The National Oil & Acrylic Painters’ Society’s 2019 Best of America National Juried Exhibition, now showing at the Montgomery Lee Fine Art Gallery in Park City, Utah, is a display of 124 truly outstanding paintings. Chosen from nearly 900 entries, the final cut was chosen by a panel of seasoned artists to represent the best work from artists across the United States, Canada, and as far away as Selangor. The Judge of Awards, Jian Wu, a Master Artist with NOAPS, came well prepared to face the difficult task of choosing the award winners. He had this to say about his choices:
“Key elements that I am looking for in a painting:
Balanced composition that has a strong focal point
- Technique or skill in mastering the medium:
Proportion accuracy, unique brushwork, tight and loose rendering, paint texture and edge manipulation
- Cohesive color scheme:
Well-balanced color temperature
Above all, I am looking for unique artistic characteristics in a painting that stops a viewer from walking away; a quality that evokes emotion and touches viewers mind or heart.”
“Seasoned”, 15×20, Acrylic on Crescent Board by Matthew Cutter, winner of the Best of Show.
Matthew Cutter’s work “Seasoned”, is a well executed example of the warm and cool colors of white. He depicted his scene showing the strong light and shadow, at the same time telling a story. Here is what Matt had to say about his work:
“The building is located in the Norris Lake region of Tennessee. I was there about a year ago with my wife’s family, to get together for our annual trip. As we drove in to the location we were staying I saw this white building, glistening with sunlight! I knew I was going to go back to that spot and paint it. I did two paintings plein air from different vantage points.
What struck me about the building, other than the dramatic sunlight and the ability to use warm and cool versions of white, was that it seemed to mark the passing of time. The building seemed like it was once very much alive and a part of the community, but it had fallen into disrepair. I actually find that type of thing quite beautiful.
I was attracted to the composition, using the staircase as a lead in to the rusted door. I do not normally sketch paintings out very accurately, I tend to just jump right in, but with the complexity of all of the design elements, I invested a bit of time on the front end to get the drawing right before I began painting.
I was quite happy with the end result, juxtaposing warms and cools, darks against lights, and hopefully pulling out an emotional connection for the viewer. Winning best of show at NOAPS is the highlight of my career! It was an absolute honor to find out the news and I’m very humbled to have been chosen from a list of many deserving artists.”
“Selfless Sacrifice”, 15×12, Oil on Panel by Scott Royston was the 2nd Place Winner.
A still life painting can often tell a complicated story; this is so in “Selfless Sacrifice” by Scott Royston. The objects in the painting are accurately painted in vibrant hues, but the real mystery in the painting is to resolve the story behind the composition. Every detail in the painting says to the viewer, “I have significance, figure me out”, and the viewer is left to ponder the meanings.
“Pink”, 20×16, Oil on Canvas by Hui Lu was the 3rd Place Winner.
The painting by Hui Lu combines qualities of edge control, temperature shifts and texture to create a memorable portrait. The expressive eyes are painted with clarity telling the observer where to look. We then travel to her hands to discover the reason for her tender gaze, and then wander throughout the painting for more discovery. The artist has this to say about the work:
“For centuries, Asian and Byzantine artists have used gold leaf as a way to make their paintings and crafts sparkle. In the Art Nouveau movement, Austrian artist Gustav Klimt incorporated gold into his paintings as well.
Inspired by these shimmering artists, on my painting “Pink”, I glued a layer of gold leaf on the canvas before painting on it. The subtle gold acts as the yellow ochre. Metallic reflection goes through the upper layers of oil paint. It interacts with the environment of the painting, even reflecting the viewer’s dress colors. I feel the gold leaf technique adds more interesting textures to my painting.
That’s how I was inspired and how I worked.”
NOAPS extends a warm thank you to Jian Wu for his contribution to the 2019 Best of America Exhibition, as well as a thank you to all the member artists who submitted their artwork to the competition.
Part Two will examine more of the Award Winners from the Best of America!
To view all the work accepted into the show, visit www.noaps.org
Written by Patricia Tribastone, Blog Director