Juror Comments: 44th Western Federation of Watercolor Societies Exhibition

JUROR COMMENTS 

Kathleen Conover, Juror
Kathleen Conover, Juror

Juror’s Bio

Master Artist, Kathleen Conover exhibits her work, juries exhibitions, gives demonstrations and teaches in-depth workshops. She has been juried into more than 200 exhibitions, receiving national and international recognition for the vision, innovative techniques, and fearless expression that give rise to her unique designs.  Painting with openness to her subject matter, she is guided by intense observation and deep personal reflection.  The result is rich symbolic layers of literal and figurative design.

Painting from an early age, Kathleen was influenced by teachers and artists in the fertile environment of Southern California’s prominent artists, museums and galleries as well as early international travels.  She studied undergraduate fine arts at San Diego State University, finished her Bachelor of Art degree at the University of Washington in Seattle and earned her Master of Arts degree from Northern Michigan University.   Continued study with American master watercolor artists over the next decade enriched her depth, understanding, skill and personal style of painting.

Kathleen Conover, “Street Scene”

Kathleen Conover’s current involvement in the growing international watercolor scene includes invitations to exhibit, judge and demonstrate in China, Turkey, France, Belgium, Thailand and Greece. She has been honored as one of the 40 international master watercolorists invited to exhibit at the first watercolor-exclusive museum in Qingdao, China, the “Birthplace of Watercolor”. Global travel continues to influence her award-winning paintings and inspires her work toward her lifetime pursuit “…to be a better artist”.


Marion Mettler, SDWS, “Seated No. 6” | SDWS Enthusiasts Best of Show
Marion Mettler, SDWS, “Seated No. 6” | SDWS Enthusiasts Best of Show

Seated No. 6 has total emotional impact at first viewing. There’s wonderful design, shape, color, line, and impact – it’s very entertaining. It uses all of the tools in our toolbox to make great compositions. It’s abstract but, on closer inspection, you find that there are figures. It’s not non-objective – it’s truly abstract. There are alternating warm and cool colors. The spot of yellow is repeated just enough to keep us moving through the painting.


Helen Hayes, SDWS, “The Front Parlor” | Founder's Award
Helen Hayes, SDWS, “The Front Parlor” | Founder’s Award

The Front Parlor has a dramatic presentation of design, composition, and imagery. We may see imagery first, but it isn’t the most important part. It’s the strength of the abstract composition that hits you from across the room and as you get up close the sensitive handling of the figural form is very intriguing and yet it’s not over-done. It’s very simply presented and beautifully unified.


Gay Paratore, SDWS, “Blow Your Horn, Baby” | Award of Excellence
Gay Paratore, SDWS, “Blow Your Horn, Baby” | Award of Excellence

Blow Your Horn, Baby is a strong design piece. The movement in this piece zigzags from the top right to the bottom left and brings you diagonally up one shape, around, and through the painting. This keeps the eye moving and it’s very entertaining. Color, shape, drama of contrast are all used to make a wonderful composition.


Pat Moseuk, SDWS, “Motion In Space” | Award of Excellence
Pat Moseuk, SDWS, “Motion In Space” | Award of Excellence

Motion In Space is a true non-objective work, which I find the hardest kind of painting to make because you don’t have the crutch of imagery to rely upon. It shows true mastery of the design principles that we have to work with. It’s a perfect example of a non-objective painting.


Roberta Dyer, SDWS, “A Condition of Existence” | Board of Directors Award, SDWS Enthusiasts
Roberta Dyer, SDWS, “A Condition of Existence” | Board of Directors Award, SDWS Enthusiasts

A Condition of Existence is an abstract composition first, but it’s also striking as a portrait. It’s dealing with the dramatization of shape, line, and color. Those shapes are wonderful. The color is terrific. And the line work is pure entertainment – it unifies the painting.


Paige Trinnaman-Kimball, UWS, “Jamaican Mama” | Mark and Kristy Smith Award
Paige Trinnaman-Kimball, UWS, “Jamaican Mama” | Mark and Kristy Smith Award

Jamaican Mama is an example of the best of what our watercolors can be. Of all of the art tools of expression, watercolor has a voice of its own and this artist knows how to use it. We have the free-form drips and the splatter and the paints have mixed on the paper, but with enough control that the artist has created a wonderful portrait with expression. Look at the distribution of yellow from her temple to her cheek!


Dave Carlson, SWS, “Chicago Salute” | Linda A. Doll Award
Dave Carlson, SWS, “Chicago Salute” | Linda A. Doll Award

Chicago Salute is an excellent piece. There are designerly elements, but it’s a purely representational piece. There are surreal elements to it due to the swirls and the pattern of the water. There is stylization of the city in the back, the birds in the front – it enters us into another world. The animal head on the bow of the boat is delightful.


Barry Sapp, SAWG, “The Sacred Headdress” | Wayne S. Julien Award
Barry Sapp, SAWG, “The Sacred Headdress” | Wayne S. Julien Award

I’m assuming that The Sacred Headdress is total transparent watercolor – it shows beautiful mastery of our medium with the saving of the whites in just the right areas and great use of pigment granulation. Great rendering of a portrait in costume. I love the soft wet-in-wet work and the hard line contrast of the darks against the lights.


Robin Erickson, SDWS, “Key West Window” | APT Critique Group Award
Robin Erickson, SDWS, “Key West Window” | APT Critique Group Award

Key West Window has a subtle but very original composition with the large dark shape in the lower right of the painting connected to the very strong dark shape in the lower left corner and the line that goes from the large dark all the way to the top and it’s all connected. The composition just keeps the eye moving. The colors are beautiful. There are soft edges and hard edges – it’s just great.


Bonnie Woods, SDWS, “Hare of the Moonless Sky” | John and Donna Swink Award
Bonnie Woods, SDWS, “Hare of the Moonless Sky” | John and Donna Swink Award

For a show where half the entries were paintings of figures, Hare of the Moonless Sky made it up to the top. It’s beautifully done with whimsical imagery. There’s a concept here that makes me wonder, as a viewer, what is the story here? There’s more than what meets the eye.


Jeffrey Jensen, SWS, “St. Paul Station” | Philip G. Paratore, Jr. Award
Jeffrey Jensen, SWS, “St. Paul Station” | Philip G. Paratore, Jr. Award

For this small piece – it’s a very intimate size – everything is there. St. Paul Station has got a very strong, simple composition. It reads well from across the room. There’s an alternation of warm and cool neutrals.


Christine Alfery, SDWS, “Golden Nuggets” | Robert Burridge Experimental Acrylic / Mixed Media Award
Christine Alfery, SDWS, “Golden Nuggets” | Robert Burridge Experimental Acrylic / Mixed Media Award

Golden Nuggets has a lot of different techniques – line, color, texture. It’s very fun and expressive.


Charles Henry Rouse, SDWS, “Amalfi Slows” | Roberta and Eddie Dyer Award
Charles Henry Rouse, SDWS, “Amalfi Slows” | Roberta and Eddie Dyer Award

Amalfi Slows has a wonderful composition with all of light, medium, and dark values represented. The values lead the eye all around the painting.


Ana Laura Salazar, SDWS, “Guardian Soul” | Robin Erickson Award
Ana Laura Salazar, SDWS, “Guardian Soul” | Robin Erickson Award

I find the rendering of Guardian Soul especially intriguing. There are areas that are very loosely painted. I feel like this was very intuitively painted with the image pulled from the loose areas of color with just enough tight rendering of the faces to bring it all together. It’s challenging to keep all of the texture and freedom and not take the painting too far and lose it.

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