At a lively and colorful gathering last month honoring the winners of the All About Art Club's spring show and sale, some of the honorees were "shocked" at being chosen, while others marveled that they had joined the club "thinking I had no talent."
"Best in Show" went to Pat Wilund, whose evocative watercolor "The Rookery" captures the otherworldly quality of a gathering of white ibis at the U.S. 278 entrance to Sun City Hilton Head.
In her watercolor, Wilund said she used the "pouring" method, which involves pouring one paint color then another on the canvas, and guarantees that the painting cannot be copied. Wilund said she began watercolor work about seven years ago.
Winning works in the show included portraiture; abstract paintings with subjects such as stained glass windows; nature studies of a brilliant blue jay and a delicate rendering of a butterfly, and pastels of such homey images as soda bread. Winners were selected by a panel of judges. These artists from outside Sun City were unaware of the identity of the participating artists, thereby guaranteeing neutrality.Mediums represented ranged from mixed media to oil, drawings in pen and ink, and acrylics.
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Sandee Goodman was a double winner in the watercolor category, taking first and second places with her works "Flower Power" and "Dinner for One." She said she had painted for years in oil and acrylics but upon moving to Sun City six years ago, took up watercolor.
Some winners were newcomers to art, while others, like Goodman, had taken art courses.
Martha O'Brien, who was a double winner in mixed media, taking second place and an honorable mention, said inspiration for her work can be as simple as "an idea just popping into my mind."
Art takes time
Others, like "Best of Show" winner Wilund, said they contemplated their subject for long periods and then finally turned inspiration into art.Normandy Gack, first place winner in the acrylic division for her portrait, "Maya," said she was flabbergasted to have won. Her painting was inspired by a photograph she saw years ago that "kept calling me back." She began painting seven years ago. Linda Grady, president of the All About Art Club, said the club offers a place for members who love the arts to "be comfortable and get along with other artists. We want it to be a place for the arts to come together." Grady, who is a newcomer herself to art and won an honorable mention in the recent show,said the club's education arm is "very important. We offer classes year round to members. We are lucky we have so many wonderful, talented people who live here and are willing to teach," she said.
Several times a year, the club brings in outside artists to do demonstrations and lectures. "We have lots of people who have never painted before. I never painted before. I did teach art in elementary school one year and I found I really enjoyed it," Grady said.
The club, which has about 260 members, arranges trips for members to places such as the Savannah College of Art and Design, and museums and galleries. Dues are $20 yearly. The club has open studios and classes; a newsletter, a library of books and videos, and access to the studio during off-hours and weekends.
Coming in first
First place winners in the following categories in the art show were: Abstract, M. Denis Reshetar; Acrylic, Normandy Gack; Drawing, Sallie Thompson; Mixed Media, June Lundy; Pastel, Patricia H. Everson; Oil, Jay Kenaga; Watercolor, Sandee Goodman;; Novice, Hillary Walla.