by Paula Fowler, Gallery Co-Director
February in Houston is a time for the first glimpses of spring and its signs of nature’s renewal, a perfect metaphor for better times ahead as we begin to make progress in our fight with the Corona Virus. And as the valentine vendors flood the markets, we think of things dear to our hearts. So, with optimism and love, our members presented us with 39 wonderful works to celebrate this month’s show Dear to Our Hearts. See the winners and all the participating paintings here.
WAS-H signature artist and past-president, Linda Vanek, graciously accepted the challenge of judging this month. Linda is a licensed interior designer and watercolor instructor and her works have been purchased by numerous corporations and private collectors around the country. She has also received awards in several international shows. Linda was able to employ her knowledge and experience as she critiqued the entries and gifted us with comments that are educational and invite us to view the works with new eyes. I’m so pleased to be able to share with you her words about our winners:
First Place: Jan Shrader – Lauralie
“A good composition and the wonderful use of values, from lights to darks, made the painting Lauralie stand out from the beginning. It evoked an emotional feeling of meeting with a dear friend. Her smile and the strong warmth of the bright sun seem to reinforce the warmth between friends. The blue blouse subtle color change added interest and was softly repeated as highlights in the hair, indicating the soft texture without painting too much detail. The use of color in the face and in the blue blouse worked beautifully together as a warm and cool contrast.”
Second Place: Dr. Mohammad Ali Bhatti – Golimaar
“This painting appears to be about a special place to the artist. In looking more closely, you are drawn from the architecture of the place back into the foreground. With subtle movement of light and color, you began to see and enjoy more of the daily life of the people. “
Third Place: Kathleen Stafford - Fetching III
“With just the right amount of detail, the artist draws us into the journey of these 2 women. Each has an individual sense of personality and movement in their walk, reinforced by the sway of the dresses and the lovely designs and colors of the fabric. The different poses create interest, while providing interesting negative shapes within the painting.”
Honorable Mention: Chaitanya Alli - Little Treasure
“The artist has certainly captured the delight and intense interest of the little boy first and then moves the focus to his special toy using a little less detail and different color. The detail and warm color draw us to the boy’s face, and the placement of his hand adds interest to the composition. There is a nice repetition of warm and cool colors with brighter color to draw you to the focal point and the softer less intense color for the supporting background areas.”
Honorable Mention: Karen Lindeman - Brooke’s Garden
“Brooke’s Garden first captures your attention with the color and softness you associate with lovely delicate flowers. The use of complementary colors together gives richness, while the beautiful neutrals add softness. I enjoyed the wonderful placement of hard and soft edges, graceful line quality, and the interesting movement of whites within this beautiful garden painting. It has a beautiful balance between recognizable subject matter and an abstract quality in expression of the flowers.”
Honorable Mention: Reva Power - A Blue Promise
“The first thing that captures your attention is the lovely textural quality of the bluebonnets in the foreground and the movement of white with hints of complementary color. A variety of height of the bluebonnets, as well as more intense darker color in the foreground, gives an interesting shape to separate the foreground from the background. I enjoy the subtle use of texture and color movement to guide us to the background for a rich enjoyment of sun and sky in complementary tones.”
To learn more about our winning artists and their works, please read Winners’ Words here.
I also want to once again thank our online show team that spend many hours preparing the show: Karen Stopnicki, Sally Hoyt, Cissy Geigerman, Martin Butler, Nancy McMillian and Kathleen Church.