Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Award Winners

Congratulations to all our amazing award winners. This year we not only present our award winners, but have special remarks from our judge, Chris Ivers, about what made these pieces stand out to her. Thank you Chris for taking the time to write down these remarks, and thank you to all our award winners for entering such great paintings in the show.

 People's Choice Award
Marcy Taylor - Destiny Ahead

Marcy, we have no judge's remarks for you, but the people spoke out at our reception, and congratulations on a piece that caught their eyes. 

 Merit Award
Barbara Adams - Early Fall

Barbara Adams, “Early Fall”
Almost abstract in quality, this painting is proof of the diversity of the medium that this artist loves! Layers upon layers of cool and warm pigment, the use of large shapes that define the trees and field, all of these elements create the setting in this wonderful and vibrant landscape. This artist helps to make a viewer feel the impending change of season that is about to arrive with its full bounty of color before the onset of winter. With bold and wonderful mark making, this artist deserves congratulations for a painting worth this recognition.

Merit Award
Wendy Devarieux - Luberon Sunset 

Wendy Devarieux “Luberon Sunset”
I personally think that painting sunsets is one of the most difficult subjects in the world to paint. That being said, this artist was given a true gift to create such an incredible replica of the setting sun! Through the use of temperature that transports you from the warm field to the distant coolness of the mountain ridge, this artist has an incredible handle on atmospheric perspective. But the “icing on the cake” so to speak, is the magnificent use of color in the sky above. The translucency of color as the sun sets behind the clouds is not only breathtaking but a testament to her ability to capture the light show put on my mother nature! Congratulations!

Merit Award
Paula Pascucci - Waiting
Paula Pascucci, “Waiting”
There is sensitivity in this little painting that caught my eye as I walked the gallery. I could feel a story of the connection that this man had with his dog waiting for something that I would never know. The captured rim light that plays in subtle ways to direct the viewer to spend time with the dog only to lead you up to his owner looking over him as they wait. I’m a believer that we as artists are given the gift to be storytellers and I applaud this artist for this delightful little pastel. I encourage this artist to capture more stories in her paintings and kudos for letting us enter this touching little story.

 Merit Award
Valeria Shatzel - Vase of Flowers and a Golden Plate
 Valeria Shatzel “Vase of Flowers and a Golden Plate”
The first thought that came to mind when I walked past this painting was a vision of Colonial America. The design elements intrigued me as being almost primitive in style of years gone by, yet brought to life again in this vase of flowers. Circles and sprays, repetition of shapes and color, all set on a simple background, give this painting a wonderful graphic feeling sharing the voice of the artist. Directional in every sense of the word, this vase of flowers is a perfect example of a pastelist who loves strong design and bold strokes. I hope you will continue to share your love of the medium with us in the future. Congratulations on showing us yet another way in which diversity of this medium is possible.

 Chris Ivers Award of Excellence
Rick Peterson - Cut Bank

Rick Petersen, “Cut Bank”
Simple yet well thought out composition was the main element that attracted me to this lovely painting of the sand dunes. A calmness falls over me from the artist’s rendition of the warm, gentle sky and sloping white sand while the subtle greenery leads me throughout the painting. Adding to everything is the wonderful use of gray violet in the shadows that kiss the sand to cool some areas for the eye to rest. This painting beckons to follow over the dune to what I imagine as a beach and a peaceful sea. I congratulate the artist for taking me to this lovely place deserving of this extra award. 

Third Place
Jessica Shippee - Midnight on Monroe

Jessica Shippee, “Midnight on Monroe”
This Impressionistic nocturne, with it’s bouncing reflections leading me into this street scene, made me want to follow that street down to the next block and then to the next. I want to know what is in the distance that is lighting up the night sky. Bold contrasts and harmonious temperatures helped to keep me traveling down the avenue only to bring me back again to the stoplight in the foreground. I am impressed by this artist’s ability to capture the experience of that single night and to allow me to share in that feeling. Keep painting those moments in time and Kudos on a painting well executed with passion.

Second Place
Renee Fauré - Autumn Folly

Renee Faure, “Autumn Folly”
The energetic mark making, along with the vibrant and bold color, made this little painting a creative gem! Excitement is the word I would use to describe this work by which the artist captivated me with the layers of directional strokes that danced around this small but wonderful painting. Using brilliant compliments and different color temperatures to convey her feeling about the scene, this little landscape describes the artist’s energy and love of painting. Well deserving of an award I congratulate Renee on this small work that spoke so much to me.

First Place
Richard Lundgren -  Contrasts

Richard Lundgren, “Contrasts”
Repetitive patterns, cast shadows and attention to detail caught my eye when I first walked by this painting. Almost tonal in quality, with just enough variation of color to highlight particular areas of the composition, I was impressed with this artist’s ability to give me the directional paths that led me into the piece where I found myself circling along with the bike wheels. Mastery of form and highlight, an unusual and difficult rendering, the name the artist chose was well thought out and fitting for this wonderful painting. Along with frame to show off a beautiful work of art I can only say Kudos to the artist. I hope to see more of his work.

Best in Show
Patrick Mahoney -  Moss Canopy

Pat Mahoney, “Moss Canopy”
It is very rare for an artist to break some taboos in composition yet complete a spectacular painting such as the one that won this top honor. With the highlighted Spanish Moss reflecting the dappled light right in the middle of the painting, one would believe that this would have detracted from the work. Instead I found myself wandering around in the play of light and shadows, which make up this intriguing landscape. From the textured surface that made me feel I was walking through it to the atmosphere created by this artist’s hand I was held captive by this piece. Excellent presentation with a frame that complimented the painting I can only say congratulations and keep breaking the rules!

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