Light & Shadow 2022 Art Exhibition Monthly Winning Artists – December 2022

The top five artists in each category were given awards in the Light & Shadow 2022 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 Light & Shadow 2022 Art Exhibition page for contact information.

Congratulations again to all the winners and thank you for sharing your talent with us.

Best in Show (Traditional) – Yuqian Sun – “Artificial Fairies No. 9 – Listener” – watercolor and ink on paper

Yuqian Sun was born in Shenzhen, China in 1997. At the age of 14, her long journey of studying abroad began. After graduating from Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, she earned her BFA degree at the University of Michigan in 2019. Now she works as an art program leader at an international high school.

Yuqian’s art practice is derived from her photography works, which she started practicing when she was a kid. It was a pure hobby at first, but turned into a long and comprehensive method of creation that carries her aesthetics. She studied and experimented traditional mediums, striving to refine her painting style into a unique authorship.

In her doll portrait series “Artificial Fairies” and “Gem in Their Eyes”, she keeps looking for the ideal doll in doll images she created. Inspired by visual beauty of these mass-produced toy dolls in real life, her work proceeds to discuss the context derived from the meanings behind objects that are human beings’ artificial imitations.

Watercolor is the medium she studies the most. The emotional intensity that emerges in the poetic flow of translucent color is the reason of her obsession with the medium. When working on representational paintings with watercolor, Yuqian imagines capturing a solid form with intangible materials like water and light. Yuqian has learnt to be confident yet humble to cooperate with water instead of controlling it. Water-flow calms her down, teaches her to be honest with herself, and brings her inner world onto the paper.

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

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) – Francesco Puliga – “STOP” – digital mixed media (ink on paper, acrylic paint, digital painting)

Francesco Puliga is an illustrator, comic artist and character designer. He studied Illustration at the Academy of Art in Bologna, and for his master degree he decided to study at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco. During his studies, Francesco explored different art mediums and techniques. In fact, he had experience with traditional painting, sculpting, and printmaking. He works traditionally and digitally.

In his artistic career, Francesco has created and published many comic books and illustrations. In this phase of his artistic career, he is focused on art project that depicts a series of abandoned places, vehicles and objects, from different part of the world. The artist wants to use these subjects for conveying a sense of mystery and interest.

For achieving this goal, Francesco uses ordinary abandoned places reproduced with unusual texture and unnatural color light. The artist wants to create images that look unique and similar at the same time. In fact, all the images show a different scene, a peculiar color scheme and a particular format. On the other hand, all illustrations are created with the same process.

Francesco uses a mix of traditional and digital technique for creating the artworks. The illustrations are drawn by hand on paper. After, the artworks are inked traditionally with brushes and other tools. For the color base and texture, Francesco uses acrylic paint in a different paper or panel. The drawing and the acrylic paint are combined together with Photoshop, and finally the artist overpaint everything digitally.

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

2nd Place (Traditional) – Carol Klingel – “BOWING TO THE MORNING” – acrylic on canvas

I am an artist-teacher living in rural Northeastern Ohio, with an art education degree from Kent State University and a Masters Degree from The University of Akron. Acrylics and oils are my preferred mediums. Shadows and the light that peeks through and coaxes those shadows are endlessly fascinating to me. Over the years I have been in many group and solo shows, juried and invitational, including the Canton Art Museum, The Butler Museum Midyear Show, Kent State University alumni show, Mesa Gallery, Los Alamos, NM, Akron Summit Artspace Fresh, Kaleidoscope, and Artists of Rubber City shows, where I have been a multiple award winner, as well as Medina County Art League’s Aquarius Show, which includes People’s Choice twice, Best of Show, and First Place twice. Memberships and associations include Kent’s Group Ten Gallery, Akron Society of Artists, Artists of Rubber City, Cuyahoga Valley Art Center.

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

2nd Place (Photography & Digital) – Elizabeth Kayl – “SUNSET DANCERS” – digital photography

Elizabeth Kayl Elizabeth Kayl has had her photography included into juried gallery shows in 33 different US states and in 3 international countries in 2020, 2021 and 2022 to date. It wasn’t until the pandemic hit that she began her new love of photography. Elizabeth has recently won three Juror’s Awards, two Best in Show Awards, a First Place Award and a Visitor’s Choice. Her work has been featured in many permanent public art locations, as well. By day, she is employed as the Director of Parks and Recreation for the beautiful art-inspired City of Loveland, Colorado.

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


3rd Place (Traditional) – Kathy Paulus – “HE COMES” – pastel

Kathy Paulus resides in Moreno Valley, California. She worked for 23 years as an Infant Specialist with children with disabilities from birth to 3 years. She started her art career after retiring in her early 50’s. She considers herself a self-taught artist specializing in pastel work and scratchboard. She specializes in domestic/wild animal portraits and still life subjects. She enjoys realism and the challenge to capture the real beauty in animals. She has a special love for horses and all wild cats. She has done many commissioned animal portraits and enjoys the joy it brings to a devoted pet owner.

She is also a scratchboard artist and she became a member of the International Society of Scratchboard Artist in 2018. Scratchboard art enables her to achieve fine detail in realism in her animal studies. She alternates working with pastels and scratch work.

She is an active member of the Redlands Art Association in Redlands, California and Yucaipa Vision Quest Art Association in Yucaipa, California. She is also involved in many online groups as well. She enjoys teaching in workshops and sharing the knowledge she has developed through the years in the area of pastels and scratch art. She enters many local and international art shows and has won many awards for her pastel work and Scratchboard art.

You can see more of her work on her Facebook page:

3rd Place (Photography & Digital) – Eric Renard – “SWOOSH” – archival pigment print

Eric M Renard is a Los Angeles based fine art photographer and creative director. Eric’s passion for photography was ignited at Tufts University in Boston, where he studied under Siegfried Halus. After graduating, Eric moved to San Francisco and worked as an architectural photographer before moving to Los Angeles. Eric’s unique exposure to both urban and rural life can be seen throughout his work, as he is equally at home in both settings. Usually working in black and white, his urban cityscapes and rural landscapes often reflect an eerie sense of peace and quiet, rarely portraying more than one or two people. Eric’s photography has been exhibited in galleries across the United States and Europe, receiving numerous awards. His work has been published in both books and photography magazines. He is also on the board of directors for several non-profit art organizations, helping to organize and promote art exhibitions.

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

4th Place (Traditional) – Lyasya Sinkovski – “VANITAS. GREY’S ANATOMY” – charcoal and white chalk on tinted paper

Lyasya Sinkovski is a Boston-based realist artist and a drawing instructor at the Academy of Realist Art, Boston. She uses a wide range of media, but she is still true to her first love, drawing. As minimalist as drawing seems, it shows the true form of things, a magical relationship between light and shadow.

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



4th Place (Photography & Digital) – Maureen Ravnik – “THE ROAD LESS TRAVELED” – photography & digital

Artist Biography: Maureen Ravnik was born and raised in Minnesota. She attended the University of Colorado to pursue a career in sales & marketing. Working and traveling a lot in that discipline opened her eyes to the wonders of the American west and reawakened childhood tendencies to creatively document her discoveries. She began making images of the American west in hopes of preserving the history, the culture, and the dreams that shaped the west. Maureen has placed in the Audubon International Top 250, local, national, international juried photography exhibitions, monthly club competitions, and state park calendars. Her images have been selected for use by the City of Littleton, and National Geographic for publication, as well as several newspapers. She has co-authored 2 books that document the history of the second largest natural area in the country. Maureen has also served as a juror for the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts in Colorado.

Artist Statement: My methods and techniques are largely self-taught. I love capturing scenery, wildlife, and exploring methods for interpreting what I see and experience along the way. I am deeply inspired by the work of Ansel Adams and Art Wolfe. My work is also derived from my imagination. My greatest satisfaction comes from taking the file from camera to computer to develop composites. The results reflect my personal feelings, beliefs, events, culture, etc. that are best expressed through artistic interpretations. My work is delivered in an array of styles that arc between realism, passionately abstract and doggedly figurative.

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

5th Place (Traditional) – Diane Masek-Blow – “TREPIDATION” – colored pencil

Diane has been drawing as long as she can remember, mostly in graphite. She took some art classes in high school and college, but her art took a backseat as she pursued a career in Medical Technology. She discovered colored pencils shortly before she retired early in 2018. She is attracted pictures that tell a story, and has drawn pieces from nature and architecture as well as portraits.

To learn more about Diane or to see more or her work, please visit her website.


5th Place (Photography & Digital) – Robert Nowak – “GHOST FALLS” – digital photography

I caught the photography bug when I got my first camera from my dad at age 11. While my equipment has changed over the years, (I currently shoot with a Nikon digital camera), what has not changed is my passion for photographing the beauty of nature. My love of nature photography grew as I spent time hiking and backpacking in the Rocky Mountains and surrounding areas. After living in Colorado for 35 years, my wife and I fell in love with the Pacific Northwest and decided to move to the Seattle area, giving us the opportunity to explore the ocean, forests and mountains in this beautiful part of the country.

Through my hiking and backpacking I’ve had the privilege to see and experience natural places that not everyone is lucky enough to visit. Attempting to capture the beauty of these places through my photographs is the best way I can think of to share my good fortune. I hope to share my passion for nature and bring it into your home or office – bringing you serenity, inspiration or energy.

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


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