About the Judge: Virginia Unseld
Virginia Unseld has been painting the western landscape for 40 years. Her work is about the act of joyous mark-making as much as about the subject she is painting. Virginia is primarily a plein air painter. Her studio and home are at 9,200 feet in the Colorado Rockies.
Unseld holds a Master’s Degree in Art Education from Rhode Island School of Design. She taught art in public schools for almost 30 years and has also been an instructor for Adams State University and numerous arts groups. She is a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of Colorado and the Colorado Watercolor Society and a member of Women Artists of the West and the Plein Air Painters of Colorado. She has exhibited extensively and won many awards for her work.
Virginia shared her thoughts about the winning pieces:
“Thank you for asking me to judge this member’s show. I was happy to see the breadth of the entries in terms of media, style, and subject. I looked and relooked at each piece and sometimes laughed and sometimes felt other strong emotions and sometimes delighted in the creativity or skill. I often struggled between 2 pieces when selecting one for an award. I have included a few notes to explain my choices.”
Unique Composition: Future Perfect by Sue Houck:
“The design of this piece is unusual by traditional compositional standards. There is no clear point of interest. The balance of elements is also not predictable and therefore a little gutsy. I also love the title and the presentation, while simple, is still professional.”
Unique Contrast: Wild Red Desert by Carol Walker:
“It almost seems as though this photograph was created for this category. The contrast between black and white and grey, the contrast of textures in the horse coupled with strong photographic skills and daring cropping and unusual “framing” method of wrapping the image on one side kept drawing me back to take another look.”
Unique Use of Color: Spirit of Buffalo by Linda Faul:
“There is a saying by some anonymous person – or at least unknown to me – that “value does all the work and color gets all the glory”. Color does get the glory in this painting, with almost fauve color choices. The values do their part too to ensure that the wild colors work.”
Emotionally Inspiring: Rim Lit Monument by Shawn Shea:
“The light and colors and composition and technique all inspiring and the subject fits the category as well. I was able to stand in that light.”
Best of Show: Sleeping Rocks by Vicki Payne:
“I love the atmosphere captured here. The soft misty water contrasted against the rough rocks is gorgeous. The composition leads the viewer around all the elements in the landscape. Technically it is a very strong piece. To quote Ansel Adams, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”. Ms. Payne has made a quiet but powerful and simple photograph. I love it.”
People’s Choice: Looking for Lunch by Loren Merrill:
Congratulations Loren for getting the highest number of votes from gallery visitors!