Beautiful Watercolors; A Close-Up with the Award Winning Artists

Watercolor: A Closer Look at our 

6 Award Winners

Best of show

Denny Dowdy - "Old Farmhouse"

Artist Denny Dowdy was the first place winner in last year's exhibit, and this year he submitted another technically profound and creative watercolor which earned Best of Show.

While each of his pieces contains highly detailed elements, no individual piece of his  never overwhelms the finished work.

The jurors felt "Old Farmhouse" is a great example of fine detail work, and the tight composition with great shapes and values really showcases Denny's strong technical skills.


Jake Marshall - "Birches and Bunny"

Artist Jake Marshall with his other piece, "Vermont Swirl"

1st Place

Jake Marshall - "Birches and Bunny"

There's a lot going on in our first place winner. Detailed birch trees, three tiny birds, and of course one bunny mid-leap can be found in this serene setting.

The jurors were impressed by the boldness of the piece, they felt it was a nice graphic composition done in a unique style.

And while the piece may be slightly abstract, it still demonstrates strong technical skills. The various textures of the trees, the subtle presence of the grass, and the layering are phenomenal to view in person.


2nd Place

Diane Stolz - Snow Creek

Subtle violet shadows trace across a snowy creek in winter, while the trees behind still contain vivid warmth from autumn.

The jurors selected this work by Diane Stolz for its fresh color and spontaneous brushwork. 

The artist's other three pieces were also in the running for a prize, but "Snow Creek" was a favorite for its impressive elements.

The landscape is dotted with small grasses peeking out the snow as well as being lined with the trees, and the jurors felt she handled the complex subjects with strong technical skills.


3rd place

Barbara Waterman-Peters - Garden Iris

Barbara Waterman-Peters is a Topeka favorite, known both for her delicate watercolors and her incredibly dark surreal work in oils.

Her piece "Garden Iris" took third prize out of the several paintings she has in the show. 

A very controlled piece with great color and  values, the jurors felt this was another strong example of a well-structured and executed watercolor.

The bright purples and whites of the flowers are beautifully accented by the bright green foliage, while the subtle creams and greys in the white petals feels natural in the scene.

The artist has made a simple composition of garden flowers feel grand, and the jurors were impressed by its controlled and stylish design.


Honorable mention

John Roush - Levasy Deere

Levasy Deere is a piece which comes from Levasy, Missouri, where lots of old farm tools are left to rest near old town buildings. 

This Deere is parked next to an old tire repair store, possibly forever.

The small Watercolor caught the jurors' eyes with its impressive sharp details packed into a 5 X 7 in. space. The lighting and architecture showcase strong technical skills, as well.

It's one of two small works by John Roush in this year's watercolor, see the rest in his gallery here.


Honorable Mention

Connie English - "Hawaiian Floral"

The jurors chose this piece for its colorful and expressive work. They also felt it was a chance to honor great personal growth from an artist who is continuously working to improve their technical skills. 

It's a very pleasing arrangement of flowers and a joyful slice of summertime, captured in a watercolor to be enjoyed in every season.


People's Choice: "Spring jubilation"

This piece by Naomi Cashman stole the hearts of many in the crowd at our ArtWalk, earning enough votes to be crowned "People's Choice." It was up against all the other work in the gallery, not just our watercolors. Characteristic of Naomi Cashman's work, the piece is extremely refined and very impressive in its execution.

The light reflecting off the petals, especially of the yellow tulip, is extremely convincing. The piece also lives up to the joy in its name; its composition is expressive and showcases the vivid colors and energy of springtime. The ladybug resting on the leaf in the background is another fun element to the piece.