautiful to see this woman standing next to her portrait. We caught that on video. It was magical.


This video is the first in our Florence Academy Series, and we expect it to be a giant seller because most of us desire time at the Florence Academy with Daniel Graves, but only a few ever get that privilege. This video is on DVD, and you can watch it over and again (as I have) in your own home. I’m already seeing my painting change because of it.



The video will be released in just a few weeks. We are putting the final editing touches on it this week and next and then we’ll send it out for duplication. You can get it at a special pre-release price if you’re willing to wait three or maybe four weeks (it might be sooner).

This two-DVD set will normally sell for $127. But we’re offering it to you for $107. It’s a chance to save $20 on something you’ll most likely want to buy anyway.

I’m really proud to be able to produce video of this quality for the art world. My goal was to make videos as beautiful as the art itself. I think we’ve come very close, and this DVD is our best yet. I hope you’ll consider it, but there is a deadline to get the pre-release price.


If you order within the next 24 hours, we will throw in the shipping at no charge, to anywhere in the world. That offer expires on Wednesday, May 14 at midnight Pacific Time.

The pre-release discount expires on Tuesday, May 27. Just two weeks from today.

To order call 561-655-8778 or visit

Eric Rhoads

PS: I suspect this DVD will go into two or three printings. It’s very likely we could sell out the first printing in the next 24 hours — it will be that huge. If you get your order in within 24 hours, you get free shipping and areguaranteed to get the first release of the first printing. You can save $20 on this $127 DVD, for a price of $107. Price expires on Tuesday, May 27. Order now.


Watch this brief preview for 
Daniel Graves: Old World Portraiture™


Old World Portraiture 
with Daniel Graves™

Florence Academy Series

Available now on a special PRE-RELEASE discount price, which expires on May 27, 2014


To order visit www.streamlineartvideo. com/graves

or phone 561-655-8778



To Order by Phone call 561-655-8778

International Phone Orders call 0-11-561-655-8778

Old World Portraiture with Daniel Graves, Florence Academy Series

©/™Streamline Publishing, Inc. 2012-2014. All Rights Reserved. HOME USE LICENSE ONLY: DO NOT COPY, DISTRIBUTE, RENT, OR PERFORM. For licensing information, contact 561-655-8778 or licensing@ View Licensing Terms.


May 11 14

Alicia Ponzio Continues her Recent Success in Figurative Sculpture at The Portrait Society of America

by Basilio de San Juan Guerrero
The Portrait Society of America’s prestigious International Portrait Competition has designated this year’s award winners, who will now be considered at the forefront of contemporary portraiture.

At the annual Art of the Portrait Conference, the Portrait Society of America announced the winners of its 2014 International Portrait Competition from a list of 21 finalists. Alicia Ponzio continued her recent success in figurative sculpture, winning First Place Sculpture with her bronze “In Recent Days — A Self-Portrait.”

For more information click here
Congratulations Alicia!
 Alicia Ponzio. In Recent Days.A Self-Portrait