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bel canto: “beautiful singing”; an Italian operatic vocal technique originating in the 18th century Nelson Shanks (American, 1937–2015): portrait artist and founder of Studio Incamminati

In a preparatory graphite drawing, Thompson pushed the development of a reclining figure that would later appear in Bewitch (oil on linen, 18x28). In the painting, he completed the figure prior to adding the “waterfall” of fabric.

says Thompson. “My talent at fi rst had been unclear, but my determination undeniable; I practiced for at least two hours a day and had a lesson once a week, during which my coach took me through rigorous studies illuminating a path toward technical grace. ‘You know, Dan,’ he said while viewing my portfolio, ‘you’ve been a good music student, but this,’— he held up a few of my drawings—‘this is what you should be doing!’ I was stunned! What about my future? What about trying to be a great singer? But something inside me, something on a deep intuitive level, agreed. I should be drawing and painting. I knew it. Mr. Lackey was right.”

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LEARNING THE LANGUAGE OF ART That spring, with music out of the picture, Thompson applied and was accepted at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. He would go on to study art at several of the most important representational schools of the day, the mainstay being the New York Academy of Art (NYAA). “Th roughout my studies I had been aware of the NYAA, but didn’t feel in the

same league with its students—because I wasn’t,” Thompson says. “It was only after a few years of atelier training that my interests in the academy, formalized anatomy and a master of fine arts degree converged, and I took a chance on an application. To my complete shock, a scholarship was offered, which brought me to New York City.” While in the student-immersion mode, Thompson would pursue training at the Art Students League and Water Street Atelier. He also connected with Nelson Shanks, an association that led to a teaching position at the master painter’s Philadelphia academy, Studio Incamminati.  “It was about this time (2006) when three friends invited me to partner with them in starting a school of our own in New York City,” says Thompson. “We worked the program out from top to bottom—the location, structure, curriculum, portfolio review, easels and lighting—even named it together: It was called the ‘Grand Central Academy of Art.’” (The school now goes by the name Grand Central Atelier, or GCA.). Recalling those days, he explains further, “So much of what forged later working

The artist's magazine easyindochinatravel  

ART AND COMMERCE are supposed to be at odds, but even purists acknowledge that the tradition of patronage— worldly popes, vainglorious kings...

The artist's magazine easyindochinatravel  

ART AND COMMERCE are supposed to be at odds, but even purists acknowledge that the tradition of patronage— worldly popes, vainglorious kings...

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