Theme: From My Studio
by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director
The month is August and we’re in Houston, so the heat and humidity keep us inside and never far from the hum of our air conditioners. The year is 2020 and images of the impact of the coronavirus and civil unrest swirl in our heads. But when we walk into our studios and let our imaginations and creativity free, what emerges are images of birds of so much color that they flow across the page, vast western canyons filled with light and shadow and fish drifting in the shallow waters of the Gulf. We have no masks, no sweat, no boundaries.
The WAS-H August 2020 virtual show, with the theme of From My Studio, displays 89 images of paintings done by WAS-H members who followed that path to their studios. They invite us to explore the beauty of the world and of their creativity. With the help of our intrepid group of volunteers, we are able to bring this show to you to view and to share with friends from the safety of your own homes
Laurie Humble was our talented and generous judge. She is known for her realistic works in watercolor that feature highlighting and unusual angles, but she is also an oil painter and a sculptor and even experiments with oil finger painting. Her work has appeared on the cover and been the subject of feature articles in American Artist Magazine and Watercolor Artist and have been included in Southwest Art, International Artist, the book Splash 10, and many others. She has written a wonderful instructional book, Watercolor Depth and Realism. Laurie’s works are in private and permanent collections across the country and have garnered awards in numerous National and International Exhibitions
I know you’ll enjoy what Laurie shared with me about each of the paintings that she picked.
First Place - Debbie Ebeling - Spilling Parrot Colors
“I was drawn to this piece right away. It has a clear focal point and the composition leads the viewer’s eye through the whole piece and back to the focal point. It is well-executed and the repetition of colors helps to lead the eye. I loved the interplay between realism and abstraction, simply beautiful!”
Second Place - Patrick Faile - Last Light
“This piece is stunning and has a brilliantly illustrative style. I was drawn to the use of color and contrast used to create a focal point as well as secondary areas of interest, adding to the overall success of the composition. I also loved the soft shadows. I would have liked to see this in person! I might have liked to see just a bit stronger contrast.”
Third Place - Les McDonald, Jr. - Redtail
“I love the unique vantage point here. This piece has a strong, well placed focal point and the perspective used adds depth and pulls the viewer in. The eye is lead to the surface and then back to the tail. Expertly executed.”
Honorable Mention - Hiep Nguyen - Late Blooming On The Other Side
“I loved the simplicity of the composition. The lightest lights and darkest darks meet to create a very strong focal point.”
Honorable Mention - Maria Rodriguez-Alejo - Thundery
“This is a lovely abstract. Great use of contrasting color, strong focal point and a feeling of movement within the composition.”
Honorable Mention - Larry Spitzberg - Wash Day
“Use of bold color and loose painting style add excitement to the piece. Edges become less defined in the distance creating a sense of depth. I loved the style and the strong center of interest here.”
Honorable Mention - Chaitanya Alli - Let's Take a Ride
“Great composition. I loved the use of color within the shadows. I believe it would be even stronger if the back wheel had softer edges and was a bit muted in color.”
Honorable Mention - Trish Poupard - Huntington Cactus
“I really enjoyed the excellent craftsmanship and control of edges here. It does have a strong focal point and secondary areas of interest. I think exaggerating the color a bit would make it even more dynamic.”
Special thanks to our Virtual Show Team for helping to keep WAS-H viable during this difficult time: Karen Stopniki, Sally Hoyt, Cissy Geiggerman, Martin Butler and our president, Beth Graham.