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    BEST IN SHOW: Golden Hour, Carmel

    Above: BEST IN SHOW, Golden Hour, Carmel by Jason Sacran. Read more...

    March 2018 Judge: Matt Sterbenz

    “This painting is warm, soft, and sensitive. The artist has captured a fleeting moment of tranquility on the California coast and convinces us that we are actually there. I can feel the sun, the humidity, and the atmosphere. Well done!"
    — Matt Sterbenz

    Read more about professional artist Matt Sterbenz.

    See judge's comments on all 12 finalist paintings below (shown in random order).

    Name of Artist Jamie Lindholm
    Monthly Judge's Comment: A sweet story and a sweet portrait. As the artist says, "To see the divinity within a person rather than the package," and this painting captures that. With her choice of clothes and pose, we really do see the divinity within this young girl. It reminds us that true beauty, the stuff that really matters, is within.
    Name of Artist Deborah Tilby
    Monthly Judge's Comment: Excellent color harmony and contrasting textures. There is a sense of foreboding in the dark sky, and the birds seem to know what's coming. The muted reds add just the right amount of warmth to this piece.
    Name of Artist Chris Krupinski
    Monthly Judge's Comment: The cherries look juicy and delicious. The rich, vibrant colors of the fruit contrast well with the black and white tablecloth. A complex composition, but well-executed.
    Name of Artist Ned Mueller
    Monthly Judge's Comment: Beautiful colors in an expertly arranged composition. This artist has created a wonderful harmony from a very complicated subject.
    Name of Artist Linda Tracey Brandon
    Monthly Judge's Comment: This is a painting of contrasts. Strong and delicate, hard and soft, man-made and natural, life and death. Here is a vanitas that promotes thought and contemplation.
    Name of Artist Mariah L Kaminsky
    Monthly Judge's Comment: What did you want to be when you grew up? We all had big dreams as children, and this is a sensitive portrait of one child's dream. Not all of us wanted to be police officers, but we can all relate to that same sense of wonder, hope, and determination shown here.
    Name of Artist JOHN BUXTON
    Monthly Judge's Comment: The vertical composition is unique and powerful. The curved lines in the clouds and water offset the central vertical forms. The tall cliffs tower over the tiny figures, and the trees appear to barely hang on to the rocks above. Humans and nature have learned to adapt, because here, the rocks dominate.
    Name of Artist Jason Sacran
    Monthly Judge's Comment: BEST IN SHOW: This painting is warm, soft, and sensitive. The artist has captured a fleeting moment of tranquility on the California coast and convinces us that we are actually there. I can feel the sun, the humidity, and the atmosphere. Well done!
    Name of Artist Nyle Gordon
    Monthly Judge's Comment: A near-monocrhomatic color palette works well in this painting, with a solid sense of value and composition. Like ingredients in a recipe, the artist pays special attention to edges and detail, providing just the right amount of information to tell the story.
    Name of Artist Brian LaSaga
    Monthly Judge's Comment: If rocks could talk, what would this one say? In this intimate setting, we are face-to-face with a weathered hillside, and this large rock continues to endure the elements. Very well painted with great attention to detail and texture. The patterns of snow and the grass are like wrinkles on the landscape, reminding us that nothing is permanent.
    Name of Artist John McCartin
    Monthly Judge's Comment: Great sense of depth. There is excellent brushwork and attention to edges, which keeps me coming back for more. The white bark is the perfect surface to show off the dappled light, and it helps accentuate the trunk's roundness and form.
    Name of Artist Alan Wylie
    Monthly Judge's Comment: Beautiful textures and rhythm in the brushwork, painted with a strong eye for color and especially value. Light and shadow are clearly defined along with a strong composition.



    March 2018 Artists Choice

    Cash award to monthly Best in Show winner. All monthly finalists win a free promoted painting entry, are chosen and critiqued by a different professional artist judge each month, and compete for Grand Prizes awarded in August. Artists may offer to sell their paintings or print reproductions and keep 100% if sold.
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    FASO Artist Websites

    Fine Artist Studio Online (FASO) provides professional websites and marketing expertise for artists. Many top member artists participating in this competition have their primary website hosted with FASO.