Award winners at the reception of the WVWS All-Member 2019 exhibition reception.

The 2019 WVWS All-Member Exhibition held its awards reception on Saturday, Nov. 16, at the ArtSpring Gallery, located in Cottrill’s Opera House in Thomas.

The exhibit will be on display in the ArtSpring Gallery through Jan. 3, 2020.

Fifty-two member artists from across West Virginia participated in the exhibition, with the Best in Show award, chosen by TWSA signature artist Brenda Hounshell, going to Linda Walker Roberts for her painting “Volcano.”

The exhibition host, ArtSpring, is a nonprofit group that provides a range of artistic opportunities for communities across Tucker County. The group also organizes the annual ArtSpring Festival each Memorial Day weekend in Tucker County.

To learn more about ArtSpring, their many events, the arts festival and their gallery, visit the ArtSpring website.

Paintings that won awards in the exhibit are featured below:

Best of Show by Linda Walker Roberts for “Volcano.”

The Best in Show work “Volcano” kept me coming back to it for several reasons. The composition was dramatic with elements well-placed in the overall plan.

Brenda Hounshell, TWSA, VWS — Judge for the 2019 All-Member Exhibition
Award of Excellence by Linda Elmer – “Parisian Street Scene”
Award of Merit by Rema White – “Natalie by the Window”
Honorable Mention by Deanna Gillum – “One Brush Two Brush”
Honorable Mention by Jamie Lester – “High Street Shoppers”
Jean Whistler Call Memorial Award and People’s Choice Award by John Coffey – “21 Cows”
All-Member First-Time Exhibitor Award by Ina Armstrong – “It’s Just Not the Same Without You”

Judge’s Comments

Congratulations to the West Virginia Watercolor Society! You have a beautiful variety of work displayed for your Annual All-Member Exhibition 2019. Thank you for the opportunity to see your work and to select award winners for your show.

The two main areas I focus on when looking at any artwork are Composition and Value. Good composition helps draw the eye to the work initially and continues to have the viewer move around, in and out and through the work. Value adds the drama that makes people come across a room to look more closely at the artwork. Technique, color and skill with the medium also play a role in making an interesting work of art. All of the pieces selected accomplished the first two tasks of providing good composition and an interesting presentation of values.

The Best in Show work “Volcano” kept me coming back to it for several reasons. The composition was dramatic with elements well-placed in the overall plan. The values in this piece were apparent up close and from across the room, making it a compelling piece. There is a beautiful variety of hard and soft shapes in this piece, also adding to the interest. This piece could hang on someone’s wall and provide them with something different to look at every day. Congratulations and keep up the good work!

The Award of Excellence, “Parisian Street Scene” contains beautiful use of loose brushstrokes and excellent examples of simplifying the subject matter. Too often we overwork the details and miss the opportunity to “suggest” the subject. This piece, along with good composition and interesting values accomplishes the task of helping the viewer see the interesting street scene in a simplified manner. Nice job!

The Award of Merit, “Natalie by the Window” brought me across the room as well. Even though this is a relatively small piece, the drama of the placement of the elements in the painting are really well done and readily apparent even from across the gallery space. The strong light from the left, the spot of light on Natalie’s pant leg and the added piece of interest on the right of the painting all made me look at this piece over and over. The skin tones are handled carefully and show her face really well. I think this artist likes painting people and putting the subjects in interesting compositions. Do that some more. Very well done!

Honorable Mention, “One Brush, Two Brush” achieves really nice compositional elements and a set of strong values overall. Another small piece with big results in terms of how the subject was handled. Sometimes choosing the simplest of forms can create a wonderful result and that is the case with this painting. Nice color choices overall which just enhance the design elements. Nice job!

Honorable Mention, “High Street Shoppers” is a compelling street scene to view. Another piece that has the viewer noticing something different each time it is viewed. Loose brush strokes in this piece suggest to the viewer the “harried” shopping task and the action surrounding a shopper on the street. Add to that the drama of the values used and the piece easily demonstrates the subject. This painting also uses neutrals very effectively in the color choices. Really good piece!

Jean Whistler Call Memorial Award, “21 Cows” immediately had me making note of the composition. The viewer moves in and out of this piece with the use of rural setting elements like fences, animals, hills and tree branches. My eye swept across this piece over and over and I stopped to see the smaller elements as I enjoyed the overall piece. This painting also benefits from the use of a strong horizontal shape and from the use of a limited palette of color which adds more interest and evokes a specific atmosphere in the scene. Very well done!

First-Time Exhibitor Award, “It’s Just Not the Same Without You” is a very simple subject with a limited palette but done in a fresh and thoughtful manner. Lovely brush strokes are used here and focusing just on a portion of the subject matter really works. There is an emotional element to this painting, and it comes from the “expression” on the dog’s face, which the artist has captured very well. Makes me want to give this animal a big hug! Keep up the good work and so glad you are a first time WVWS member exhibitor!

— Brenda Hounshell, TWSA, VWS

Images from the awards reception