2019 NorthStar Member Exhibition Award Winners

2019 NSWS Members Show_DSCN3421Richard Kochenash (photo left), juror for NorthStar’s 2019 member exhibition, explained his process for choosing award-winning paintings. He spent 2 1/2 hours moving around at first, looking for the “wow” factor. Then he evaluated the chosen paintings, assigning points in 4 categories.a
— The total “look” including the framing, presentation and basic concept or idea
— Competency, the ability to use the special character of watermedia
— Artistic elements and principles such as balance, harmony, repetition
–Plus and minus points for the difficulty factor

He then tallies the points having no pre-conceived notion of what the outcome will be.

He made the following comments on each of the award-winning paintings.


Honorable Mention

Pipe Dreams C. WoldCarol Wold, Pipe Dreams (photo left): “This is a complicated subject . . . almost magical . . . a dreamy quality with interesting granulations . . .interesting title.”


Charm Tulips, D CunninghamDeborah Cunningham, Charm Tulips (photo right): “Good composition that pushes the limits with cropping and lines . . . great movement and spacing . . . bright and snappy!”



Magical Woodland R. MacDonaldRita MacDonald, Magical Woodland (photo left): “The edges work with this subject matter . . . a variety of washes and lots of texture, spattering and different techniques.”

Beach Visitor L. Olson



Linda Olson, Beach Visitor (photo right): “Much vibrancy in this painting . . . looseness of the water . . . nice interaction between the water and the beach.”




In For Repair F. Zeller.jpgFrank Zeller, In for Repair (photo left): “Looks like this painting could be in a watercolor book . . .good linkage . . . color punctuated by the bright boat . . . good perspective and line.”



Lakeside N. VanCleveNancy VanCleve, Lakeside (photo right): “This one has the “wow” factor. . . makes me smile with joy . . .There is an openness and abstract quality . . .The colors vibrate and the frame is happy.


Merit Award

Autumn Glow J FerdinandeJeannie Ferdinande, Autumn Glow (photo left): “A pretty piece . . . richness . .

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. movement of shapes . . . can feel the breeze . . .nice wet wash with some hard edges . . . good positive and negative shapes.”



Untitled C. LartsonCate Larson, Untitled (photo right): “There’s an elegant look to this one . . .tropical color combinations . . .Nice hard and soft edges . .dark against light and light against dark . . .cropped well and presented well with nice framing.”




Prom Day II H. NelsonHeidi Nelson, Prom Day II (photo left): “A very difficult portrait subject . .has a very natural feeling . . .evidence of good technique . . . interesting and unusual cropping.”

Murnyak spring exhib




Dennis Murnyak, The Shed Out Back (photo right): “The simplicity caught my eye . . . nice combination of edges . . . a simple idea well executed . . . starkness of the shed . . . great shadows . . . a feeling of immediacy.



Award of Excellence

Into the Deep Sun G. SpeckmannGail Speckmann, Into the Deep Sun (photo right): “This took me back to hippie days . . . like a batik . . . dead set in the middle but with luminous color inside . . .a synthesis of techniques . . . has the feeling of the nebula.”


The Gaze C. WheatonCatherine Wheaton, The Gaze (photo left): “Child portraits are difficult . . . the expression is wonderful, the impact of the eyes . . . good composition with interesting cropping.”





Best of Show

Lynn Middleton-Koller, Untitled (photo below): “Something about this piece pushed all my buttons. . . small, simple, but communicates like a piece of music . . .nicely composed with the puffiness of the feathers and the beak off the edge . . . framing is interesting, floated and in a square format . . . This one just works.”

Untitled Lynn Middleton-Koller



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