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    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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    Buried Sins by George Bodine

    $5,000 Cash, Grand Prize Winner

    George Bodine Grand Prize Check

    Above: Artist George Bodine stands holding his check for $5,000 in front of the scene he depicted entitled "Buried Sins," the painting that won the $5,000 Grand Prize in the Gateway To Sedona Artist Competition, now renamed The Sedona Art Prize.

    George Bodine is an American painter of landscapes, cityscapes, and people.  He has traveled extensively in Europe and his paintings reflect his unique vision here and abroad.

    He paints almost exclusively in oils obtained from small niche manufacturers; he hand stretches Belgian linen, sized with rabbit skin glue and primed with white lead, techniques dating from the 16th century.   Recently he has begun  painting on sun-bleached Belgian linen, again primed with white lead, but glued to either sealed birch board, or archival quality artist’s board.  His use of time-tested methods ensures that his work will be permanent and able to be handed down within families or collections over centuries.

    Although he has never had an art lesson, George Bodine paints like a seasoned master; his works are displayed by top galleries and hundreds of established collectors across the US and Europe.  His ultimate goal is to produce work that will transcend time; his portrayal of diverse subject matter, and especially his style of “voice” in painting, is entirely unique.  He will often work on a series of paintings, only to stop suddenly, sometimes never to return to the subject again.  Although George has been reclusive by nature in associating with living artists and organizations, recently he did approach and was immediately accepted into the Oil Painters of America.  Additionally, he has held 10 consecutive one man shows, most of which have sold out.

    Distinguished Awards, Shows, and Achievements Include:

    National OPA selection 2014

    National Eastern OPA selection 2014

    Honorable Mention OPA Online competition 2014

    Solo Show Breckenridge Art Gallery August 2014

    Solo Show Breckenridge Art Gallery August 2013

    Juried into national show "Small Works" Eppersen Gallery Verona, Ca. January, 2015

    Waterhouse "8x8" Small Works show, Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, Ca. February, 2015

    Profiled in Sedona Gateway Magazine/Website Januaruy 2015

    Accepted into the Salmagundi Club, New York City March, 2015

    ARC Salon finalist International Competition 2015

    Juried into Salmagundi Annual Members Only show April, 2015

    Best in Show Gateway to Sedona Artist Competition for March, 2015

    Selected Artist 1015 OPA Eastern National show, Indianapolis, In. October, 2015

    Best in Show Gateway to Sedona Artist Competition April, June 2015

    Accepted into the Howard Mandville Small works show, November 2015

    Grand Prize Gateway To Sedona Artist Competition 2015

    Award Of Excellence 2015 OPA Eastern National

    Juried into 2016 OPA National

    Gallery Representation:

    Brennen Gallery,  Scottsdale, AZ.
    Palm Avenue Fine Art,  Sarasota, FL.
    Waterhouse Gallery, Santa Barbara, CA.

    To view more paintings by George Bodine, and to contact the artist, please visit www.GeorgeBodineArt.com.

    A note from George Bodine: On Winning the Gateway to Sedona Art Competition

    When I was told I had won the Grand Prize in the Gateway to Sedona Art Competition I had to sit down, and when I was informed it was for the painting “Buried Sins”, I was surprised and grateful at the same moment.  The painting is a complicated piece in that it is both unconventional and unusual in subject matter.  I very seldom discuss what a painting “means” or what it is about.  I have found it is better to let the viewer put their own interpretation into the piece.
    However, in this case I do want to try and discuss this painting, especially considering that time is moving faster every day for me and someday all that will remain of me is my work.  I also appreciate that the judge in this national competition must have sensed a deeper meaning in this piece and chose the painting even though it is in many ways unconventional.
    My wife’s family farm is open to me to wander the hills and fields, the old barns and abandoned dwellings.  It is a lonely place to me, with everything in decay and moving inexorably towards reclamation by a relentless wilderness.  There is sadness on the farm that rises through the very earth, like fog appearing to seep from the soil.  Yet I also know that many of the traits that I love and admire in my wife are from her endless work in those fields and hills, and her difficult struggles which she overcame through quiet thought and faith.  She left behind on it’s fields the things which would weigh her down, and kept those things which made her strong and honest and real.  I admire her and her sisters, and her German parents who immigrated here with the clothes on their back, a few suitcases, and twenty dollars.  They own everything I see around me as I wander its hallowed ground, all paid for in work and blood, and with no credit drawn.
    But there is a dark side to the story of the farm that involves tremendous loss and missed moments of what could have been.  I have no right to discuss this part of the farm with strangers, and will not be able to share in words that part of the story, and here is where I must let the painting, “Buried Sins”, speak for me.
    When I first came around an old building and saw the barrels in the painting resting and rotting upon the old rail road ties, I knew I would paint this scene.  I have done so now countless times.  I will paint it again probably off and on till I’m dead.  In “Buried Sins” I almost—so close—come to what I want to say.  One of the reasons I sometimes paint series is because I can never “get it quite right”.  And when something really stirs my soul I find I have to keep trying to capture it.
    The painting represents great loss, both in a past which is gone now forever, but especially in the idea of what could have been.  Yet what is important is that the model is looking up away from what she is doing, turning in that half glance while pausing in work, towards a light which comes from the hill above, yet is not viewed directly by the viewer.  This light represents hope, and perhaps a redemption here on this earth, or a peace when our struggles at last fade away and we cross the final river.

    — George Bodine



    Sunday Morning, Mevagissey, England by Ned Mueller

    $1,000 Cash, 2nd Prize Winner

    Ned Mueller is an accomplished fine art painter who has been drawing and painting all of his life. His body of work covers a wide variety of subjects and mediums and includes landscapes, marine life, portraits, figurescapes, drawings, and plein air paintings.

    Ned attended the prestigious Art Center School of Design in Los Angeles and began teaching art classes while he was still a student. For his first 25 years as an artist he worked as an illustrator and since 1984 he has devoted full time to his art. He continually strives to enhance his knowledge and skills by attending workshops with master artists.  Several of his articles on painting have been published by The Artist’s Magazine. He teaches painting workshops in the United States and abroad and is frequently requested to jury shows.

    Aaron Schuerr writes about Ned in his article for Pastel Journal (December 2013):  "When Ned Mueller paints a face, he gets more than a likeness — he captures a spark of life.”

    Ned was designated as a Master Signature Artist by the Oil Painters of America.  He has won numerous awards and is a signature member of several painting societies, including Laguna Plein Air Painters, Puget Sound Group of Northwest Painters, and the American Society of Marine Artists, and is often invited to participate in distinguished art shows throughout the country. Many of his works are held in private collections and museums and currently can be seen at Mountainsong Gallery in Carmel and Wood River Fine Arts in Idaho. Ned was born in Wisconsin, raised in Montana, and currently resides in Renton, Washington. He enjoys traveling and is always looking for interesting new subjects to paint.  

    To view additional paintings, visit www.NedMueller.com.

    Enviable Flight by Mary Helsaple

    $500 Cash, 3rd Prize Winner

    Mary Helsaple is a wildlife artist, nature photographer, business owner, and wildlife film producer.  She has lived and worked in Colorado Springs since 1976.  She grew up in California and has a Bachelor of Fine Art degree with a minor in Life Science from San Francisco State University.

    Mary's passion for the natural world led to expeditions in Central and South America, Mexico, and Trinidad and Tobago in the Caribbean with her partner and cinematographer, Neal Williams.  She describes herself as a realistic and narrative painter, saying, "My goal is to tell a story that connects people to nature. My favorite subjects are found in the dynamic and diverse stories I have discovered while exploring the rainforests of South America and the wilderness in North America."

    She continues: "I have an insatiable curiosity about what I see in remote and wilderness places.  These collections of images and visual relationships rush though my mind and emerge as statements about who we are as a society, and how connected or disconnected we are with the natural world.  Each painting contains a point of convergence — a single pivotal idea.  I purposefully control luminosity, composition, value and the subtle building of color to support that central idea."

    Mary's work can be found in major private and corporate collections including US Fish and Wildlife, Department of the Interior, and Forbes Magazine Corporate Collection. In addition to her focus on art, much of her work and time has contributed to programs and causes that help wildlife around the world.

    Mary Helsaple is currently participating in the Gateway To Sedona Artist Competition.  To see additional paintings and read more about Mary, visit www.Helsaple.com.

    Photo: Enviable Flight (Red-fronted Amazon Parrots and Spatula-tailed Hummingbird, Bromeliad), 32"w x 38"h, watercolor.

    Indian Summer by Jason Sacran

    $1,000 Cash, 2nd Prize Winner

    Jason Sacran is an accomplished fine art painter who has been honored with numerous prestigious awards and accolades for his body of work that includes portraits, landscapes, still life, drawings, and plein air paintings.

    Full Moon Night by Jason SacranOf his inspiration, Jason says, "My work is about the process of creating by painting subjects that evoke a mood or feeling introspectively. I am interested in documenting things of today, mostly with overlooked or even forgotten aspects of everyday life – scenes we pass by every day, objects we often use, people we know well, but hardly ever think twice about. In the chaos of daily life, I believe we all take the simple and familiar things for granted. Sometimes they are the very things we come to miss."

    Jason's paintings reflect his words as the artist creates paintings that ignite the sense of a forgotten memory, of places that are somehow familiar, as if coming from a dream only later remembered.  

    Jason and his family live in Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he was the curator for the Fort Smith Art Center for almost three years. In 2010, Jason became a full-time painter, and part-time instructor for the University of Arkansas Fort Smith. He is also the Arkansas State Ambassador for the Portrait Society of America.

    Jason's achievements include a first place award in the Portrait Society of Americas 2011 Members Competition, Best of Show in the 2010 Wisconsin Plein Air Painter Association Annual Competition and Best of Show in the 2010 Winthrop Rockefeller Institution Invitational. Although known for his figurative and portrait work, Jason is quickly rising as a top plein air painter.

    To view his additional paintings, visit : www.JasonSacran.com

    Quaker State by John Jasper

    $500 Cash, Third Prize Winner

    John Jaster is an award-winning painter whose works evoke the blissful serenity of  times past.  He currently lives in the Southern California mountains but spends a lot of time working in Dayton, Ohio, as the outdoor scenes in his paintings reflect the many parks and rivers in the area.

    Originally from Columbus, Ohio, John moved to California many years ago. Lake Arrowhead, California, where he now lives, is a picturesque village around a mountain lake, and a place where many old Hollywood movies were made.

    John prefers the use of thick acrylics due to the short drying time and the ease of making changes while he works.

    He was a finalist in the The Artist's Magazine's Annual Art Competition, was featured in  NOAPS Online International Exhibition in 2013 and is an accepted artist in the Raebec Gallery International Art Affair Exhibition.

    To see more of John Jaster's art, visit www.JohnJasterStudio.com.