Founders' Award - MANETTE FAIRMONT,
Sonoma, California - Three Corners,
watercolor, 15" x 15" (38 x 38cm)
A contemporary artist focusing on texture and design in the landscape, Manette Fairmont enjoys working quickly on site. She allowed herself just 10 minutes to capture the gestural impact of this triangular design within a square format in a colored pencil sketch. Switching to watercolors to put down the main shapes of her painting, she then added "radiating" colors, meaning complementary colors, along the edges of each shape. This made the colors vibrate, capturing the windy sensations she was experiencing while painting. "Working quickly gives my work a tension that can be lost if I belabor my paintings", she notes.
Watercolor West is one of the few organisations left that insists on competition entries being done in transparent watercolor only. They believe this demanding criteria helps promote excellence in watercolor painting.
Commenting on the 32nd Annual Juried Exhibition, Judge Christopher Schink said, "many of the best qualities of watercolor were evident in this show, but the awards given were not based on technical ability. I selected the paintings I found most exciting, imaginative and sincere, that clearly conveyed to me the artist's creativity, individuality and involvement."