What the Jurors Said | Nava Grunfeld, Still Life/Floral

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

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Still Life/Floral: Nava Grunfeld

Nava Grunfeld was born in Sweden, moved to Israel, and grew up in New York City, where she attended the High School of Art and Design. She studied at the Fashion Institute of Technology and worked for a while as a graphic designer before moving to Philadelphia to attend the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, where she earned a BFA. She has an MFA, as well, from Smith College. Her paintings have been exhibited in the United States and abroad in galleries in Massachusetts; Santa Fe, New Mexico; Washington DC; Coconut Grove, Florida and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

Her beautiful works in transparent watercolor have graced the covers of Watercolor Artist and other national art publications; feature articles on her work have appeared in The Artist’s Magazine (July 2010 and August 2005) and in Splash 8: The Best in Watercolor (North Light Books, 2004).

What were your criteria for judging works?
“My selections were based on the work’s originality, sense of color, composition, and most important was a personal vision or poetry. Ultimately, the selection process was a matter of instinct. I selected the paintings that grabbed me and stayed with me. I also was receptive to selecting a variety of works in various media and styles but not at the cost of sacrificing quality.

What were your overall feelings about this year’s entries?
“Selecting ten paintings from all the finalists was extremely difficult. I was impressed and inspired by the talent and visions of the many great artists whose work I viewed.”

Tell us why you awarded the First Prize to Eileen Eder’s Beyond the Frame (oil, 24×36).
“There were so many paintings that I responded to but that one stood out for me in its scope and the challenge the artist created for herself and solved so beautifully. It is was a well painted, poetic work of art that I kept coming back to.”

What advice would you give future entrants to The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition?
“Be original and authentic. Technique and composition are all important, but it is your own vision and your ability to translate it that will set you apart. It is good to learn from other artists and be inspired by them. Eventually though, you have to let that go and allow your own soul to channel through your fingertips and onto the canvas.

Take your time to learn how to see and how to paint. Take as long as you need. Then, get out of your own way, and let it flow through you.

And oh, when selecting a work for a juried show, don’t cater to what you think the juror might like. Choose your best and most authentic piece.

Finally, don’t get discouraged if you don’t get accepted. Keep painting and growing. That’s what we all have to do as professional artists.”

Dragonfly Bowl (watercolor, 41x29) by Nava Grunfeld

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