Transcending Technique

When jurying this year’s Northwest Watercolor Society (NWWS) Waterworks Online Membership Exhibition, Laurie Goldstein-Warren considered the artists’ use of texture, color, and technique. But the winning pieces also express an emotion or tell a story that engages the viewer and draws them into the work.

“What Goes Around Comes Around” by Elaine Daily-Birnbaum

It was an emotionally trying time for Elaine Daily-Birnbaum when she painted What Goes Around Comes Around. “Elaine uses texture and other elements with great expertise. The artist’s marks here and there, the beautiful muted color mixture and the touches of turquoise throughout make you want to take a closer look,” Goldstein-Warren said awarding 1st prize of $1,000.

“Connection” by r. mike nichols

“I knew at first glance this painting would be in the top 5,” Goldstein-Warren spoke of r. mike nichols’ Connection. “This painting intrigues me on many levels. How nature cares for us and the ingenous integration of animals. Techniquely so beautiful.” Nichols received 2nd place of $750.

“On the Road Again – Happy Highway” by Gayle McDaniel

“This painting brings up great memories of trips with my family. It always seemed to rain,” a nostaglic Goldstein-Warren stated. “On the Road Again-Happy Highway by Gayle McDaniel is skillfully rendered – the automobiles and especially the AirStream trailer – and the sky colors. Everything is done so well as though you’re traveling down this road.” McDaniel was awarded 3rd place of $500.

This was the first exhibition NWWS’s updated media criteria guidelines allowed artists to incorporate formerly ineligible media up to 10 percent while maintaining the watermedia focus. “Some artists brilliantly explored the endless boundaries of traditional watercolor while others saw where mixed media would lead,” said Deborah Roskopf, Acting NWWS President.

“Watermedia is now so widely known, recognized, practiced and championed that our focus can turn to recognizing artists and artworks that transcend the media,” says Chair David Orrin Smith.

The entire exhibition can be viewed online at through June 30, 2024.

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Kelly Kane
PleinAir Magazine and American Watercolor Weekly Editor-in-Chief With more than 20 years experience in art publishing, Kelly Kane has served previously as Editor-in-Chief of Watercolor Artist magazine and Content Director for The Artist’s Magazine, Drawing, Acrylic Artist, and Pastel Journal. She has interviewed many of the preeminent artists of our time and written numerous articles about painting, drawing, art education and art history. She is now the Editor-in-Chief of PleinAir Magazine and the American Watercolor Weekly newsletter. Click here to send her an email.


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