Richard McKinley as Juror and Judge

I had the pleasure to attend the reception for Shades of Pastel, the biennial national show of the Maryland Pastel Society which runs September 26-November 7, 2009 at the Strathmore in Rockville, Maryland.

Richard McKinley composed the show beginning in July and honed over 250 entries down to 97. He likens people's relationships to their paintings to be similar to that of a child and he's in the awkward Sophie's Choice position. It was evident how he labored over these choices. He also stressed that this was one man's opinion on one single day.

There were 14 awards given with many art supplies and much cash as part of the loot. To me, hearing him describe them was "expecially" priceless. I'll share some of the buzz words he used in discussing the winners, things that show how his mind works, perhaps both in this judging situation and when painting himself.
  • mystery
  • texture
  • rhythm
  • joy
  • expressiveness
  • spontaneity (which he says he lacks, but he can mimic it in his paintings)
  • gesture
  • strength of shape and pattern
  • quality of light
  • lost and found edges (this is a biggie to him)
  • beauty with the mundane (")
  • movement
  • "doesn't naturally come out of my hand," meaning he judges beyond his personal painting preferences
  • loose (again, something he lacks, but puts in his paintings nonetheless)
  • movement
  • painterly
  • design
  • the "wow" factor
  • listen to the painting (where to go, what to preserve, when to stop)
  • creates magic
  • tell story
  • poetry
  • intimacy
  • simplicity
  • quietness and dreams come together
  • maturity
Just keeping a few of these in mind at the compositional stage would make a huge difference in how paintings would come into being.

See the show. It's fantastic! I think my favorite was Daniel Wise's Slippery When Wet, pictured well in the link or poorly below, center. His Bouy (link to his blog, but I can't find a picture) was a close second and would quietly qualify as a still life by Richard's "Landscape as Still Life" award.

Congrats to the winners!

Best In Show, Lisa Mitchell, DJ
First Place, Loriann Signori, Topaz Serenity
Second Place, David Lawton, Aden
Third Place, Maria Marino, Soliloquy III

Judy Pardue Memorial Award for Best Landscape, Tom Weinkle, To Basalt
Polly Mitchell Memorial Award for Best Portrait, Frank Kaifer, St. Alvin of the Station
Betty Knight Memorial Award for Best Still Life, Jean Hirons, Shore Houses

Merit Award, JoEllen Murphy, At Ease *
Merit Award, Lisa Sheppard, Long Shadows *
Merit Award, Tatijana Jacenkiw, Lady of the Tramps
Merit Award, Dawn Capron, Along the Wye River
Merit Award, Joyce Lister, Winter Light

Pastel Society of America Award of Merit, Gail Zinar, A Winters Drama
Connecticut Pastel Societys Award of Merit, Mary Anne Warner, Lilies *

Members Choice Award (Tie vote), Julie Hopkins, Swamp River Reflections and Diana De Santis, Andrea.

* Also at the McKinley workshop last week.


ariel freeman said...

It was great to hear his jury talk. I learned so much, and he is a very charismatic speaker, funny. Thank you for summing up his points. I should have brought a pen :-)

Bonnie said...

Imagine spending four days with such an entertaining and talented person!

Now if I'd had such a beautiful purse as yours (which I noticed during quiet time and didn't get the chance to compliment), I wouldn't sully it with something so practical as a pen!