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The Russian Cultural Center is hosting an exhibit by WAS-H Artist, Rada Bukhman. The exhibit opens with a reception on Friday, February 11, 2022 at 7 pm.
The exhibition, called “Woman’s World” is reflective of Rada’s life-long relationship with music and dancing. Rada is a classical pianist but also took up flamenco dancing when she lived in Canada. Music, dancing, and her love for flowers is a common theme throughout her work.
Rada was born in Omsk, Russia into an artistic family. She received her undergraduate education in Moscow as a classical pianist and continued her studies in classical music and art at the Jerusalem Academy. After moving to Vancouver, Canada, in 1996, Rada experimented with different types of painting media and clay and learned the art of flamenco dancing.
Rada moved to Texas in 2017 with her husband and 13-year-old daughter. While she still works in oil, she has found a new love of watercolor and enjoys combining drawing, lino printing techniques and watercolor to create new and interesting compositions.
Rada’s paintings can be found in galleries throughout Canada. Her expressionist style and sense of color is sought after by collectors. Her paintings can also be found in many private collections throughout Canada, the US, and Europe.
Rada is an active member of the Watercolor Art Society – Houston. She frequently participates in the WAS-H monthly shows and has pieces in our Members’ Sales Gallery.
Rada’s exhibition runs through March 31, 2022, and can be seen at 2337 Bissonnet St., Houston, TX 77005. For more information, call (713) 395-3301. The Russian Cultural Center is open 10 am – 3 pm daily, except Sunday, when they close at 2 pm.
Congratulations to our International Watermedia Exhibition juror Soon Y. Warren on being awarded an honorable mention in the 13th Annual Watermedia Showcase, organized by the Watercolor Artist magazine. Here is what Soon told the magazine about her painting "Victory of Wings" (pictured below). To learn more about Soon Y. Warren and the upcoming IWE, please click here.
"What was your inspiration for your painting, Victory of Wings?
When I entered the sculpture room in the Louvre, I was awe-struck by the statue, Winged Victory of Samothrace. She stands proudly at the top of a grand staircase, and her poise seemed to dominate the air. I promised myself I’d bring her to life in a painting one day. It took a few years to come up with a suitable background idea before I could get started.
What excites you most about how the painting turned out?
I knew it would be impossible to capture the feeling of awe in that first encounter with the statue, but I’m pleased that, when I look at the painting, it does call up a feeling of wonder from my heart.
Describe your painting process and materials.
After drawing the subject on my paper, I applied masking fluid on the highlight areas of the tunic, the top of the wings and shoulder, and on the bot-tom of the foot and the ship-shaped stand. After the mask dried, I sprayed clean water in the center area and brushed the excess water to every side of the paper. I worked on 300-lb. Winsor & Newton paper to prevent any buckling. While the paper was wet, I poured yellow on the top, red in the center and blue at the bottom to create the back-ground that is the foundation of this painting. The three pigments mingled and spread outward to the edges. It was controlled chaos. I wanted there to be a transition from the glow at the top to a cooler effect at the bottom of the picture plane, and for this progression to be smooth and continuous, with-out interruption.
What turned out to be the biggest challenge in the creative process?
Once the background was set, the next challenge was to create a glow at the top of the body and to keep the statue integrated with the background. To start, I used a mixture of dark black, equal amounts of indigo, permanent alizarin crimson and sepia to paint the body, wings and wavy tunic. I did some scrubbing to bring out the highlight areas of the body.
What has been most influential to your painting life lately? How do you continue to keep your work fresh and exciting?
Painting with colleagues and teaching workshops keeps my creativity activated. These situations present new problems and solutions, and ideas that I can utilize. Victory of Wings is one such example. I was teaching, and I was trying to figure out how to rescue the gray, wet paper. I started to lift the paint using a wet brush to create an object, and I liked the resulting effect. That’s when I knew what I wanted to do with this background."
by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director
Happy new year! I think none of us expected to be beginning another year at WAS-H with the Covid worries and with socializing concerns and constraints. However, if these last two years have taught us anything as an organization it is that with a little ingenuity, perseverance, and good humor, we can adapt and make it over the hurdles.
As the year opens, we have our gallery lined with 42 wonderful works of a general theme. You can see the images on our online gallery, but nothing equals standing in front of the work, so please plan on stopping by the gallery soon. And while you’re there, take a look in the sales shop on the first floor where you’ll find paintings for sale by our members. Our Artist Liaison, Laura Mossman, has done a great job of coordinating this new effort.
This month we were so fortunate to have our first show of the year judged by Nancy Paris Pruden. She shared with us her vast artistic knowledge as she did the difficult job of picking the winners from the 42 wonderful entries.
Nancy is an award-winning artist, lives and works in Houston, Texas. She grew up in Ft. Worth, Texas and started painting at a very early age when she won a scholarship to study drawing and later painting at the Experimental Art Program in Ft. Worth. By the time she graduated from high school, she was selling her art and is today shown in many national juried shows. Texture and color are her main interests, and she paints from life Alla Prima style in oils. She received her BFA in Painting and Drawing from University of Georgia and continued her training with workshops with several major artists before attending the Art Students League in New York. She has won numerous awards and has participated in many One Woman Shows and museum shows across the United States. Nancy lives in Houston and organizes Painting Workshops in France, Italy, Ireland, Portugal, and Mexico in the summer. She also maintains a blog on her website that is loaded with inspirations information for artists of all media.
I’m so happy now to share some of the thoughts that Nancy had about the winners.
First Place – Fall at the Overlook by Fred Kingwill
“Well-drawn with a variety of warm and cool greens and nice use of areal perspective. Loved the runny color in the sky for added texture. Nice placement of the center of interest and variety of shapes and marks.”
Second Place – Voyager Reflections by Jackie Liddell
“Again, well-drawn with an interesting division of space. Variety of colors and temperatures in the reflections. Nice handling of loose and precise drawing and nice placement of shapes.”
Third Place – Awning and Harbor by Larry Spitzberg
“Loved the unusual viewpoint and subtle diagonal composition. The drawing of the boats was a bit awkward and the perspective was a bit off, but it was in keeping with the overall whimsical feel of the painting so didn't bother me. Loved the awning at the top of the painting as it made you feel you were peaking in on a personal scene.”
Honorable Mention – Quiet Celebration by Pat Waughtal
“Strong sense of depth. Lots of surface visual interest as multiple layers furthered the sense of depth. Variety of brushwork and shapes of marks and unusual placement of focal point were strong points.”
Honorable Mention – Rubicund by Ruby Allen
“Nice variety of shapes and loved the way the marks on top of the shapes furthered the direction of the eye. Liked the blue and orange complementary color scheme and opposite diagonals, but the best was the choice of that neutral gray at the bottom and dark at the top to add color relief.”
Honorable Mention – Babson Farm Quarry by Charles Browne
“Nice drawing. Liked the way the rock and reflections gave you a vertical in a basically horizontal composition. Liked the subtle handling of the sky and the little pops of warm green in a cool green landscape, but wish there had been more colors used in the greens. Maybe try a little red added to the greens and even some orange to change color without changing value.”
Our amazing volunteers that stepped up to make this month’s show possible were Patty Armstrong, Leisa Patin, Marcia Wasson, Laura Mossman and Nancy McMillian. Thank you for your time and good humor. We really do have fun! If you are interested in joining in, sign up on the SignUpGenius on our homepage.
The prospectus for the February show is posted under the Monthly Gallery Exhibits. The theme is A Few of My Favorite Things. Hope you plan to enter something! And then, get ready! Our International Watermedia Exhibition is in March. A lot of work is going on behind the scenes right now to make this a big success! This is another opportunity for you to share a bit of your time and volunteer to help out.
Each month, the winners are asked to share a few words about their experiences associated with their paintings. Below, we present what they shared.
First Place – Fall at the Overlook by Fred Kingwill
For years one of my favorite things to tell my students and myself is: ”Paint those things that you love or that you would like to love”. My painting, Teton Fall, met that criterion. I have spent over 40 years in the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. I have a serious love affair with the area and the wildlife. The painting was done on a D’Arches watercolor block, 7.9 x 7.9 inches, cold press, 140 lbs. The scene is the Snake River Overlook where my wife and I got married on 4 feet of snow. I spent about 30 minutes painting it and a lifetime learning how to paint it (something I am still trying to do!). I probably have painted these particular scenes in all times of year, weather, colors, etc. 50 times. I suspect I will keep doing it!
Second Place – Voyager Reflections – Jackie Liddell
Because I have always lived close to the gulf, I marvel at the way water looks with the changes in seasons, atmosphere, and tides. The most challenging days are the clear days with clam water and reflections. I enjoy the geometric shapes and lines created by the old shrimp boats that work in the bays around us. This painting was sketched in plein air and painted back in my studio. I was thrilled that our juror liked it.
Third Place – Awning and Harbor – Larry Spitzberg
My painting awning and harbor was from a pretty photo that i took of the picturesque harbor at Honfleur, France. After 3 cups of coffee, I attacked the paper, as I tend to do rather than just paint it, and my hands made a different picture than the photo. My impatient nature and love of colors makes it hard anyway to just copy the photo. I leave all my energy on the paper!
Honorable Mention – Babson Farm Quarry by Charles Browne
Babson Farm Quarry is my second attempt at a quarry painting. Babson is on Halibut Point in Rockport, Massachusetts, and is one of numerous local granite quarries which were abandoned after the industry faded in the early 20th century. The tower in the painting is one of several observation towers along the east coast which were built to keep a look-out for German U-Boats during WWII. The quarries are a frequent subject for local artists who inspired me to make my own interpretation.
Honorable Mention – Quiet Celebration by Pat Waughtal
Petite, Liz Hill exerted an enormous presence. As an artist, her creativity was astonishing, her curiosity limitless, and her determination famous. A painting by Liz Hill was always quirky. Regardless of how long one studied it, some element surprised or astonished the observer. Was it a line that ended abruptly? Or wandered off casually. Colors skate across her boards. A misplaced patch of white? No, it is perfect….
One dear friend of Liz’s tried to recall how she was acquainted with Liz -- Liz was first a creative being, second an artist, maybe a watercolorist, certainly a teacher and occasionally a terrorist. Another recollected how Liz had something in her mind, in her hands, in her vision and heart that translated into unique visual experiences. “ It was often not easy with Liz, one way or the other, but we loved her, just the way she was.“
Naomi Rosborough wrote “Liz’s art is visually compelling - I cannot say was. “I would study her art and try to imagine how it came to be. I was filled with the mystery of her talent. When I remembered that she was a designer for a large furniture company in Houston, it began to make sense to me. Her collages were environments- no matter if they were people, pigeons or animals. She could not help but create complete worlds.“
Erika Just, living a continent away, departed Houston but carried with her an admiration for Liz’s arresting works. “It is so sad that Liz passed away,” Erika can be heard saying in her own imitable way. Erika said “Liz Hill was one of the great artists of WAS-H in Houston. Her Paintings were special and were recognizable instantly as being hers. Her parting is a great loss to the art world of Houston, she will be missed terribly.”
Nothing could encapsulate Liz’s extraordinary breadth of talent. No one could ever say it did not take long to know Liz, or recognize her distinctive style of paintings, her influence or to know about her. Her reputation far outran her, galloping through the polite aquarelle world of custom and manners. In a painting mode famous for shy transparency and delicate luminosity, Liz painted like a kickboxer. She shoved paint. She tore paper and glued scraps. Figures and portraits emerged like prophets, some robed, some disrobed. She painted jewelry like rocks and walls like gossamer scarves. Whatever was dense and opaque, Liz transformed into vague suggestions, lyrical melodies in paint, leaving the viewer stunned.
Dear friends knew Liz on multiple levels. Janna Macy, a longtime friend and teacher, tells the story that after Janna was recovering from a bad fall, Liz invited her for a walk in Houston’s Arboretum. Janna was confident it would be a stroll through the woods, something rejuvenating more on a spiritual, metaphysical level than a slow run through the forest, but Liz was the leader and pushed on, forward, leaving Janna behind. ‘Walk’ doesn’t adequately describe Janna’s surprise as Liz, diminutive Liz, led her granddaughter and Janna hurriedly down the path until they arrived at the park’s center pavilion, Liz’s principal objective. It was not until later that Janna realized Liz had been in pain throughout the exercise. She was being Liz exerting and pushing forward, regardless of her own discomfort.
Louise Bateman recalled being an assistant to Liz and how that translated into a real-world work experience, emphasis on work. Frequent encounters with rules brought Liz repeatedly to the attention of the WAS-H Board but her influence was undeniable. Entering the annual Teacher-Student Exhibition was always an object lesson in influence – a room full of Hill-ish paintings staggered against every wall. She terrorized her students until they adored her, imitated her and gouged out their own paint palettes, shredded paper and mixed media in deepest, sincerest emulation.
Another longtime friend and co-teacher, Carol Rensink, recalls “The relentless, bold and experimental, way Liz would build a painting always amazed me. If her art was mountain climbing, she was always at the edge taking risks, but she usually arrived at her destination, with an interesting, well-designed painting.”
Thinking about her friend and colleague, Carol added, “I will miss my art friend immensely. Liz taught me that making art is an adventure to be savored….and it guides how I choose to make art.“ Martha Carson also appreciated Liz for her sheer creativity. “Many people tried to capture her style in their own work and, of course, failed to do so“. Another artist recalled “Liz was often a light bulb. She could be dark, but when she turned on, she was brilliant. Her paintings were bright, even her darkest, most deep shades were interesting.” Josianne, one of Liz’s favorite models wrote the following, "Liz is a very inspirational woman. She saw so much beauty in me and always booked me to model. I admired her bold and zesty spirit. She is loved and missed by many. God bless you Liz Hill and thank you for being a friend to many."
Ardent admirers found Liz a mystery and a mess. Norm Wigington recounts the day he first encountered Liz at WAS-H. Midway through attending his first morning studio session, Liz accosted him, demanding to know what paints he used, where he bought his brushes and how he used charcoal, who was he and brusquely summarized his paintings as monumental, simultaneously indicating that was not necessarily flattery, just honest criticism. But it was a quick lesson he said. “Her own work was so outstanding, I trusted her taste implicitly,” he said.
Rosanne Friedman sent this: “Liz had a balance in her skills - ample talent for art, a keen understanding of people - that included a wit and humor in her wisdom, and then enough of a business acumen to follow though in selling her work. She fulfilled her talent, shared it in her exhibits, and her teaching with appreciation of others, and found a space for her work on collectors' walls. Always generous, she donated a portrait to our temple fundraiser. The art work was gathered at one point, and I demonstrated putting her work on a wall and taking it away - the wall was naked without the art work. That room needed that piece. It found a home there with the other colors and textures surrounding it, but it popped out. That was Liz, she found a place among others but she always distinguished herself. I'm so glad to have known her. She saw things that others didn't on the surface and beneath it. I loved her.”
Read the following family's announcements here:
The life and art of Liz Hill will be honored with a visitation and art display in the foyer of Fairfield Baptist Church on Sunday, January 16th from 2-4pm. Fairfield Baptist Church is in Cypress, Texas, at 27240 Highway 290. Guests are requested to enter through the double doors on the west side of the building under the tower with the cross.
Someone so gifted is our treasure forever. We will always remind ourselves great treasures can be found in small packages and Liz will always be present in our future art and creative efforts. Thanks, Liz. We miss you already.
Nothing says the holidays at WAS-H like the opening of the December show that features small painting that would make ideal gifts. With that in mind, over one hundred Small Treasures now decorate our walls. As you view them, you are drawn to one because of the sense of peace and calm. Another because of the sly humor. And then there’s the abstract that lets your own imagination take wing. Every time I took a lap about the gallery, another one would catch my eye and make me linger. Do plan to make it by the gallery soon and see what our wonderful WAS-H family has shared this holiday season. And take a moment to ready Winner’s Words in our blog to see what some of our winners have to say about their paintings.
Our judge this month is one of our most talented and valuable members, Jan McNeill. Jan was born in Canada and grew up in Texas and Massachusetts. She completed her chemical engineering degree in Edmonton Canada and then emigrated to Houston in 1978. While she always enjoyed math and science, she also has a special love for art, so when her children entered middle school, she started taking watercolor classes from Caroline Graham, and when she retired from her career at ExxonMobil after more than 30 years of service, she started taking classes at the MFA Glassell. She also enrolled in workshops of several internationally known artists. And then, lucky for us, she found WAS-H. Since becoming a member, Jan has served in an impressive number of key roles. She has been Gallery Director, Vice-President, President, Publicity Director, Education Director, Paint-in Coordinator and is now Historian Director. In addition to that, she has won many awards at WAS-H and is currently a Signature Member. Thank you, Jan, for sharing your time and expertise!
Jan did a wonderful job of evaluating the December show. I love to hear what it was about a painting that swayed the judge to pick it as a winner. Jan shared with us these thoughts in her own words:
“There were many lovely paintings that I would have loved to have chosen, but I was limited to only 7 awards! There was nice diversity in subject matter (representational, abstract, type of painting surface, figures, animals, floral, landscapes, etc.)”
First Place - Multicolored Calico by Zahid Shaikh
“Exquisite composition of a cat. The soft edges and soft fur were especially well done and are tough to achieve.”
Second Place - Winter Blues by Darlene Dittoe
“Liked the varied size of the trees in winter. The cool tones, beautiful washes and overall composition were very pleasing.”
Third Place - Snow Overnight by Nan Wright
“A well-executed abstract that connotes snowy trees. Beautiful shading and texture. It reminded me of skiing in Vermont. “
Coconut Bounty by Patty Browning
“The textures and varied colors highlighted a strong composition. The work is on YUPO which can be difficult to master its slick surface.”
See Ewe by Karen Capper
“Loved the loose and expressive composition. Made excellent use of a limited palette.”
A Little Texas Christmas by Philip Weigand
“A charming composition in pen, ink, and watercolor. Loved the line work and color variation on the boots!”
Fall by Chris Bunger
“Fresh and loose landscape. The soft edges in the water reflections helped develop a sense of depth.”
Our shows are a great deal of fun to organize and hang. I share primary duties with my Co-Director, Nancy McMillian, and this month Leisa Patin, Susan Bizzell, Patty Armstrong and Laura Mossman joined us in making it all come together. If you feel that you might like to help with a future show or reception, please sign up on the Sign-up Genius on our home page or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. It really is a great way to help WAS-H and to get to know some of our amazing members.
Our January show registration has already begun and goes through January 6, 2022, so try to squeeze some time to check out the prospectus and prepare an entry or two. We look forward to seeing you.
First Place – Shadow-Multicolored Calico by Zahid Shaikh
Just like human portraits, the most challenging aspect of painting pet portraits is getting the eyes right. The eyes are what makes the subject alive, which is why I always start painting the eyes first. "Shadow" was my second attempt because I didn't get the eyes just right the first time!
Third Place – Snow Overnight by Nan Wright
Snow Overnight was a somewhat serendipitous piece. Did you ever paint a picture and only like one part of it? That’s what happened here. I cut out and matted only the part that spoke to me!! I love the serenity of snow.
Second Place – Winter Blues by Darlene Dittoe
I just love to paint trees, especially aspen and birch. I also love Tonalist and limited palette work. Thus, Winter Blues.
The building was abuzz with the best kind of energy on Sunday, November 7. In the upstairs classroom area, a full house had gathered to see Daniela Werneck’s demo where she showed us how she layers as few as four colors on Aquabord and produces her award-winning paintings. And downstairs we were celebrating the grand opening of our new sales gallery that our Artist Liaison, Laura Mossman, so skillfully orchestrated and filled with many wonderful small paintings. It’s apparent as you stroll through the space that this is something that our members love having available. Be sure to check out how to add your own works.
After the demo, people filed down the stairs and filled the gallery to celebrate with the winners of our November show. The theme was general and that gave our artists an opportunity to enter whatever subject that had recently caught their interest. Fifty-nine paintings filled the walls and made it hard for our judge, Luiza Grandchamp, to make her decisions. Luiza charmed and educated us with her clear and intelligent assessments of her chosen winners. We owe her huge thanks for her time.
Luiza was born into an artistic family in Brazil, but has lived, worked, and studied in many countries. She has been living in the United States for the past 40 years and has been an educator for 30 years. She brings this multicultural experience to her students at The Kinkaid School, where she teaches art and ceramics and encourages her students to build bridges to students around the world. She received her BS in biology in Brazil, and after the birth of her two daughters, went to the University of Houston and earned another BA in metalsmithing, with a focus on ceramics and art history. Luiza has continued to develop her art skills through metalsmithing and jewelry design, creating her own jewelry company that sells her original designs. During the pandemic, she started an online course with Susan Giannantonio in watercolor and considers it her new passion.
If you couldn’t be at the reception in person, I hope you are able to stop by the gallery soon and see the show. Alternately, you can see all the images on our web page. I will now share with you Luiza’s own words about each of the winners.
First place- Lemons by Les McDonald Jr
“This watercolor is more than a simple still life of lemons because of the amazing mirror reflections on the silver bowl and the knife blade, which brings an artistic echo of the scene. The detailed texture and the folds of the cloth with shades are well executed. The values on the lemons make them fresh, real, and three-dimensional. This composition tells a story with the knife with drops, the cut lemons, and the mint leaves. “
Second Place - The Iris by Peihong Endris
“This landscape is peaceful and gorgeous! The foreground detail of the Iris allows the viewer to enter the picture. The middle ground adds a texture component with lines created by the trees that hold the viewer's interest. The first two layers lead the observer to the background of the mountain and the waterfall. The water flows transparent and beautiful through the three elements in harmony with the composition. Lights and darks dance in the picture with beauty. “
Third Place – Backgammon at the University Club by Bill Curtis
“I can smell the books, and I want to sit in the empty chair in the corner of the room to read one of the books. The horizontal and vertical lines in this composition imply stability and strength. The diagonal lines of the table and the smooth wood crop chair give a sense of tension. They divide the frame and draw the viewer's eye deeper into the room, where the books are on the shelves and the portrait on the wall. This composition is rich in textures and colors of the books, wood, carpet, chandelier, and walls. The artist captures the energy of the atmosphere of this room. “
Morning South Fork by Mike Doan
“This painting is an interesting composition where whites have the lightest value, black is the darkest, and the values between these extremes is beautiful is composed of many middle grays. The positive and negative areas are well defined and create a sense of depth with many diagonal lines. “
Bayou Beauty by Alison Hendry
“This is a beautiful and simple composition. The lines which create a pattern in the moving and transparent water is well executed. The horizontal line of the bird's body, the long vertical neck and the diagonal of the head and beak, implies stability. The very small brushstrokes of the tiny feathers are incredible. Leaving a lot of negative space around the top of the subject makes this composition attractive. It creates a sense of simplicity and minimalism. “
Store Orchids by Maureen Lewis
“The vivid colors of those orchids make me happy just to look at them. One can find many kinds of texture and brush strokes throughout the petals of the flower. The eyes will move around and go back to the big flower on the top right. The dark background empowers the color contrast of the petals, which are crisp and give form to the orchids. “
Door by Tamara Kontrimas
“This simple composition of an ordinary door becomes a magnificent painting! Painting three different hardness, such as metal, wood, and cloth, is a challenging task, and it is beautifully executed. The fabric is depicted as soft with movement, especially where it is torn. The impressive delicate texture of the cloth has nine values of gray, and it draws in the viewer. The worn-out wood paint and the shiny metal create a nice contrast that pulls back and forth with the fabric. “
Special thanks this month go to our energetic and enthusiastic volunteers that made this show possible: Nancy McMillian, Karen Stopnicki, Patty Armstrong, Donna Rybiski, Irene Sheytman, Sally Hoyt and Laura Mossman. If you would like to help us hang one of our future shows, please let me know at email@example.com.
We are now moving so rapidly into the holiday season. Be sure to read the prospectus for the December show and get your small paintings ready. You can enter up to six! We look forward to seeing your works adorn our gallery walls.
Second Place – The Irises by Peihong Endris
The Irises has been always my favorite subject. It is so elegant and beautiful. I use the free style techniques on rice paper. It’s an expression of my passion on the painting.
Third Place – Backgammon at the University Club by Bill Curtis
Since attempting watercolor 4 years ago I have been able to begin seeing color, contrast, value and in composition in ways, perhaps that were not catching my attention before. The paintings are the reward for these observations. This was so recently when attending a University Club event and I entered the grand library with its big Fifth Avenue windows and colorful collection of books. Small game tables contrasted with the larger room and in themselves revealed their own texture and paintable details. The hanging braided light fixtures afforded compositional focus to the game and value contrast to the darkness and book texture. I had to try it as a painting.
Honorable Mention – Flower Power by Larry Spitzberg
The challenge here was to take a detailed photo and go less detailed as the eye travels from foreground to background and give a flower path or eye path to the two figures. I probably painted and repainted areas in the same painting two or three times.
By Diane Trepagnier, AME Director
The 52nd AME made a grand entrance as an in-gallery exhibit after the year of COVID. There are 57 paintings showing a wide range of subject matter and the beautiful talent of our members. Our esteemed judge, Michael Holter certainly had a challenge on his hands in selecting winners. We are very grateful for Michael stepping in at the last minute after the unfortunate passing of Kim Minichiello. Michael was very complimentary of the quality of all of the entries.
We are grateful for contributions from the estates of Stan Smith and Shirley Sterling. Nine art suppliers also made contributions allowing us to present 14 Merchant’s Awards totaling $2500.
Here are the winners along with comments from Michael Holter:
1st Place “Dining Out” by Less McDonald, Jr.
The scene is striking in how graphic it is, very realistic but not contrived to the point of photorealistic. Both composition and colors wonderful especially the complementary oranges and greens. This painting causes the viewer to pause as if being beckoned to walk into the pleasant setting.
2nd Place “Amo De Mia Vivo” by Daniella Werneck
This painting is very well crafted. The composition of the face looking at the viewer-but just off-creates interest. There is a softness achieved by varnishing that makes colors subtle but not washed out. There is a sense of a “story”, and the larger size makes it fun.
3rd Place “Eyrie” by Jackie Liddell
This is a small gem. There are lots of subjective things going on that create emotion - is that a bird’s nest on a rafter? Or cruciform with crown of thorns? The use of monochromatic color adds to the mystery, especially the spots of vibrant colors in the corners.
Shirley Sterling Memorial Award “San Antonio Winter” by Bill Curtis
The composition carries this painting. On one hand, the subject is simple, but there’s a lot going on between the warm sun and the cool shadows and the intensely graphic form of the tree.
President’s Award “Sindhi Villager” by Mohammad Ali Bhatti
This is a captivating treatment of a portrait. Animation is created by the off-center composition with the shoulders turned one way and the head another. The eyes are very well done and compelling, both looking at the viewer and through the viewer.
Director’s Award “Avignon” by Irene Sheytman
There is a lot of feeling this stylized approach to an architectural scene achieved through the off-center tower, the dynamic black drawing lines, and the use of vibrant colors.
Honorable Mention "Into the Glass" by Karen Lindeman
This painting creates a nice mood with its subtle, painterly brushstrokes and hazy distance.
Honorable Mention "Party Girl" by Cheryl Wooten
This is a lovely composition, especially the intimacy created through the tight crop and the light that brings the face forward.
Honorable Mention "Spring Joy" by Linda Jarnagin
This abstract tree works because the artist's application of colors and textures make for a fun and lively rendition.
Honorable Mention "Stairway Light" by Carla Gauthier
The light spilling from above, the reflection in the glass and the angular, linear perspective invite the viewer up from what otherwise could be a dim, forbidding entrance.
Honorable Mention "Supermoon" by Hiep Nguyen
This straightforward seascape includes a solid sense of place and moody sky that make the viewer wonder, "Where is this? What's going on?"
Merchandise 1 "The Big Splash" by Lynda Jung
The movement and pushing of the colors to their extremes make this an absorbing abstract.
Merchandise 2 "Two Together" by Rona Lesser
The lively looseness and casual gestures suggest a real-time drawing from life.
Merchandise 3 "No Need for Lemonade" by Larry Spitzberg
This large, fresh, painterly piece is a wonderful example of watercolor effects.
Merchandise 4 "I Am Outstanding in My Field" by Alison Hendry
Fur is often overworked, but this is a wonderful example of just the right touch, as well the eyes and nose are realistic without being overdrawn, making for an appealing piece.
Merchandise 5 "The Capitol at Twilight" by Zahid Shaikh
The simplicity of the presentation, punched up by the color of the background that is subtly reflected in the foreground, makes for a peaceful but strong nighttime scene.
Merchandise 6 "March Brown" by Richard Scruggs
The square composition works to enhance the closeup focus on the fly, along with the warm tones of the fly against the cool background color.
Merchandise 7 "Notre Dame" by William Epps
This grand subject is nicely treated with well-done architectural forms and details.
Merchandise 8 "Fresh from the Garden" by Debbie Ebeling
Orange-against-green, lost edges, curve of the composition and painterly texture make for a lovely piece.
Merchandise 9 "Cityscape Diptych" by MaryAnn Lucas
The liveliness of a city is created through the graphic shapes and vibrant colors.
Merchandise 10 "Cheers" by Fontaine Jacobs
There is a fun balance between the festive subject of the martini and the quiet white-on-white palette.
Merchandise 11 "Aubergine" by Darlene Dittoe
The dark background and diagonal composition create a dramatic setting for the striking aubergine flower.
Merchandise 12 "Backdoor to La Kings Confectionary" by Diane Peter
The depth of the passage into the interior is extraordinary in so tiny an architectural painting.
Merchandise 13 "Hibiscus" by Ruby Allen
The contrast between the cool background and textural flower comes into harmony through touches of background color in the flower petals.
Merchandise 14 "Best Friends Forever" by Lorene Williams
This enjoyable scene of old friends is enhanced by the use of sepia-like tones evocative of times gone by.
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