Baltimore Watercolor Society
A Mid-Atlantic Organization of Watermedia Artists
2017 North Oaks Center Exhibit
North Oaks Center
February 28-March 31, 2017
Our judge was Walt Bartman
Lois Wolford— “Gough Street”
Angela Lacy—“My Sanctuary”
Elizabeth Burin—“Bridge Walk”
Image not available
Marta Legeckis—“Gothic Reds”
Diane Dunn—“Stripes and Roses”
Thank you for asking me to judge this show. I wish I could be there to present the awards, but I have a prior commitment. My choices for the awards were based on certain criteria. Most importantly is the freshness of thought. For me, a painting is a collection of the artist’s thoughts. As a plant grows, so does a painting. The artist is the architect of the idea. That Idea communicates the artist’s intentions. Picasso once said, “If you want to know what is in the artist mind, watch the artist’s hand.” For me, a painting is a record of thoughts. Some artists work with a preconceived idea, others do not. Some artists work intuitively and others synthesize their ideas. Some thoughts are totally calculated, some are mathematical, and some are random. Gauguin once said, a painting is an art form that does not require memory to appreciate it, because the beginning and end are there all at once. I agree that a painting is a collection of the artist’s thoughts.
I must admit, I am biased when it comes to the photo as a source. Artists who work from it can become addicted, losing their own control and merely copying a picture. I have seen too many paintings lately whose purpose is to illustrate the photo. Skillfull to say the least but lacking in their own personal vision. Disguising it with technique.
Perhaps the most important artistic element that I look for in a work of art is the “poetry of vision,” whether the work possesses something profound and magical. I would call it the essence. It needs to be felt in a way that seems a natural vision. Pissarro summed it up when he said, “Paint your temperament.”
I chose these paintings listed below because they exhibited what I feel some of the elements above.
First Place: Lois Wolford, “Gough Street” I was very impressed by this painting. It exhibited a “freshness” that seemed to be the most natural of all the paintings. It was interesting for its color and composition. I especially felt the geometric patterns of light and shade, similar to Edward Hopper.
Second Place: Deb Cohan, “Waiting” I was attracted to the design, especially the color palette. It is a strong design, and is very unique. Emotionally, it is a strong piece. It felt “eerie.”
Third Place: Angela Lacy, “My Sanctuary” Masterfully handled. Interesting because of the handling of both the medium and color. It was an appropriate palette for the subject. Compositionally, the scale relationships and subject made it very interesting. The curved line was very unique and reminiscence of Lautrec in its use of line for feeling.
Honorable Mention: Elizabeth Burin, “Bridge Walk” A very interesting painting. Abstractly interesting due to the bridge over our heads. I felt as if I was part of being in the painting.
Honorable Mention: Marta Legeckis, “Gothic Reds” Accuracy is the strongest element in this painting. It is masterfully drawn.
Honorable Mention: Diane Dunn, “Stripes and Roses” The most interpretative work. Strongly confident. Loosely painted. You can feel the “Dance” of the brush. The color works with the line.