Juror's Comments - Online Summer Exhibit

It is an honor to be asked to jury an art show. We share our work in the hope that others will see what we saw and feel what we feel.  Sometimes we connect.  It’s those connections that keep us going.
What criteria did I use for selecting the awards?  First and always, I look for a creative concept.  The idea and content of the work must resonate with me.  I then consider the design, how did the artist use the elements and principles of design to reinforce their content.  I also consider technical excellence but only in relation to creativity and content.  There is also a bit of the ‘I wish I’d thought of that’!
There were many paintings in this show that I wish I’d thought of!  Congratulations to all!
Mark Mehaffey AWS-DF, NWS
1st Place
Rosa Ines Vera for So Many Paths, So Many Flags
The use of the figure as a shape to design with was especially engaging.  The negative spaces/shapes that form and surround the figures are well designed.  This artist also used a warm temperature dominance to give weight to one of the three figures and while they are all connected this became a focal point.  The inclusion of blue from across the color wheel from the saturated red-orange made the entire painting sing with an inner vibration.
2nd Place
Elaine Nunnally for Wowzi Red!
We recognize the scene, we’ve all experienced being stopped at a traffic light at night.  This artist has elevated that experience for the viewer to enjoy.  Wet pavement and our eyes receive the red reflections as visual abstractions.  There is just enough visual information to allow us into this painters story.  The drama created with high value contrast leads to a powerful visual statement.
3rd Place
Deborah Conn for Respite
The title of this painting implies a needed rest.  This work allows the viewer to supply their own meaning into why exactly this rest is needed.  Is this a casual nap or a snitched bit of sleep after a long work day?  The content of this painting draws us in.  The use of a subdued, neutralized palette for the majority of the surface puts us right on the sleeper’s face then bounces us between that warm face and the bit of warm cover.  This bounce encourages us to appreciate the sensitive handling of the folds in the sheets.
National Watercolor Society Award
Susan Herron for Morning in Tokyo 

This painting immediately drew me in.  I have visited Asia many times and Japan twice.  Bicycles are everywhere.  They are used to get from one place to another and as delivery vehicles.  This artist has allowed us into their painting and kept us there with the wonderful use of light and shadow.  Those light and dark shapes lead the viewer around and through this work.  The content allows the viewer to assign their own story about what this ‘Morning in Tokyo’ means.
Southern Watercolor Society Award
Christine Heyse for Pandapaws
This artist uses a complex collection of shapes to lead the viewer’s eye around and through the composition.  Some of the smallest shapes and the greatest degree of value contrast are placed within the two central characters.  This keeps the viewer focused on the story within this work.  Can you almost taste your favorite kind of ice cream?
Memorial Award in Memory of Elinor Morley
Marni Maree for Praying and Preying
This artist uses a wonderful collection of organic and oblique shapes to lead the viewer’s eye around and through the composition.  Humor is the content and I smiled every time I viewed this work.  The Preying Mantis assumes the Praying position as they hunt.  They are a necessary component of our natural world.  This work reminds us of that.
Honorable Mentions
Brenda Barthell- Curve Appeal V
Chica Brunsvold- Driftwood
Mary Eggers- African Dancers
Jean K. Gill- Fallen Fences
Margitta Hanff- Little Balls
Barry Lindley- Dog Walkers on Devonshire, After the Storm
Terri Rea- Vivid
Jane Thomas- Love Garlic
Linda Slatterly Sherman- Coral Reef

Return to main exhibit page with prizewinning paintings
View completel exhibit