It was an honor to be the juror for this Florida Watercolor Society show. The paintings entered in this show were quite diverse in subject matter and technique. However, I had to eliminate over 2/3 of the entries since out of 310 entries, only 100 could be selected, and it was painful to have to remove so many good pieces.
This show had many ‘winners,’ but, as always, we were limited on how many we could award. Having judged art shows from coast to coast, I’ve found it so helpful to ask myself the following questions as I look at each painting:
- Are the techniques well-executed?
- Is it original and unique, and does it go beyond just a recording of the subject?
- Can I feel the artist’s touch, emotion, or personality, showing personal expression, involvement, and connection in the painting?
- Does the painting touch my heart, my emotions?
- How strong is the composition of the painting? The best techniques and excellent execution won’t save a painting that is not composed well. A good composition pulls the viewer in, moving the eye through the painting and holding its attention. I enjoy looking at good paintings with strong compositions for a long time, no matter the colors used or techniques employed.
Now, for those who I know are disappointed that you aren’t in the show or didn’t receive an award, try thinking this way – “I consider entering a show to be a learning experience for me. So, what strengths do I have as a painter? Am I using them well? What weaknesses do I have that I need to work on?” Then paint and paint and paint!!! Years ago, I wallpapered all my rejection letters in the studio bathroom behind the toilet. It made me lighten up a little and enjoy art even more!
I do thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this amazing show. It was not only challenging but also so enriching to get to see the talent in this very artistic organization.
Best wishes for many more masterpieces. Enjoy painting!
– Sandy Maudlin, 2021 FWS Online Show Judge
2021 Online Show Winners
First Place. There’s an excellent play of various shades of greens and purples along with the organic shapes of people behind graphic lines of the railing. The red shoes add a wonderful surprise. A lovely watercolor.