The 12th Annual Mile High Pastel Society of Colorado Art Show kicked off with an opening reception yesterday afternoon at the Vida Ellison Gallery on the 7th of the Denver Public Library. While temperatures soared into 100 plus degrees, artists, patrons, and guests filled the spacious gallery to see pastel artworks on display and applaud the award winners.
With 343 entries from 17 states, juror Kim Casebeer was challenged to choose her top 10 award winners. The winners she awarded included best of show, the top three and 6 honorable awards. Said Casebeer, “Though it was tough, I really enjoyed the process of judging…It was encouraging to see a variety of subjects – landscape, figurative and still life. But what was most interesting to me are the variety of ways that pastel is applied to the surface. Some seem detailed and crisp. Some are very soft, almost otherwordly. Some are loose and fun. Some are bold in color and others are very tonal. When selecting a body of work, I strive to find those varieties in both subject and technique, selecting what I feel are the best examples.”
In addition to the top 10 award winners chosen by Casebeer, there were also 9 awards of cash and prizes provided by show sponsors.
My Award Winning Painting – Bobcat Autumn
I was so excited to learn that I won the “Guerilla Painter Award”, judged by Carl Judson, receiving a merchandise award from Judson Art Outfitters.
I was able to grab a quick photo with Carl after the awards ceremony.
While winning an award is exciting, I really enjoy walking through the show and picking out my favorite pieces before the awards are given. Here are a few of my favorites (and all of them won awards!).
Tre Chic, William Schneider
This piece grabbed my attention immediately. Not only is the woman beautiful, the application of strokes, the texture of the paper and the way the vase of flowers compliments and grounds the painting draws the eye and holds one’s attention. I found her necklace and hand position to be particularly captivating. In this painting, I see calm and poise mixed with excitement and nervousness.
Harmonic Arrangement, Bonnie Anthony
This still life demonstrates skill in composition, the use of texture and a tremendous amount of patience! She drew me in with the solidity of the pitcher and basin, and I found myself looking at the variety of texture and shapes, finding surprises in her composition.
Montecatini Lemon, Margaret Zimbrick
I’m a sucker for realism and this painting immediately grabbed me. Her presentation is very well done, and the realism of the water on the lemon and leaves with the abstract shapes provided by the leaves, along with her color palette of yellow, green and orange is outstanding. The lemon absolutely jumps off the paper as if it is real.
Of course landscape are my first love and these two landscapes really caught my eye.
Along the Old Road, Becky Johnson
Here composition and ability to create such a realistic impression of snow is very well executed. I was particularly drawn to the contrast between light and shadow and how she has the shadow of the trees coming forward along with lovely color harmony.
Navajo Totem, Kathy Howard
What I like about this piece by Kathy is the composition. I’m initially pulled in by the warmth of the rock and the angle of the wash, but my eye wants to go further and explore the rock formations jutting into the sky, being backlit, they create interesting shadows, offset by the formation that goes even further into the distance. I want to know what else is happening here and my eye continues to explore. What you can’t see in the photo is the impasto effect she has created with the pastel application.
All of these pieces are even more interesting up close. There are so many more pieces deserving attention and study.
The show continues through September 8, 2016. If you are in the area, be sure to stop in for a look.
And, all the pieces are available for your collection. Contact Dawn Buckingham Goldsmith at firstname.lastname@example.org or 720-270-9555 to purchase any of the pieces at the show.