By Cissy Geigerman and Katie Steck, WAS-H Gallery Co-Directors
May 2023 Gallery Conversations
The month of May is a season of sentiments. These emotions are bound to come out of our paintbrushes. The theme of Kids, Toys and Playfulness has provided an outlet for us to express the joys of just being. The Directors are grateful for the enthusiasm of our members to grab an idea and convey it through watercolors and for their ability to adapt to the many different themes for this term. The May show was dazzling and easy to present with the help of our unfailing volunteer Mansueto Fabugais, and the gallery director team.
Next month we will have 2 wonderful new Gallery Co-Directors. Leisa Patin has taken classes at the Glassell School and joined WAS-H during Covid. She endeavors to learn to paint more loosely and likes the versatility of the watercolor medium. Linda Flowers has been a member of WAS-H for about 5 years. She has spent time living in Brazil and even was brave enough to take art classes in Rio De Janeiro as the only American student. She loves painting faces, especially women.
Our judge this month was Bradley Kerl. He is from Beaumont Texas and holds degrees in Fine Art from the University of North Texas and the University of Houston. He has been the solo focus of gallery exhibits in New York, Houston, Austin, Los Angeles, Galveston, and Beeville Texas. He has participated in group exhibitions in Lyon, London, Amsterdam, Sydney, Oslo, New Orleans, and Dallas. His work has been published in Artnews, Financial Times, Texas Highway Magazine, Texas Monthly, and others.
First Place: Laurie Hammons “Summer Daydreams”
BK: I love the layers, the simplified trees. Trees are hard to paint, I know! Good treatment of the washed out background depicting high summer. The figure is draped in a fantastic pose. This painting works well from a distance and up close.
LH: This is my daughter from a few years ago. She is now a second grade teacher. She always loved to be outdoors and climb trees. This image shows her in her own world.
Second Place: Adam Zhao “Happy Times”
BK: I am impressed with the composition and the depth in the scene. This seems to be a dreamily remembered time and place. This artist appears to have comfort and skill in the application of paint and color.
AZ: This is my first entry at WAS-H! I feel very lucky. It took me about 16 hours to complete this painting and I felt a bit rushed as the deadline was approaching. The scene is a local beach and this is my granddaughter. The two larger figures in the foreground are actually both her in different poses. To achieve perspective, I painted smaller figures to recede into the distance. They were actually much bigger in my reference photos. I adjusted the colors in the figures for balance and value.
Third Place: Katherine Rodgers “Melting Marbles”
BK: I love the playful composition and concept. This shows a combination of representation vs. abstraction. Very good technique and color saturation. At first I did not know what it was, but then the marbles appeared with colors that mingle and drip away.
KR: I have a set of marbles at home and I love them for the colors. Thank you for the chance to paint to this theme, it was fun.
Honorable Mention: Susan Collins “My Darling Ophelia”
BK: As I reviewed the paintings along the curved wall, this one jumped out at me. It is a small sweet painting of loose watercolor, done with a simplistic style. I can feel the emotion in this one.
SC: There is plenty of emotion in this painting of my granddaughter. I am thrilled to be recognized in a show that took some courage to enter. I started painting as I retired to challenge myself to try something new. It is thrilling to learn to express myself without language, just art. This child and her family is here to join us today, and I hope you can see the resemblance!
Honorable Mention: Joanie Hughes “Discovery”
BK: This painting is a little different with the scale of the figures filling up the composition. The scene has direction, action, focus and reflections. There is a slight awkwardness in the hunched poses that draw your attention in. I am particularly intrigued with the skin tone showing the beginnings of a sunburn, just like me when I have lost the sense of time from having fun on the beach.
CG: Joanie Hughes is away for this show. She frequent contributor to the Gallery and can paint to any theme the Gallery Directors dream up. Congratulations to her for this well deserved recognition.
Honorable Mention: Beth Graham “Cousins Week at the Beach”
BK: The water is fantastic! The wave are done in a painterly, loose application. There are overlaps and edges in the figures and the water. This artist has included feet which can be difficult to get right, well done.
BG: These are my twin grandsons and their cousin who is also a twin. I am sorry to miss the reception this weekend, but I am at the ARTS Festival in Fayetteville Texas. The festival is wonderful, and I hope to share my experience when I return.