top of page

Aqueous 2020

This year's version of the West Virginia Watercolor Society's national juried exhibition, Aqueous 2020, like many exhibitions across the country, has faced some challenges.

Plans were to hold the exhibition at  Arts Monongahela in downtown Morgantown during June. Then, after delays resulted from COVID-19 concerns and lockdowns, the exhibition dates and entry deadline were moved back, with plans to open the show in the gallery during August. However, Arts Monongahela was understandably concerned about planning the event in advance, given that regulations and executive orders were constantly shifting, so WVWS decided in early June to move the exhibition to an online format.

WVWS wants to thank our juror, Brienne Brown, NWS, who also led the WVWS annual workshop in 2018. WVWS also wants to thank all our entering artists for sticking with us through the schedule and format modifications. We would prefer to see these beautiful works in person, but this year we are forced to content ourselves with a digital display of the accepted paintings. We look forward to our next opportunity to gather in a gallery to enjoy beautiful pieces of art.

Awards have been announced for this show, with a gallery of the winning paintings below. WVWS member Sandra Pealer won Best of Show with her painting "The Artist at Rest."

About the Juror

Brienne Brown is a signature member of the National Watercolor Society and a noted plein air painter. Educated at the University of Utah, Brienne was a double major in art and chemistry.


Her work has been published in Splash 17, Plein Air, and Watercolor Artist magazines. She also holds signature memberships in three other state and regional watercolor societies. Brienne has received over 30 awards and recognitions in state, regional, national and international exhibitions, as well as in plein air competitions.
To see more of her work, visit her website:

Aqueous 2020 Award Winners

Use the arrows at right and left to scroll through the winners.

Judge's Comments

I always love looking at art in a watercolor show because there is such a variety of work, and this WVWS Aqueous 2020 Show did not disappoint.  I was impressed by the wide range of subjects and styles presented in this show.  I only wish I could have seen all these works of art in person because I know watercolor and acrylic paintings are almost always better then.

Congratulations to all the accepted artists and award winners.  Thank you for sharing your work.  I know that is not always easy.  If you were not accepted into the show or were not given an award, do not be discouraged.  Keep painting and improving.  I would like to share a favorite quote, by Robert Wade …
“Good, Better, Best, never let it rest, till your good is better and your Better, Best.”

Let me share with you my main criteria in accepting work into a show; these are not in order of importance.  First, I look at proficiency in the medium of choice, i.e. watercolor or acrylic.  I look for quality of brush strokes, confidence of application, and consistency throughout the work.  Next, I look for a well-thought-out design and composition.  I want to see that the artist was thoughtful in creating the painting and did not leave it to chance.  Design is definitely an important factor in any style or medium.  If the work is representational, I look for good drawing and rendering skills.  Not that they need to be perfect, but consistent within the work.  For example, if the drawing is stylized, that is great, but it should be stylized throughout the work. I also look for color harmony and unity in a painting.  This should match the mood or message attempting to be portrayed by the artist.  

When I choose paintings for awards, I am looking for paintings which excel at the above-mentioned criteria.  In other words, artists which I feel best display confidence and proficiency in their medium, thoughtful design and composition, good and consistent rendering skills, and harmonious color choices.  Again, congratulations to all accepted artists and award winners.  Keep up the great work and happy painting.

Brienne Brown, NWS

Aqueous 2020 Online Exhibition

Click on the images below to open them full size.

Aqueous 2020 National Juried Exhibition

Brienne M. Brown, NWS, Juror
July 15, 2020 - Aug. 31, 2020
Online Exhibition

  • Ronda Albright, Martinsburg, "Alpine Village in Winter”

  • Ronda Albright, Martinsburg, "Summer at the Lake”

  • Ina Armstrong, St. Albans, "Trumpet Blooms"

  • Brenda Beatty, St. Albans, "Fostora Roses"

  • Mary Alice Bowers, Martinsburg, "Flowers Unlimited"

  • Jeanne Brenneman, Lewisburg, "Air and Water"

  • William Campbell, Midlothian, Va., "Native Son"

  • Karen Catlett, Wheeling, "Old Farm"

  • F. Dennis Clarke, Martinsburg, "Adagio"

  • F. Dennis Clarke, Martinsburg, "Foot Prints"

  • John Coffey, Princeton, "No Longer in Use"

  • John Coffey, Princeton, "Rain on the North Sea"

  • Katherine Crim, Clarksburg, "Elekala Falls"

  • Katherine Crim, Clarksburg, "A River Runs Through It"

  • Deirdre Duncan, Rivesville, "Faith"

  • Linda Elmer, Fairmont, "Spruce, Lakeside"

  • Katelyn Gatian, Jane Lew, "Innocent Curiosity"

  • Claudia Giannini, Shepherdstown, "Archeopteryx"

  • George Gow, Richmond, KY, "Portrait of a Landscape Artist"

  • Barbara Hale, Princeton, "Walking in the Rain"

  • Janet Hart, Wheeling, "Tulip Sway"

  • Carol Hubbard, Newton, Conn., "Moonlife"

  • Ardythe Jolliff, Edgewater, Md., "Collection Reflections"

  • Gina Judy, Richmond, Ohio, "Blue-eyed Ballerina Backstage in Spanish Dress"

  • Rick Kowalewski, Silver Springs, Md., "Anacostia Gold"

  • Rick Kowalewski, Silver Springs, Md., "Winter Leaves"

  • Debbie Lester, Daniels, "Traveling WV"

  • Jamie Lester, Morgantown, "Winter Reflections"

  • Jamie Lester, Morgantown, "Algae Pond"

  • Dongfeng Li, Morehead, Ky., "A Touch of Mist on the Tibetan Plateau"

  • Jane C. Michael, Morgantown, "Giraffes at the Wilds"

  • Jane C. Michael, Morgantown, "The Mime"

  • Rita Montrosse, Princeton, "Earth Bound"

  • Sandra Pealer, South Paris, Maine, "The Artist at Rest"

  • Sue Pitsch, Stephens City, Va., "Jordan Pond"

  • Julie Read, Winchester, Va., "Tied Up in Knots"

  • Judy Reed, Salem, "Good Memories"

  • Christine Rhodes, Parkersburg, "Fishing Expedition"

  • Christine Rhodes, Parkersburg, "Best Laid Plans"

  • Jeannine Romano, Bridgeport, "Turn a Frown Upside Down"

  • Jeannine Romano, Bridgeport, "Old Friends in Hard Times Are a Comfort"

  • Patricia Stine, Renick, "Summer Pasture"

  • Patricia Stine, Renick, "Waiting Game"

  • Kay Sullivan, Tucson, Ariz., "Sunlight in Her Eyes"

  • Kay Sullivan, Tucson, Ariz., "Man in Beatty Saloon"

  • Jeannine Swartz, Mechanicsburg, Pa., "Blue Iris"

  • Jeannine Swartz, Mechanicsburg, Pa., “Daisies in Blue Mason Jar"

  • Jan van Egmond, Charleston, “Looking for a Spot“

  • Jan van Egmond, Charleston, “Fort Lauderdale Street“

  • Rema White, Jane Lew, “Building on Sand“

  • Monica Wilkins, Shepherdstown, "Rockfish Gap, Virginia"

bottom of page