|Colored Pencil Artwork Gains Credibility
By Cynthia Knox
The three artwork pieces here, L to R: “Scentsation”, “Contemplating Heaven”, and
“Garden of Eden” are colored pencil works that I created.
|Creating 3-D Art from Paper
By Francene Levinson
The 3 works above are 3-dimensional paper forms created by the artist
"Look for art exhibitions where the jury is composed of art
educators, curators, critics, and gallery directors."
|Bridging the Gap Between Artists and Museums
Many art museums and galleries host juried exhibitions to
recognize emerging artists, promote art education, and
introduce the public to the dynamic evolution of art
history. Not all emerging artists gain the recognition they
desire or deserve. Curators and critics can miss worthy
artists who later win respect. This disconnect is not new.
The struggle for lifetime recognition has even troubled art
celebrities including James Whistler, Vincent Van Gogh,
Vermeer, and Amedeo Modigliani.
Audience disconnects can cause artists to question the
value of exhibitions. Yet the exercise of making
application and attending exhibitions remains a worthy
By Michele L. Bechtell - Director of the Madison Museum of Fine Art, Madison,
Michele L. Bechtell
Hopefully a globally depressed economy, weariness of widespread financial
irresponsibility and unsustainable public debt may reset the aesthetic clock to
raise awareness that visual art is worthy of the pursuit of excellence.
Be honest. What type of art do you create? Is it powerful contemplative art?
Or is it decorative? There is no shame in declaring your works as solely
intended to decorate a room or hotel lobby.
There is prosperity for artists in the decorative arts industry. Many talented
artists convert walls, windows, and floors into a pleasing aesthetic experience
using a variety of media. So, embrace your style and look for the proper
audience and market.
Are you essentially a graphic designer? Are you an illustrator? Are you a
photographer? And if so, what kind?
Present your work to the appropriate audience. If you are seeking recognition
as a fine art artist, beware. No serious collector or art museum wants an
imitation of an earlier artist. The audience for imitations is the decoration
industry. There is something different about a “fine art” artist. Fine art exudes
a rarefied essence, a rigor, an intriguing pulse, a mesmerizing atmosphere, a
unique “je ne sais quoi” that differentiates it from decorative art.
Avoid an attitude of entitlement. The early 21st century is marked by a broad
feeling of entitlement in many aspects of American community life. And art is
no exception. A syndicated column in a local newspaper recently admonished
readers with an obligation to buy art from local artists because they are
struggling. That is nonsense. Most everyone strives for recognition in his or
her profession, and art is no exception.
Activity doesn’t guarantee an audience or income even for art masters. Many
Sunday painters are not fine artists. For the fine art artist, art is a passion and
a calling. It cannot be stopped by way of poverty, public rejection, critical
review, or adoration.
True artists more often suffer despair when they cannot achieve a desired
artistic effect than worry about public appeal. Many artists support their art
work through independent means.
Develop a signature aesthetic. Are you doing something different than other
artists, not for sensationalism but grounded in a unique artistic vision? During
academic training, all apples look like apples. And many artists can imitate
However, most museums and discerning collectors seek more. They are
intrigued when, after much practice and experimentation, the unique seed of
an art genius bursts forth in a signature “artistic voice.” It is that revolutionary
uniqueness that helps define an art master generations later. So find your
unique aesthetic fingerprint.
Confront your fears. Many visual art masters did not bask in the adulation of
peers and public. Rather, in pursuit of their vision, they sometimes offended
their audience. Artists like James Whistler, Eugene Delacroix, Eduard Manet,
Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh, and Jackson Pollock challenged artistic
perceptions of their era.
So be brave. Push to break through stylistic fears, perceived technical
challenges, or taboo subjects that intrigue you, not for the shock value, but
because you are compelled to create.
Go to Museums, Live in Museums. There are reasons that certain artists and
their creations withstand the test of time and are celebrated across decades
and centuries. World class art history museums celebrate the artists and
original artworks that defined and redefined human history.
Find an original work you admire or dislike and enter a virtual dialogue with
the art master. Take your sketch pad to the museum and experiment. Create
a homage to the art master. Attempt to reproduce an admirable visual
attribute. Reinterpret a work in your terms and artistic vision.
Above all, look, see, and reflect. Breathe though your eyes and celebrate your
artistic gift as part of the cultural continuum of man’s history.
© The American Juried Art Salon
Michele L. Bechtell has over 20 years experience in art brokering, art
appraising, and art education. She currently serves as Director of the
Madison Museum of Fine Art, a juror for the American Juried Art Salon, art
appraiser, and a court certified expert witness in art related matters.
I am a colored pencil artist who has learned how to take a few pencils and a piece
of drawing paper and turn out something respectable as a finished product. A
great deal of practice and excellent instruction from Ann Kullberg, Lee Hammond,
and Barbara Edidin, all leaders in the colored pencil world, have enabled me to
enjoy some success with this medium. Colored pencils used to be for grade
school artists and hobbyists. Now, however, they have found their way into
galleries, commercial art departments, and high end private collections. The
Colored Pencil Society of America has made great strides in raising awareness of
colored pencil artwork and sponsors juried competitions that feature exceptional
artists and their masterpieces.
There are two basic colored pencil styles. The first appears to be more of a
drawing. It is looser, the strokes are obvious, and there is more texture evident.
The second style and my personal preference reflects a more painterly finish.
Layer upon layer is applied, and a technique called “burnishing” is used to bring
colors up to a high gloss. This combined with a very detailed technical approach
can transform a colored pencil “drawing” into a painting despite the dry medium.
(Think pastel paintings here.)
Drawing and painting in colored pencil is extremely easy to learn! There are many
how-to books on the market, and I have benefited greatly from those sold by
Walter Foster Publishing (www.walterfoster.com).
In fact, I was honored to be chosen to author two of them with the most recent
one being Colored Pencil Basics, which is soon to be released. This art medium
is affordable, portable, and enjoyable. You can start with a simple object and
learn shading techniques and color blending. This could lead up to a complicated
project such as a still life, landscape, or a portrait. The possibilities are endless!
My camera and all things beautiful are my inspiration.
There is never a day that I’m not working on something new and exciting, whether
it is a single rose or a horse portrait with full background. I strongly encourage
you to explore this relatively new medium and enjoy creating something new and
“We entrust our dreams to the fragility of paper…”
I am a contemporary artist expanding upon the time-honored medium of
complex paper folding to find new forms of expression.
"The discovery of Chinese “Zhe Zhi” modular paper folding was a shared cultural
experience taught to me by one of my Florida middle school art students. It was
taught to him by his grandmother. Working in this ancient paper folding medium
allows me to create my own unique sculptural forms that give a singular voice to
the unity of many.
My abstract sculptural style is based on revealing the dynamic lines of various
organic forms including plant life, ocean life, and birds. Natural forms allow me to
explore their architecture, as well as their hidden mathematical beauty. I use
multiple folded pieces of paper to do this. Each folded paper unit becomes a
point that creates the topology of changing planes. The original Chinese paper
folding technique I use is called Zhe Zhi.
This type of folk art is modular in nature. However, I use it as a fine art sculptural
medium; my work contains many more folded pieces of paper than the original
Chinese folk art. When creating abstract paper sculpture I use as many as 6500
pieces of folded color acid-free paper, bonded with acid-free glue. "
Creating abstract contemporary sculpture from flat paper is a challenge that
consistently reveals the architectural power of paper.
Upon being introduced to this unique modular Chinese paper technique, I
researched it further and discovered its ancient origins. Buddhist monks
introduced paper as they travelled across Asia, ultimately introducing paper to
Japan around 750A.D. The Japanese took paper making to heart and ultimately
coined the generic word for paper folding, “Origami”. The ancient “Zhe Zhi”
Chinese modular paper folding technique was introduced to the West for the
very first time in 1993. That is when Chinese immigrant artists were captured off
the ship, “The Golden Venture." The unique paper folk art they created while in
an American prison served as my inspiration to explore this medium. The paper
sculpture I now create attempts to honor these immigrants’ struggle for freedom.
My art reflects the fragility and the strength of both paper and the universal
struggle for freedom.
“We entrust our dreams to the fragility of paper…” said a Chinese immigrant.
For a fresh art experience create a paper sculpture today.
Here are patterns & instructions for you!
Web site © The American Juried Art Salon (AJAS). All Rights Reserved.
|Establishing partnerships between artists and art museums
|Distributing top-quality art to U.S. art museums
of the Arts,
Lynn Fero, Vice
John B. Henry, III,
Institute of Arts,
Christine M. McCarthy,
Michele L. Bechtell,
Museum of Fine Art;
Curator of Collections
Jule Collins Smith
Museum of Fine Art;
Philip R. Jackson,
of Art, Painting; The
Dr. Lee A. Gray
Dr Gwen F. Chanzit,
Curator, Modern and
Curator, Herbert Bayer
Collection and Archive;
Denver Art Museum,
|Dr Heather Campbell
Peter Baldaia, Director
of Curatorial Affairs,
Huntsville Museum of
Art, Huntsville, Alabama
Griffin Museum of
Dr. Charles Garoian
former director of
Penn State's School
of Visual Arts
Aritsts, Curators, Educators, Museum Directors who
have raised the level of judging art at AJAS
Special thanks to our friends and associates, including:
|Establishing partnerships between artists, art museums, and art organizations
All images of artist-created works on this website are the property of their respective artists and shall not be copied or reproduced without the permission of the artist
Communications Director: Keith Yingling
A Look at the Art in the 17th Biannual Show
and what the Awards Judge said
Fear Makes Art More Engaging
Lynda Burbank, a California artist, won the first
place award with her oil on canvas piece,
"Fox's Vanity Top." Second place was captured
by Ma SingLing, an artist trio from Taiwan, with
their oil and acrylic painting entitled "A Deep
Breath." Patrick Parise took 3rd place with his
acrylic on canvas work "Crossroads."
The Awards judge was Dr. Lee A. Gray, the
Curator of Exhibitions & Collections for the
Paul and Lulu Hilliard University Art Museum;
University of Louisiana at Lafayette.
Fox's Vanity Top, by Lynda Burbank. 18 x 24. Oil
Said Dr. Gray about the
second place work: " I liked
the idea of using both oil
and acrylic in this work as
well as the morphing of
representational fantasy with
abstract expressionism. "
The awards judge commented
on the third place piece:"This
work impressed me for its use
of color and line. I think the
composition is striking
because it is both pleasing
What was the inspiration of this
work? Patrick Parise answers:
"Crossroads was part of a solo
show called 'Abstractions' in
2010. Thirty one were created,
Ma Sing Ling as a collaborative team works to challenge the free flow and fluidity
of the paint and manages to control and bring out the self-evolving spirit out of
the unpredictable and constant-moving characteristics of the image created.
The principle of their creation is to “interact with the constant-changing
phenomena by abiding by the never-changing innate virtue, and to abide in the
never-changing innate virtue while interacting with the constant-changing
phenomena of the world.”
coming from many drawings over a three year period. It was the first piece
created and became the pathway for the creation of all the others. To me
Crossroads represented the many decisions that have to be made concerning
what kind of art you will make and how to execute those ideas."
Dr Gray commented: "I
chose this one for first place
because I thought the choice
of perspective was
challenging especially in
light of it being a mirrored
composition. It is an
interesting take on a
traditional still-life rendering.
The execution is also
impressive as the painter
clearly knows the medium."
Museum Contacts with Our
Emerging Artists Up 22%
After holding at close to 10% for the
past year and a half, museum
contacts with AJAS artists (emerging)
climbed to 22% in the 1st quarter of
2013. That figure could increase as
the quarter is not yet complete.
The number of museums contacting
our artists for whatever reason is
highly accurate as all such contacts
must be made first through AJAS. The
increase in contacts could be tied to
the upturn in the national economy, as
museum ticket sales for exhibitions
have increased in past months. As a
result, museums could be planning for
future exhibitions and are exploring
what is available that is of interest to
Emerging artists as undiscovered
masters of the canvas? Consider the
case of Arthur Pinajian: a reclusive
artist whom the art world had not known
much about. Now, 14 years after his
death, he has fans who mention him in
the same breath as Jackson Pollock and
Willem de Kooning.
The art historian William Innes Homer
wrote that Mr. Pinajian had pursued
art with “the single-minded focus” that
those other painters had shown and
that “Pinajian was a creative force to
be reckoned with.”
Now there is the real possibility of
something Mr. Pinajian never enjoyed
in life: big money for his works.
Among the nearly 3 dozen works at a
Madison Avenue, New York City
gallery are two oil paintings from 1960:
No. 638, on the market for $87,000,
and No. 3868, for $72,000.
Not bad when you consider that his
hundreds of paintings were almost
thown into a trash truck several years
ago and discarded.
So, there is hope for emerging artists
Details about the show
|Each submitted piece must have been
created in 2010 or later. Minimum age per
entrant is 16. There is no special theme
and no limit to the number of submissions.
Submitting a work does not mean that
work is automatically accepted. Send
images as jpeg or tiff (less than 2 Mb) at
about 72 dpi to firstname.lastname@example.org
|The evaluation you receive shows the scored form the jurors used in grading
your piece. This provides you with ideas of what skill levels need
Participating artists receive jury-scored evaluation on all work submitted so
they can learn from the experience. If your work is accepted, art gallery
owners and directors as well as art museum personnel may view it with an
eye toward possible portfolio review, representation, placement or sale.
Knowing the specific areas that the jury studies can guide you in the
evaluation of your work and aid in your submission selections.
Consider colors that offer visual impact; unique and original content;
composition that invites the viewers gaze into the painting and has a sense of
movement; work that is both pleasing to the eye and exciting to view.
Composition can provide movement that contributes to visual excitement.
Landscapes should have color and value variation throughout. It is suggested
that angled horizon lines and tilted photographic images should be avoided.
There are 6 art divisions in all of our shows: 1. Acrylic/Oil; 2. Collage/Mixed
Media; 3. Pastel, Colored Pencil, Graphics; 4. Photography, Print-Making,
Digital Art; 5. Water Media (water color, egg tempera); 6. 3-Dimensional
(sculptural and other free standing, non animated art). When you submit the
completed Entry Form all entries must have height & width in inches or
centimeters except Photography which has no dimensions.
Three winners of the Award of Excellence will be named. Each will receive
Emerging Artist status for a 6 month period and will exhibit five works to be
shown in the Museum Guide section of Art Network News Quarterly. In
addition each winner will receive a write up on the home page of this web site
What They're Saying in
Museums and Galleries
Consider this when entering a
Being accepted into a juried show
should not be primarily about winning
money. It's about improving your art and
gaining the respect of museum directors
and curators as well as of the
educational community. Once you
accomplish this the path to professional
(non vanity) gallery representation lies
open to you.
Enter as many professional juried
exhibitions as possible. Look for art
exhibitions where the jury is composed
of art educators, directors and curators.
Having an online presence is a big
advantage. Many museums, galleries,
and collectors review the exhibitions
and prizes on artist resumes. Treat
each exhibition as a necessary step by
step approach in an audience-building
When you do not win acceptance or a
prize, maintain the worth of the
competition. Study the differential
attributes of prize winning works for
possible inclusion in your work or
rejection by choice, not capability. Do
not always assume that prize winning
works are better works of art. Rather,
consider the possibility that jurors
favored a particular aesthetic, style,
region, or audience.
Strive for excellence in a mediocre art
era. American artists inhabit a populist
mass market culture that indulges
mediocrity, instant gratification, and
gross ignorance of the God given
intelligence behind visual art.
Part of the above article is based on, and written
by, Michele L. Bechtell - Director of the Madison
Museum of Fine Art, Madison, Georgia. Read
more of what Michele has to say in the lower left
column of this page.
Dr Heather Campbell Coyle,
Curator, American Art, Delaware
Art Museum; Wilmington.
Main areas of judging:
Entry fee is $10 per image. 3-D
work must have a front and side
image (these count as one image).
The show is held online.
We accept entries worldwide.
Dr. Lee A. Gray,
Curator, Exhibitions &
Collections, Paul and
Museum; University of
Awards judge is Curator of American
Art at the Delaware Art Museum
A Deep Breath, by Ma SingLing. 39.37 x 78.74
cm. Oil and acrylic.
Crossroad, by Patrick Parise. 35 x 48. Acrylic on
AJAS Exhibition Deadline: May 31, 2013
All Participants to receive scored evaluations
Our 18th Biannual show
Award Winners to receive Emerging Artist Designation
& Museum Guide Portfolio Showing
|3 Award Winners to Receive Prizes worth $2,700