7th Annual Colors Monthly Winning Artists – April 2023

The top five artists in each category were given awards in the 7th 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 7th 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) – Gwendolyn Ballantyne – “MYSTIC” – oil on panel

Best in Show (Traditional) Gwendolyn BallantyneGwendolyn Ballantyne is a fine artist based in Los Angeles. Her eclectic and diverse subjects reflect her love of history, culture, mythology and visual storytelling. She works in a contemporary realistic style with traditional oil and drawing mediums, but enjoys using dramatic colors and enhancing values to create an emotional expression of the subject.

She received a BA in fine art, and another in anthropology at UCSC. She went on to earn an MFA in production design from CalArts, which led her to her award-winning career designing for the entertainment industry. Over the last 28 years she has worked as an art director, concept designer, painter, sculptor and illustrator on large-scale projects around the world. She has worked for Walt Disney Imagineering, Universal Studios and Warner Bros. Her favorite projects have included Journey to the Center of the Earth at Tokyo DisneySea, Warner Bros. World Abu Dhabi, World Expo Dubai 2020, NatureQuest at the Fernbank Museum in Atlanta, and the upcoming Universal’s Epic Universe.

According to Gwendolyn, “I have always been interested in telling stories with my artwork. As I create, I love to reveal the mystery in a subject, whether through composition, the ambiguity of a facial expression, or the interplay of dark and light. Everywhere I look I see a bit of magic in the mundane. Painting helps me to unravel the mysteries in life and discover the hidden stories waiting to be told all around us.”

To learn more about her and to see more of her work, please visit her website.

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) – Dave Lee – “LIGHTNING HAS BEEN DETECTED IN YOUR AREA” – digital art

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) Dave LeeDave Lee is a digital artist who creates artwork, using the latest computers and graphics software available today. As a lifelong resident of Indiana, he has been creating art since his early years in Indianapolis. As Dave experimented with various art-creation mediums over the years and enrolled in various art classes, he struggled to find a style and medium that would enhance his natural art abilities. His attempts to paint with watercolors, acrylics and oils ended with unsatisfactory work and results.

In the early 1990’s, he purchased his first personal computer to use in graphic design work. This was at a time when virtually no one owned a personal computer. Over the years, as his skills improved, Dave realized that today’s computers and software were the perfect tools for him to use as the new “brush and canvas” combination for digital art creation. With more than 25 years of computer experience, he uses these components to create popular, digital artwork with qualities that far surpass the art he created long ago.

Currently, Dave is inspired to create his digital art based mostly on nature, rural scenes and architecture, and he continues to experiment with different subjects and styles. Today, art creation is Dave’s passion and he’s blessed to have considerable time to devote to his efforts.

To learn more about Dave and to see more of his work, please visit his website.

Best in Show (3 Dimensional) – Lollie Ortiz – “NIGHT CITY” – acrylic plastic cubes on checkerboard design wood base

Best in Show (3-Dimensional) Lollie OrtizMy Dreamland is to tap into my sculptural path that vibrates with my love of abstraction, movies, pop art and iconic symbols. A world in which I not only can get lost in but reflect a past that transforms into a collection of memories I desire to share with an eager audience. This includes work that empowers my imagination to fuse together an array of shapes, textures and colors that translate into my own story of fantasy and visual exploration.

To learn more about Lollie and to see more of her work, please visit her website.


2nd Place (Traditional) – Jewel Conway – “JEZEBEL” – oil

2nd Place (Traditional) Jewel ConwayJewel Conway’s painting style is described as expressionistic, contemporary, and bold, immersed within the style of Fauvism – the unexpected vivid use of color. Striking, contrasting colors dominate her artwork. Jewel is inspired by the universal elements of nature, music, and emotional expression.

The artwork is meant to completely capture your attention, create a smile, and think ‘WOW!”. The power of unexpected color makes her paintings truly distinctive. She paints mainly with oil as it gives luster and richness to the subject. Her acrylic abstracts also incorporate neon and metallic paints, foil, and glitter to create a shimmery effect. The abstract paintings evolve into their own as she listens to music.

Conway is a self-taught international award-winning artist. Her artwork has been published in the 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2017 editions of the American Art Collector with collectors in 17 states.

To learn more about Jewel and to see more of her work, please visit her website.

2nd Place (Photography & Digital) – Wayne Palmer – “MIDTOWN MANHATTAN” – digital color photograph

2nd Place (Photography & Digital) Wayne PalmerFor Wayne Palmer, everything in the urban environment is a found object, including light, shadow, color, people and architecture. The essence of Wayne’s work is the discovery of a resonant scene, where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. His work includes street photography, still life, interiors, rural landscapes, all in color and black and white.

For Wayne, street photography and television news are parallel paths of life in New York City. Wayne directed national news and public affairs programs such as The MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour and Bill Moyers’ Journal for PBS and WNET/New York. At the same time, he photographed streets, people, graffiti and other found objects in New York City with black and white film and digital color. Wayne’s photographs have been exhibited and honored around the world, including a solo show in Lambertville New Jersey, and group shows: Miami Street Photography Festival/Art Basel, Davis Orton Gallery, Center For Fine Art Photography, PH21 Gallery Budapest Hungary, Los Angeles Center of Photography, and Fusion Gallery on-line, among many others,

He has been honored by Fine Art Photography Awards London, International Color Awards, and Black and White Spider Awards (Merit of Excellence). He has been published in Black & White Magazine issues #144, #158 (Spotlight Award), #157, The Photo Review 2020, BOKEH BOKEH San Francisco 2020, Places Journal 2015 and Neutral Density Magazine 2017. His work has been acquired by the Museum of the City of New York and individual collectors.

To learn more about Wayne and to see more of his work, please visit his website.

2nd Place (3 Dimensional) – Robert Obier – “TALISMAN” – mixed media on wood

2nd Place (3-Dimensional) Robert ObierRobert Obier’s work explores the intersections and obscures the boundaries between architecture, industrial design and art. Each piece is as much a realization of an abstract design concept as it is a unique work of three-dimensional art. The final sculpted artwork is derived from an initial “hand drawn” sketch. The preliminary shapes are explored and refined through multiple iterations as 3-d computer models. From creation through completion this dichotomy of ‘handmade’ and ‘computer generated’ informs the development and execution of the work.

A strict and systematic organization of components define the work and reveal a discipline that is unmistakably architectural. At first glance, the geometric forms seem strangely familiar as if seen somewhere before – but where – when? Upon closer examination – perhaps the designs are remnants of some distant and secrete civilization or even an, as of yet, unknown and mysterious future. The forms are intentionally abstract giving shape to a brief moment of design inspiration. Schematic concepts emerge as built objects without the practical or functional restrictions that necessarily accompany the development of an architectural or industrial product.

Robert’s work combines the “tried and true” techniques of old-fashioned craftsmanship with today’s most advanced rapid prototyping technologies such as CAD modeling, 3-D printing, and CNC fabrication. Particular finish applications such as weathering and rust recall an ‘earlier time’ in the story of certain pieces – the scars of a past life.  Nevertheless, the work has a timeless quality – seeming to exist in the past, the present and the future – simultaneously.

To learn more about Robert and to see more of his work, please visit his website.

3rd Place (Traditional) – Cher Pruys – “FALL SPLENDOUR” – acrylic on 300lb hot press

3rd Place (Traditional) Cher PruysCher 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, water color and gouache. Although self-taught, her dedication and talent has seen her work juried into 264 International exhibits, as well as exhibits in numerous non juried shows. She has won 314 awards for her work in the International Juried Exhibits.

Cher’s work has graced the covers of 3 books, 32 magazines, including The Best of Acrylic Fall 2021, cover of the May 2022 Arabella Magazine, & the latest the cover of #20 Hyperrealism Magazine with “Girls Girls Girls”. She has been featured in over 180 international publications. Cher’s works have found a permanent home in private and public collections worldwide.

To learn more about Cher and to see more of her art, please visit her website.

3rd Place (Photography & Digital) – Chad Sain – “DESERT BARS” – digital photography

3rd Place (Photography & Digital) Chad SainR. Chaderton “Chad” Sain is a California photographer. Discovering a passion for photography after extensive careers in the military and then in business, his works highlight the extraordinary often overlooked within the “ordinary” that surrounds our daily life. For those that know him, what makes him stop and grab his camera is often a mystery to them. What drives his creativity is making and sharing something special and unique. He has earned accolades for his active support to various non-profit organizations as well as earning recognition from State and Congressional Representatives. He has also earned numerous awards and has been showcased in various exhibitions.

These colorful images are part of a series Chad recently created using another Artist’s acrylic sculptures as inspiration. As with most of his efforts, it started with a simple creative idea, his Nikon DSLR, a macro lens and several unique acrylic sculptures. Proof again every Artist can find creativity in that which surrounds us.

According to Chad, “Taking the time to slowdown, to pause and to observe that which surrounds us fuels my creative process to make images that I feel are extraordinary. Having the ability to share them with others makes me happy.”

To learn more about Chad and to see more of his work, please visit his website.

3rd Place (3 Dimensional) – Tatiana Leimkueller – “VENUS IN COLOR” – epoxy resin

3rd Place (3-Dimensional) Tatiana LeimkuellerI came to art at the age of 50. Before that I had engineer background as a teacher of technical drawing in сollege, healer and lecturer. I fell in love of sculpturing and painting and since 2010 I make art objects with variety instruments, mediums and technics. I My hands, hair and clothes are always covered with clay and resin. Today I am freelance researcher and have full-time creative activities. I made my studio full of copies from Antiques. Also I am doing blogging with pictures of my artefacts. My favorite sculptor and painter is Michelangelo Buonarotti, I get inspired of his lines and colors.

To learn more about Tatiana and to see more of her work, please visit her website.

4th Place (Traditional) – Susanne Reske – “TAURUS II” – mixed media on canvas

4th Place (Traditional) Susanne ReskeSusanne Reske is a contemporary abstract and mixed media artist who has won national and international art awards. She lives at the Lake of Constance/Germany. In addition to studying social pedagogy, she completed her studies in fine arts.

Among other things, Susanne creates contemporary portraits that contain a distinctive style between figuration and abstraction. She is interested in the history, the biography and the individual personality of the person to be depicted. This researched knowledge flows into her large-format portraits as colored expression and emotion through various techniques. Her works of art are thus not an exclusive depiction of reality, but at the same time an expression of what is hidden behind the first impression. Influenced by her social pedagogical studies, her contemporary works also deal with socially critical, ecological and female specific topics of the present and the past.

In her paintings Susanne works with acrylic, graphite, tissue paper, paper and experiments freely with textures. Her works are shown in national and international solo and group exhibitions in Germany and abroad.

According to Susanne, “Painting is an attempt to create something new and a medium that people can use to communicate and to get in touch with each other. The creative process represents an opportunity to connect external impulses with my own inner perceptions and images and to express them through a wide variety of creative techniques.”

To learn more about Susanne and to see more of her work, please visit her website.

4th Place (Photography & Digital) – Gareth Jones – “ENERGY BUBBLE” – photography – digital

4th Place (Photography & Digital) Gareth JonesPhotography and digital art are the artistic expressions of my imagination, vision, and inquisitive mind. I explore all images – including abstracts or concepts created from my photographs or digital art. I strive to enjoy, explore and balance life. I want to give people a breather from the stress of today’s world – and I simply have to create!

I see the world with all its wonders, big and small and then I put my take on it. It’s just what I do and my images are offered up to the world. I simply love to create, imagine and capture what I see, what I think. I hope my images give the viewers some spark to their day – a thought, an aha! moment, the chance to enjoy the place my image takes them. My mind is full of images, they just have to come out and I love to share them.

My artworks are in private collections around the world and are sold on several web galleries, through my website or directly via my Facebook/Instagram pages. I have won several international competitions for both photography and digital art in both Canada and the United States, including multiple Gold Medals in the International Salon of Photography. I am also a regular speaker in Canada and the UK. I talk about “The Challenge of Creativity”, “My journey as an artist” and “What will I do next?” I am still discovering and hope to do so for years to come.

To learn more about Gareth and to see more of his work, please visit his website.

4th Place (3 Dimensional) – Eliza Berle – “NURSERY” – yarn, cotton twine, hemp twine, butchers twine, and human hair

4th Place (3-Dimensional) Eliza BerleEliza Berle grew up in Dallas, Texas and graduated from the world renowned Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She is currently 18 years old and a student at Smith College where her current work investigates fibrous materials in the 3rd dimension as a language for queer identity, femininity, vulnerability, and life outside of an abusive structure that was once a home. She aims to build a bridge between the arts and people who believe they exist on the fringes of it.

To learn more about Eliza and to see more of her work, she can be reached via her Email.

5th Place (Traditional) – Nina Antonakes – “EMERALD LAKE” – oil on canvas

5th Place (Traditional) Nina AntonakesAs an artist, I strive to capture the beauty that exists in all things through a bold exploration of color, texture, and movement. My work tends to revolve around life in all its forms and the whimsical side of the human experience. Our dreams, journeys, triumphs, and transformations inspire me–the moments that remind us to appreciate the wonders all around and look beyond the static world. Even the turbulence and messiness of life have beauty to embrace as they drive our spirits in unexpected directions.

For me, creating each piece is an adventure that sparks from a single idea and comes to life as I explore it with both my eyes and my fingertips. I am drawn to visual and physical texture, and many of my works incorporate organic materials including real flowers, leaves, and bark in combination with traditional mediums such as acrylics, oils, inks, and resins. I am also moved by bright colors–yellow in particular–and find that experiencing them lifts my mood and immerses me into an energized space. Through my art, I aim to embrace change, bestow joy, and always remember that Life is good!

To learn more about Nina and to see more of her work, please visit her website.

5th Place (Photography & Digital) – Roni Ben-Nun – “ECHINECEA” – digital photo

5th Place (Photography & Digital) Roni Ben-NunRoni Ben-Nun was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and grew up in southern Israel. He studied architecture in Florence, Italy and later moved to the US, where he earned a BFA in Electronic Design & Multimedia from The City College of New York, an MFA in Digital Media from Lehman College and a Doctoral Equivalency from The City University of New York. He is fluent in English, Spanish, Hebrew and Italian. Roni Ben-Nun has been teaching art and design at Bronx Community College since 2003, first as an adjunct and later as a full-time faculty. He now serves as the chairperson of the Art & Music Department and the College Senate.

His artistic career goes back to the 1990’s, and over the years he worked as a designer, draftsman, photographer, illustrator, and freelance graphic and web designer. While still considering himself an amateur photographer, he enjoys photography and loves to capture the world around him through the lens of his camera. His digital photographs have been chosen for more than a dozen juried exhibitions during 2022 and won several awards.

To learn more about Roni and to see more of his work, please visit his website.

5th Place (3 Dimensional) – Lauren Careese Alexander – “WHAT GOES UP” – ceramics & mixed media

5th Place (3-Dimensional) Lauren Careese AlexanderMy work utilizes objects, symbols, and motifs that trigger memories from my childhood. It is a self-reflection and analysis of how my younger years have influenced my adult life. I am interested in how passions and interests shift over time or how they stay the same, and how I subconsciously or consciously decide what stays and what gets left out. One thing that I remember for certain is that I was a very imaginative child. In the earlier parts of my childhood, I kept myself entertained by imagining worlds for my mind to wander off to and that my toys could find a place to exist in. Now that I am older, I find that imaginary world in the work I create. I have come to terms with the fragility of my memory, the fuzziness of memory, and how my brain fills in the gaps it can’t fully remember. This causes my memory, and subsequently my art, to exist in a place that lies between fiction and reality.

To learn more about Lauren and to see more of her work, please visit her website.


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