2017 PSNH 9th National Juried Exhibition – “Its Pastel!”

 Discover Portsmouth Center, Portsmouth, NH

Dates: OCTOBER 21st through NOVEMBER 25th, 2017

We thank the artists as well as those who came to view this show. It was a great success.

Jurors of Selection: Kim Lordier, a signature member of PSA and an IAPS Master Circle Recipient

Juror of Awards: Christine Ivers, a signature member of PSA and an IAPS Master Circle Recipient 

Many Thanks to the Following Sponsors:

[Not a valid template]As well as:
Connecticut Pastel Society
Pastel Painters of Maine
Pastel Society of America
Pastel Painters Society of Cape Cod
The Pastel Journal
David Pratt Framer
Wayne Dutch

And Now for the Winners!

Kitty Clark Award/Best in Show:  Terri Brooks, Fall Fishing

This incredibly dynamic piece caught my eye as soon as I turned the corner of the room! From it’s well thought out composition, use of sensitive color temperature and illuminating rim light, I found myself caught up in the moment of the cast line of this solitude fisherman. Reflections in the still lake added to the calming effect the artist wanted to achieve to show the serenity of this moment in time. Congratulations on such a seriously executed use of the medium. This painting is pure beauty and in my mind deserves the highest award.

Second Place:  Susan Ellis, The Long Haul

Who of us in this audience has not encountered a job that forced us to use our backbones to get a job done. We are not even sure what this young man is pulling through the bog, but we are sure he is working pretty hard to drag it to it’s destination. With the directional strokes of the marsh grass and the bold strokes that create the rim light on this young man, we are given a glimpse into his efforts as he toils to finish his job. This painting is a fine example of storytelling through a simple composition and beautiful light. I would tell this artist to keep painting what you love. It shows in your painting.

Third Place:  Eileen Casey, Woodland Memory

If there were ever a painting that put me in the middle of an ice cold winter sunset or sunrise this was it! Well determined color choice to bring on that emotion, the subtle reflections in the icy pond and the stark darkness of the trees leading me back to the horizon all played pivotal parts in the success of this wonderful work. The textured surface only added to intrigue of this predawn or dusk capture of time and the directional pull of the darkened trees pulled constantly tried to pull me away from the frozen ground below. Totally wonderful capture of a moment in time.

Schmincke/ChartPak:  Jacob Aguiar, When Rocks Turn to Gold

The use of a square format is always a challenging one for an artist of any medium, but this painting drew me to it from the start. Leading you into the frame, the winding of the stream brings you into the distant background of vibrant foliage leading you to believe it is a verdant time of year in this landscape. With elements bringing you into the painting from many directions the viewer can pause and rest on areas or travel around the composition. The atmospheric perspective of this landscape is a wonderful example of bringing a two-dimensional plane to a visual three-dimensional illusion to the artists viewer. Kudos to the artist!

Blick Art Materials:  Maryann Mullett, Blue Pottery Vase

Large in format, yet intimate in subject, this detailed still life caught my eye for a number of reasons. The replication of the ceramic vase, the light and shadows on the walls surrounding the subject, and the delicacy of the berry branches in the set up, gave me a feeling of really being part of the scene. The directional pull of the upward motion of the branches versus the solid resistance of the heavy vase gave me a feeling of a quiet argument between the two. To add to it’s beauty, the presentation with the unusual frame added to the wholeness of the entire piece. A truly wonderful work.

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Great American – Holy Cow Award:  Janet Schwartz, Red Light Green Light

I am always amazed at the diversity of subject matter that painters of any medium choose to paint, so this painting definitely stood out among the crowd. How many of us would think to paint a rainy car windshield? But this artist did! Drippy strokes that created the rain-like patterns, the blur of the lights that are easily seen but through the prisms of the water and glass are liquid and distorted… Just as you would see them in a rainstorm between the windshield wiper blades. Unusual and creative, I think this pastel is worthy of the Holy Cow Award because when I stood in front of it that’s exactly what I thought. Holy Cow! This is a great painting.

Rembrant:  Karen Tighe, Sunswept

Take the ordinary and make it extraordinary… That is the phrase I would use to describe this painting. A tuft of dead hay-like grass on a frozen snow covered surface is a simple yet exquisite painting. Leading you in with the tendrils of long forgotten green, the artist brings you in to the composition to focus on delicate marks with pure pigment. Sensitivity is the word that I would put to this piece and I believe the artist has achieved what they wished to say. Sometimes it’s something that is overlooked at our feet that can become a great painting. Congratulations.

Jack Richeson Gold:   Tricia Kaman, Portrait of Amber

The first thing that struck me about this portrait was the fact that I felt I was looking at an early Picasso! With the geometric shapes in the background to the three quarter view of the portrait, I felt a kinship with an artist who loved planes of the woman’s face. The bold strokes only leant to the drama of the young woman in the painting and the highlight strokes throughout created a fabulous three-dimensional effect. The push and pull of warm and cool temperature pigments is exciting in this piece and I would love to see more work by this artist in the future.

Jack Richeson Silver:  Cynthia Powell, The Standoff

Curiosity. That came across to me as soon as I looked at this painting of a pup with a ball. The directional strokes, the shadows placed in just the right angle, the thought behind the subject, all drew me in to come back to this sweet painting. The compositional direction of the background and the shadow on the ball that brought me directly into the pup, seemed to be planned by the artist. Yet the simplicity of strokes and color built this painting into a great little story. I hope this artist continues to discover the wonders of our animal friends, for this painting surely captured the wonder of this little dog. A heartwarming piece for sure.

Jack Richeson Bronze:  Jody Scyllberg, Over the Top

Thrust! Motion! Rising to the top! These are all the descriptions I could give to this wonderful seascape. The square format is full of energy and the breaking wave emits an unleashed energy that the viewer can only anticipate. The “high horizon” of the top of the wave is cleverly placed to let the viewer know that there is more to see beyond and only beckons the viewer to want to know what’s there. The directional marks lead us in and almost over to its, and the transparency of the wave adds to it’s dynamic. It is truly a wonderful piece.

Piscataqua:  Noma Jean Rollet, Tall Pines

I’ve been told that my paintings channel Edward Hopper, and I must say that this artist seems to be channeling Maxfield Parrish. The simplicity of the three trees against the distant mountain range makes me pause to appreciate the simplicity of this well thought out painting. From the wonderment of the “three sisters” to the mark making that draws your eye into the composition of the flawless sky and hills beyond, This vertical layout lifts its viewer to higher heights and brings them into distant explorations. It is truly a wonderful painting.

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Terry Ludwig:  Laura Winn Kane, Ginger Tea

Simplicity. Is the tea cup waiting to be filled? Is it empty after the tea? Why isn’t the cookie eaten if that’s the case? This is a still life that asks many questions. And because it’s execution and incredibly skilled mark making is able to put me at the scene, I am able to wonder what are the answers to all of those simplistic question. After all… It’s just a teacup! But that’s what kept me coming back. Sometimes it’s the simple things that ask the complicated questions. This one does. So I would say to this artist… Keep on creating pieces that challenge your viewers. It is what will keep them coming back to revisit your works.

Holbein:  Tom Bailey: Halibut Path

Impressionism! The mastering of layering strokes upon strokes, dots upon dots, lights upon darks, and best of all emotion upon a two-dimensional surface. Follow the path in this composition. There is no question as to where I am supposed to go. Go over the hill to the ocean at rest in the background. With each calculated stroke this painting tells me the story of a quiet walk on to a restful place. Or is it? Only the storyteller knows for sure. Colorful with wonderful layered pastel I can only guess what is over that ridge. This mark making gives me a feeling of freedom. Keep telling your stories. I want to see more.

Ampersand:  Mona Dumoulin, Little Man

“The eyes have it!” That’s what gave this painting an award! What a fantastic animal portrait this artist painted of this very handsome canine. Cools on warms, push and pull of value and color… It is a dynamic use of strokes and light to give three-dimension to this great painting. But the eye of this animal was painted with such forethought that it was amazing. I could look into this eye and feel this animal. How thrilling to the artist it must be to capture such a look of devotion and loyalty. PS. I love the dandelion! Did he pose for you? This is truly a lovely portrait of Man’s (and Woman’s) best friend

Guerilla Painter:  Joe Baker, Summer Spectrum

“I can walk right into this scene.” That’s exactly what I said to myself when I saw this painting. The use of value and color in this wonderful landscape drew me closer from the moment I saw it. What lies beyond that small, darkened section of woods in the background was something that had to be asked of the artist. This painting is a wonderland of light and reflections with the added intrigue of what lies beyond. I would love to visit this place because the artist has expressed his/her feeling for it through this exquisite little landscape. Kudos!

Anchor Line:  Karen Israel, Spirits of Summer

Flamingoes! What an unusual, yet incredible subject to paint in the vibrancy of pure pigment! With the vibrancy of their unusual coloring, along with the triangulation of the three dominant birds, this piece leads you into a circling composition that asks you to wander out to the periphery to see what else might be outside. With the darkened background that forces you to see the bold strokes of the feathers, the delicate strokes of their legs lead you into all the heft of the main characters. Beautiful use of warms and cools, creative subject matter and great mark making, I commend this artist for stepping outside of the box to bring us all some new and exciting work.

Diane Townsend:  Laurinda O’Connor, Day’s End

Why paint purple trees? Why Not!! The boldness of the strokes that were put down on the support in this painting are those of confidence and security. This artist is not afraid to step outside of the box! These trees are alive and are ready for anything as the calm lake reflects their distant neighbors. From the light leading you into the paths to the triangular composition that leads you back, this is a wonderful example of an artist who loves to paint and paints incredibly well. I commend you and your freedom of strokes. Keep it up!

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Cheap Joe’s:  Bethany Fields, A Golden Crown

Small and serene, this wonderful landscape caught my eye as soon as I saw it hanging. This artist is somewhat of a renegade because the star of the painting is almost dead center. But it works! With the weighting of the tree with the darks and the path that leads you in to the composition you tend to go beyond the central tree to lightened grass to the left of what you would believe to be the “star” of the painting. But is it? With the light traversing across the path and the temperatures that push the trees into the background of this sensitive little piece, the artist conveys a deliberate attempt to guide the viewer’s eye to exactly where he/she wants you to go. This is an exceptional use of temperature and value. Congratulations.

Dakota Art Pastels:  Christine Bodnar, Momento

Almost abstract in quality, this artist used the tension of a square format to incredibly good use! Driving the viewer vertically, they took no chance in where they wanted the eye to travel. The extremely high horizon in the distance is arrived at by traversing the river in the marsh below. This painting is an incredible example of atmospheric perspective and the use of color temperature to create the push and pull of foreground to background. The viewer is lead in and had no choice but to land where the artist demands you wind up. Great job on this bold and exciting work!

Pan Pastel:   Ella Delyanis, Late Day in Acadia

“Follow me into the forest!” That’s exactly what this composition beckoned me to do. With the strength of darkest darks and the brilliance of high key lights, I am directly led into the dark of the forest in the background. Sensitive and directional strokes also work to lead me to the artist’s destination. Do I dare traverse into that darkness? This is a lovely example of value used to draw the viewer to where the artist wants you to go. Beautiful use of value, color and temperature to tell the story. Congratulations.

Charlotte Dutch:  William Schneider, Emma

Portraits are one of the most difficult pieces to create in any medium, but this artist has the capability to capture the essence of the subject. The vibrancy of youth is easily seen in this vignette portrait! With the look if assuredness conveyed in this painting, this artist was able to interpret his model’s inner soul. Young, beautiful, and ready to take on the world, this portrait tells me more about her than she probably will ever know. From the cool and warm skin tones to the decisive strokes of her white collar, she is captured forever for who she is. What a wonderful painting this artist has created! Kudos.

David Pratt:  Kay Sullivan, First Turn

Sometimes good things come in small packages. We’ve all heard that saying. But in the case of this tiny painting the boldness of color and application was a definite winner in my eyes. It is incredibly difficult to tell a story with limited strokes and “real estate,” but this artist was successful on many fronts. From the bright red and the reflection on it in the water to the shoreline that broke the tension above the center of the painting, this little vignette gave us a glimpse into a secret little part of life. I hope this storyteller will paint more of these small but powerful storied. I think this little painting is wonderful.

Phillip Danylik:  Gill Truslow, Oriental Dreams

I added this award (and I could have added at least ten more!) because I felt this little animal portrait resonated with me. As a rescuer of abandoned cats throughout my life I have intimate knowledge of their habits and their personalities. This little feline caught my eye just because of that. It is sleeping peacefully with every stroke of its fur in place while the rest of the world goes by. If only we could be so lucky! It’s a wonderful little pet portrait of a special little animal of the artist. I hope you will continue to document this sweet little being more with your creativity.

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Connecticut Pastel Society:  Sally Gordon Shea, Dancing Ladies

Rise upward! Large and bold, these Iris’s draw your eye to the sky! The artist leads the eye to higher things that are rising out of the soil below. The dance of the strokes along with the subject matter illustrated gave me a feeling of overcoming the odds and working to greater heights. From the warmth of the foreground to the coolness in the background to push that ever farther away from the viewer, this wonderful floral piece immediately caught my eye as I walked around the room. I hope that this artist pursues painting more beautiful floral and fauna scenes.

Pastel Society Cape Cod:  Diana Rogers, August and Cove

Vertical and breaking all the rules, this painting caught my because of just of that. “Don’t put your horizon in the middle of the piece, don’t put your focal point in the middle of the piece,” how many times have we heard that? But when it comes right down to it, where would art be if we didn’t break the rules? I give this artist his/her do for speaking their own voice. Color expounding and bold strokes unapologetic, I give credit to the untraditional! Keep experimenting…You could be the next trend that we aspire to.

Pastel Society of America:  Carmella Martin, All Aboard

Almost abstract in its quality, this painting grabbed me when I turned the corner! The vertical composition of the side of what looks to be a train places me as an observer wondering what is going on and why the two windows are open. Creating the reflection on the metal that makes the “skin” of the cabin leads me just below the open windows. Ticks of light bounce to force my eye to look… but at what? Growing from the warmth of the bottom to the coolness of the top of the car I feel nostalgic of some kind of a day gone by. This piece is beautiful in it’s simplicity and balance. I wish I knew more about the subject.

Pastel Painters of Maine:  Heather Berry, Stratham Faire

Sometimes good things come in small packages and this little painting of the two horses certainly spoke to me. Mark making with confident strokes, these strong and handsome steeds reflected the artists ability to tell a story about animals that have worked for us in one capacity or another for millennium. The warm temperature use on the animals compared to the push and pull of the background gives the viewer a reason to keep their eye on these magnificent, hard working horses. You don’t have to be an equestrian to appreciate these incredible animals when you see them in this well executed painting. Wonderful!


[Not a valid template] On Saturday, October 21st there was a gallery talk and a pastel demonstration as part of the mission of the Pastel Society of New Hampshire to educate the public about the pastel medium.

Exhibit Closed: Sunday, November 26, 2017 

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