Juror Comments: August Member Show

To help San Diego Watercolor Society members understand more about the jury process, SDWS asks jurors for comments.  Please remember these are informal comments to provide insight into the juror’s evaluation process.  They should be considered just another data point, the same way that demonstrating artists make comments on their process or methods. 

The August Member Show “Borrowing From the Past” was juried by award-winning artist, Helen Hayes. Paintings will be in the gallery and available for purchase both at the gallery and online until August 31, 2019.

Honoring the Past

Helen Hayes graduated from Ball State University (Indiana) earning a degree in education with a major and a minor in art, which led to lengthy career in art education (grades K-12).

Helen also attended institutes with The California Arts Project participated with TCAP as a Teacher Leader.

Helen began her formal training in watercolor spending several summers studying with Robert E. Wood and continues to study with various watercolor artists, the most recent being Katherine Chang Liu.

She has work in homes throughout the United States and in the Mission Inn in Riverside, CA. She has had artwork accepted into and won awards in various California art shows and her work has been published in Watercolor Artist Magazine.

She is a Signature Member in SDWS, WFWS and the National Watercolor Society.

General Comments

Why do you make this so hard? I felt like the entries in this show were very strong. I would have liked to include more paintings and given more awards, because they are deserving.


First Place, Mine, Roberta Dyer

Mine is a really simple painting, with only two shapes. The shapes fill the space very well. There are interesting negative shapes that are all different in size and shape. It has solid areas, texture, and interesting lines. The complementary colors really make it pop. I love the detailed texture, which adds interest to the painting. 

Second Place, Copper Canyon, Ski Torzeski

Copper Canyon is a large painting that says, “Look at me.” The division of space is very good. The detail is good, but it’s not too detailed, which adds to the interest. The values alternate, which leads you through the space. The neutrals help the colors attract your attention. The perspective is great, including the very small people, which gives you a sense of the grandeur. 

Third Place, Sahara, Nell Bartlett

Sahara consists almost entirely of neutral colors with just some pops of color. It has a variety of shapes and line. I enter the painting from the white space in the upper right and travel easily through the painting guided by the shapes, color, and line. It feels like it has layers, which adds interest. The open spaces help you move from one shape to another.

Best of Theme, Fresh Laundry, Sylvia Smith

Fresh Laundry represents the theme “Borrowing from the Past” to me because I remember my mother hanging laundry out to dry. Just looking at the painting makes me think of the great smell of fresh laundry.


Best of Miniatures, Enlightened Fish, Wanda Honeycutt

The design of Enlightened Fish is outstanding. There is no empty space. The colors are vibrant. I like the variety of line. It’s a good painting.

Honorable Mention Miniatures, Golden Flowers, Vita Sorrentino

Golden Flowers has an interesting arrangement of organic shapes with a really nice coverage of the whole space. The lines have unusual endings, which is attractive. There is great unity in the image.

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