Still Life Art Exhibition Winning Artists – June 15, 2020 – September 14, 2020

The top five artists in each category were given awards in the Still Life quarterly 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 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) – Feng Wu – “Tang Sancai and Hong Li” – Oil on linen

1st-Place-BIS-60-trad.-Feng-Wu-Tang-Sancai-and-Hong-Li-bMr. 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.

Best in Show (Photography & Digital) – Cindy Charles – “Red Rotary” – Digital photography

1st-Place-BIS-4-dp.-Cindy-Charles-Red-Rotary-cCindy Charles was born and raised in the vibrant, multi cultural, French city of Montreal, Canada. She graduated from McGill University with a degree in Psychology. While obtaining her degree, she enrolled in some art classes and art history classes, which ultimately paved the way to her artistic journey. Immersed in French Culture and the joie de vivre of Montreal has inspired her to explore and dabble in many art mediums such as painting, pottery and photography. Although, loving all, none captured her attention, drive and passion more than the power of digital art.

After enrolling in a Photo Artistry course, she quickly learned that this would become a life altering experience, artistically and creatively. Although, she had never had any formal art training, this was as close as she could come as far as learning and developing a skill that would eventually lead to exhibits and sales.

Photo Artistry encompassed all her favourite mediums, photography and painting and let her to create without abandon. These tools allowed her to expand and push her photography to another level. Honing this new craft, she developed techniques that would ultimtely embody her work. Her digitally painted, bold, vibrant colours and strategically overlapping images and textures in her Still Life and Architecture, have been recurring themes in her art work. She has recently begun using female models as a further exploration in conceptual art.

To see more of Cindy’s art, please visit her website.

Best in Show (3 Dimensional) – Colin Riebe – “Folded Melody” – Plaster

1st-Place-BIS-1-3d.-Colin-Riebe-Folded-Melody-bColin Riebe is an artist based in South Carolina, USA. According to Colin, “Folded Melody” Is a sculptural piece carved out of plaster. The piece looks to give an ironic view to music. Music tends to be loud and outgoing, however, the piece turns that on its head with the sculpture being in the shape of a music note turning in on itself in a shy manner. The pale shade of blue gives the piece a quiet tone with a hint of sadness. Overall, “Folded Melody” gives a solemn and shy aura to a music note, which is usually seen as a symbol of joy.

To see more of Colin’s work, please email him directly.

2nd Place (Traditional) – Cher Pruys – “Illuminated Vessels” – Acrylic

2nd-Place-35-trad.-Cher-Pruys-Illuminated-Vessels-bCher 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 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.

If you are interested in seeing more of Cher’s work, please visit her website.

2nd Place (Photography & Digital) – Brandie Ferguson – “His Travel” – Photography

2nd-Place-17-dp.-Brandie-Ferguson-His-Travel-bPhotography 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 is 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 everyday 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.

To see more of Brandie’s work, please email her directly.

2nd Place (3 Dimensional) – Karen Ford – “Waterlilies” – Cornhusks, mixed media


Karen is a self-taught artist whose work celebrates nature. A wife of 48 years, mother of two and grandmother of 3, Karen’s family is her number one priority. She and her husband enjoy preserving food from their garden: applesauce, jam, green beans and she prides herself on cooking “from scratch”. Their 3- acre home keeps them busy and they love their garden oasis. Karen’s work history is varied resulting from her desire to stay home with her children as much as possible. She has taught school, worked for the American Cancer Society, worked in the cafeterias of the Delaware County School system, taught Jazzercise as a franchisee and spent many years as a secretary at Ball State University.

Her interest in art was encouraged by her parents who provided piano, flute and ballet lessons. Her mother was a watercolor artist and her father took the family on trips around the country in the summers, exposing her to the beauty of our national parks.

Karen’s art comes from a desire to prolong and protect the beauty of the natural world around her. Her Indiana backyard provides plenty of fodder for her imagination. She picks flowers, pulls down grapevines, breaks off shelf fungus, rummages in wood piles…the result is art! Come walk with her and see what she sees.

Her current entry seems to defy gravity as it stretches sideways to display its uniqueness. “Waterlilies” focuses on the ability of this plant to float on the water yet be anchored to the ground. The base is an interesting slice of walnut, blue glass beads represent the water, florist wire acts as the stems and dyed cornhusks make the flowers.

To see more of Karen’s work, please visit her website.

3rd Place (Traditional) – Erin Schulz – “Navigating” – Oil on linen

3rd-Place-72-trad.-Erin-Schulz-Navigating-cNorthwest artist, Erin Schulz, was first exposed to the classical approach to painting and atelier style education at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing China (‘88-‘89). She furthered her studies at the Gage Academy in Seattle, Grand Central Academy in New York and Florence Academy of Art in Italy. Originally a researcher, Erin applies the same empirical approach of observation and summarizing the life experiences as a painter. Coupled with systematic studies of ‘what people do’ and ‘what things mean’, painting enables her to highlight and suspend particular moments of life around us.

To see more of Erin’s work, please visit her website.

3rd Place (Photography & Digital) – Krzysztof Szczurek – “Fruit Vase” – Photography

3rd-Place-33-dp.-Krzysztof-Szczurek-Fruit-Vase-bA linguist by profession, I’m a self-taught photographer, learning by doing, failing and always trying to explore new territories. After several years of searching urban streets for interesting motives I turned to a more intimate space of staged photography (mise-en-scene), drawing inspiration from Old Masters’ painting and re-interpreting motives that have become inextricable part of our cultural DNA.

I do photography out of inner need. It’s my emotional language without words. With my works I would like to touch the viewer, leave a trace, make them going back to the image like to a nightly dream barely remembered, difficult to understand, but still being there like an unresolved mystery.

To see more of Krzysztof’s work, please visit his website.

3rd Place (3 Dimensional) – Aodan – “The Body I Held onto Last Spring” – Glazed porcelain


As an artist working mainly with porcelain and embroidery, Aodan strives to explore, redefine and externalize femininity and “femaleness”. With highly detailed and intricate techniques, Aodan endeavors to show the complicated tableaux with aggressiveness, gentleness, fragility, softness, toughness, struggles, emotions and pain within femininity and female gender in delicate and cryptic looks. She stays loyal to the creed that art should be an organic combination abundant with personal metaphors and symbols; art is about experience rather than conversation. If there is a story with an open ending, there should be art totally open to interpretations and feelings.

To see more of Aodan’s work, please email him directly.

4th Place (Traditional) – Paco Martin – “Gumballs” – Colored pencils and graphite

4th-Place-63-trad.-Paco-Martin-Gumballs-bPaco Martín has been passionate about colored pencils since the time he was in Elementary School in Madrid, Spain. When he was in College, Paco realized that all the self-taught techniques that he had acquired that far were not enough. He needed some formal training and guidance, and he found it through the lessons of Sarita Muñiz. He learned how to paint with oils and he was captivated by pastels. The new learning also helped him to still improve with colored pencils, and Paco realized that colored pencils were his technique. However, he felt that there was a long way ahead of him in order to become the best version of himself as an artist.

Over the years he has explored incessantly pastels and colored pencils, striving to perfect his technique, experimenting, trying out different brands of pencils and paper, and facing bigger artistic challenges every time. He attended pastel courses with important Spanish artists like Aurelio Rodríguez, Rubén Belloso, or Enrique Donoso. Through these masters he learned a lot of valuable techniques that he was able to apply with colored pencils. When he felt he was ready, Paco burned his ships and decided to devote himself exclusively to colored pencils.

Little by little, he realized that he could reach as much realism as he wanted using colored pencils. At the same time, the technique allowed him to communicate the strongest emotions. Colored pencils became his language as an artist. His work became meticulous, even obsessive, carefully observing the world around. He experimented with shapes, volumes, textures, and composition, trying to recreate the harmonious beauty of small objects of everyday life, which are a form of art for him.

To see more of Paco’s art, please visit his website.

4th Place (Photography & Digital) – Barbara Mierau-Klein – “Books Still Life” – Digital photo collage

4th-Place-10-dp.-Barbara-Mierau-Klein-Books-Still-Life-bBarbara 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.

Barbara discovered digital art several years ago and became so fascinated that it turned into a full-time pursuit. 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 several galleries in the US and Europe and was awarded numerous awards. Her images also appear regularly in international art magazines. Barbara is represented locally by Waverly Street Gallery in Bethesda, MD.

To see more of Barbara’s work, please visit her website.

5th Place (Traditional) – Elizabeth Burin – “Copper Kettles” – Watercolor

My artistic inspiration derives from my travels and above all from nature’s infinite variety of forms. Starting from precise observation, I endeavor to give voice to these unique forms. I value the expressive power of color and often revisit a subject to capture the atmosphere of a moment or to enhance a coloristic effect. My greatest satisfaction lies in the fluid and luminous medium of watercolor, for layers of transparent pigment provide the key to the brilliance I favor.

To see more of Elizabeth’s work, please visit her website.

5th Place (Photography & Digital) – Ron Testa – “Accordian” – Digital photography

Ron Testa has been taking photographs since 1962. He received a Bachelor of Fine Art in photography from the Cleveland Institute of Art and a Masters of Fine Art from the Visual Studies Workshop in Rochester NY.  Since then he served as a combat photographer in Vietnam for the U.S. Navy; he’s taught at several schools and workshops; he’s been a photographer for two major museums, Cleveland Museum of Art and The Field Museum in Chicago; and a crime scene photographer working with police depts. He is based in Chicago, IL but his work spans many different locations.  He is trained is in classical photography and has been known to use photographs to create images in other artistic disciplines. He has exhibited extensively in both solo and group exhibitions nationally and internationally and is in many collections, Museum of Modern and the International Museum of Photography, Rochester, New York etc. He has also published several books – “Transient Places”, “Seriously Funny”, and “In Transit Photographs Taken En Route to Elsewhere”. Ron’s priority as an artist is to create images that interest him, if they are of interest to others so be it.

To see more of Ron’s work, please email him directly.


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