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2013 WVWS
All-Member Show

Judged by Ellen Elmes
Cynthia Bickey Gallery, Beckley
Sept. 12, 2013 - Oct. 18, 2013

Watercolor, acrylic, and mural artist Ellen Elmes is a
retired instructor of art at Southwestern Virginia Community College
where she had worked for the last 19 years.
Ellen co-owns a gallery and frame shop, and conducts workshops
in the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

Click here to see photos of the exhibition
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BEST OF SHOW
Rita Montrosse - "Portrait of a Sneeze Weed"

Award of Excellence
Sandra Pealer - "Interlude"

Award of Merit
April Waltz- "Kyphoplasty"

Honorable Mention
Katherine Crim- "Bok! Bok!"

Honorable Mention
Linda J.C. Turner- "Mountain Water"

Judge’s Statement:

I am grateful for the opportunity to judge such a high quality watercolor exhibition. The variation of painted expression – ranging from the indignation of wide-eyed chickens to the whoosh of wind through roadside wild flowers to a syncopation of abstract color rhythms – offers a multiplicity of aesthetic and insightful treats for the viewer.

In applying my experience as a watercolor painter and teacher to the judging of these artworks, I focused on four qualities that I believe are elements of exceptional painting. The first two involve the skills, processes, and principles of painting in the watercolor medium.

First, how skillfully does the painter combine the loose and flowing “gleam” of the transparent watercolor medium with the controlled expression of imagery and depth?

And how effectively does the artist utilize color, contrast, and other elements of line, shape and texture to compose a rich and compelling visual statement?

The other two aspects of excellence in watercolor painting that I looked for in the works being judged involved each artist’s ability to conceptualize and render an original, creative expression.

First, how effectively does the painter reveal a personal perspective, experience, or emotion through, for example, the capturing of a moment in time, the illumination of sensory, intangible patterns, or the understanding of an aspect of the human journey?

And, lastly, how original, complex, and well-explored is the artist’s conception of his or her idea? In addition, how deeply are we, as viewers, impacted by the fresh insight, yet relative-to-human-experience idea that the artist has shared creatively? Does the spark of intrigue in the artwork leave room for the viewer to attach their own imagination and experience to the idea?

The watercolors that I chose for special recognition all possess the four general qualities described above, and more. There are many other artworks in this exhibition that display the skilled use of watercolor techniques and the depth of personal expression. This made it difficult to whittle my choices down to a selected few.

However, it provides me with the heart-felt pleasure of saying to you, the members of the West Virginia Watercolor Society, “Congratulations on a successful and inspiring exhibition!”

-- Ellen Elmes

Additional Works of Note:

Jeanne Brenneman- "Survival Mode"

Diane Mitchell - "Wild Daisies"

Justine Mounts - "Cherries and Crystal"