What Makes One Painting Stand Out From the Rest

In judging the Northwest Watercolor Society’s (NWWS) 82nd International Open Exhibition, esteemed watercolor artist Andy Evansen’s goal was to pick different styles to show the medium’s versatility and possibilities. From the 664 watermedia paintings submitted for consideration, he chose 75 to be part of the exhibition.

1st place winner: “Waiting Patiently” (watercolor, 16 x 20 in.) by Caitlin Leline Hatch

Of the first place award winner —Waiting Patiently by Caitlin Leline Hatch, he said he was impressed with “the small important subtle light shapes in the face to indicate tendons, sinews, and veins, and the strong rich colors in the neck. It’s painted realistically but expressively enough that it still embraces what makes watercolor such a beautiful and unique medium.”

2nd place winner: “Guillermo” (watercolor, 14 x 10 in.) by Amalia Fisch

“Every time I looked at this painting, it brought a smile to my face,” Evansen said of Amalia Fisch’s Guillermo, awarded second place. “A cubist break up of the space … reduced to large simple shapes works so well. A unique vision and charming painting.”

3rd place winner: “Olive” (watercolor, 19 1/4 x 15 1/4 in.) by Lei Chi

“The textures and variety of shapes in the eyes make a difference in the elegance and design of this painting. We’re looking directly at the dog and that makes another level of majesty. It has as much emotion and feeling as any of the portraits of people,” Evansen said of Lei Chi’s Olive, awarded third place.

Find the entire exhibition on the NWWS website, where you can also watch Evansen’s recorded comments. Both will remain available online through January 6, 2023. 


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