What the Jurors Said | Dawn Emerson, Animal/Wildlife

Jurors of The Artist’s Magazine‘s 28th Annual Art Competition

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Animal/Wildlife: Dawn Emerson

Dawn Emerson has a BA in English and Art from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island; she is a signature member of the Pastel Society of America and the Pastel Society of the West Coast. In Boston she studied Chinese Brush Painting with Xiao Jun Xeng; moving to Oregon, she studied pastel painting with Harley Brown and Albert Handell. She has twice won Best of Show in The Pastel Journal’s Pastel 100 Competition. Mockingbird Gallery in Bend, Oregon represents her work. “Drawing to me is to me a way of experiencing the world,” she says. “Seeing is a process of discovery. I strive to blend my love of eastern with western approaches to painting by combining ink with pastel. It is a fantastic journey.”

What guidelines did you use to choose the winners in your category?
“What a difficult show to judge! In the end, I tried to represent excellence in as many different media (watercolor, oil, pastel, acrylic, graphite, etc.) as possible and to show off the amazing variety of approaches to making art using the animal as subject. The bottom line for me is always composition and design.”

What were your overall feelings about this year’s entries?
“They were extremely diverse and rich in creativity.”

Tell us why you awarded the first place prize to Rose Edin’s Beauty and the Beast (watercolor, 26×36).
“I loved the exquisite use of color, design, shape and texture. I loved the way the shapes and color attract the viewer, and THEN we discover the camels.”

Do you have any words of wisdom or advice for future contestants?
“I would suggest trying different compositions and approaches to the same subject rather than attempting a singular masterly reproduction of a photograph. Jurors often look for work that stands out as different and offers a unique interpretation. Technique alone is, in my humble opinion, not enough to win. Putting all the elements of design and composition together with creativity and technique—that’s the challenge!”

Triumph (mixed media, 20×20) by Dawn Emerson

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