Dakota Art Pastels recently announced their top winners for 2022 and last week, I shared the first-place winner from the Established and Emerging categories. I also chose two pieces from the Established category to examine closely. This week, I’d like to do the same for two winners in the Emerging Category: Second place winner Carol Holland for Patchwork and Anu Vedagiri, winner of an Honourable Mention for her painting, Invalid Password.

First, let’s look at the Second Place winner in the Emerging Category –  Patchwork by Carol Holland.


Carol Holland, "Patchwork," pastel, no size. Second place Emerging Category. - Emerging Category
Carol Holland, “Patchwork,” pastel, no size. Second place Emerging Category.


I kept returning to this piece. It has a stillness but that doesn’t mean there’s no possibility for movement – the cast shadows will change, someone may appear in a window, a creature may run across the rock, and smoke could drift up from a chimney. 

We see a jumble of buildings neatly organized into clear geometric shapes that makes looking at this scene easy and a delight. The chaos has been tidied into a clarity of shape and colour and form. All parts of the paper have been given equal consideration – nothing is left unattended. Large blocks of colour are applied in the big shapes but look more closely and you’ll see subtle shifts of colour within. For instance, the sky isn’t one mass of a single blue colour. You’ll find the same applies to the walls in light and in cast shadow. This all adds to the enjoyment of the piece, the invitation to look longer. Understated but a crucial part of the piece is the contour edge the roofline makes against the sky. The more we look, the more we see. The painting is so much about the pattern of shapes created by the structures – this is the content.

Next, let’s look more closely at Invalid Password by Anu Vedagiri which won her an Honourable Mention in the Emerging Category.


Anu Vedagiri, "Invalid Password," pastel, no size. Fifth place Emerging Category - Emerging Category
Anu Vedagiri, “Invalid Password,” pastel, no size. Fifth place Emerging Category


Even without the title (which speaks volumes), we can easily see the frustration this man is feeling. You can see it in the expression on his face –  a sort of stunned glazed look (he hasn’t got to the angry stage yet!), the slump of his body, the hand on his head ready to rub it in dismay. The humanity of this crumpled individual is contrasted with the gleam and rigidity of the technology in front of him. The mouse pad with its brash colour and even the stiffness of the cord underline the difference.

The shelf behind, loaded with books filled with information points to the past, as does the muted colour that pushes it back behind the lit figure and computer. We can see that although this senior is frustrated at the moment, he is moving with the times – check out what looks like an activity tracker on his wrist that’s replaced an expected wristwatch. Even the keys of the computer are echoed in the checks of his shirt, subtlety connecting the two. I think many can relate to this state of being – the overwhelm that comes with trying to keep up with the racing times!

You can see all the winners here.



The Kingston Prize is soon open for entry!


Calling all Canadian artists! If you’re a painter of portraits, this is the competition to enter! Submissions will be accepted from 6 February to 26 April 2023.

Your subject must be a Canadian. According to the rules, “A portrait will be interpreted to mean a picture of a specific person. Group portraits and self-portraits are eligible. The portrait must be made by painting or drawing, or a combination of these techniques and must be based on a meeting between the subject and artist. There is no limitation on style, and contemporary and experimental portraits are welcome.”

So what are you waiting for? Let’s get some pastel entries in!


Kingston Prize call for entry


And that’s in for this time!



  1. “Two Emerging Category 2022 Winners” is such a delight to read! Gail Sibley is not only an accomplished painter and artist, but also a first-rate art critic. She is like a detective uncovering every last clever stroke by the artist that might escape a casual viewer’s notice. Hearing her insights deepens my pleasure in viewing the works. Her analysis is not to be missed!

    • Andrea, thank you so much for your very kind appreciation of my article. It warms my heart to know that my words help to uncover unseen treasures!


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