Selected by juror Lyn Diefenbach, let’s have a look at the winners of the Pastel Society Alaska’s online show, Warmth in Winter.

There are five awards for Warmth in Winter: Best of Show, First Place, Second Place, Third Place, and Judges award.

Best of Show went to Chen Kay. 


Warmth in Winter: Chen Kay, "Shepherd Boy," pastel, 80 x 60 in. Best of Show. - Warmth in Winter
Chen Kay, “Shepherd Boy,” pastel, 80 x 60 in. Best of Show.


I love the way Kay has focused all our attention on this Shepherd Boy yet has given us all the context we need – he’s surrounded by his flock. Along with the fact that we will always be drawn to a human face and that this one is pretty much in the centre of the painting, attention is accomplished by contrasts – edge (very much apparent!), value, and temperature. By the way, I want to draw your attention to the size of this piece!!! WOW!

First Place went to Andrew McDermott.


Warmth in Winter: Andrew McDermott, "Dining out at Bara41," pastel, 5 1/2 x 17 in. First Place - Warmth in Winter
Andrew McDermott, “Dining out at Bara41,” pastel, 5 1/2 x 17 in. First Place


In this piece, Andrew McDermott uses an elongated horizontal format to tell us the story of place. The painting is framed by the parked car at far left and the oncoming cars on the right with perspective lines taking us back into the piece. Colour explodes in loosely applied pastel strokes. There’s very little detail but we can still make out the essence of the building, indoor light and life, road and cars, and reflected light. And I’d suggest, again, that you look at the size of this piece. Size matters!!

Second Place went to Carol Peebles.


Warmth in Winter: Carol Peebles, "Watching Over Sophia," pastel, 28 x 22 in. Second Place
Carol Peebles, “Watching Over Sophia,” pastel, 28 x 22 in. Second Place


This portrait of Sophia offers us not only a beautiful painting of this young woman (the light on her face, her gaze, her long silky hair) but another level of knowing this person. The artist has added the image of an owl (the watcher of the title?). It’s up to us to decide whether it’s real, in the same dimension as Sophia, or in another dimension. We ask what does this mean? Peebles has also added white sparkles and “scratches” over the entire surface – these marks swirl around the woman who seems oblivious or unaware of their presence. Warmth in Winter indeed!

Third place went to Terrilyn Dubreuil.


Warmth in Winter: Terrilyn Dubreuil, "Stalwart Glow," pastel, 12 x 9 in. Third Place
Terrilyn Dubreuil, “Stalwart Glow,” pastel, 12 x 9 in. Third Place


I love the focus on this lone tree that looks as if it’s been battered by life. It’s clear that the artist wants us to see this tree – there is no other distraction. You can feel the weather – the snow, the wind, the sun breaking through and revealing the silhouette of the tree. The paper has been textured and along with the slight lean of the tree, this adds to the feel of movement. There’s a lovely freshness about the piece. Snow sits on the branches yet is only indicated by a few strokes over the textured surface.

And finally, there’s the Judges Award. I’m not sure how this is chosen, or what the criteria is, but certainly, I can see why Lyn was attracted to this painting by Janis Ruth Barrett.


Warmth in Winter: Janis Ruth Barrett, "The Besties," pastel, 16 x 20 in. Judges Award
Janis Ruth Barrett, “The Besties,” pastel, 16 x 20 in. Judges Award


The dogs have been drawn beautifully. We feel their comfort with each other. There’s a lovely use of the blue/orange complementary scheme albeit de-intensified.

You can see all the entries in the Warmth in Winter show here.



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Societies!! Send us your information! - WARMTH IN WINTER


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