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Eight Members Win Merit Awards in AAC Show

Eight Anderson Artists Guild members won merit awards at the Anderson Arts Center Juried Show, which is on exhibit now through May 18. Here are reflections from these award winners:

$250 Merit Award: Shea Abramo, Gypsy (acrylic)

“I loved this photo, which was taken by and modeled in by Kasey Walters, owner of The Gypsy Wine Bar in Pendleton Square. We’re not only friends, but I’m a huge fan girl of her style and her delivery when it comes to photography, modeling, and marketing! With permission of course I asked to paint her picture, and in this process I learned so much, and aesthetically did Kasey’s work justice with acrylic paint. I love how combining mediums and inspiring each other stirs up our creativity and pushes us out of our comfort zone. My favorite part of this piece was emulating the steel front of the dryer, using my own fingerprints and trimmed bristles to scratch the metal surface. It just added that touch. I painted this piece on my kitchen island, which is a restaurant stainless steel prep table. I used so many kitchen utensils, like our largest metal mixing bowl for the large circles, tape for breaking each part of the canvas into sections. And allowing brushstrokes and dancing with the color palette to do the magic. I’m into textures and creating an immediate connection with feel by looking at these surfaces. You know that dryer!”

$100 Merit Award: Chet Lawson, Ebb Tide (oil)

“Painted in oils on canvas, this was inspired from photos I took of the Brittany Coast of France many years ago. It also represents my return to the medium after over forty years. Of particular challenge was capturing the reflective and transparent nature of the sea as well as trying to render the texture and temperature of the slate roofs and stone buildings in a slightly impressionistic manner. This painting also recognizes the use of flat lighting and the play of warm versus cool hues to keep the eye moving. A few compositional liberties were also taken in order to create a more interesting and complex focal point area.”

$100 Merit Award: Hamed Mahmoodi, Glass Veil (mixed media)

“I created two different drawings on tracing paper beforehand, one for the inner model and one for the outer glass. I then slid them one on top of the other until I got the best of the two layers. Afterwards, I plotted both of the surfaces at once and started blocking in some lines to then paint segment by segment.”

$100 Merit Award: Kathy Moore, At a Crossroad (acrylic)

“When I was thinking about a title for this piece, I thought about the struggles I had when choosing a palette I don't normally use. My palettes are typically more saturated and intense. I remained "At a Crossroad" the entire time I was painting. As I reflected on the finished painting, the title became very clear--the title is a description of my experience. I will continue to challenge my personal aesthetics because I believe this is the only way to grow as an artist.”

$100 Merit Award: Kate Salley Palmer, Terraces on the Douro River (oil)

“I was so happy to receive a merit award and to sell the painting! This painting was done from a photo I took in Portugal from the window of a bus as it clung to the side of a steep cliff. If we had toppled off that narrow road, we wouldn’t have stopped till we splashed into the Douro River far below! The vineyards on the hillsides were beautiful, though. I just finished another Douro River landscape yesterday.”

$100 Merit Award: Ray Richards, Dead Boat (photography)

“This image was shot at Oregon Inlet on the Outer Banks of North Carolina during a winter gale. The winds were blowing around 40 to 50 mph with rain squalls and temperatures in the low 40's. My wife and I were in Nags Head to visit Kitty Hawk (for her) and photograph the Outer Banks in winter (for me), this being her first and my third visit in winter. Winter is my favorite time of year for the Outer Banks because of the rough and wild beauty of the storms, and I always find interesting things to shoot on the beaches like this wrecked sailboat. The Outer Banks in the summer are just another pretty beach with too many tourists. Problems encountered on this trip included cold temperatures, 40-50 mph winds, heavy rain squalls, blowing sand and rain (I had a lot of trouble keeping my equipment dry and tripod upright). In addition, the town of Nags Head was almost entirely closed down for the winter season. With the exception of a short visit to the Kitty Hawk Museum, my wife Gloria hunkered down in the hotel room with a book while I explored.”

$100 Merit Award: Alan Smith, Old Victorian (transparent watercolor)

“This painting was taken from a photograph I took of an old house in the Midwest. I have been working on vignette painting for the past few months which is making me focus on design and shape. There were two things I focused on with this painting: how to have a good shape for the vignette and for the white paper of each corner and to make sure that there was an oblique thrust to the house. I tried to keep everything mid-value with a few dark accents (mostly the trees). I am trying to take the advice of a number of painters who talk about simplifying your paintings. I tried to simplify it as much as I could while still trying to make it an interesting scene. I added to the house on the far side by having an addition to the house. The house is very narrow and I felt it needed to have the back portion to make it a more interesting shape. The original photograph is also on a prairie, so I added all of the other shapes in the painting. I continue to work at getting better with the lacing of the tree trunks and branches and the canopy of the tree. I think that the vignette design forces you to really focus on shape making and design.”

$100 Merit Award: Jan Sparks, Be My Guest (mixed media)

“This piece repeats some of my favorite symbols—some remind me of home, others I’m not sure what the attraction is. I’ve always loved windows and doors, so the window symbol shows up in this piece. Some of the shapes are inspired by my mother’s paintings, like the table and chair shapes, although definitely my interpretation. I also recently took an online class with Judy Woods, a New Zealand artist I admire. So some of the techniques are definitely inspired by her. Check her out on Instagram and YouTube.”


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