Juror Statement: One of the attributes I look for when judging an art exhibit is if the painting of an ordinary subject is painted in a unique and different way. I look for strong design while considering the elements and principles of design, value patterns, and design formats. I look for artwork that is painted with knowledge of color theory - one that complements the subject being painted. I also consider how well the command of technique is carried out; I also feel strongly about the quality of drawing ability. The paintings that receive an award are those that stand above the rest in their company. I also ask myself the question, “would I change anything to make it a better painting?” If there are changes, my eyes move onto the next painting to be considered. If the painting is strong and stands alone on its own merit, it is worthy of my attention for more than just a glance. I must linger in awe of what the artist’s hand has created. It must speak to me in its own voice. Lastly, presentation is an important consideration. If all other considerations are a “go”, yet the presentation has a dirty mat or marked up frame, I must say “nay”.
In short, there are seven aspects I look for in judging artwork:
1. Repeating shapes, patterns, symmetry.
2. Colors, especially colors that compliment or enhance each other.
3. Textures, both visual and physical (Such as thick, impasto paint).
4. Crops and compositions that focus the eye and keep the viewers attention.
5. Movement or flow to guide the viewers through the art.
6. Correct or appealing proportions of figures and objects.
7. Presentation and framing. This is so important as it shows how much you respect your own work.
I’d like to thank all the artists who entered this exhibit. There was a wide range of talent. The viewer can see who has put many hours in practicing their skill. When thinking of watermedia, the first word I hear is “flow”. The painting should not only “look” like something, but also “feel” like something. Words that jumped out as I viewed the artwork were: Whimsy, tells a story, high impact, perky, excellent color theory, static, too busy, quiet, excellent rendering, bad choice of frames. Artists, keep painting and follow your passion. Your first 100 paintings are “practice”pieces. After that, you are developing your own style. Learn from others. Figure out what is good about a painting. And… don’t take comments personally. It’s the painting that needs help. Practice will get you there, each painting is a stepping stone to success. Paint everyday! Keep the “flow” going!
1st Place: “The First Thing”: Tells a story, great execution of watercolor technique.
2nd Place: “Fall Coffee Break”: Tells a story, high contrast value painting.
3rd Place: “Amarillis”: Colorist painting, feels perky, fresh, crisp with emotion and complimentary colors.
Honorable Mention: “Quiet Morning, Quiet Evening” A soft value painting with good color theory, flowing wet into wet.
Honorable Mention: “Escape” The old goat is charming. You can actually hear the goat talking to you.
Honorable Mention: “Passageway” Whimsical, good flow and execution. Great composition.
Honorable Mention: “Lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove” Good watercolor technique.
Honorable Mention: “Three Sisters Sharing a Joke” Emotional, tells a story.
Honorable Mention: “Ilya” Great execution, A different presentation would have placed with a higher ribbon.
Congratulations to all participants in this exhibit and thank you for inviting me to judge your precious works. One must not be discouraged if an award is not given to your artwork or a piece was juried out. Always remember, it is just one person’s opinion, move on and keep doing your best. It is your best that the judge wants to see.
Shirley is a four-time winner of the prestigious Grumbacher Award of Excellence. She is represented in Rockport Publisher’s book, Creative Watercolor by Mary Ann Beckwith and Pebble Publishing’s book, Best of Missouri Hands. In 1998 her work was included in Exploring Color by Nita Leland and Metaphors of Time and Space Through Layering, a publication of the Society of Layerists in Multimedia. Several of her watercolors have appeared on the covers of the Country Register magazine. Her paintings have also appeared on several of St. Louis Home Builder’s Fall Home Show posters. She does freelance work for the McDonald Publishing in St. Louis, MO, designing posters for the school classroom. Her collage work has been published five times in Somerset Studios Magazine in 2004. In August of 2006, her artwork was represented in Nita Leland’s new book, The New Creative Artist. In October of 2007, her artwork was represented in Watercolor Magic Magazine. In 2008, Shirley’s appeared in another Nita Leland book, Creative Color: An Artist’s Guide to Harmony, Contrast and Unity. In 2010 her work was represented in Chris Unwins’s book, Artistic Touch 4. In 2011 Shirley’s work was included in Nita Leland’s collage book, The New Creative Collage Techniques.
Shirley has written articles for St. Peters Community and Art Center’s Artworks magazine and Watercolor Studio, the official publication of the Missouri Watercolor Society. Shirley has appeared on numerous Artworks cable television programs demonstrating painting techniques. In 2004 her work was again represented in a Society of Layerists in Multi Media’s book, The Art of Layering: Making Connections. Shirley’s artwork is also represented in Artistic Touch 1 and 5, Who is God 1, 2, 3, 4, and Who is God: The Collection.