I have never specifically shown the work of another artist on my blog BUT, as a huge promoter of the Watercolor Society of Indiana and a HUGE fan of the top three artists of 2011, I wanted to share the magic they create with you, my fellow artists and bloggers. I have included the Judge’s Comments and comments from the artists. You may also see notes from me since I pulled this information together for use by the docents at the IMA.
2011 Best in Show - A Sanguine Summer by Jerry Smith
Smith, Jerry, Sanguine Summer, acrylic on paper 29 x 21
Wilbur Meese Memorial Award: BEST IN SHOW
“This painting has beautiful flow, movement, and balance. Everything good about composition exists in the painting. The color is incredible—especially the grays. I want to take this painting home with me.”
I’m constantly drawn to the Indiana landscape, especially the rolling hills and small farms found in the southern part of the state. In recent years I’ve been particularly interested in incorporating the textures and shapes of large foregrounds into my paintings. I’ve found the layering of acrylic paints useful in achieving the desired results.
Because this painting won Best-in-Show (and because I wanted to incorporate it in a Public Tour called Impressionism and Beyond) I sent Jerry several questions. Here are his answers to my mini-in terview. (PS I had to look it up…sanguine means cheerful or hopeful.)
1. Do you think of yourself as having a particular style or following a particular “school” of art?
I have not attempted to follow a particular style or school of painting. My beginning tendency was toward tight realism, but my preference is impressionism. I have spent many years trying to make this transition. I feel my main influence has been the Impressionists, especially the Cape Ann School painters such as Frederick Mulhaupt, Harry Vincent, and Aldro Hibbard.
2. Do you do plein air sketching and/or painting? Do you ever start a painting en plein air and finish in the studio?
Yes, I always carry and sketchbook and watercolors when I travel. I do both plein air and studio painting. When painting outside I prefer to finish the painting on location. However, weather or time limitations sometimes force me to finish or rework a painting in the studio.
3. Do you ever do a series of paintings of a specific location?
I love to work this way. Many times in the course of doing a painting, I get ideas about how the painting could be done in a different way or pushed in a different direction.
4. Do you have a favorite palette of colors?
I have no favorite colors. I use a fairly limited palette made up primarily of a warm and a cool in each of the primary colors plus a green and an earth tone, such as burnt sienna.
5. What do you consider most critical to a successful landscape (ie color, line, composition, value contrasts)?
It is very difficult to rank the order of importance for the elements of painting. They are all important. If forced to do so, I would have to say that it is critical to have a good composition before other things can be considered. It seems that color ranks very high among people viewing paintings.
6. How long does it take for you to paint a work like “Sanguine Summer”?
Sanguine Summer is a studio painting done from sketches and photos. A painting takes as long as it takes. Sometimes I work on a painting in more than one session and I tend to lose track of time when doing so. I also spend time planning and thinking about a painting before I ever start so I hesitate to put number estimates on the time put into a painting. An oft heard clichéd answer is “It took x hours to do the painting and a lifetime to learn how.”