Animal/Wildlife Honorable Mentions from the 28th Annual Art Competition

Animal/Wildlife Honorable Mentions from The Artist’s Magazine‘s 28th Annual Art Competition

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Honorable Mention
Colleen Nash Becht
Fort Pierce, Florida •

Eye for De-Tail (watercolor, 20x27) by Colleen Nash Becht
Eye for De-Tail (watercolor, 20×27) by Colleen Nash Becht

The colors, texture and detail of the Florida spiny lobster inspired Colleen Nash Becht to attempt this intricate watercolor. “I never actually thought I would complete Eye for De-Tail,” she says, “but after close to 200 hours of trial and error, I brought these lobsters to life.” The biggest challenge, according to Becht, was re-creating the shell’s texture, for which she used sea salt dropped onto wet watercolor to mimic the bumpy, rugged surface. Before starting to paint, she sketched the lobsters from an upside-down photograph to isolate their shapes and abstract qualities, and further studied the photograph with a magnifying glass. “My goal is to relax and let it flow,” she says. “I continue to paint translucent glazes over and over again to create the rich color that has become the signature of my work.”

Honorable Mention
Larry Vienneau
Lake Mary, Florida •

Thought and Memory (intaglio etching, 5x14) by Larry Vienneau
Thought and Memory (intaglio etching, 5×14) by Larry Vienneau

While living in Alaska for 12 years, Larry Vienneau became fascinated with ravens. Their intelligence, playfulness and role in ancient creation stories inspired the series of etchings that includes Thought and Memory. Vienneau prefers a printmaking process that doesn’t require hazardous acids and solvents and is therefore safer for the artist and the environment. He uses photopolymer etching plates, which are UV-light sensitive and can be processed in tap water. “I used to spend 20 to 40 hours creating a traditional printing plate,” says Vienneau, “but now I use that time to do my finished drawing.” He loves the element of surprise inherent in printmaking. “My favorite part of the process is pulling the first print, then the next one and the next one. It’s very addicting and it never gets old!”

Honorable Mention
Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson
Longwood, Florida •

Fine Feathers (collage, 20x40) by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson
Fine Feathers (collage, 20×40) by Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson

Glance quickly at Elizabeth St. Hilaire Nelson’s Fine Feathers and you see a glorious peacock. Look more closely and you’ll see bits of text and printed patterns. Nelson combines handmade and hand-painted paper with torn sheet music, book pages, used maps and even her children’s old homework. The results resemble impressionistic paintings. To prepare the papers, she uses a variety of texturing techniques with Golden fluid acrylics. Starting with several photos, she works out a composition in Photoshop, which she then draws onto a wood panel. After applying clear gesso to allow the wood grain to show through, Nelson creates a color sketch and then applies the torn papers on top. A few final coats of protective UVLS varnish enhances the texture of the multiple paper layers.

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