I’m pleased to be judging the WASH Membership Art Show this year.
The show will run from April 1st through the 19th, 2014.Â If you’d like to enter the show or would like to see the entries and award winners contact WASH at firstname.lastname@example.orgÂ for more information.
I thought you might be interested in knowing what Iâ€™m looking for when I judge an art showâ€¦
So, here’s a little outline that describes a bit of what I’m searching for and why some paintings might be chosen for an award, while others are not.
1)Â Â Â Technical Skills:
This includes the painterâ€™s knowledge of the medium and skill in using it.Â This category also includes drawing skills.
I think an artwork, to be successful, should have the utmost in skill and control, yet appear to be loose and uncontrived â€¦a tricky balance only achieved with lots of practice.
Watching a master painter, of any medium, we observe the medium being manipulated in a beautiful symphony, a coming together of artist, paper/canvas, brush and paint.Â It all seems effortlessâ€¦yet, it is only through many brush strokes that the painter becomes a master.
2)Â Â Â Composition:
Composition is the placement of the subject matter, color and values on the paper or canvas.
Good composition creates the foundation for a painting.Â Â Abstract shapes, rhythms, patterns and repetition move the viewerâ€™s eye.Â Â Â Interesting viewpoints, the division of space, relationship of object to object, (including size and placement) all matter very much.
Using the different compositional elements can help achieve the mood and feeling the artist wants to impart.
3)Â Â Â Substance:
The essence of the artwork, its core, is a necessary piece that I look for when judging.
This is the heart, soul and vision of the piece, the unique innovation and personality of the artwork and artist.Â The artistâ€™s individuality and personal choices are all here.Â With the substance, ideally, comes clarity of message and something that strikes a chord in the viewer as well as the artist.
When all three aspects (skill, composition and substance) are there, we have that â€œAha!â€ moment that lets us see the world around us in a new or fuller way.Â This is the best of art,Â and, it is why, and what, we strive for.
As a judge, I look for this communication with the artwork.Â I also look for something I havenâ€™t seen before, or something painted in a unique way.
Judging is subjective, even with guidelines.Â Different judges will often have different choices, so please donâ€™t be discouraged if your painting was not selected for a prize.
Always do your very best and endeavor to stretch your visual language.
Each artist is a contender, participating in an ageless endeavor to put down on paper images that appeal to them and that is to be applauded.