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Diana Walter wins 'Best in Show' in Hartwell

Three Anderson Artists Guild members had works accepted into the Hart Regional Arts Council’s 25th Annual Juried Art Show, which opened June 13 and runs through August 3 at The Art Center in Hartwell, Georgia. The members are Diana Walter, Rebecca Carruth, and Louise Bisso.

Walter won the Best in Show Award in the two- and three-dimensional category for her piece View from the Bleachery (mixed media). “The inspiration was a photograph I took of a section of windows on one of the old buildings at the Taylors Mill in Taylors,” she said. “I loved the colors–a mint green with white ‘glaze’ that I guess came from aging paint that had been applied to the inside of the windows–and the rust that had formed on all the frames and seeped down in places over the glass. It was interesting, too, to notice there were a few panes that (for some reason) weren’t coated with the paint, which enabled a crystal-clear reflection of the blue sky and clouds. I just thought it was an interesting combination of color, texture, old and new.”

Her challenge was to highlight images from the photograph in a nonrepresentational way. “I wanted to present the image in a deeper, more textural way,” she said. “The image is on unstretched canvas, which is adhered to a birch panel. The bottom part of the image features a rough, stone-like acrylic medium that resembles the weathered sill of the window. Underneath the canvas and around the sides of the panel are authentic and reproduction machine patent documents from the U.S. Patent Office–all from the time period in which the Bleachery first operated. So I guess the challenge was bringing all that together in a piece that projected not only the image but also a little of the history I wanted the viewer to experience!” Walter also had two other mixed media pieces in the show: Beekeeper’s Story and The Chinese LA Daily News.

Carruth’s watercolor Foxfire Forest won a merit award. “I began this one as a pouring on handmade paper and I then used brushes to finish up some details and the main trees to give texture,” she said. “The only challenge I found was removing the masking fluid from the very textured surface of the hand-made paper. I have not gone out of my way to repeat that one. My inspiration was of a place I venture each year in May during a two-week time frame to see the Blue Fairy Ghost [fireflies]. Somehow I took a sharp left turn and went with Foxfire [created by some species of fungi present in decaying wood] which is also called Fairy Fire but not related in the least as one is a living thing and the other a bioluminescent. I will revisit the Blue Fairy Ghost in the future when I figure a cool way to recreate it on canvas. This painting has had a great run of three awards, but it ends here with it finding a new home.”

Also part of the show was Bisso’s Lakeside Landscape (colored pencil).

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