by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director
We were driving west on one of those great Texas roads. My husband driving, because he likes to be in control…while in the car! I’m free to look at the road ahead disappear into the horizon with a majestic cloud formation building in front of the sun as it lowers in the sky with rays of pinks and golds highlighting the edges. Then a tiny town comes into view with silos and grain bins and a smattering of trees silhouetted against the clouds, adding interest to the focal point. Some would think this such a simple landscape. I wanted to capture its beauty. As an artist, I think this is what happens to us over and over. The light is just right, the shadows form an interesting composition. And the color…exactly what is that blue gray of the sky? Whether we’re on the beach at sunset or looking out of a hotel room in New York City, landscapes inspire us and ignite our creativity. They are everywhere we look. And sometimes, as is the case of our 3rd place winner this month, only in our minds. Be sure to read about our winning artists thoughts in a separate blog entry, Winner’s Words.
This month, fifty-one wonderful paintings show just how our members respond to these scenes. We get to experience their views with an added element: the artist’s emotions. Please take some time to soak in the scenes that have been shared with us. Think about how each artist interpreted the view.
That’s just what our juror this month did. Sharon Willcutts is a Fine Arts Administrator and a Studio Arts Instructor in Houston. She earned a Master of Fine Arts in Painting at the University of Houston and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting at the Kansas City Art Institute. She also studied at The Villages of Art, Lacoste, France and Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois.
She is an accomplished teacher with more than 30 years of experience guiding all facets of fine arts curriculum development and presentation including studio and classroom environments. Her educational experience includes drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, stone carving, welding, ceramics, and wood shop.
Sharon is currently a Visual Arts Instructor at Episcopal High School. In the past she has also taught at the Museum of Fine Arts Glassell School of Art, St. Stephens Episcopal School in Houston and Houston Community College. Additionally, Sharon has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Texas and beyond.
Sharon graciously shared her thoughts about each winner at our Awards presentation and I now share those words with you.
1st Place – Huaco Falls by Cheryl Evans
“Very competent painting. Tremendous use of color harmony, perspective and sense of light. I love the color transitions, balance of warm and color contrast, as well as hard and soft edges. Tremendous use of atmospheric perspective!”
2nd Place – Melancholic Sunset by Hiep Nguyen
“The direct simplicity of this piece really caught my eye. The minimal use of color and brush strokes are very Zen. A moment caught in time. The economy of marks exquisitely mindful, deliberate and perfect in placement. Absolutely gorgeous! I would love be honored to have this part of my own collection.”
3rd Place – My Favorite Place by Erika Just
“I was immediately drawn to the broad versatility of brush work as well as the sheer the scale of this piece. The loose, layered washes, and gestural application of paint is playful, gusty and confident. Lovely use of color!”
Honorable Mention – Café Creperie by Larry Spitzberg
“I just love the playful gestures of the figures. You’ve successfully captured the personality of three characters and the poignant moment when ordering at an outdoor café. Beautiful sense of light and layered brush work. Every stroke is purposeful and confident, nothing is overworked.”
Honorable Mention – Sights in the Heights by Kristen Peale
“I find this composition deeply captivating and ambitious! What a wonderful use of architectural collage! The push pull of the imagery pulsates across the page, pulling my eye in and out through the forms, advancing and receding with the perspective of each individual home. I think I recognized a few of the houses in my neighborhood!”
Honorable Mention – Hey, I’m Talking Here by Les McDonald, Jr.
“This painting made me laugh! I absolutely love the title, “Hey I’m Talking Here.” It captures the playful bantering gesture of two gulls. Not only do I find it humorous, but it is remarkably rendered. I am captivated by the detail in the wood pier and gulls. Nice contrast of hard and soft edges, they seem effortless, perfectly capturing the mood and atmospheric perspective of a cloudy day at the beach.”
Honorable Mention - The Ride by Lynda Jung
“What an ambitious composition. The one-point perspective of the road leading to the flag is a challenging task which could have easily become over baring and too one pointed. What a wonderful job of balancing the detail between the hard edges of the foreground with soft bleeds of the middle and background. I love the point of view of the cyclist riding through a crowded street full of carefully rendered characters, uniquely painted capturing the gesture of each individual bystander.”
Honorable Mention – Galverston Sidewalk by Cissy Geigerman
“I was instantly drawn to this piece because it effortlessly captures the impression of a sunny day at a beach town sidewalk café. The variety of brush strokes beautiful echoes the play of texture in the landscape, and the balance of warm and cool color contrast supports the sense of mid-day sunlight.”
Our monthly shows would not be possible without the work of the following valuable volunteers:
Nancy McMillan - Gallery Co-Director
Karen Stopnicki - Website Director
Cissy Geigerman - Website Administrator
Sally Hoyt - Website Administrator
Laura Mossman – Artist Liaison
Our September show has a theme of EXPERIMENTAL. The prospectus is currently available on the web page.