To come up with 60 paintings for this year’s Northwest Watercolor Society’s (NWWS) annual membership exhibition, Waterworks Unlimited, Judge Mike Hernandez had his pick of 362 submissions. In the end, it came down to a feeling of connection to the work, he says. Not only did the paintings have to illustrate technical expertise or an unexpected expression, they had to be honest.
Of the painting he awarded first place, A Helping Hand by Karen Knutson, Hernandez says, “You can feel the connection of friendship of the two characters. … This painting connected to me more than any other piece.”
Second place went to Liz Walker for Less Than Approachable. “What we see in the abstract and the literal, the calm and rhythm, says so much without the expressions on the people’s faces,” Hernandez said of Walker’s mixed-watermedia painting.
Hernandez characterized third place winner, Seeing Red by Janet Barnette, as an experience that evoked a response of beauty and balance. It had a familiarity to him, a connection.
“I found that getting lost in the world of art was a blessed relief in such stressful times,” NWWS Chair Charlene Burley said. President Molly Murrah added, “There is something for everyone to savor, appreciate, and connect to.”
See the online Waterworks Unlimited exhibition any time you want, for free, through June 30, 2022.