Winner's Words: November/December 2020 Online Show

November 23, 2020 9:08 AM | Ksenia Annis
First Place: Alison Hendry, Do You Think He is Relaxed?

The small-pieces show is one of my favorites at WAS-H as it brings me back to the beginning when I was too frightened to paint large, and small was my comfort zone. We spent four weeks hiding in Snowmass this summer and I brought along some 9x12 pads of Arches 140# paper to play with. Since the buckling annoyed me, I learned how to stretch these small pieces of paper with gummed tape, staples and gatorboard when we returned. Do You Think He is Relaxed? is the first piece I have painted on stretched 140# paper. What an enormous pleasure it is. I use Winsor and Newton, Daniel Smith and M. Graham paints most of the time and am in love with da Vinci maestro sable brushes. It was a challenge to change the color of the big chair that Tonka is sleeping on, but Carla Gauthier has said in many classes “Value trumps color”, so I kept repeating the mantra. Tonka, my dearly beloved boy passed away two years ago, and I have painted him for three images that have spoken to three different judges. I was tickled, surprised and thrilled with this award and think he must be my image mascot. Cheryl Evans was spot on about rubbing his belly. He loved that and sleeping in the sun.

Honorable Mention: Gay Paratore, Dodge Royal

Dodge Royal is one of the smallest car paintings that I have done. I usually paint a full sheet of Arches 300# and don't tape it down, so I can move it around to make it easier to do all the straight lines and the curves. I fell in love with painting cars by going with Richard to the Keels & Wheels Concours d’Elegance car exhibition. It was not the cars themselves, but the reflections in the cars that captivated my attention. I earned several of my signature memberships with car paintings: the National Watercolor Society (three $1000 awards), the San Diego Watercolor Society where I have shown with them in several International shows in Italy and Spain, and recently I received my signature status with the Western Federation of Watercolor Societies. All of these were acquired by entering car paintings. My prints of cars are for sale at the Seal Cove Auto Museum in Maine. My WAS-H elite, Texas Watercolor Society, and the National Society of Artists (which I founded) signature memberships were acquired with a variety of subject matter.

Lately I am winning more awards on my portraits (see the WAS-H Membership Show, Texas Art Supply Award and the Texas Watercolor Society, $1000.00 Show award). I am doing portraits in pastels and oils also, but I love the freshness of watercolor and how the paints glow using the white paper to reflect light and color. During COVID-19, I miss seeing family and friends, but I have been painting almost every day and some of it outside in my woods. You can see three of my plein-air paintings on exhibit at G. Lee Gallery on the Strand in Galveston where I show on a regular basis.

Honorable Mention: Hiep Nguyen, Twilight Impression

I painted this Twilight Impression from my memory of an evening outing at the waterfront in Vancouver two years ago. I didn't use any photo for reference for this painting. I just wanted to express the ethereal feeling that I had at that time on the harbor of Vancouver Island. I used a limited palette with wet-on-wet techniques to recreate the twilight atmosphere and added a few scratched marks to pull the viewer eyes to the focus area.

Honorable Mention: Susan Tadlock Bond, Finally Asleep

Asleep, Finally is a watercolor composition featuring my son Casey and granddaughter Zoey.

He had been reading her books and finally she fell asleep in his arms, seemingly to his surprise.

This idea was initially conceptualized for a watercolor contest at the 2020 Taos Watercolor Workshop called Surprise Me!, but due to COVID-19 the workshop was cancelled this year, so this sweet painting has been sitting on my desk for months with me trying to decide on its next destination. The WAS-H virtual show, Little Treasures, just seemed like the right place for my tiny family treasure.

I am very pleased and honored to be recognized by WAS-H.

Drawing and painting portraits began for me in my high school Art class, along with influences from my family: my grandmother was a pastel artist, my great grandmother was a calligrapher and my great-great grandmother was a portrait artist, so art definitely runs in my blood. To be an artist you need nurturing and, thank God, I had that from my family, and now with five grandchildren maybe one of them will rise up to carry on the lineage.


  • January 14, 2021 11:55 AM | Ariane Edmundson
    For my 2nd place painting:
    Olive Trees
    My family has a little summer Villa on the Amalfi Coast. I’ve been missing it so much in these trying times, as my trip was cancelled last summer and I’ve habitually been going there every year of my life...I call myself half-native to this splendid coastal area, steeped in mythology. This particular stretch, near Capri, is said to be the place where Odysseus was sang to and almost lured ashore by the the Sirens, in order to rest and partake... he decided to tie himself to the mast of his ship so as not to fall victim to their splendors. I too, have to resist their song, but am evermore deeply connected...and will return someday soon.
    Sparkling Mediterranean waters and the swaying branches are still calling. If you look close, you’ll find the Siren...
    I used in succession: watercolor, line with pencil and grease pencil, acrylic paint. My challenge was to keep the spontaneity and sparkling joy in it, to keep a dancing quality in the movement and not to overwork it.
    Ariane Edmundson
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