Upstream People Gallery

17th Painting, Drawing, Photography & Print Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

This year’s exhibition of paintings, drawings, photographs and prints is unusual in the sense of the mixed media, but their basic two-dimensional form helps to make them work together for a show.
Following are some comments about those works that are not only original in character but are done with such excellent skill as to merit special recognition.

Tom Acevedo of Dorchester, Massachusetts is one of those very capable artists who is able to create Chiaroscuro with exceptional quality. His "Idle Hands" is quite marvelous in terms of modeling the male figure. The curious development of the man inside a frame with broken glass may symbolically suggest a state of inertia as indicated by the title. The face in the upper left looks on as if to confirm the situation. His "Sirens Song" speaks somewhat with fortissimo with the consistent style of figures inside the frame with the broken glass, yet the mail figure reaches out with an open hand in anticipation. Another outstanding painting is "Flying the Coop" showing the man climbing out of the framed space above the ground with two figures looking up inquisitively. All of his works submitted are very remarkable and highly skilled.

Further information from Tom Acevedo:

Fine art painter working on the spirit.

."one of the basic principals of art is the absence of lying. ..It means creating greater vision and greater sanity. When basic goodness is not expressed what you do is neurotic and destructive. This means that a artists production , manifestation, demonstration and performance should be geared to waking people up from their neurosis.. "
Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche

"In the past five years I have been able to recommitted to being a fine artist. I began my career as a decorative painter in the Boston area, and for 25 years my technique was honed working hand in hand with my clients. Yet only in these past five years have I begun to paint on canvas and for myself.

I paint because it is the only thing I know that I need to do, when my mind is not in the past or the future, but in the moment. Painting for me is meditative, cathartic, and emotional. I truly am blessed to have this venue for expression. If I can connect with one person through my painting I am happy; to add to the stream of life through painting, letting the viewer know they are not alone and that there is hope. I believe my paintings can be a source of healing and inspiration, as well as something pleasing to the eye. The subjects, painted in acrylic, sometimes convey a masculine vulnerability, capturing a moment in time when the spirit of consciousness is pure. That moment can come not only in the best of times, but as in life, the most challenging of times as well.

While the motivations may be deeply personal, my work seeks to portray the trials of any life, the beauty of each day, and burdens that are universally felt and understood."

F. D. Blanchard of Brooklyn, New York also works figuratively using oil to magnify the color brilliance. His "David's Dad (David Wojnarowicz Series)" is compositionally positioned with the close-up David with the middle ground father looking for him but with a bat as if to scold. The realistic animal additions adds to the wonderful natural setting. In simpler terms, he creates "Krazy Kat Landscape (David Wojnarowicz Series)" which also shows the up close figure who is smoking a cigarette with a blond-haired guy in the middle ground. His "The Lazaretto" of the same series is unmistakably dramatic with a hospital environment wherein men are ill with the one figure spotted with diseased skim, yet wearing a necklace which matches the color of his lipstick. Continuing with the series, "What Is This Little Guy's Job in the World?" he plays the spatial relationship again with the frontal man holding a small mouse which is such a nice contrast to the large background. The question in the title becomes apparent. The reflected light here is well done. And "Painting Fire" is more matter of fact with the painter's painting of a destructive scene. This artist handles some interesting topics indeed.

Catherine Blyth of Fort Wayne, Indiana has a very rich textural oil on paper work that is rather gripping with the drama shown in black and greasy and rounded juxtaposed with the rectangular. The orange and yellow-orange framing reinforces the intensity of the development in the work "Monoliths".

Jeremy Clayton of Exeter, England makes a point with text in the work "Distract Me from Myself" with butterflies flying about. The yellow framing is quite attractive to make one pay attention to the plea. In this rather self-portrait message with what could normally be distracting butterflies he makes the statement, albeit simply, but strongly direct.

Further information from Jeremy Clayton:

"I am a keen observer of the world around me and am fascinated by human relationships in the context of technology and social media. In a world of 24/7 connectedness, I am intrigued and alarmed at how "social" media have created inner worlds within it's users and have actually promoted disconnection, isolation, anxiety, selfishness, and narcissism. "Distract Me From Myself" is a commentary on how social media connectedness and constant access to entertainment through technology and gadgets discourages engagement with the self and self-reflective practices. I feel that the very essence of being human is the awareness of and the ability to reflect on ones self."

Allison Doherty of Locust Valley, New York uses various media to enhance her signature style as seen in her "Laguna 4 (Cyclamen and Lace)". The graphic patterning on the border helps to focus the delicate imagery within the special window. Also the use of a warm and cool palette strengthens the work, as well as the geometric and organic. Another strong work in the series "Laguna 3 (Blue Lantern)" is quite spatial with the interior and exterior richly painted.

Tugba Duymaz of Istanbul, Turkey is masterful in the use of watercolor. The finely descriptive facial aspects coupled with the loose hair is a good workable direction. This holds true for the similar work "Scrutiny". Both incorporate the hand or hands into the statement. The subtle addition of color reinforces the sensitive realism.

Luke Engle of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan captures an active scene of waves kissing the beach. The photographic print on aluminum gives it a strength of professional accomplishment. The amount of waves on the right balance well with the amount given to the rocky beach. The panoramic visual helps to broaden the perception. Also his "July Sunset" also on aluminum is rich in skyscape splendor.

Further information from Luke Engle:

"Grand Traverse Bay" depicts Lake Michigan's shoreline. North of Traverse City, Michigan, Torch Lake Nature Preserve protects the great lake's pristine beauty. "July Sunset" focuses on the sky over Little Traverse Bay which rests between Harbor Springs and Petoskey, Michigan. Discovered shortly after the holiday the striking colors of this work were surprisingly apt."

Joe Kagle of Kingwood, Texas is such a prolific artists with imagery that reflective of the second generation of New York Painters. His "450. Watercrest- I. See. U.- Hospital- The Waiting Room- An Old Sugar Candy Baby - 2015" is rich in description and color. The collaged photo process with pen and ink is apparent of his signature style. Also, the grid placement of the multi-imaged piece "331. Watercrest- I. See. U., #11 - 2015" gives an observant understanding of the richness of his experiences.

Further information from Joe Kagle:


I starts each day with a gesture of play,
And it stays that way into all I create or say.
Of course, my play has been perfected for years.
It has been groomed to smooth out all my fears
And all the adventures where an end is never seen.
If you do not take chances, it does not mean
That you do not care. It does mean confidence
In your years of practice and building a fence
Around your work and images. It does take time
Each day and years of using words that rhyme.
The images that are created are the bedrock
Of the ideas in the poetry. They are the game cock
That announces the bright beginning of each day.
Even when the work in progress is put away,
The ideas behind the new work are still fresh.
Don’t be afraid to put in images that do not mesh!
As long as they come from your heart, be smart
And sure that all will come out like your own art.

These two visual works, that got Special Recognition, were worked on like the poem above: working from an initial image or two or many more and then finding a way to make it interesting and challenging for any viewer."

Jake Lipton of Valley Village, California is a wonderful abstract expressionist with the bold adventure of an exciting artist. His acrylic painting, "Untitled6" is handsomely developed into a striking interplay of shapes and texture dramatized with the dark background. The vertical presentation helps to strength is rich piece. His "Untitled9" on the other hand works as dramatically in the horizontal, but the clarity given to each section on the dark is quite rich and speaks loudly.

Further information from Jake Lipton:

"'Untitled 6" and "Untitled 9" both are an experiential document of my life experiences in the moment they were created. The various shapes that draw the viewers focus is much like a jewel, or candy (metaphorically), or a defining moment of beauty in my life, while the textures and flow of lines and color in-between are the movement of life in it's wholeness. Although the style of shapes and movement is consistent across all my work, each piece has it's own tone and story of the time it was created. "'

Stuart Marcus of Santa Monica, California is a fine example of a geometric abstractionist as seen in his rectilinear piece entitled "Arbitration", developed in oil on board. The subtle use of color allows the hard edge shapes become clearly graphic. His "Reflection Grid" shows his sensibilities with color in a rather desaturated character which is very workable with such dramatic shape dominance. The overlapping also gives the work a spatial character. The red and gray and black accent work "Red Siding" is quite interesting in the juxtapositioning of the parts of such a structure. It is rather compelling in composition. With a sense of the figure in space he shows "DeYoung Museum". The natural tones with green and the reflections on the left is quite nice.

Ryota Matsumoto of Tokyo, Japan has an exciting style. "Quantized Crackles of Emotional Scales" is a cacophony of mostly linear interplays in multi-color. The weaving of the parts give it a connected unity that works well. His six main areas in "The Chronology of Imaginary Scrolls" holds the multi-faceted imagery to make for a strong presence. Then too, his "The Reverberant Ambience of Interpretative Codes for an Ancient Artifact" is rich in character with desaturated shapes and linear aspects that makes such an orchestration well ordered in the main placements.

Further information from Ryota Matsumoto:

"The artworks of Ryota Matsumoto develop and demonstrate the spatio-temporal conditions of our ever-evolving urban and ecological environments. They are created to act as the catalyst for defining speculative changes in notions of cities, socities and cultures. Essentially, the work facilitates a reciprocal dialogue among those multifaceted realms in the morphological nature of constantly shifting topography and geology.

The drawings explore the hybrid drawing techniques combining both architectural and visual art languages. The varying scale, juxtaposition of different forms, intertwined textures/tones and visual metamorphosis are employed as the hybrid/multi-layered drawing processes to question the nature of representation. The application of these techniques allows the work to transcend boundaries between analogue and digital as well as between two-and multi-dimensional domains. The process reformulates the composition within which thresholds between organic and technological elements become indistinct and the spatial and temporal variations emerge.

If the statement is too long to be appeared on the website. Please use this shorter version.

The artworks of Ryota Matsumoto develop and demonstrate the spatio-temporal conditions of our ever-evolving urban and ecological environments. They are created to act as the catalyst for defining speculative changes in notions of cities, societies and cultures. Essentially, the work facilitates a reciprocal dialogue among those multifaceted realms in the morphological nature of constantly shifting topography and geology."

David Sapp of Berlin Hts., Ohio works with graphite in a rich gestural drawing on a large scale. The strength of the massive circular staging is rich and gives a sense of fullness and the white linear movement in front seems to give a structural base to the main rhythm. His "Untitled, 14, 25" adds four main characters that work together with the back gestural rhythm. This black and white orchestration keeps a rather syncopated beat. And "Untitled, 15, 2" seems to be the classical part of the series with the white movement is in harmony with its counterpart.

Patricia Schnepf of Shoreline, Washington has some interesting photographic works. Especially noteworthy is here "Pebble Beach" which certainly captures the many pebbles on the beach, dramatically presented with the dark tones and the debris central to the work. Her other specially recognized work "Roses" is so attractive in the dark environ with the white roses center staged with such sensitivity.

Further information from Patricia Schnepf:

"Pebble Beach
It was late summer when I came across this scene. The waves rolling on the pebbled beachfront of the lake was inspiring: the light, the gentle action of the waves as the tide was coming in partially framing the pebbles. The final image was cropped slightly to focus on the leaves, and branch framed by the light and waves.

The image was captured during one of my studio sessions. The backdrop and lighting were made simple in order to focus on the elegance of the roses. The image was actually shot in color, but the sepia tint for the final image was best in order to present how I wanted roses to appear: the gentle dynamic beauty of the roses themselves with their leaves subtly lifting them into view."

Seval Sener of Ankara, Turkey presents "Ecstasy & Arabesque" in three views. The non-figurative back view with all the delicate decoration and the connection to the front view with figurative images that seem almost cubistic with such a layering. This same manipulation with the Pieta as seen in the back view is quite an imaginative presentation as seen in the exhibition view. This "Pieta & Hatayi" is quite strong. The repositioning of figures in "Last Supper Re-Ordered" is handsomely presented with a vertical emphasis containing the apostles in a rather circular arrangement rather than at the table. This different direction adds further strength to her other more religious works.

Emil Sennholz of Grove City, Pennsylvania is recognized for his large work entitled "A Hand in Art". The interaction with what seems to be created with fingers, reinforced by the red, yellow and blue in the center presents a luscious painterly painting.

Further information from Emil Sennholz:

'“A Hand in Art” is literally a finger painting made with acrylic paint on canvas. Mixing bright with dark colors and having direct contact with the materials, I express the fundamental companionship between artist and medium. This union is specific to each work of art, each artist, and to each person who views the art. In “A Hand in Art” this bond is revealed through my hidden hand print within the painting."'

Marlene Siff of Westport, Connecticut submitted one work in two views called "Septet". The size is impressive, i.e., 72" x 88" x 7 1/2" and of course the highly saturated colors makes for a very strong presence. Also, the three-dimensional character and the color gradation all add to this fabulously handsome artwork!

Further information from Marlene Siff:

"Septet is the first completed painting of my new body of work entitled 7 Finely Tuned. Music has always been a very important part of my life and I have chosen to embrace it in my new collection. Each one of the 7 paintings will refer to a term related to music. I spent many months researching out appropriate pieces for each musical term after the painting structures were built and gessoed. When I have a gallery showing of all 7 completed works there will be an iPod to listen to specific music chosen for each painting. I do not know how we can do this interactive experience online, but the pieces I have chosen for Septet are:

1. St. Louis Blues (Live 1955 Crescendo Club) Louis Armstrong & His Allstars
2. Mood Indigo Ellington & Strayhdorn Rediscovered
3. Local Announcements Wynton Marsalis Septet"

Toni Silber-Delerive of New York, New York brings a special perspective to the show with very interesting views from high above. Her "Dubai" is not only special but rare for us Westerners. The yellow-ochre and light blue turquoise compliment the linear composition effectively. Her "Houses of Siena" has a nice counter-play with the detailing of the roofs with the flat yellow sides of buildings. "NYC Apartments" is quite nicely textured to give the apartments a special strength of character. The angle presented is nicely positioned. Her "Sky Harbour Airport" is quite revealing with the various passages together with the two circular parking buildings. The monochromatic color helps to bring out the structures.

Further information from Toni Silber-Delerive:

Seen from above the highways become the linear and circular design elements of the painting. The highways and interchanges are the focus of the composition which take you through the painting. Reduced to linear motion, details are contrasted by the use yellow, turquoise and purple.

"Houses of Siena”
An aerial view of multiple houses in Siena, typical of this part of Italy. The buildings are yellow with rust-colored tile roofs and testify to the local architecture. Capturing the essence of the place was my goal. Colors and graphic shapes pull the composition together.

"NYC Apartments”
A birds eye view of the many roofs of Manhattan buildings both residential and commercial, crowded with industrial typical of the city. Working through the lens of the camera my print captures the moment, and lets the image tell the story about a this city.

"Sky Harbour Airport"
An aerial view of an airport in Phoenix being constructed. The aesthetics of the site are transformed with the design and yet the still the viewer is aware of what’s happening. I attempted to capture the moment and let the image tell the story about this type of environment. I then worked on extracting the graphic essence and used my color sensibility to pull the composition together."'

Craig Walkowicz of Stevens Point, Wisconsin presents a watercolor entitled "Faux Wood Grain (of Death)" which is meticulously created so that it looks like a linear drawing with super control. The delicacy herein is nicely handled.

Further information from Craig Walkowicz:

"It’s one of the many flukes of human nature to occasionally see things that aren’t really there. Some examples being: a cloud that looks like a horse, a rock formation that is perceived to be a giant chair, a potato that seems to be the head of a president, etc. This was the concept that inspired me to do the piece ‘Faux Wood Grain (of Death)’ in which the wood appears to be making the image of a human skull. The skull in general symbolizes a form of memento moiré, which is also indirectly enforced in the idea that the ‘wood’ seen is from a tree that would have previously been alive. A touch of irony is also added in that the wood-grained skull is on paper, which is largely made of dead wood. This piece is part of a series I’ve been working on in which I take the same skull image and using different forms of ‘abstractions’ (color, mark-making, style, etc.) to give each one a unique context."

Rosalind Faiman Weinberg of Urbana, Illinois has some nicely created monotypes from woodblock and acrylic plates. Her "The Traveller I" has a forest-type development with the typography somewhat dense. Another strong work is her "The Traveller VIII" with the linear patterns and the addition of yellows. And the direct use of black and white handsomely shows a kind of elegance.

Further information from Rosalind Faiman Weinberg:

"'The Traveller series of monotypes ( English spelling ) is a break with the hundreds of years tradition of producing a series of identical hand pulled prints.

The process of actively working the image on the paper as one proceeds through this Dynamic Process is the unorthodox processes of offset rolling, viscosity printing and sandwiching wood blocks in order to create image variation as the process develops, and is used by printmakers like Catherine Kernan.

In addition I now use environmentally friendly water-based inks that clean up with soap and water and require no heating to generate flow on the plate.

This particular series is generated from a woodblock cut from an image I drew of Dovedale in Derbyshire UK. Although there is no human image in the series the Dynamic Process generated a series of about 30 monotypes that reminded me of a Walter de la Mare poem I memorized as a teenager entitled "The Traveller"."'

Paulina Wong of Hong Kong, Hong Kong has a purity of abstraction as seen especially in her work "Madonna", oil on canvas. The wonderful development of the abstracted figurative shapes and their color helps to give a clue, however the overall composition aids in the mystery. Quite simply, the work "Slide" is direct and strong in the red color surrounded by cooler colors.

Thank you goes out to all the selected artists for this new year show with all the wonderful artworks that deserve a special recognition for the ideas, both conceptually and technically.

The next international exhibition will be announced soon on and



Laurence Bradshaw
Curator, Professor Emeritus of Art & Art History