I am so pleased to announce
The winners of 2020 There’s Enough for Everyone Challenge
34 votes for TP Pandemic
28 votes for New Norm Needs
23 votes for Tiny Wisdom
TP Pandemic:Gretchen Huff
Watercolor of joyful pandas interacting with toilet paper.
After working with oils as a child, Gretchen later discovered pastels and finally watercolors. With this medium, she fell in love with the flow of the paint, the drama of lighting and the wonderful effect of glazing. In her work, she loves to tell a story and delights in finding an appropriate title. All living creatures and the many shapes and tones of our desert vegetation inspire her. Her work can be found in collections across the U.S., in Canada and in Europe. She is a Signature Member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild (SAWG) and is a working member of the artist-owned, artist-operated art gallery, Desert Artisans, 6563 E. Tanque Verde Rd., in Tucson. There you can view her paintings and a little book entitled “Cat Tales,” which she designed and illustrated for the author, Ned Mackey. Along with paintings of the southwest, Gretchen offers her “Crazy Cat” series featuring wild colors and “catly” poses.
New Norm Needs: Barbara Borgwardt
Still life. Toilet paper, Sanitizer, Mask, water.
Our new needs. Most needed is TOUCH
Barbara Borgwardt resides in Green Valley, Arizona. Originally from Milwaukee Wisconsin, Barbara was a free lance fashion illustrator and an instructor at a private women’s college for twenty-five years. She studied watercolor for six years with a Wisconsin Watercolorist and began exhibiting and winning awards for her work. Since she has moved to Arizona she continues to paint, exhibit, and receive awards. Besides painting, she teaches watercolor at “Tubac Center of the Arts” in the artist community of Tubac, Arizona.
Tiny Wisdom: The Pursuit of More: Myrna York
Sumi E Ink on Paper
In the East, sumi-E is a very highly respected art form, practiced by artists, monks, and lay people. Painting with ink is a way to discipline the mind by making it a daily ritual of mindfulness. Sumi-E is about balance between painting and calligraphy, of ideas in images and words.
Classes for sumi-E are difficult to find. York has had to travel to seek master teachers in the US. So far she has studied with Sung Sook Setton in New York, Cheng Khee Chee in Virginia, Yunn Pann in Denver, and Joy Mills in Tucson. She plans to pursue further studies as the opportunity arises. “Even the masters do not consider themselves masters,” York says because the medium demands consistent practice, allowing the artist to continually grow in many aspects. The practice teaches not only painting techniques but also humility and compassion. Sumi-E is not an isolated activity such as work, hobby, or play. It is a very disciplined exercise that demands harmony between body and mind. Every stroke of the brush is deliberately performed without going back to touch up as in slicing with a samurai sword delivered with total focus. Each brush stroke conveys the artistʼs state of mind showing confidence or hesitation, concentration or tentativeness, positive or negative attitude. However, judgment is reserved and reflected upon as in life by practicing forgiveness and flexibility and allowing room for improvement.
York is adept at rendering realism and abstract art in any medium. Twenty five years of teaching in a variety of media to school children is evident in her dexterity of her sumi-E brush work. She does not restrict herself to pure classical sumi-E even though her daily practice begins with the eight basic calligraphy brush strokes. “In your practice start by learning one and continue until you understand ten. From ten you must return to the original one.” This is her mantra every time
she starts grinding her ink before she picks up the brush and focuses on centering the mind and body, maintaining stability, then wielding the brush into a rhythmic and poetic cadence.
Myrna York has her studio in Tubac, Arizona where she maintains her daily practice. The set-up for sumi-E is fairly simple: brush, ink, ink stone, and paper and a quiet corner for painting. She finds the best time to start is at 5 AM and the rest of the day is devoted to golf and playing the classical guitar. “Iʼm a bit of a busy bee, never restricted to any one place,” York admits. This is also evident in her oeuvre. she may be working with ink but a large canvas is up for oil or another table is set for sumi-E and another for
watercolor. “This is who I am, I guess it comes from having taught six different lessons a day for many years.” This may sound like the typical scatter-brained artist but in truth Myrna York is highly organized and is very systematic in her production schedule. This is why she is attracted to
sumi-E. The irony lies in the deceptive simplicity of sumi-E and yet it requires the most complex thinking skills. The subtle nuances are embedded in the brush strokes. The yin and the yang come together in a dance, in an imperfect balance the way nature has intended it to be.
Thanks to everyone who participated and for the generous donors.
A special thanks to Rori Wailes who spurred the idea and made the arrangements for the proceed of entry feest o be distributed by Montessori de Santa Cruz Charter School to local Tubac families in need during this time of shortages and isolation.
Winners I will contact you about prizes in the next couple days.
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