Upstream People Gallery

7th Annual Landscape Juried Online International Art Exhibition

Juror's Statement | Return to Exhibition

After reviewing approximately 300 entries over the last few weeks, it was as though the Travel Channel or a special National Geographic program was showing. What an experience to sincerely imagine being in these places captured in art form in the pieces submitted for the "7th Annual Landscape International Online Juried Art Exhibition; to see how these selected artists have richly revealed not only the visual sense of plasticity of place, but in their choice and handling of the subject, have perhaps also revealed some of the essence of their own persona. Herein are wonderful metaphors of personality as well as artistic virtuosity.

The artists who have submitted to this show have a sensitive eye for the dramatic and/or calming effects of the land, in figure ground relationships and engaging spatial interplay, and each work is chosen for this kind of vitality.

“Landscape with 2 cocks” by Arbe Bareis illustrates a rather tensive interaction between two cocks out in the open space in the realist style. The active and passive theme are captured in time in the oil painting; a kind of prolepsis seems present and yet another time frame may bespeak of an overall more active event.

Nancy M Coirier presents with such facility, four excellent miniature artworks that are like poetic rhymes in the strong fluidity of visual passages as seen in “Rocky Stream” enhanced by the flow of water over rocks and “Swiss Alps” with its angular mountain range. It is truly an enriching experience to see such small works of large scenes.

“Lost Road” by Rob Compton in his rather zigzag arrangement tells of a road that gets lost in mid format. This is indeed curious. Many thoughts can spring forth when considering the implications here, such as this is a dead end situation or this way leads no where, etc.

Eddee Daniel’s photographic works incorporate the sequential triptych placement securing their compositional strength. In his “Totem” he contrasts the very interesting conical structure staged between two rather horizontal movements striking a chord with the organic and geometric. In “Burn” his approach is more natural overall with earth to trees to sky.

“Cheyne Walk - Chelsea”, one of Svetlana Dragojevic’s dynamic expressive works, is exciting and intense, full of energy. The patterns and textures bring variety and wonderment into such an active place.

Sharon Gottula presents a piece that is a bit humorous in “Teakettle Junction” where the intersection’s name is decorated with actual tea kettles. The cluster is striking with the openness of the surrounding space.

“Northfield Illinois” by Nancy Gutrich is one of her special wide views, which is always a good conceptual choice in landscape works. Here the strong angular landforms and water cantilevering in from the foreground diminishing into the range of trees plays complementarily with a depth that is opposite the rather long two-dimensional horizontality.

Janette K Hopper is a painter’s painter in the sense that she utilizes a rich painterly quality with faciltity. Especially in “Marsh” there is the winding waterway and a natural, fresh brushwork that eloquently qualifies the typography of a marsh setting.

“My Escape” is wonderfully arranged in a near symmetry suggesting a peace and harmony that lends well to the concept of being away from it all. Ruxandra Isai gives the viewer a place of calm and gentleness in subject and in the smooth manner of her use of oil.

Murphy Kuhn captures the outdoors with images that are strong in some and quite gentle in others. His works “Cigar Box Cedar” and “Perseverence” are vertically noble and his “Knee Deep” and “Santa Ynez, CA” capture the gentler side. This range in visual vocabulary is a true mark of a professional photographer.

Such sensitivity and delicacy is found in the work of John Lake. His pointilistic and impressionistic manner gives a grand performance with a high level of appreciation of space and form in a kind of neo-Seurat in terms of newer imagery. “Alone at Sunset” is reflective in mood as well as in the warmth reflected by the sun.

Giovanna Lepore presents an intermingling and a fencing of space in “Moratovia”, a kind of free-flowing amidst a somewhat strong support structure. This interplay seems to be constituents of each other in their abundant insistence. Her acrylic work “Redwoods” gives a striking angular view into an area among the trees where the trees are cut away. The glimpses of red and the machinery excite a kind of drama within.

“Ghost Oaks V” is quite interesting in the discovery that this is a reflection in water but looks almost abstract adding to the mystery of its ghost subject. Joel B McEachern is another photographer with a rich professional visual vocabulary. His “When The World Was New” with its special color, gives a sense of wonder.

Ramond Moen captures a dynamic viewpoint with the large overhanging rock under which are the sun’s reflection, another large rock formation with trees and three much smaller rocks in the immediate foreground. This play with size and location is one of his best works of distant lands.

The fast pace against the stationary stability present a resistant contagion however close in proximity. William M Mullennex stagily gives a lively action with the rush of water made more intense compared to the unmoving perdurable impedimenta of the boulder. What a duo!

Rosemary Kavanagh O'Carroll is quite prolific as a painter. In "Famine Walls, Ireland" with the stacked rock fence (the whole in the fence is curious) confronting the viewer as the serene landscape with flowing white clouds overhead are in the distance. "Morning in Connecticut (2004)" is marked by a color tonality with light blue limbs and natural ochres and sienna and umber browns with accents of green; the morning light rays brings a rhythm in the light and dark linear cadence of the trees' shadows. Another striking piece is "Rock Division, Blue (2004)", a part of her thesis on rock imagery. The fallen leaves in an enhanced color field together with the fallen-over vase, made of clay, gives an overall natural grouping. "Rock of the Earth" brings another dimension to the study of the idea of rocks, in this case as a reference to spiritual values in a church also made of rocks yet as a solid foundation for higher planes of existence. "So Strong" deals with scale to portray the idea of strength with the large tree surrounded by little plants; the complementary color scheme deepens the message. What is also interesting is that amidst the scarring of the tree's trunk, it stands up as if to give or build character. All of her tree paintings are terrific, especially "Summer Trees 1" with its dispersion of light and dark interplay and warm and cool dynamism, large verticals and diagonals and varied patterns of leaves and foliage - rather voluptuous for the nature enthusiast - very interesting!

"Arches" by Kathryn Osgood photographs a magnificently impressive exchange between the soft pink clouds arching over and the natural tones of a rhythmic hill-like land formation, all enriched with the light blue sky. Another rather gentle piece is seen in her "In Between" which in its unusual display, is calming in its gray and smooth character.

Bridget Pupillo in her two excellent watercolors, masterfully details the architectural with water and sky. Her piece "Il Ponte Vecchio" is especially delicate with visual acuere. This sharpness is indeed admirable. This is also seen in her depiction of "Mughal Pavilion, Hiran Minar, Pakistan", both panoramic versions bode well for this artist's capabilities.

In "Coloplain" by Chris Purdy, a centered mound landform commands a main focus in this panorama in which the rolling passing clouds compliment the solid ground. His colorful photograph entitled "Marsh" is almost polychromatic. The subtle and distant central division is unquestionably bridged by the mass of foliage in the forefront. In "Post" he presents such an abundance of growth with a posted fence which provides a demarcation without interrupting the lively spreading of ground cover. In "Springhill" in a somewhat subtle figure eight arrangement, the earth and sky almost dance together.

Nicole M Richway is another painter's painter in her fresh painterly quality as seen in her works, especially in "Boat Yard", a scene in which boats are landlocked as if grounded when juxtaposed with the movement suggested by the accompanying overpass.

In her 11" x 30" panoramic photograph "N/T" (1), Ximena Delgado Roldan shows a lot of landscape. The winding and sprawling movement around and in between large mountain forms is quite engaging. The V arrangement in "N/T" (4) with the soft sun reflections on the clouds, reflecting gently on the water, shows her great compositional skills.

Faith Ann Rumm in her wet and smooth brush technique gives "Afternoon Reflection" not only a sense of reflection but covers the range of calm water, land with boulder rocks and tall cedars and a bright blue sky, nicely arranged in the rule of threes. In another rather large oil is "Misty Morning" which indeed is smooth and fluid in approach with a dynamic zigzag formation - quite nice together.

"Falling", "High" and "Turning Point" by Ron Rundo all show a consistency and confidence with the resolve of a master. Each message tends to involve the idea of position and change. Most enticing is his concept of a turning point, the gradual bending around to the warm light. The mysterious color palette is somewhat surreal which magnifies each message.

Richard Schneider in his porcelain work "Landscape II" brings figuration into play with varying passages around the plate. This handsome piece is a good addition to this show of mostly two-dimensional forms.

"Fire Mountains" in acrylic by Glen Schofield is remarkable as the red invades the whole atmosphere making for an intensity in the pointy mountains and red sky. In a realistic presentation he paints a bridge over a stream over rocks with elegant trees as a chorus line back-staged. The high contrast in his painting "Vegas Sunset" is understandably arresting in its awesomeness in color tonality in a massive space.

Steven B Smith shows a very interesting situation in "Washington, Utah, 1997" in which a house is in very close proximity to a hugh boulder. The organic meets the geometric, working closely together in such cooperation is so unusual.

"Deep Forest" by Mark A Stall is magnificant with the light coming through the darkness lighting up the pathway. "Marito - Wish Canoes" is quite unusual and the light and dark cadence is beautiful in its passage in space. Capturing the red vine at just the right time of year so as to share in the redness of the barn is a wonderful accomplishment as seen in his "My Red Silo".

David Ter-Avanesyan in "Cemetary", shows an etching in umber tones with trees that are almost skeletal in their winter starkness. The crosses and angel give hopeful signs to such a presentation.

"Thin Trees" by Matthew Teter uses rich painterly brushwork in a composition which brings stability by having the lightest light and the darkest dark centrally located. This is also incorporated in one of his other works entitled "End of Day" in which the winding road is without cars, the sun is setting and glowing through the trees which stand in foreground detail, not quite yet faded by nighttime.

Lauren Vanni conceives of the landscape theme in her works in "Tidepools". This is interesting in terms of showing in small format, remains of the vastly large ocean's tide. The combination of stoneware and porcelain gives the piece an even greater richness.

"Surreal Landscape" is colorfully developed in Alex Verdugo's work, bringing forth a wonderful imaginative and fantastic landscape. The midtone range of the color makes it even more surreal.

Gary Wahl shows a very exciting arrangement in his photograph "Snarl". This large amount of snarling below two large overpasses is a fortisimo in visual movement. The continuous linear swirling is commanding of its space.

"St. Basil's" by Vaughn Wascovich photographs a simple building in black and white. This is calming like his other works in this show and in it's squared format gives it a strong directness. Cantilevering in from the right may also underscore the message.

Kenna Westerman, in her digitally manipulated coloration shows some imaginative and unusual landscapes. In "Cedars" the somewhat polarization technique is also enchanting. In "Tree and Boulder", in addition to the thin verses wide subjects, the mysterious lighting enhances this pairing.

"Judy's Window" is like daydreaming out one's window. In her use of a pink and blue combination with spheres in an upward movement even with a grounding, there is a wonderment and ethereal quality.

Finally, let it be said that many are called but few are chosen. Congratulations to all the artists who have been chosen for this extensive showcase.


Larry Bradshaw
Professor of Art, Curator of Upstream People Gallery