Sara Vanderbeek
Chuck Close

Portraits of the Artists

Portraits of the Artists is a collection of paintings and drawings showcasing artists in their studios. The artists range from regional to international in recognition.

The process for each portrait begins with a meeting in the artist's studio. Vanderbeek takes hundreds of photographs of her subjects in an effort to capture a bit of her subject's personality. Although she paints from photographs, which she composites from dozens of images from her meeting, Vanderbeek believes the work has the feeling that her subjects sat for their portrait because of the natural ease of posture and expression.

This project represents an extension of Vanderbeek's professional artwork to date, which derives largely from a concept she developed several years ago as an undergraduate student, loosely titled Everyone I Have Ever Known — wherein lies a long-term goal to paint literally everyone she knows. Although this achievement is not realistic, she returns again and again to this concept as a source of ongoing inspiration, conviction and reassurance.

More than a documentation, each of these paintings is a tribute. It celebrates the work and aspirations of the artist ‐ each of whom has influenced Vanderbeek's own work, and, above all, inspired her to be a painter and live creatively.