On behalf of everyone associated with the MasterWorks of New Mexico 2021 show of some of New Mexico’s finest paintings in most media and styles, I congratulate all artists who entered, those who were juried in our virtual exhibit, and those who were judged award recipients! Our three Jurors deserve praise, as well as our Judge, for giving time and expertise to this challenging jurying process. And a big thank you goes to all our volunteers from our arts organizations, award sponsors, and everyone else who invested time and support for this our 23rd show!
Hopefully, we will be able to gather again as in the past to celebrate in style with a Grand Opening, workshops and demos, Open House, and more. For now, please enjoy our virtual presentation and encourage your fans to see how incredible the arts remain during a time of challenge.
The show and sale was up for the month of April.
Enjoy! – Barbara Lohbeck
Judge: Donny Weber
Sunday Morning Walk Canyon Road – 14″x18″ – oil on canvas, Donald Weber, NFS
So when I was asked to be Head Judge for this years Spring Show for Masterworks NM I approached the task of selecting award winners with those concepts in mind.
Some of the major ideas and rules that I think apply and questions I ask myself when looking at a painting are as follows.
1. Is there a BIG IDEA or CONCEPT to the painting? Is it composition, a color strategy or something else. To me a great painting always conveys that BIG IDEA clearly.
2. Is the subject accurately rendered? I see so much art that could have been good but the lack of accurate drawing or shape making holds it back.
3. Does the painting have a look of spontaneity and freshness, or does it look overworked? Confidence in what and how you are painting leads to that look of effortless simplicity. Thinking first about where the brush stroke will go, putting it down and leaving it comes with much practice.
4. Is the composition balanced and is the focal point clear? We as artists visually lead our viewers thru our paintings and effectively engage their interest with these tools.
5. Is there a clear color strategy? Understanding color and applying it correctly is one of the most effective tools to give a painting energy and bringing it to life.
6. Is there a values strategy? Paintings can be successful with both a high or low value contrast strategy, or the combination of both but their uses should be intentional and contribute to the BIG IDEA of the painting.
Subject matter and mediums are probably the least important aspects I judge a painting by as the questions posed above apply to all. That said I’m sure we all have our favorites.
Finally, I think we all, as artists judge each others work. I don’t mean that in a negative way. I think we mostly do it to learn and are judging not so much other artists work but really our own in comparison or perspective. I think this is a good thing. Judging others work helps us see how we can be better artists and open our eyes to trying new things like subject matter, styles or mediums.
So, being Head Judge this year gave me and opportunity to formally do what I think we all do instinctively. I enjoyed the opportunity immensely and am sure it will help me be a better artist as well.