Saturday, July 10, 2010


I have been searching the net for the artists in the AWS travelling show whose work was so interesting and appealing to me. To me, they were new names. Imagine my surprise when I find that many of them have been painting and showing in major shows for years!! Where have I been and why don't I remember their names and work?

A painting that was one of my favorite's (I had no decent photo due to the reflected lights) can be found at the artist's site here:

Scroll down to Sentry II (she changed the name of the piece and it was a bit darker than it's showing here but you still get the sense of the painting. Now I don't love it just because it has a big black crow in it...but because of the composition and the rich colors - not all greys and blacks.

And Mr. Preecha Promprabtuk has been showing his work and winning awards in the Transparent Watercolor Society, the National Watercolor Society (he is shown at the NWS on Donna Zagotta's blog), and the American Watercolor Society as well as the Oregon Watercolor Society. And I'd probably seen his work - perhaps online or in a magazine - but his name didn't stick until I saw the piece he had in the travelling show. So...another reason to get out there and see art for yourself: you may discover someone who knocks your socks off that you've never really let into your world before.

If you want to see more of another favorite, Pat Holscher, just go here:(
and view her wonderful whimsical animals painted with drizzles and splashes and color color color!! I think she may become a new favorite :) She gets that drizzly look by painting watercolor on gessoed paper and using a lot of the good old spray bottle (one of my favorite tools).

So, these names may have been fairly new to me, but they've been paying their dues and have been out there for years. So I owe them all an apology for treating them as "newcomers" to the scene just because I didn't know them. I know them now!!

And here is something for you to ponder. This painting, titled Far and Away, received the Bronze Medal/$2500 prize in the AWS show.

I won't tell the artist's'll have to search it out yourself at the AWS site. However, the response of the three of us visiting the show was the same: "That's a painting by T-- N------." (We were all wrong.)

Who do you think painted this painting...and what made you think that?

(T-- N------ had a painting in the show and didn't win an award for the painting - which was a very beautiful and light-filled painting of a nude woman.)

I think we've all been in workshops where an instructor tells the class, "I can teach you my technique but you won't be able to paint exactly like me." I think this one proved that saying wrong.

What do you think? Do you get your name out there by consistently developing your style and then teaching it to others through workshops and DVDs and magazine articles? Or do you get your name out there by winning a top award in a major show?

I have no clue how the paintings are chosen, but apparently a committee of 6 jurors chooses who gets in the show - and every one of those on that committee got in the show. (Is that wrong or okay?) A separate committee of 3 jurors chooses who gets the awards. Each one of them also got in the show - two in the travelling show - but they didn't give themselves awards. I think that is correct, according to the information I could glean.

So, which shows have you entered? Have you tried to get into your state show - or a national show? Have you succeeded? Are you entering online shows more so you don't have the expense of shipping your work if you get in? I think I make most of my art contacts and learn about artists and what they are doing through the online community. Following an artist's work online is easy for me to do and then when I see their name somewhere else (an art magazine article or a show), I recognize them and know their work.


Christiane Kingsley said...

What a great post, Rhonda! Thank you.

First, I don't think that the fact that jurors also have paintings in the show demonstrate much transparency in the process!

Next winter, I will just have to try Kathleen's technique of using the cold to have an impact on her paintings...Would putting the painting in the freezer have a similar effect?

I simply love Pat Holscher's drips! You are well on your way, Rhonda, to create such paintings...I hope that you will continue to explore this approach.

Vicki Greene said...

Thanks for such an inspiring post. I do dream of entering some national shows one day.

Myrna Wacknov said...

Insightful post, as always! I think TN is creating lots of very good clones! There is a real danger in teaching style of painting for both the teacher and the student. Each artist needs to find his/her own "look". Drawing freehand helps to make it your own. No two people draw exactly alike.

RHCarpenter said...

Christiane, I would think you would disqualify yourself from having a painting in the running if you were a judge? Maybe I don't know what I'm talking about and it's just my small town ethics kicking in? I like Kathleen's frozen technique, too - had heard of this at WetCanvas a long time ago but, luckily, it's never that cold and frozen here to do much of that! Thanks so much for your supportive comments :)

Vicki, we all should dream BIG always - who knows where it (and hard work) will take us?

Myrna, I felt a little "bad" for him because he didn't get an award. Could it be because his painting was a nude? (The only nude I've seen in recent years in a top watermedia show). His painting was gorgeous, as all his work always is. I do agree about drawing - the hand of the artist can't be copied in drawing style...or maybe it can, too, with more refined pastels and charcoals?

Myrna Wacknov said...

Rhonda, it could be that they thought they did give him an award! George James didn't get in AWS a year or so ago but a copycat received an award. The jurors thought is was George's painting. When they congratulated him, they and were shocked to discover he was left out.

Having the priviledge of having a painting in a show you juried or contributed major work on is common practice but most shows don't have so many jurors. With AWS there are 6 different judges, 3 for entry and 3 for awards, plus the president gets to show, etc. The hanging space is limited so it greatly cuts down on the available slots for the rest of us. The jurors are not eligible for any awards. It would be difficult to get the caliber of jurors they have if they weren't able to be in the show at all. They have relaxed a few of their rules lately and are making an effort to have more artists achieve signature status.

RHCarpenter said...

Thanks so much, Myrna, for clueing me in on things. I can see that you wouldn't want to be a juror if you knew it meant you'd never get your painting in a show...and they didn't give an award to any of the jurors (which could also be a disadantage to being a juror if you felt your painting deserved one but didn't get it because you were a juror). But there is probably a mystique about being a juror in such a pretigious show, too, and telling people that? I figured the award selection and award committees thought it was Ted's painting - the style is so distinctive. How embarrassing for those who congratulated George James on his award-winning painting when he didn't even get his in. Are the copiers better than the originals? ha ha As with everything, politics and the perks of holding office are considerations. I'm not sure I'd expect to get in a show just because I was heading the show as a president, juror, etc. but would want my work to have the merit to stand on its own and get in on that. Ah, this is why I don't go large groups - I don't want to even get involved in politics and who is good and who isn't and why...! ha ha