The top five artists in each category were given awards in the 5th Annual Colors 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 5th Annual Colors Exhibition page for contact information.
Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you for sharing your talent with us.
Best in Show (Traditional) – Barney Levitt – “In Living Color” – oil on panel
Barney Levitt has been creating ‘pictures’ ever since he was old enough to grip a crayon and scribble on his parents’ living room walls. He was given his first oil set when he was 10 years old, which set him on his destined path to becoming a professional artist. After graduating with a fine arts degree in drawing and painting, he never looked back.
Much of his work is still life driven as it affords him total control of setups and lighting. He likes working with ‘timeless’ objects, which give a sense of nostalgia to the viewer of a long ago era. Old radios, telephones and typewriters, rusted antique tools and glass bottles are often the subject matter of his work. He also incorporates bird imagery in much of his work. His still life’s vary in theme from the classical ‘old master’ setups, to the quirkier word play paintings.
Titles are important to him as they give the viewer better insight into what he’s trying to convey. Humor also plays out in much of his work and he strives for a narrative that will capture the viewers’ attention. His work combines naturalistic detail with quirky offbeat compositions that often juxtapose ordinary objects in ways the viewer doesn’t expect.
He received his B.A. in studio art from S.U.N.Y. at Oswego. He’s a member of Gallery Blink in Lexington, MA, Gallery Antonia, in Chatham, MA, and the Stewart Clifford Gallery in Provincetown, MA. He has been a member of The Copley Society of Art since 2004 and received his Copley Master status in 2017. He has been juried into The International Guild of Realism, The National Oil and Acrylic Painter’s Society, Oil Painters of America, and the American Artists Professional League in New York
Please visit Barney’s website if you are interested in seeing more of his work.
Best in Show (Photography & Digital) - Robert Bolla - "At the Market" – digital photo abstract painting
I have had a life-long interest in photography. I am mentor and self-trained gathering skills in methods from glass plate to film photography including historic darkroom techniques. I have translated these skills to the world of digital photography and use post processing to emulate film types and darkroom methods and painting. As a professor and research scientist, I used photography in my research in biochemistry, molecular biology and genetics to not only analyze images, such as chromosomes but to capture images via electron microscopy or to look at biochemical reactions by radioautography.
Photography was always a hobby in which I have focused on photojournalism, street photography, including candid portraits, and nature photography. Since retirement photography is my way of storytelling and of communicating with the imagination of others. I use the tools of digital manipulation of photographs along with in camera digital imaging to tell my story. It that story asks to be improved, I will use intense or enhanced colors to enrich the image not only to give it dimension but also to change the story.
When deciding whether to turn a digital photo into a digital photo painting, I ask whether the painterly look enhances the image and if it changes the story being told. Many places in life are enhanced by of vivid colors of nature such as those found in sunrises, flowers, fruits and vegetables and tropical waters or colors used to enhance environments such as classrooms. The camera can capture these, as can paintings from digital photos.
Please visit Robert’s website if you are interested in seeing more of his work.
Best in Show (3 Dimensional) - Terry J Anderson – “Abstract Alphabet” – wood assemblage and acrylic
I've immersed myself into art and architecture for most of my life. Childhood memories include numerous visits to the Chicago Art Institute. Early college studies, in the Chicago area, included formal art instruction. Heading to the west coast as a young adult, my interests expanded to architecture and construction. Now living in the desert, I'm inspired by the light, colors and over all Environment.
Constructed Deconstruction Series: As a restorer of vintage and architecturally significant homes for over two decades I have recently focused on the creation of “Constructed Deconstruction Series”. The Series involves the process of creating a three dimensional composition of fragments of former structures. Block Composition Series A staple of childhood toy chests for centuries, wood blocks are influential in a child’s early spatial and mathematical development. The block compositions are a reminder of childhood playtime but also evoke adult themes.
Biomorphic Studies: My Studio space in the Coachella Valley establishes a geographic point of reference for inspiration. My Citrus Twist Biomorphic Studies are inspired by the prevalence of citrus trees in the desert’s suburban neighborhoods combined with the midcentury forms ever present in the built environment of Palm Springs and surrounding environments.
Terry can be reached via his email.
2nd Place (Traditional) – Robert Padovano – “Blue Ecstacy” – acrylic on canvas
Artist Bio: Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York, self-taught artist Robert Padovano is best known for his vibrant Impressionistic cityscapes of New York and its’ surrounding environment. His painting method incorporates both Impressionist and Pointillist techniques, often juxtaposing dabs of pure thick color side by side. When viewed at a distance, the eye mixes these colors to give a luminescent quality to light and shadows.
Robert’s paintings are part of many private and international collections. He has exhibited at The Staten Island Museum, The John A. Noble Maritime Museum, The Newhouse Gallery of Contemporary Art, The E. Mayan Studio in New York City, Union Gallery in Lambertville, New Jersey, National Lighthouse Museum, and many others. His work has been included in juried shows at The Salmagundi Club in New York and the American Artists Professional League. He has also done public murals for PS 41 in New Dorp, Staten Island, and for the SI Arts Culture Lounge at the SI Ferry Terminal, and has been part of the “Sing for Hope” Pop-up Piano project for the last 9 years. Robert attended Brooklyn College and studied design at The School of Visual Arts in New York City.
He is also an award-winning graphic artist, and has received numerous national and international design awards from Print Magazine, Graphis, Creativity Annual, and American Corporate Identity, among many others.
Artist Statement: It has been my experience there are pivotal moments an artist can experience, some in an instant, that will open doors to an entirely new concept and direction. Such was the case with the paintings I’ve developed in this collection that I call my “Painted Ladies” series. I find this personally remarkable since it represents a new and exciting departure from my first love of Impressionism, a style that I have faithfully practiced for the past 20 years.
The resulting works of art essentially combined the themes of gestural female forms together with butterfly wings and colors (something I’ve been obsessed with ever since being a child). I found the wing patterns and dance-like forms took on new meaning by joining the expressive grace and beauty found in both. This direction has opened up a new world of possibilities exploring fantasy, expressive emotion and a much more contemporary use of composition and color, and tapped into a creative sensibility that was long brewing within me just waiting for the right vehicle to express it.
Robert’s website is http://padovanofineart.com
2nd Place (Photography & Digital) - Tim McEnerney - "Found 1" - digital photography
“Found Objects”: Simply put, “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure”.
My approach is to suspend the reality of what an object IS -- letting my imagination uncover “another world” within. With this view of the world I now see -- I invite the viewer to find their own interpretation in imagery that evokes a response, often unique to each individual.
Tim’s website is http://www.timmcenerneyimages.com
2nd Place (3 Dimensional) - Lynn Weilin – “Cactus Monument” – multi-media installation
The Cactus Series is a new body of work composed of installations and paintings, which represents parts of a world. In this work, I call myself a reporter instead of a creator, since for me, the process of painting this world is also the process of exploring this world. I never creative this world, I am just explore this world.
The creature and the cactus are only two things in this world- the cactus is the only plant, and the creature is the only conscious being. Some paintings that are capturing a moment of movement in the world. The other paintings and the large sculptures are examples of the landscape.
I represent the world through painting and sculpture because I want others to be able to experience this world as well. Every individual piece makes up the larger world. Because the world is diverse with being in a constantly developing process, the works are developing and changing constantly.
3rd Place (Traditional) – Cher Pruys – “Carousel” – acrylic
Cher Pruys was born in Regina. Over the years she lived in many places including Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Fort Frances, settling into her present home in Devlin, on the banks of the Rainy River with her husband Mark, 4 dogs and 2 cats.
By age three, Cher was seldom found without a drawing tool in hand. She worked in pencil, charcoal and ink over the years, until, she picked up a paintbrush at the age of 35. Beginning with oil paints, she found her chosen mediums in acrylic, watercolor and gouache.
Although self-taught, her dedication and talent has seen her work juried into 99 International exhibits, as well as exhibits in numerous non-juried shows. She has won 75 awards for her work at the International Juried Exhibits. Included in these awards, the first recipient of a major Canadian National Award, The Mary Pratt Crystal Award of Excellence at the 2014 SCA Open Juried Exhibition, The SCA 1st place award of distinction twice respectively, 2016, and 2017 at The Canada’s 150 show. The Gold Medal recipient for Figurative Painting in The Mondial Art Academia’s International 2018 Competition. The Aviation Week & Space Technology Award Best of the Best, and the ASAA Award of Distinction for the best painting in the ASAA International Space & Technology Exhibit & Competition, consecutively for 2 years. She has had 14 solo exhibits. Cher is also an avid fused glass artist, and a certified teacher of piano and guitar.
Her painting “The Bubble” had the honour of being part of the Masterworks from The International Guild of Realism Tour. She was elected to the American Society of Aviation Artists as an artist member in 1996, and eventually was elected as a Foreign Affiliate Artist Fellow, one of only two Canadians receive this honour. Her work has graced the covers of 3 books, 14 magazines, and has-been featured in over 50 international publications. Cher’s works have found a permanent home in private and public collections worldwide.
Cher’s artistic style can be described as Realism with a hint of Abstract in her latest works.
Cher’s website is http://artbycher.ca
3rd Place (Photography & Digital) - Stuart Skalka - "Blue Ford" – digital photography
I started in photography with 35mm B&W film in 1970, when I did my own film developing and printing. I soon followed that with shooting color slides. Before I graduated from high school three years later, I expanded into color printing with the relatively simple Unicolor Photo System. Several summers ago, I took a palladium-printing workshop at the Weston Institute in Carmel. In addition, for the last two years I have been doing 4X5 large format photography.
I learned very early to get the exposure correct in the camera. I continued this approach with digital cameras, which means I shoot JPG’s, not RAW. So I rarely do more than very minor post-processing other than cropping—with one big exception. This exception—maximally over saturating colors with Viveza 2—is the antithesis of my normal approach. By greatly over saturating colors, I create unnatural images by design.
I started with normally exposed color photos of vehicles, ranging from wrecks to vintage show cars. These were taken in Shoshone, CA; Reno, NV (all but one at Hot August Nights, the largest vintage auto show in the US); and Long Island City, Queens, NY.
My intent is to cause viewers to look at vehicles differently. People normally look away from ugly wrecked vehicles, but by making their colors vivid and dramatic, they are transformed into colorful objects that attract the eye and engage the confused viewer. The clash between the emotional response (normally positive) to the strong colors and the knee jerk response to avoid ugly objects is jarring and disorienting. It takes a little time to figure out these mysterious images, which viewers have not had to confront and grapple with before.
Restored and often enhanced cars at vintage shows have bright colors that are immediately attractive. But by over saturating the colors to the point of being garish, viewers are again confronted with images of cars they haven’t seen before. Here, beautiful objects have been turned into unattractive ones, while in the first series; ugly objects have been rendered engaging.
Stuart’s website is http://skalka.smugmug.com
3rd Place (3 Dimensional) - Cynthia Correia - "Zig Zag" – sculpture
Color has always launched emotions within me. How we are moved by the colors we see in nature and how we share those experiences with our art is the true goal to communicate to the viewer. If you are moved by my artwork then I have succeeded in sharing my passion for art.
Cynthia’s website is http://cynthiacorreia.com
4th Place (Traditional) – Nicole Stirling – “Mojave” – acrylic
I am an artist who is drawn to use abundant details and vibrant color in all areas of my work. I work in acrylic paint to create mandalas on canvas, wood, or paper, and am also bead worker. My work is usually quite colorful, and I intend to infuse the viewer with a feeling of circular movement and a shot of color intensity. Mandalas have been my focus for several years, and I often use a superimposed image in the middle of my pieces that are differentiated only by color. I am deeply drawn to the repetitive geometric patterns that fill each concentric circle, and the sacred geometry that is naturally created in the process of both mandala making and beading – to me it signifies regeneration and meditation. I find immeasurable joy in creating art that is slow and methodical while the chaos of life continues to beat quickly around me.
Nicole’s website is https://stirlingstudiostahoe.com
4th Place (Photography & Digital) - Y. Hope Osborn - "Ringlets" – digital design
Artist Bio: Y. Hope Osborn earned an MA in Professional and Technical Writing with Creative Nonfiction emphasis in 2020. Her education included valuable lessons in document design, website development, and Creative Cloud Suite, feeding her passion for photography. She seeks elusive great Captures and sometimes the creative twist to illustrate documents and web and promote art itself. Despite her lifelong interest in art, she only began in 2019 to compete, exhibit, and hone digital artistry and creative instinct.
Hope began photography as a child with a 110mm camera. Without art education or photographer training, her experience grew with time and freedom from expectation. Only an expensive hobby then, digital cameras gave her freedom to fully engage in artistic perspective and imagination. She doesn’t mind amusing bystanders as she crouches for architectural angles or lies down for diminutive clover.
In 2020, Fusion Art honored her with a solo spotlight exhibit, and in March 2021 Light Space Time honors her with a solo spotlight exhibit for photography abstractions she is currently engaging. She is exhibited, published, and awarded through Fusion Art; Black Box Gallery; Light, Space and Time; Art-Competition; Contemporary Art Gallery Online; J. Mane Gallery; Contemporary Art Room Gallery; and Monovisions.
Artist Statement: I am inspired by the poetry of alternative music, my colorful garden, my red feeder’s flitting hummingbirds, and textured architecture. I am inspired looking over my patio from blue Edwardian sofa and over a valley of autumn-splendored trees from hilltop. In the inspirations of daily life and rare jaunts farther afield, despite ill health and energy, I capture life to relax; remember; and, more recently in colorful abstracts, imagine.
Color is a special gift not all of us receive. It is important to appreciate and rejoice in the color you see whatever your capability. I am blessed to revel in and play with the full spectrum this moment in time, so in this moment, I grasp, mix, and twist it to suit a hunger for rich variety and endless application.
Blessed with an artist's heart and mind, I create, keeping and sharing, hoping you see my life and art for the opportunity to reach for things thought beyond your grasp to do or be, whether limited by discouraging words, poor health, marginal finances, unemployment, or life-shattering pandemic. Take a breath. Stay a moment. Find inspiration, like I do mine, through a medium you appreciate, adapting the world around you to what you feel. Photography is God’s gift of respite from a frantic world and restless thoughts.
I take photographs on a non-professional camera because too much gear or too much perfectionism hinders movement and misses the rare moments when an unending monotonous valley of summer green is lit up by sun and shadowed by cloud to show hills and hillocks and green variance and blue water. A variety of photography apps aid me showing what I see in life and imagination.
Being an artist is to be entrusted to express reality and imagination that captivates, inspires, or informs while enriching lives.
Hope’s website is http://mediamosaicart.net
4th Place (3 Dimensional) - Brian Mark - "T Boy" – red travertine
Artist Bio: Born in Schenectady, New York, raised in Washington, D.C., I have been intrigued by art of all kinds for most of my life. By the time, I entered college I, not knowing what I wanted to do, thought, and quickly abandoned, dentistry. Literature appealed to me and ultimately, I earned a PhD in English and taught English literature at university. While I was doing scholarly work on English literature, I began to feel a tug toward doing, not just intellectualizing about art.
My first artistic foray was in woodworking. After a while, I could not shake the impact Dylan Thomas’ poem, “In My Craft or Sullen Art” had on me. I kept feeling I was doing craft, not art, and I wanted more. A friend urged me to look seriously at stone sculpture as my art focus. I eventually went to his sculpting class, and as soon as I set foot in the studio and looked at the work the students were doing, I was hooked. That was 20 years ago. I have been joyfully doing stone sculpting from that date to now. Sculpting is something I simply cannot NOT do. It is a passion.
I create abstract sculptures. I do not strive to make statements with my art. Rather, I try to bring beauty into this world, and at the same time soothe my soul by fulfilling the creative process. I have been in several shows and look forward to continuing my love/work in stone.
Artist Statement: Nature is raw. Art is practiced.
Each stone has its own language and I work to understand that language. Some of the learning comes from striving to listen to what each stone is saying. Each has a color, a shape, and a hidden beauty. While valuing that uniqueness, I strive to let my imagination fly free, in order build upon nature’s creation: blending raw nature with understanding the language of this stone. And, so begins the conversation between stone and sculptor.
When a stone selects me, I cannot know what striations, hues, density, faults, lie under the surface. As I begin chiseling and grinding, the stone talks to me, saying, “I have this special colored line running through me: preserve it.” Or, “slightly shift the angle of this or that curve.” Or, “work with me: together we can bring forth that special surprise, that new beauty never before seen.” The conversation continues until nature’s stone and my imagination marry and together say, “stop – our work is done.”
For me that conversation must lead to a sculpture that has movement, movement, movement. That movement is stone brought to life in a way never before seen.
Brian’s website is http://www.brianmarksculptor.com
5th Place (Traditional) – Ellen Levine - "The Pizza Man” – oil on canvas
Artist Bio: Ellen Levine received a Bachelors Degree in Fine Arts from American University in Washington, D.C., and a Masters Degree in Mental Health/Art Therapy from Hahnemann Hospital/Drexel University in Philadelphia. In addition to her work as an Art Therapist, she had a distinguished career in graphic design and television. She is a former Vice President of Dramatic Series Development at Columbia Pictures Television, and served as Producer of many long-form television films and documentaries. Ellen’s prize winning artwork is in numerous private collections; she exhibits extensively in many galleries in Southern California. Currently, she has a piece in a group show in The Loveland Museum in Colorado, “The Art of Coping” – art created during the Pandemic. She is a board member of Women Painters West, and a member of American Women Artists.
Artist Statement: “A fine work of art – music, dance, painting, story – has the power to silence the chatter in the mind and lift us to another place” Robert McKee
I am inspired by the quiet moments of reflection and the ability to notice the subtle details in nature, objects, people and animals. I like the quiet stillness of a painting. Our world moves faster and faster all the time. I want to slow things down, to no longer have to rush.
I work in both oils and acrylics, as well as colored pencils and pastels. I have a meaningful personal connection with each painting I do and then, like a proud parent, I want to share it with the world.
Ellen’s website is http://ellenlevinefineart.com
5th Place (Photography & Digital) - Barbara Mierau-Klein - "Bologna Windows" – digital photo collage
Barbara Mierau-Klein is a digital artist recognized for her multi-layered, imaginative and colorful fine art images. A native of Germany, Barbara lives in the Washington, D.C. area but often travels the world as a passionate landscape and nature photographer since her teenage years.
Much of Barbara’s work is highly stylized and focuses on beautiful moments and evocative moods across a wide range of subjects. The inspiration for her images comes from many sources, often her own nature photography, but also books, song lyrics, movies, and works of other artists, old masters as well as contemporary digital artists.
Barbara’s work has been exhibited in a number of galleries in the US and Europe and has received numerous awards. Her images also appear regularly in international art magazines. Barbara is represented locally by Waverly Street Gallery in Bethesda, MD.
Barbara’s website is http://www.barbaramierauklein.com
5th Place (3 Dimensional) - Phyllis Mantik deQuevedo – “Belle of the Ball” – bronze
We are so much more than just skin and bones and our mirrored image; we are complex organisms full of emotion and intellect. We move, breathe, grow and change with time and in relation to our environment. In the scope of time, our presence is fleeting but each of us leaves an imprint of having been. It is this understanding that inspires me to sculpt human and botanical forms. Both subjects contribute a color and vibrancy and I am moved to capture and share those brief moments while I may.
I’m often asked about the process of creating a sculpture. Every sculpture goes through an awkward stage. There is an excitement and energy as I begin and a restlessness as it nears completion. But somewhere in the middle, I wrestle with an armature that isn’t working, anatomy that doesn’t feel natural or a composition that doesn’t flow. Experience tells me I must be brutal enough to fix it or honest enough to set it aside. Then there are those times when I am rewarded in a breakthrough moment in which a sculpture becomes more than I ever anticipated. This is what excites me to continue to hone my skills and push my personal boundaries.
My current work explores storytelling through metaphor. Instead of trying to sculpt figures and petals -- whether realistic or abstract, I strive to sculpt what it feels like to be human and to convey the unspoken. The reward is in knowing that others can relate to them from their own human experiences.
Phyllis’ website is http://mantikstudio.com
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