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  • Writer's pictureLynne Kornecki

"Watercolor 24" On Display at the Norris Gallery in St. Charles, IL Through 4/14/24 Judge's Awards & Comments Here...

"Pink Dahlias" by Megan Ripke was one of three Awards of Excellence.

Steve Puttrich was this year's judge. He is a full-time fine artist and instructor who lives locally. When you stop by the Norris Gallery at 1040 Dunham Road, be sure to pick up the JUDGE'S NOTES which contain not only his rationale behind each winning selection, but general advice to artists on elevating their artistic journey.

Here's what he writes, in part, about "PINK DAHLIAS", shown above: This watercolor painting is a stunning representation of dahlias in full bloom. The artist has skillfully captured the intricate beauty of the flowers, highlighting the various shades of pink, from soft blush to deep magenta...the interplay of light and shadow on the petals creates a three-dimensional effect, giving the flowers a warm and inviting aura.

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: "prelude to Spring" by Pattie Linden Seifrid, IWS

Judge's comments (abbreviated): "This watercolor painting beautifully captures the essence of early spring. The artist has used a warm, inviting palette that hints at winter's thawing and spring's onset...the painting strikes a good balance between detail and abstraction, allowing the viewer's eye to fill in the blanks, a hallmark of skilled watercolor painting..."

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: "The Donkeys, donna and Danny" by Cynthia Ray

Judge's Comments (abbreviated): "This beautiful watercolor painting portrays two donkeys...creating a charming sense of intimacy and companionship between the animals...the choice of a limited palette emphasizes the natural colors and adds to the rustic feel of the piece. The technique shows a skilled use of watercolor's properties with wet-on-wet techniques for softer shadows and went-0n-dry for sharper details..."

HONORABLE MENTION: "Protect our Oceans" by Tammy Bozer

Judge's Comments (abbreviated): "Light and shadow on the turtle's body give it a three-dimensional solid form and presence. The colors are naturalistic and muted, which may reflect the current state of the oceans, hinting at the beauty that needs to be preserved and the murkiness that threatens it...It combines technical skill with a straightforward narrative, inviting viewers to consider the plight of marine life and the importance of ocean conservation..."

HONORABLE MENTION: "Water Lilies" by Mary Ellen Segraves

Judge's Comments (abbreviated): "This painting's strengths lie in its peaceful ambiance and its subtle yet effective use of color. The composition leads the viewer through the scene, creating a sense of harmony and calm. It's a piece that captures not just a location but a mood..."

HONORABLE MENTION: "Winter Prelude" by Robert Krajecki

Judge's comments (Abbreviated): "The artist has done an excellent job of rendering the snow, including its shadows and texture, which convey its undulating surface. The reflection in the water also adds a sense of depth to the painting...The brushwork is confident, with controlled washes that define the now and finer details like the branches and the building's architecture..."

HONORABLE MENTION: "Field of Heroes" by Daniel Danielson

Judge's Comments (abbreviated) "The artist has chosen a perspective that emphasizes the grandeur of the creatures with an upward angle that conveys a sense of awe and respect...the palette is earthy and rich, evoking the elephants' natural colors and environment. The warm tones suggest the heat of their habitat...It's a piece that displays technical prowess, tells a story, and makes a statement."

HONORABLE MENTION: "The Wait" by Wendi Lam

Judge's Comments (Abbreviated): "The textures, such as the fabric of the umbrella, clothing, and chair, are rendered with careful attention to detail, suggesting the tactile quality of the scene. The muted color palette enhances the reflective and calm atmosphere of the painting. "The Wait" is recognized for its emotional impact, skillful depiction oftextures, and effective use of light and shadow..."



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