RayMar 2nd Annual Fine Art Competition Winners (2006-2007)
Painting
Final Judge Critique
Monthly Judges Critique
1st Place - $10,000 Cash
 
Robert Spooner
 Robert Spooner - Griddle Cook
Griddle Cook - 16 x 12
Finalist for July 2007
We have all been in this coffee shop at least once….well maybe not this one but……this everyday scene elevated to art and the well handled paint makes me love this painting….
 
John Cosby
I was instantly drawn into this convincing commercial kitchen and thought "The Griddle Cook is HOT and the flaps are almost ready...Jack!!!" The artist turned up the heat in this kitchen-scape with a painterly approach to ignite the griddle, the cook and the kitchen. The play of cools against warms, the diagonals, the suggested cooking paraphenalia, the cook's concentration and gesture and color filled white apron all contribute to its success. I felt as if the paint was applied with a sense of urgency to get in and out of the heat quickly perhaps in the time it took for the pancake to rise. Very yummy and well done!
 
Cathy Dietrich
2nd Place - $5,000 Cash
 
Michael Situ
 Michael Situ - East NAPA Street
 East NAPA Street - 16 x 20
Finalist for Jan 2007
My eye goes straight into that shadow on the left side of the sidewalk, travels down the street and is brought back by the red building on the right, again and again I travel and with all there is to look at I don't tire of the trip. Well done!...
 
John Cosby
I very much like this composition. Excellent handling of paint, color and perspective.
 
Laura Robb
3rd Place - $2,500 Cash
 
Michael Mao
 Michael Mao - Morning Adoration
Morning Adoration - 9 x 12
Finalist for May 2007
It is not often that I have been impressed with a motif that is been painted so many times but this painting did it for me. This painting makes me feel love and peace!...
 
John Cosby
Wow! A very emotional painting with a strong universal appeal. Excellent design and grouping of value pattern makes your painting a joy to look at. The way that you have tied all the dark shapes together is especially nice. Great draughtmanship with a terrific variety of edges and temperatures. The forearm is a good example of the sensitivity in which you have painted this entire piece. The form is described nicely as you have painted across it and subtle temperature shifts help turn the form rather than value alone. The sharp edge on top brings it forward and adds a strong sense of depth to this foreshortened area. Your paint handling is very fluid and descriptive and is balanced nicely with the relatively flat solid dark shape at the top which allows our eye a place to rest. Also, with your confident handling of paint, there is great variety in the size and shape of your brush marks. They never become monotonous or boring or just simply brush marks. They are all part of the cohesive design. There is only one area of the sheet that might benefit from a minor change. The fold from the mother’s hip flowing towards her hand. It’s broken up at regular intervals and disrupts the flow between these two areas. Being so near the focal point, this area might benefit by being grouped as a mass to continue this flow and to draw our attention to the center of interest.
 
Robert Coombs
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
Romel de la Torre
 Romel de la Torre - Morning Breeze
Morning Breeze - 16 x 12
Finalist for July 2007
The edges in this painting are very very well done. They serve not only the foreground background planes but also connect the energy of the mother and child. The other parts of the painting serve the main characters without the slightest distraction…
 
John Cosby
“Morning Breeze” took my breath away! The reflected light cast on the mother’s cheek from the baby’s pink splashed hat pulled me into this piece like an undertow. In the domain of a painting reflective light needs to be ever so slightly exaggerated to read as believable and “Morning Breeze” delivers. Next the multiple diagonals of the pose and echoed diagonal strokes creating the fabric continued to thrill. Balance came from the horizontal foam tipped waves, vertical figures and the blue and orange complementary scheme with lilac gray “rest spots”. Then three seemingly random elements, the baby’s foot, the figure at the mother’s back and the green stroke on the figure left of the hat supported a subtle framing of the figures. Every element elicited my emotions and I vicariously felt the mother’s love and baby’s joy with the sun on my face and surf at my back. But it was the color and design of the hat balanced by the mother’s dark hair that put this painting over the top for me.
 
Cathy Dietrich
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
Karl Heerdt
 Karl Heerdt - Hunters Creek
Hunters Creek - 16 x 20
Finalist for July 2007
Wow…everything is soft. Just like nature feels sometimes. The water is so believable yet there is no missing the focal area as the eye is taken upstream around the tree and beyond. Very believable…
 
John Cosby
I was surprised a painting of two thirds translucent backlit creek water with minimally suggested background foliage and one tree trunk could have affected me so strongly. But "Hunter's Creek" has the "gasp" factor I always hope for. And for me the WOW begins with the sensitive handling of the shallow water. I keep looking at it expecting to see more...maybe a fish swimming downstream. If I get too close I can feel my feet squish in the mud. The composition pulls me in and the lighting supplies the thrill factor to keep me looking at this piece again and again and again. A REAL WINNER!
 
Cathy Dietrich
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
April Raber
 April Raber - Red Tank
Red Tank - 16 x 12
Finalist for Feb 2007
Some paintings just make you look at them, and for me this was one. Well-handled edges make this jumble of shapes become a subject that is interesting and transcends its industrial beginnings and turns it into art…
 
John Cosby
This painting has such a wonderful abstract quality to it. Your placement of the shapes are super and the red and reflection are right on. Maybe I should know what this industrial building is, I don't but it doesn't really matter, it's just so fascinating to look at. What a great piece!
 
Gay Faulkenberry
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
Mike Malm
 Mike Malm - Wednesday Night
Wednesday Night - 18 x 14
Finalist for Feb 2007
I feel like I know the mood of this girl, The face is so well constructed, color is right on for the mood and light…..If I wanted a portrait done I would seek out this Artist to do it…….
 
John Cosby
This painting definitely fells like a painting from life. There is some beautiful color in the head and I like the choice of the background that really sets off the coolness of her skin. The fact that the shawl fringe ends so abruptly in harsh strokes at the bottom of the canvas pulls my eye there. If you were to crop off about the bottom inch and a half, it is a stronger painting.
 
Gay Faulkenberry
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
F. Michael Wood
 F Michael Wood - Trilogy
Trilogy - 20 x 16
Finalist for Nov 2006
The unity of the 3 characters is so believable and the portraits so well done I felt compelled to include this painting in this years winners. The warmth is palpable, the design flawless…
 
John Cosby
This painting has such an “Old World” feel to it I am reminded of Velasquez. Now, that’s a big compliment! The warm hues support the intimacy of the pose. The cast shadow created by the closeness of the woman to the man illustrates a sense of mass as the heads overlap and incline toward one another. The cat completes the triad and a sense of wholeness is achieved. The edges are nicely softened and the values are well handled. The highlights are used with discretion and remain warm. I wonder, if the man’s gaze were slightly averted, might it allow the viewer to move through the work in a more fluid way? Either way, this is a fine painting.
 
Elizabeth Pollie
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
Dan Beck
 Dan Beck - Cup of Tea
Cup of Tea - 16 x 12
Finalist for Nov 2006
This painting makes my eye move around and around in a way I find very southing. Those reds are so delicious and the beauty of the girl all combine to make a everyday moment one you want to keep looking at!...
 
John Cosby
This is such a nicely designed painting. It has the feel of a Mary Cassatt painting. Cassatt was a master of design when it came to the figure. The artist has placed the figure slightly off-center with a number of well cropped interior items supporting her. It all seems just right; the placement of the hands, the reflections, the arch of the chair. Each element helps to lead us in a circular pattern. The white blouse solidifies the body of the model and becomes a conduit between the cup and the face. The paint is not overworked and the background is lightly suggested, all good. I wouldn’t mind seeing a foreign color near her face (perhaps in the hat). This would strengthen the focus, if the focus were to be her face. Nice Job!
 
Elizabeth Pollie
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
Jim Wodark
 Jim Wodark - Misty Morning Tug
Misty Morning Tug - 12 x 20
Finalist for Nov 2006
The grey day value range of this painting sets the mood and the subject feels at rest. You feel as if you can see the water move…well done….
 
John Cosby
What a fine example of good design. By boldly cropping each of the three boats we are immediately brought into the heart of this painting, almost dead center. The buoys and lines add a sense of rhythm while the distant tug further indicates depth and atmosphere. With a very limited use of color and a great grasp of value relationships the confident paint handling does not weigh the piece down. Instead it creates a greater sense of emotion. The under-painting works particularly well in this painting too.
 
Elizabeth Pollie
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
Bjorn Thorkelson
 Bjorn Thorkelson - A Glimmer of Light
A Glimmer of Light - 12 x 16
Finalist for Sep 2006
This painting had many aspects that impressed me: Design, portrait work, color, and background. The dynamic influence of those arms just makes me look…
 
John Cosby
The artist captures here the young girl's glimpse in dramatic light with skill. Directional brushwork conveys an almost sculptural approach in handling the paint-very effective. The skillfully painted sharp edges of the figure's clothing placed against the background shows delightful contrast. Fine harmonious color and balance.
 
Betty Carr
Award Finalist - $1,000 Cash
 
Warren Neary
 Warren Neary - In the Lantern's Glow
In the Lantern's Glow - 16 x 12
Finalist for Aug 2006
Great color and light is what first attracted my eye, but the superb drawing skill exhibited here is what made this painting a winner for me.
 
John Cosby
Great drama! The sense of light and color are fantastic.
 
Scott Burdick

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