The top five artists in each category were given awards in the 2nd Still Life international online art exhibition. Below are the biographies and/or artist’s statements along with the artist’s websites or emails.
To contact these artists directly for purchase inquiries or to see more of their work, please visit the 2nd Still Life Exhibition page for contact information.
Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you for sharing your talent with us.
Best in Show (Traditional) – Linda McCord - "Floor Play" – acrylic on paper
Linda McCord studied art at American River College in Sacramento, California and Lower Columbia College in Longview, Washington where she later became a part-time art instructor. She works in nearly all the two-dimensional mediums: watercolor, acrylic, pastel painting and all the printmaking mediums and digitally enhanced photography. More recently, Linda works in fiber art, creating women’s fashions and wall art. She owns McThread’s Gallery on the Columbia River in Longview, Washington.
Linda has been featured in both solo and group exhibits nationally and internationally. Her work has been in numerous juried competitions shows and she has taken numerous awards on a regional, national, and international level. Her work is in the permanent collection of Coos Art Museum and Grants Pass Museum of Art in Oregon, Lower Columbia College in Washington, and Saint John’s Lutheran Church in California. She was an invitational artist at Museum of the Ozarks NALP winners in Arkansas, and Tacoma Art Museum’s, The Night Tacoma Danced in Washington
Linda is a signature member of International Society of Acrylic Painters, Northwest Watercolor Society, California Watercolor Association and Georgia Watercolor Society. Her paintings have been published in several books: Creating Exceptional Color in Acrylic by Lexi Sundell, Painting in Acrylic, the Indispensable guide by Lorena Kloosterboer, The Complete Guide to Materials and Techniques, edited by Caroline West.
Linda’s website is https://www.lindamccord.com
Best in Show (Photography & Digital) - Brandie Ferguson - "By the Sea 1" – photography
Photography opened my eyes to the beauty and fragile world we live in. Still life photography sparked a new energy, passion and excitement in my life and it continues to grow every day. Ansel Adams said, “You don’t take a photograph, you make it”, it’s my mission to capture and present a unique perspective on the pieces that I create that draws the viewer in and tells a story without words. I believe that a successful image is one that shows, in a powerful way, something you see every day or something you’ve never seen before and it stirs something deep inside you. When you walk away from the piece that I’ve created, I want it to linger in your mind and heart.
Brandie’s website is http://bfergusonphotography.com
2nd Place (Traditional) – Max Savaiko - "Blanton's Bottoms Up" – oil
Max Savaiko is a contemporary realist artist, who paints in the classical tradition. He was born and raised near Red Bank, New Jersey, a quiet town settled just between the Beaches of Sea Bright, and the Horse country of Colts Neck.
From a very young age, Max attended various art classes to further his natural talent. During this time, his sister, Lauren Savaiko, also a professionally accomplished artist mentored him in drawing, the arts, and composition. Max continued his lifelong passion of Art and studied under Neil Carlin at the Brandywine Atelier and Studio Rilievo. This further strengthened his knowledge of this complex craft, and classical realism.
Max creates in oil paint in the tradition of the Old Dutch Masters using a variety of techniques that include strong use of light and shade, bold color, contrasts, and abstract shapes. His intent is to capture the viewer and elicit a visceral response, which brings them into the scene, and makes it feel as if they can touch the objects d’art.
Max’s website is http://www.maxsavaikoart.com
2nd Place (Photography & Digital) - Lynette Gram - "Gears and Oil" – photography
Lynette Gram, born in Texas, now divides her time between Burtchville, MI, where her studio is, and Bonita Springs, FL. Photographing antiques, collectables and interesting old things has become her focus in life.
Since her grade school field trips with the family ‘Brownie’ camera, Lynette has loved photography. She progressed to digital photography in 2015, and began a self-taught learning journey. Starting with In Studio Portrait Photography and Environmental Portraits, her work has been published in ‘Grand Traverse Women’.
In 2000, she came down with a permanent Vertigo issue, which affected her movement greatly. Still Life was the answer! She found a deep love for this style, and already being an antique enthusiast, Still Life was a perfect match!
Captivated with the beauty in antiques, she also loves the stories behind each. Their signs of age and wear enhance their uniqueness and draw you into their history and purpose. Instead of being defeated by Vertigo, she is thankful to be able to shoot what she knows and loves.
‘Light Painting’ or ‘Light Sculpting’ has become her favorite technique. This is done in a dark studio using a long exposure setting and a modified flashlight or wand to light precise areas in order to bring out all the texture and details of each subject. Lynette’s processing technique holds the viewer’s attention and the overall composition of the image are what set her work apart.
Lynette’s website is https://www.lynettegramphotography.com
3rd Place (Traditional) – Nicholas Zalevsky - "Dutch Still Life" – oil on canvas
I do not know why I was not born as a hotdog or, for example, as a raccoon. I have done nothing to invoke this human life upon myself. Or maybe I did. I just don't know. Everything could have been simplified by that, but I was born the way I am.
For as long as I can remember, I have painted. In my early childhood, I painted on the walls, the refrigerator, the asphalt, the snow. In elementary school, I drew on desks, on textbooks. Later in art school, in addition to academic assignments, I drew people on the subway and at railway stations, animals in the zoo. At this time, when I was not painting, I was reading. Reading possessed me, and my interest in literature, philosophy and theatre was awoken. I recall my favorite authors: Jean-Paul Sartre, Alfred Camus, Franz Kafka and Samuel Beckett… The reading threw me into an agonizing search for answers to unanswerable questions. My questions simply flew into space, and there dissipated like the signals of a sinking ship. Why am I the way I am? Why don’t we have any freedom to choose our main matters of being? Why should we give away the life that was given to us? Eventually, I could not even focus on painting; I was engrossed in looking for my meaning. I found answers in mythology, in building my worlds, in the creation of my own myths.
"The mystery of the world is not in the invisible, but in the visible," - this thesis of Oscar Wilde completely altered my worldview, my suspicion that the visible world is just a beautiful deception, a mystification that has other dimensions. I realized that the meaning of the world around me could be a thin layer of paint on my canvas, a manufactured dimension added to my world.
Painting is a means of communication. Our ancient ancestors drew "hunting scenes" which portrayed their world; it was their form of communication. I paint my world - I do not invent a new reality, I draw the world in which I live, my world of absurdity, the way I see and feel it...
In the chaos that surrounds us, I must find people close to me in spirit and outlook, and together with them survive this amazing and cruel adventure - this life. I cannot do it using a word or a gesture. I'm trying to do it with paint.
Usually, I work on my canvases for a long time, often years. I rewrite them numerous times; I change the composition, the characters, the light... I want to find the best option from an infinite number of possibilities. And I am doing everything I can to ensure that next time, if it happens, I am not born as a hotdog.
Nicholas’ website is http://nick-zalevsky.com
3rd Place (Photography & Digital) - Art Golacki - "Still Life in Black with Watermelon" – photography
A multidisciplinary artist working with traditional mediums as well as installations, photography and digital processing Art Golacki was born in Wroclaw, Poland where he also accomplished a Master Degree in Fine Arts. Since being granted a British citizenship in 2006, he lives and works in United Kingdom, currently in Millport, Scotland.
A great adherent of Buddhist philosophy Art believes that through inherited or taught pattern of constant judging and labelling we are unintentionally preventing ourselves from seeing primordial, empty nature of everything. His work is an ongoing inquiry into whether it is possible to share the unanswerable questions through the intuitive artistic narrative.
Art prefers to follow the clarity of vision rather than cultivating consistent visual style, a sort of sophisticated trap as he see it, leading to perhaps recognition and commercial success but also able to corrupt the true creativity. He quietly admires multidimensional genius of Leonardo da Vinci and eclectic approach of Damien Hirst.
The presented images form part of the Still Life project. The temporary assemblages of man-made and organic objects are covered in monochromatic paint and arranged to mimic a classical still life setting, an epitome of commonly agreed picture of reality. The process renders many objects unidentifiable and thus visually equal, creating a primal, intuitive scene, with intention to aspire the viewer to absorb the content “as seen” without necessity to explain the narrative but to only rest in contemplative state of mind. At the same time it is also a homage to the inspirational artistry of Old Flemish Masters.
Art’s website is https://www.artgolacki.com
4th Place (Traditional) – Mark Riley - "Vulture Mine" – acrylic
I was born and raised in La Porte Indiana. I have always felt from a very young age that I was meant to pursue a career in art. In High School, I had a wonderful art teacher who stressed drawing and exposed the class to the works of the old masters. He recognized my potential from the start and encouraged me to enter competitions. I earned a scholarship to Herron School of art school in Indianapolis. After three semesters in school, I realized there was more to art in the 60s than I was prepared to accept at the time. I decided to enter the military. After a tour in Viet Nam, I entered and graduated from the University of Notre Dame with a BFA degree in painting. There I learned to appreciate all styles of art. Though I would have loved to be a full time painter, my career led me into technical illustration at an Aerospace company in Phoenix Arizona. There, my wife and I lived and raised 3 children. After 40 years, I retired and am now creating real art full time. My Acrylic paintings won the Director’s Award twice at the Arizona State Fair. I have also shown Acrylic and Watercolor paintings in multiple International online exhibitions and shown in various states. I am continuing to understand in my latter years who I am as an artist and what my strengths and weaknesses are. Concerning my subject matter, I strive to understand the importance of each moment captured in time and realize that in each search for material to paint or draw, there is significance even in the seemingly most insignificant.
Mark can be reached via email.
4th Place (Photography & Digital) - Gerri Duke - "White Flowers" – photography
Artist Biography: Gerri received her first camera at age eight. It was a gift from her maternal grandmother. Her second camera was also a gift. It came from a cousin on her father’s side of the family. Those gifts sparked a lifelong interest in photography.
Gerri is self-taught. She has learned through many years of practice taking photos of everything and everyone she could. Her dad was an amateur photographer and gave her tips on how to take better photos.
Living in Colorado is a great inspiration for her wildlife and landscape photography. She also loves taking portraits and perfecting her still life photography skills. She seldom goes anywhere without a camera, and has captured some amazing, and unexpected, images.
Like many photographers, Gerri was initially reluctant to give up film for digital photography. She was persuaded to try digital and wasn’t pleased with the first results. Eventually digital cameras were perfected, and she has learned to love working with them.
Gerri’s photos have been included in “Cowboys and Critters,” a book for outdoors enthusiasts, and the Mensa Bulletin Magazine. She has won first and second place ribbons for her still life photos, and other awards for her wildlife photos. She was included in the Sangres Art Guild Calendar for several years. And she has sold her work in shops around Colorado. Gerri lives in the mountains of Colorado near her daughter with whom she shares a love of photography and the mountains.
Artist Statement: Still life has been a passion of mine for many years. I enjoy selecting items I love or ones that I find interesting and combining them in a pleasing way to tell a story.
Lighting is an important element in still life. I have found that natural light works best for me. That includes candle light, which I believe gives the work a pleasant glow. And candles evoke an earlier time.
Each of my photos has a story to tell. My use of family heirlooms and treasured keepsakes adds emotion. Sometimes I don’t know what the story is going to be until I combine the items and they make a statement for me. I know what I see in them, but I want the viewer to see their own story there.
Whatever memories the viewer finds in my work, I hope they are pleasant ones. If they invoke emotions of any kind, then I have done my job as an artist.
Gerri’s website is http://gerri-duke.pixels.com
5th Place (Traditional) – Feng Wu - "Sweet Past" – oil on linen
Mr. Feng Wu is a Chinese realism artist, born in 1983 in Xiaogan City, Hubei Province. He holds a master's degree in art from Hubei Academy of Fine Arts and is a professional painter, member of the Association of Spanish Painters and Sculptors, and a member of the new figurative painting salon. He has had many of his works published in books and magazines and collected by both institutions and private individuals.
The inspiration for his current creation is to absorb nutrients from Chinese traditional culture, and express the classical beauty of Chinese traditional culture through his favorite Western oil painting techniques.
He has loved traditional culture since he was a child. China has thousands of years of ceramic production history. The development and changes of ceramic culture have concentrated almost all the aesthetic pursuits of traditional Chinese culture. There are also bronzes, Tang Sancai, etc. They are very common in our daily life, such as the persimmons, pomegranates, peaches and other colorful and beautiful fruits are combined. Feng Wu wants to pursue a simple and return to the original artistic conception.
To see more of Feng Wu’s work, please email him directly.
5th Place (Photography & Digital) - Lisa Donneson - "I Made This for You So That You Could Enjoy Their Perfume" – photography & digital
I grew up on Long Island, and 30 years ago, my husband and I moved to Brooklyn, where we raised our children. I studied music (Trinity College, BA) and finance (Columbia University, MBA), worked on Wall Street, and became an avid triathlete. I am now returning to passions that I haven't previously had the time to explore.
Like many teenagers of my generation, I spent hours poring over The Family of Man and Ansel Adams books. During college, I took a visual anthropology course for which I made a photographic essay about a New England farm where a pig named Arnold lived inside the house and watched TV and a nephew named Pooch worked in the fields. I shot in black and white film, developed and made prints in the darkroom. To bring myself up to date, I recently took continuing education classes to learn digital color photography, Lightroom, Photoshop, InDesign and Premiere, and got re-hooked on photography.
The flowers in these photographs come from my garden and their colors and shapes provide the greatest joy as they come into bloom. Lilac-pink hydrangeas contrast with their. They are feminine, gentle, and romantic.
Lisa’s website is http://www.lisadonnesonphotography.com
Fusion Art, LLC
PO Box 4236
Palm Springs, CA 92263