Saturday, October 17, 2015


Sweetie was my chauffeur Thursday morning, driving me up north to Middletown, Ohio to see the Ohio Watercolor Society show at the Middletown Art Center.  It's a beautiful venue with a lovely gallery setting for the show.  Unfortunately, they were setting up for a private event and had pushed some of the middle "walls" back into the "real" walls so there were a few paintings you could not see at all!  How silly!

Anyway, I (as usual) did not agree with the major award winners and chose to walk around a couple of times and snap what caught my eye and then a slow go around to choose my own favorites - it's too bad I am never asked to judge, I would really shake things up!! ha ha

So here are my top picks:

Earth Song 
by Billie Richards
of Kirtland, OH
won an OWS Award of Excellence

but I would have given this painting top place.  Because it is watercolor in bits that are stitched together like a watercolor quilt (it's paper, not cloth), and there was so much interesting texture and visual interest, not your usual watercolor painting at all!

(Sorry about the reflections in some of the paintings - it could not be helped.)

Detail of the above painting to show the stitching (in gold thread) with gold acrylic marker in places to carry on the painting, etc.  

This was a beautiful painting.

A Time to Reap
by Christine Misencik-Bunn
of Fredericktown, OH
won the OWS Award of Distinction

but, again, I would have given this second place overall.  It was pure, transparent watercolor, and it was masterfully done.  There was so much depth in the darks - and that sky and the man's teeshirt!!

Heart Break Falls
by Sally Emslie
of West Lafayette, OH

I don't know why this very inventive and visually imaginative painting did not win an award.  I would have given it third place.

It was not pure watercolor (I wish the artists had to name their media on the title card because you can paint in watercolor, gouache, casein, acrylic, etc. for the show - and paint on gessoed paper, yupo, canvas, etc.), so I assume it was acrylic with gesso (?) to create the wonderful texture you cannot see in this photo.  That flowing waterfall is all white gesso flowing down into the water...really a good painting and clever.

Eleanor's Barn
by Gary Brooks
of Amelia, OH

Another masterfully painting pure watercolor with tons of texturing in the wood and window to draw you in - which didn't win anything.  I would have been in my top 5.

Egret II
by Sharon Eley
of Chillicothe, OH

This was a delicate, beautiful, romantic image of an egret surrounded by loving half-scenes.  Loved the colors used and the delicate touch of the artist.

Definitely in my top 5.  And I found the hanging of this one (high up so you had to crane your neck to see it and could not look closely), unfortunate.  

More of my favorites:

Just Incredible
by Phyllis Lawicki
of Cleveland, OH

A brightly colored, highly textured, piece that was very eye-catching whether you were close to the painting or across the room.  Everything flowed well in this one.  

by Robert Moyer
of Rocky River, OH

I loved the creativity of this one - clever, fun, and well painted in an unusual way.  Very appealing!

If you get a chance and are in the Middletown, OH area, stop in and see the show and tell us your favorites!


Sadami said...

Dear Rhonda, I always pay attention and respect to people's choice. Best wishes, Sadami

E.M. Corsa said...

I think you'd be a fabulous judge though I did it for a huge show last year and I'll say, Never Again! Too many reasons to list.
Earth Song is incredibly luring; I sew with metallic threads in my work also but this was extraordinary. Thanks so much for sharing.

Jennifer Rose Phillip said...

sometimes going around award shows, I really wonder what the judges saw in the winners work, other times I totally agree with their choices.

RH Carpenter said...

Yes, Sadami, People's Choice is usually a good indicator of the way most people saw the show - unless someone gets all their friends and relatives to vote for them! ha ha

Elizabeth, I may not want the hassle of judging, either, but it might be fun. I'd definitely do my very best and not discount anything I didn't automatically "like" at first glance due to my own biases.

Jennifer Rose, I usually like some of what the judge chose and some I shake my head and say, "What am I not getting?" ha ha

If you want to see the OWS top awards (gold, silver, bronze) you have to go to their website - Ohio Watercolor Society - and you can see them there. Not bad paintings, at all, just not what I would have chosen for the top three prizes.

Deborah Nolan said...

Dear Rhonda- I love your top picks. Sometimes one has to wonder why certain paintings win and others go overlooked. I agree with you the Earth Song piece deserved number one. Just gorgeous.

RH Carpenter said...

Glad you enjoyed the little art show, Debbie :) I'm not saying I'm right - just that I have a different view of watercolor, I think...and wish it would be pure watercolor in an area and then other water media in an area - could all be in the same show but separate for the prizes? Oh, well. I didn't even enter so what am I talking about?? ha ha

Caroline Simmill said...

You got me wondering now what the winning paintings looked like! I will go and look at their website. I agree that saying what the medium used for a painting is very important, helps everyone to learn and understand what goes into creating a painting. I think the standard of the paintings is very high indeed, all beautiful the ones you have shared with us today.