I am honored and delighted to have served as Juror of Awards for the Vermont Pastel Society’s inaugural Members Only Online Show. I’d like to share a few comments regarding how I select award winners before talking about each of the top winners specifically. There are four categories of consideration that I use to evaluate the work.

First off, I look at The Fundamentals.  This is the skillful deployment of color, composition, drawing, proportions, perspective, tonal values, and edge quality. These are the foundational elements of the painting. Have they been executed with skill and mastery?

Next I consider  The Medium.  This is the skillful handling of pastel. The mark-making, surface effects, and creative techniques that are used in the application of soft pastel in all its various approaches.

Moving on from there, I consider  The Artist . Is there a unique point of view in the painting? Can I identify a clear artistic voice speaking through the work? Does the artist use poetic expression in the handling of the medium? Is there a strong concept and a clear intention being delivered? These qualities of the artist are powerful influencers in the resulting painting.

Finally, I consider  The Art . This is that intangible resonance of the work. It’s the painting’s ability to impact the viewer, reach in and stir something inside of you. There is a power in a painting that somehow gets unlocked through the passion of the artist, and it takes on a life of it’s own. This is one reason why great art lives on for generations, why we are moved when we enter a museum and behold a work from generations past as it speaks to us today. I’m searching for this resonant power in the painting.

All four of these categories—the Fundamentals, the Medium, the Artist and the Art—are considered in making decisions as Juror of Awards. Now to the Award winners.