When one thinks of watercolor paintings, what usually comes to mind are pastel flowers or watery nature scenes. But this is hardly representational of all that watercolor encompasses. In fact, if you go to the Southern Watercolor's Exhibit at Columbia State, you will be amazed at the wide range of colors, techniques and subject matter on display for this art medium. You might even mistake several as oil paintings.
People also tend to believe that watercolor painting is easy and for amateurs. This couldn't be further from the truth. Watercolor is a quite difficult art medium and is interesting in the fact that the painting must be pre-planned, as one works backward when creating the composition. Meaning that artists tend to work in reverse in watercolor -- using a light-to-dark approach in order to affect richer, brighter results through a process of building the painting by layering multiple washes.
Keep this in mind as you study the more than 65 paintings on display at the Southern Watercolor Society Exhibit. It will give you a new appreciation of watercolor and the artists who have mastered the technique, while creating their own signature styles. This is particularly evident in the winning pieces -- indicative of the time, thought and technique that has gone into the works.
"Back Street Alley" by Judy Saltzman took the Best of Show Award, winning a cash award of $1,750. The Gold Award went to Dean Mitchell at $1,500 for "Power Ball." Nashville-based artist John Wilkison received the Silver Award at $1,250 for his painting "Wanderer." The Bronze Award at $1,000 was given to E. Gordon West for "Gulf Rig."
These paintings and additional award-winning works can be seen at the show.
Should you fall in love with a particular piece or two - which is easy to do - know that the paintings on display are also available for purchase. An opportunity to own a work of art that is both complex and unique.
The Southern Watercolor Society Exhibit is being hosted at Columbia State Community College’s Pryor Art Gallery this year from now through June 29. The Pryor Art Gallery is in the Waymon L. Hickman Building on the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike. The gallery is open and free to the public Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Friday from 8 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Below are photos of the Awards Ceremony and reception that was held on Saturday, May 14th.