Saturday, May 2, 2009

More at Old Forge, New York: Judging a Pastel Exhibition

"Moose River, Early Spring"
9x12, pastel

After some heavy rain, spring continues to surge. Yesterday, we hiked into the Adirondack wilderness where I spotted a beaver working on his dam. When he saw me, he slapped his tail in warning and vanished. Trout lilies, yellow violets and spring beauties decorated the trail. Small blue butterflies, each no bigger than a dime, threaded erratically over the flowers.

Today, Trina and I went out on a trail near the Moose River where I painted. The colors were lovely. I can really sense spring just below the surface! All those cool red-violets are really warming up.

Before our hike, I judged the 5th Annual Northeast National Pastel Exhibition for Arts Center/Old Forge. I had a very enjoyable day doing so.

The most complimentary statement a judge can make to exhibition artists is this: I had many tough choices. The creative use of design, color, subject and theme, along with high technical competence, made it a difficult show to judge. I wish I'd had more awards to give out! And for the very top paintings, I had to go a step farther to discern what were fine differences in quality. I had to look beyond technical handling. Specifically, I looked at how successfully the artist created a mood or feeling, told a story or illustrated an intellectual concept.

I am honored to have been able to choose between such excellent paintings.

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