11 November 2013

Watercolor West through my eyes, Part 1

As I mentioned yesterday, I was thrilled to attend the Watercolor West exhibit at the City of Brea Art Gallery. The exhibit included entries from all over the United States, Canada, Israel, Singapore, Malaysia, Myanmar, and Norway. The show's juror, Ratindra Das, AWS(DF), NWS, TSWA master, selected 100 paintings to represent a variety of styles and techniques, and they surely are diverse. Das said in the catalog that his final criteria was that each painting had "that magnetic quality," and you could certainly feel that in the room(s) as you viewed his choices.

There were quite a few awards in this show, starting with a top award of $1,750, and going down to a $225 "Merchandise Award." While I agreed with many of the choices, there were also pictures that won no award but that drew me for various reasons, so I'm going to post some of both here. (I'm not going to mention which were the award-winners.)

Please note that I am crediting them to the artists, and I hope that none of the readers of this blog will abuse these artists' trust by using their art in any way. My grouping of them here is purely as an additional homage, and for the benefit of those who don't live in California to view them in person, because they're just too good to miss. (If you want to see the whole lot, you can order the catalog afterwards, I think. It's quite good quality reproduction and represents them well.)

I also apologize for the quality and cropping of some of the photos, which I had to shoot to accommodate others' viewing of the exhibit. Some contain unfortunate reflections of the room behind me in their glass.

These first two I liked because they reminded me of the works of members of the California Watercolor Society in the 1940s, such as Millard Sheets, Emile Kosa, Phil Dike, Jade Fon, and Dong Kingman, because of the choice of subject matter, the methodology, and the palettes.

Bill Doyle, Toledo Street Scene, 15x11

Eileen McCullough, Walking Through the Wetlands, 21x13

I loved this one because of the intensity of the color, and the light patterns...

Robin St. Louis, Heart to Heart, 30x22

...while this one is the same, but also for the ultra-smooth technique and almost graphic quality of the figures vs. the background. Unfortunately, reflections marred the faces in this one.

Ruth Ellen Hoag, Hangin' Out, 29x21

These next two are all about the characterizations. While the ultra-realism of the horse picture is amazing, it is completely subordinate to the captured moment; on the other hand, the blown paint and spatters are so appropriate to their subject matter, the crows!

Israel Holloway, Resting at the Gates, 20x20
Denise McFadden, Yes, Dear!, 22x15


  1. Very nice post!
    Thanks & Welcome for your next visit to my blog.

  2. I like your choices and thoughts, it's almost as if we're seeing the exhibition too!