2017 Annual Member’s Exhibition at Southern Vermont Art Center
Vermont Pastel Society Members’ Exhibition-Southern Vermont Arts Center
I thank all of the participating members of VPS for the privilege of judging the members exhibition. This exhibit is filled to the brim with beautiful examples of what can be achieved today with our amazing, ages-old painting medium we proudly call pastel!
— Judge of Awards, Robert Carsten, PSA-mp, IAPS-mc
Most Luminous Landscape:
Maggie Smith, The View Across the Lake
The suffusion of atmospheric light superbly handled by this artist, permeating all of the elements of the painting, resulting in an overall glowing effect. Hence, the masterfully handled atmospheric perspective creates luminosity throughout.
Most Fluid Waterscape:
Angela Arkway, Dorset Quarry, VT
My hat’s off for how this artist skillfully portrayed the depth, surface, and especially the transparency of the water near the distant shoreline in this well-organized composition. Sensitive handling of color saturation and value contribute to the absolutely stunning effect of this land/waterscape. The paint quality, mood and subject combine to make this a truly sensational painting!
Most Lively Still Life:
Leslie Heathcote, Snowy Owl
While not a traditional still life, this painting contains the essential elements that define this genre: close-up object or objects against a background, generally compressing space. What won me over is the manner in which this artist depicted a white “object” without using much if any pure white. This convincingly realistic representation is a lesson on color temperature in both the lights and darkened background.
Most Figuratively Speaking:
Matthew Peake, Overlook #31 Saguaro with Dance
The unusual bird’s eye view, limited palette organized around the hue of its central object/subject, as well as the positioning and postures of the figure create a mysterious narrative, open to the viewer’s interpretation. Astute planning and competence are evident throughout.
Going Gaga with Color:
Judy Greenwald, Solitude
Here is a painting that deftly shows daring color that is refined and utilized to create an overall unified, coloristic effect. Everywhere the color changes and the transitions are seamless. The balance of light effect and sensational color is exemplary.
The Yin and Yang of Light and Dark
Deedee Jones, After the Storm
I love the way the artist used a quantity of dark values in order to establish a convincingly glowing quality to the sunlight and sky in this painting. The diagonals of land and clouds in the design lead me into compositional depth to the luminous sun and its reflection – superbly painted!
Seriously, Do a Series:
Pat McPike, Sunrise on the Seine
I find that there is a poetic quality to this image, a tonal quality that is very appealing. The elements that comprise the composition are painted in a distilled, more universal manner, the artist taking care not to overly depict any detail. I think that this imagery, even if derived from diverse locals, would comprise a stunning collection in series.
Tell Me More Award:
Kathrena Ravenhorst Adams, Summer Barns
This is a lovely composition, quite well-painted. The artist has a good understanding of composition and the use of tone to move the eye throughout the composition. I believe that this artist would further benefit from expert critique services, hence this award. Sometimes those opinions offered can provide insights that allow an artist to move forward; to transition from good painting to great painting.
I’m Being Framed:
Susannah Colby, Stormy Night
I love the sense of activity and movement in the clouds and reflected in the water — all in contrast with the stillness of the foreground’s beach and boats. Additionally, the artist creates great depth by use of a strong diagonal which is masterfully counterpointed by restful horizontals and near vertical elements of masts. Personally, as a juror and artist, I feel that strongly colored mats are not beneficial in public displays. Some shows and galleries advisee against their use, preferring white or off-white matting so as relate better to other works on display. For this reason, I am awarding this finelydone painting the framing award for a future work.
Sincerely, Susannah Colby