May 2016 Winners and Finalists

Many thanks to our awesome May judge,

John P. Lasater, IV.

John lasater

Announcing our May winners and finalists. Thank you to everyone who continues to support our efforts to create a great contest. Congratulations to all the winners and finalists.

Master Class Winner:

Damien Gonzales “Tyesi Canyon”



Even if you divorce yourself from the emotional appeal, this painting causes goosebumps on the technical level. It has a magnificence that goes beyond words.

Master Class Finalists:

Lisa McDill “Shade of  the Sycamore”



In my opinion, the landscapes took it in the Master category. This sycamore piece has an elegant design structure that I’ve enjoyed studying. It also has honest noon coloring that doesn’t rely on exaggeration to be warm and appealing. While others were napping till the golden hour, this artist was hard at work glorifying the ordinary.

Jason Sacran “Charlie’s Gold, Rainy and Cold”



This is a sterling example of honest appreciation for the subject. It exhibits both love and sadness for the decaying past in a flawless design.

Kevin Courter “Ghost Ranch Light”



Beautiful painting with an authoritative use of values for drama and pleasing eye movement.

Ned Mueller “Rock of Ages””



A masterful arrangement of shapes, both in shadow and light.

Emerging Artist Winner:

Mason Kang “On the Hill”


It’s refreshing not to be tricked into liking a painting. I kept coming back to this because it has an honest appeal in the spirit of Andrew Wyeth. Bravo, bravo. It would be grossly unnecessary for me to explain its technical merit.

Emerging Artist Finalist and

Gallery Representation Finalist:

Erica Norelius, “Streets of Havana” 



The design and confident paint in this piece are admirable, even if the atmospheric perspective is a little flat.

Emerging Artist Finalists

Guenevere Schwien “Sweet Silver” 



Dignity and thought is given to this little gem of a painting. Expressive lines don’t always have to have expressive paint quality.

Cathy Boyer “Snowy Creek”



Nice natural color and organic line. It borders on cluttered but is helped by a good handling of values.

Kim Smith “Chasing Dreams”


It’s not easy to paint sunlight and shadow convincingly, especially with such abstract shapes. I don’t even mind that it’s a riot of color…there are some hidden grays that make it work well.

Michael Bajer “Frozen River”



I love the technique and organic line in this piece primarily.

Budding Artist Winner:

Kelly Devany “Draped Shadows”


What a succinct and believable painting. The intriguing long shadows keep me from yawning at the use of a road as a lead in.

Budding Artist Finalists:

Fred Moss “Cliffside View of Vernazza”


Excellent composition, and what it might lack in natural color, it makes up for with vicarious appeal. Nice paint quality also.

Elisha Dasenbrock “Side Eye”


An appealing combination of shapes, colors and textures. Oh look, it’s also an adorable giraffe.

Candice Rene “Shaker Door”



This exhibits a letting-go that fits the subject and makes it more about the light and the paint. Thank you for not over-drawing this; I’ve seen ten thousand of these doorways in my lifetime, and know how to fill in the blanks visually.

Merit Award Winner:

While Kelley and Kim don’t have any say in who wins an award each month (that’s entirely up to the judges), they do get to choose an artist who they feel merits recognition. This month’s Merit Award goes to…

Danny Griego “Turf Club”



Danny‘s composition subtlety draws the viewer into the painting using both design and light. His careful use of color, detail and edge work keep the viewer engaged. Overall, a winning piece. Kim and Kelley

Win a Set of Ampersand Gessobords


Enter our June Art Muse Contest and you be eligible to win a set of Ampersand Gessobords. If you submit before midnight, June 30th, 2016, you will be entered into a drawing to win a set of Ampersand Gessobords . If you’ve never painted on Ampersand boards you are in for a fun and wonderful experience.

Ampersand Feature


The winner will be announced July 6th.

Click here to ENTER TODAY!

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