Instead of my spending the afternoon painting, hubby offered to take care of the kids so that I could go to the Laing Gallery in Newcastle to see this year's BP Portrait Awards.
My favorite there I was a lively and engaging study by Perdita Sinclair called 'Aileen'. The two others I loved were 'The King of Spain' by Diarmuid Kelley, and 'Christa' by Jaime Valero Perandones. They're all on the National Portrait Gallery site, as I've just found.
Photo-realism was popular, but some left me cold. The winning portrait was a large painting of an elderly gentleman. Although this one could also be descibed as photo-realism, rather than just reproducing what was seen the artist also put a lot of atmosphere and feeling into the painting. It wouldn't have been my personal choice to win, but I don't disagree passionately with the decision.
It didn't make me want to seek out more of his works though, like the Perdita Sinclair one did.