April Members Show “Color Zone” a Rich Rainbow

This is the first of a series in which I review and comment on the San Diego Watercolor Society (SDWS) Monthly Members Shows. These shows provide a regular venue in which members have the opportunity to submit their work to a competitive, juried exhibit that judges the submissions for inclusion into the show. The jurors also select pieces for honors for first, second and third place, best of theme, and several juror commendations and honorable mentions. Since the coronavirus pandemic, these shows have been virtual and available for viewing on the SDWS website, https://www.sdws.org/galleryart.php?cat=6966  rather than in-person at the SDWS Gallery.

These shows are important for several reasons. They give member artists the opportunity to have their work critically evaluated, with selected pieces presented to the viewing public. They also have the chance to offer their work for sale. Additionally, the public has the chance to view the incredible variety of high-quality art that characterizes the work of our members. Juried exhibitions assure that the paintings on view are the “best of the best.”

This article is an effort to introduce you to the current April Member show, and to encourage you to view it online in its entirety. We also encourage you to take a look at the Juror Comments for each show, which highlights the works selected for honors, including an image of the painting

itself and the comments of the juror. Juror Comments can be found at


The April Members show has the theme “Color Zone” and was juried by local artist Richard Hawk. He selected 14 works for the honors listed above, and these works are noted in the virtual exhibit and in the Juror Comments. The remaining 86 paintings were selected from a total of 250 submissions, and are uniformly excellent. In fact, Richard Hawk has the following observations about the art submitted to him:

Selecting a show and giving awards is a subjective matter in singling out works from a group so varied in approach, spirit and intent. Another juror, a different day, and it could be a different show. All entrants are to be commended for engaging in art and subjecting themselves to the judging process.

Enjoying the diversity, I kept four criteria in mind when viewing the work:

  • Expression
  • Content
  • Design
  • Craftsmanship

The last two can be approached and analyzed objectively. The first two are interpretive and call on intuitive response.

Works that were chosen for this show displayed, for me, aesthetic sense, metaphysical importance, skill, boldness, intellectual intensity, emotion, surprise, original voice, ingeniousness, or some combination of these in expressing the vision of the artist.

Many of the paintings on display are wonderfully expressive of the “Color Zone” theme. Lynn Slade’s “Blue Pier” and Susan Keith’s “Blue Plated Pears” do indeed feature blue, but the orange and russet additions make the paintings vivid and colorful. Trees, riverbanks, and skies never had such rainbow hues as in Susan Monte’s “Drive Through Light Show”, Gordon Bashant’s “The Del” and Stan Goudey’s “View from Las Olas”. In “Raspberry Ridge” by Nancy Rizzardi, color is everything!

Florals are a natural subject for featuring a variety of colors. To see some rich rainbow compositions, take a look at Cynthia Roach’s “Bouquet” and Bin Crow’s “White Roses,” which are much more than white!

Portraits also took on inventive and powerful colors in this show. To see such examples, check out “Colorful Girl” by Martha Grim, Elaine Harvey’s “Dancing Dreams”, and Ann Slater’s “Let it Be”. You may never view portraiture in the same way again!

Even animals are more colorful in the eye of the artist than they may be for a camera. You can’t help warming up to Ann Slater’s dog “Zack” or Keming Chen’s “Toy Poodle 2”. For a really far-out take on an animal in full color, don’t miss “Horse of Lascaux” by Chuck McPherson.

Finally, abstracts are well and vividly represented in this show. “Ancient Wisdom with Futuristic Infusion” by Wanda Honeycutt is a great example. Marsha Alexander’s “Entanglements” is similarly rich in vibrant colors. Maybe I’m just a Mars junkie, but “Lines of Communication 290, NASA.COM (Perseverance, Integrity on Mars!)” by Carol Thomason really brought the color theme back to earth in stunning fashion.

These works are just a small taste of all the fantastic flavors of watermedia on exhibit from the April Members Show of the SDWS. I hope that you look at the entire exhibit, and make a purchase if something particularly engages you. And stay tuned for May and future shows where the actual paintings will be in display at the Liberty Station gallery of the SDWS!

Carla Scheidlinger

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