By Cissy Geigerman, WAS-H Gallery Co-Director
Everybody sings the “Blues”. Our members rose to the challenge to paint something primarily blue (pun intended). The variety of subjects, intensities, and textures was astounding given the criteria in the prospectus.
Our judge, Shirley Moore Leago, did a thorough job evaluating over 70 entries. She has been a judge for the Kingwood Art Show, the Conroe Art League, the Houston Arts Society and has taught painting theory at Houston area studios for 30 years. Being one of the judges at the Houston Rodeo Art Show has been a highlight of her career as she enjoyed predicting which young artist would blossom into a professional. For our gallery reception, Ms. Leago once again put on her teaching hat and helped us understand what makes a painting speak to the viewer.
This show has a different look and feel because the colors are in harmony. The biggest challenge was to hang so many paintings! Our volunteer crew did an amazing job. Many thanks to Marcia Wasson, Leisa Patin, Mansueto Fabugais, Paula Fowler, Nancy McMillan, and Martha Inskeep. It’s wonderful to have you!
First Place: Jackie Liddell
Ms. Leago – Nice warms and cools that juxtaposition. The wave could be off center a bit more. Nice handling of the paint, with lots of energy. A difficult media handled well.
Jackie Liddell- Yupo is a challenge but it is so much fun! It is forgiving enough that if you don’t like it you can just lift it off and start again. For this piece I was trying to be a traditional artist using an untraditional paper. My idea was from a memory with my daughter where the Galveston breakers were some time ago. The water was bluer and beautiful. The rocks were my challenge. With watercolors, textures can be done so many ways. I practiced with Saran wrap on other paper before finally using it here.
Second Place: Maksim Koloskov
“Night in Asturias”
Ms. Leago – This has wonderful mood, is dramatic and mysterious. It has depth, strong darks and a brilliant blue sky. I love it because of these little lights in the background which really told the story. You wonder, looking at it, there is this close black tree, but what is going on in the distance? A simple piece that told a lot.
Maksim Koloskov - Last winter I spent over two months staying with my family in a little aldea in the mountains of Asturias, which is in a north of Spain. Beautiful countryside with grassy hills and mountains, dotted with clay tile roofs of the little aldeas and pueblos. It’s a true paradise for an artist. I spent every free moment to paint watercolors and often would come back at night. One night I was walking up the hill after finishing painting a watercolor of a small church from XIII century, the trees along my walk were looming over me, the deep color of the night with few lights of the aldea in the distance was so impressive that I did a “ Night in Asturias” watercolor right after coming back to the house. I pained it fast, in one go, as I merely wanted to record the feel, so I could do a “proper” painting later. I painted it in a room with a dim light and was in a hurry to finish it before joining everyone for a dinner, which I’m sure resulted in a stronger colors and bolder decisions.
Cissy Geigerman – As you have just described, you worked to capture your mood on paper before it faded. During our introductions yesterday, Ms. Leago said she would be looking for paintings that could convey emotions as well as an image. She found it with yours.
Third Place: Philip Wiegand
“Blue and White Porcelain – Double H”
Ms. Leago – Nice composition, the darker shapes are positioned to keep you within the painting.
Philip Weigand - My painting “Blue & White Porcelain: Double Happiness” is based off a similar scene taken from our entry hail which includes a similar styled vase with a bouquet, stairs in the background, and a mirror. When thinking about the Blue theme for the show, I wanted to utilize some of my favorite hues of blue which include Cobalt, Cerulean, and French Ultramarine. In trying to emulate the likeness of the Blue and White pottery, cobalt oxide was how the artesian achieved that vibrant color that has lasted through the centuries, so I thought it fitting to utilize the same pigment for this work. Lastly, the Double Happiness character adorning the vase was a common symbol for vases given as gifts, namely for special occasions such as weddings or other happy events. For the patterns and markings on the vase, I used stamps.
Ms. Leago – I noticed in the pattern shapes you have some slightly blurred. Just like when painting a portrait, you want the features in the face and when you get to the hair, you don’t want the same level of detail.
Honorable Mention: Maria Rodriguez-Alejo
Ms. Leago – An interesting use of texture, movement, color, and value. I look for these and your work has all of them.
Maria Rodriguez-Alejo – For this painting I did not have a specific idea in mind. I just wanted to create an abstract and use turquoise as it is one of my favorite colors. I first worked with the background applying several layers looking to create interest with the different tones and the direction of the brushstroke. I then proceeded to create textures and patterns using brushes, palette knives and other tools. At some point, images of flowers started to appear. Also, the background suggested water flowing. I took the idea of water, movement, and flowers and played with it to create “Raining Flowers”.
Honorable Mention: Erik T. Sprohge
“Towards Rollover PAST”
Ms. Leago – Confident strokes, good use of color. A believable shore and depth.
Erik Sprohge – This is a scene from Rollover Pass, a coastal area near Bolivar Texas, formerly accessible by ferry from East Galveston. This site used to be a favorite fishing spot until the pass was closed to conserve the beaches from erosion. Now it’s in the PAST (Pun intended, Erik’s this time). The name “Rollover” is derived from the habit of pirates of using the sand bar to rollover barrels of contraband to shore.
Honorable Mention: Fontaine Jacobs
“Table for Four”
Ms. Leago – Movement and strong values. The subject could have been moved a bit more to the left so negative spaces could be more interesting. I was imagining glasses of wine there.
Fontaine Jacobs – I am honored to be selected. Unfortunately, I cannot come to the reception, we have COVID in the house.
Cissy Geigerman – We are always happy to see what Fontaine Jacobs has created. We miss her today, but are glad to know she and her household will be OK.