Monday, August 06, 2007

CPSA award winners announced - does size matter?

The CPSA Award for Execptional Merit ($1,500) and the CIPPY Award
Light Crisp Tasty - Fortune Inside
14" x 22"
Linda Lucas Hardy, CPSA, Texas

Do not copy this image. Image is copyrighted property of the artist

The Awards Banquet at the Annual Convention of the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) was held last Friday and the 2007 award winners and their winning images are now published on the CPSA website.

I'd like to offer my congratulations to all the award winners. I know that such recognition only comes after much time, effort and persistence in trying to achieve artwork which is as high a quality as possible.

Last year I attended the banquet at the convention in Alburquerque and remember what an exciting evening it was as the awards are announced in reverse order. Last year I remember seeing an awful lot of men sitting on the award winners seats at the side of the podium. I notice from the list of award winners for 2007 that the ladies seem to have redressed the balance somewhat - so well done the ladies!

This year, Linda Lucas Hardy won the top award - the CPSA Award for exceptional merit and the CIPPY Award for her piece "Light Crisp Tasty - Fortune Inside" (see above).

Linda's work in recent years has featured her constant theme of how everyday items look inside packaging - typically the bags we put fruit in at a supermarket. She has already received very many awards for such pieces, which you can see on this page on her website. This year she has turned her attention to a fortune cookie and its packaging.

I provided a link in one of my recent weekly "Who's made a mark this week?" posts to an article which Linda wrote about this piece for The Artist's Magazine (Jult/August 2007). Here is the extract from my post
Switching to coloured pencils - Linda Lucas Hardy has a very informative article in The Artist's Magazine's July/August 2007 issue - view a step-by-step demonstration of her unusual colored pencil techniques and how she produced Light,Crisp and Tasty. The magazine's website also provides 16 coloured pencil tips by Linda. You can also check out Linda's workshop schedule - scope and dates - here. I met Linda last year at the Annual CPSA Convention in Albuquerque and she's great fun. I asked her about her technique then and found her to be very helpful as well as very knowledgeable.
Making A Mark - 8th July 2007 - Who's made a mark this week?
Other winners of the top prizes were:
  • Cecile Baird CPSA (OH) - who won the Canson Fine Art Paper Award for Exceptional Merit for "Watermelon Trio" (8" x 20")
  • Robert Guthrie CPSA (CA) - who won the Faber Castell USA Award for Exceptional Merit ($1,000) for "The Workbench" (12" x 18")
  • Cindy Brunck CPSA (MA) - who won the Prismacolour Award for Exceptional Merit ($1,000) for her portrait of "Emily". (14" x 21")
A DVD of all the entries in the CPSA exhibitions in 2007 is available to order from the CPSA website. Either click the 'expand' button on the home page or go direct to this page. It's $18 for USA orders and $23 for all overseas orders.

Does size matter?

For those who enter competitions like the annual CPSA open exhibition, it's maybe worth noting that all the pieces which won the top prizes are all relatively large pieces within the coloured pencil world. The dimensions of Linda's 2007 piece are certainly a lot larger than her 2006 piece which also won an award.

Speaking personally, in my opinion, size certainly does matter in the sense that larger pieces have a better chance of an impact on judges when exhibited in a large gallery. For one thing, large pieces cannot ever be shunted into a corner - they have to have good position in the overall hang otherwise the hang can look really bad. The image which won last year's top award was also a large piece in a prominent position.

Also, in most competitions, although selection of artwork to hang may take place using digital images or prints, the actual judging of awards is often done only after the exhibition has been hung and the original artwork can be inspected at close quarters - and from a distance - and that is when any equivalence of size of image which can occur during the selection process can disappear altogether.

It should be noted that entering a large piece is also not without potential risk when entering other competitions. At the Summer Exhibition at the Royal Academy for example, the panel of selectors choose works from originals shown to them from a few feet away for a few seconds - but the panel choose more than they have space to hang. A large piece might find it easier to have impact at selection but then eventually rule itself out of being hung due to size.

In my view, the old adage about checking out what a piece looks like from 20-30 feet away (as if in a gallery) or as a thumbnail on screen - is a good indicator of whether a piece is likely to catch the judge's eye in a competition and a buyer's eye in a gallery. Take a look at the thumbnails of the winners - and see which catch your eye. In my opinion, the ability to attract attention does not always mean a piece is the best, but it certainly helps your chances of being so judged!

More about the CPSA exhibition

On 1st August 2007, the Maryland Gazette published an article about the exhibition which opened last month "Colored Pencil Artists are on Point" which is worth reading. This features the piece by Robert Guthrie CPSA.

The 15th Annual Exhibition of the CPSA continues until 25th August 2007. The exhibition is being held at the The Mansion at Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland. As previously indicated on this blog, for all artists interested in the art of coloured pencil, I'd highly recommend it as an exhibition worth visiting.


1 comment:

  1. Linda's work surely is award worthy. What beautiful work from all the participants in this year's show. Hard work and practice DOES pay off.


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