Raymar Art Painting Competition 2011-2012 6th Annual Competition Winners

I accepted Cathy Dietrich's offer to do the final judging for this 2011-2012 Raymar Art Competition / Exhibition, not fully understanding what it was really going to require of me! I had no idea that I would be looking at and judging such a high level of skilled artists and art. This has got to be some of the finest work produced world-wide. Looking at these beautiful images, I felt that it was an almost impossible task.

I viewed and studied the 144 paintings three or four times in its entirety, and then I viewed my "final cut" of nearly 40 paintings many times. Subjectivity always enters the realm even though one tries to be as objective as he can.

To keep from going crazy, I had to immediately become a decision maker. As I've found with judging national exhibitions of such a high caliber, I have to go with my first impressions, and that's just the person that you are in those particular moments. It's just who we are! If you string out the process, you'll end up having the 12 finalists all having reasons for being best of show, or 2nd, or 3rd place. If I viewed this exhibition on a different day, honestly, I'm sure there would be different results because of the experiences of that particular day. That is the reality of things. Every painting in the final 12 that were awarded winners based on my decisions were of the highest art level. There were many, many other paintings out of the 144 that could rival these in some facets. In fact, there were 38 paintings that made my final cut and I wish I could have given those paintings honorable mentions. This is the way it always goes when I judge. I feel badly that I can't include those paintings with these 12. Nevertheless, Raymar stops at "12" finalists. I may or may not have made 12 people happy, but I'm very concerned about the feelings of all the other people that were deserving and that didn't receive an award, at least an honorable mention.

Just to make the list of the 144 is quite an accomplishment and honor when I'm sure there were thousands entered over the year process.

This was a tremendous body of work, and it is a humbling position to pass judgment. I am hugely honored to be involved in the Raymar Art Competition as the final juror! Thank you Cathy and Emily, for asking me and thank you for offering such a fine competition. I now have fully realized the responsibility it takes to do this job!

C.W. Mundy








   $10,000 Grand Prize Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Blackness Over the Lower Street by Tibor Nagy
16 x 20 Oil

Judge's Comments: - Mood paintings can speak to the soul, in many cases, emphatically. This painting immediately moved me by its beauty and mood and emotional content. It has that "Wow" factor! "Blackness Over the Lower Street" by Tibor Nagy won the top honors because the artist took the liberties to be inventive with realism. Being so creative and exploring outside the box to me is the greatest thrill and journey in the painting experience. Scraping paint and laying fresh patches over it, distorting shapes, having an enormous variety of edgework coupled with the exciting sophisticated use of the palette knife pushed this piece to the top. The abstraction of reality makes this piece an icon of the highest execution. It demands the viewer to keep looking and looking and looking and searching. Congratulations to Tibor who is someone people will be watching for a long time! - CW Mundy








   $5,000 2nd Place Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Keyhole Rock by Joshua Clare
24 x 30 Oil

Judge's Comments: This image "Keyhole Rock" by Joshua Clare might be the most interesting piece of reality in the entire competition. It is not only spectacularly designed but is executed with some of the finest brush-work. I can't take my eyes off this piece. The description of light and shadow is at the highest level of understanding, and the working of the color harmonies of blue and orange with its close counterparts on the color wheel (violet and yellow ochre) make the color beautiful to observe. Wow!!! I don't know when or where I've seen a more interesting landscape piece. The addition of the warm orange transitional value between shadow and light really makes the light pop. The "centrality of focus" ...The passageway through the rock has the darkest dark, sharpest edge, and one of the lightest lights outlined by the shadow to exhibit the primary focus. It's a resting spot, a resolve, and an anchor for the viewer. Also, the secondary and tertiary areas with the nose shape on the left side of the rock and the nose shape of the shadow on the lower right are great complements of each other...a great balancing act in design. Congratulations Josh for such a wonderful piece! - CW Mundy








   $2, 500 3rd Place Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Old Harbor in Cap Ferrat by Derek Penix
24 x 24 Oil

Judge's Comments: This painting, "Old Harbor in Cap Ferrat" by Derek Penix to me is the essence of the 19th c. "turn-of-the-century" look in painting. This piece reminds me of complex personalities of many of the French Impressionists turned into one. It's like Claude Monet, Pissarro, Degas... on "STEROIDS". The abstract quality of all the receding boats in the background are understood because of the "association factor".....we know they are boats because of the literalness of the ones in the foreground sitting on the water...your mind will fill in the blanks. I love the abstract quality of the dark cover in the lower boat which duplicates the water value and keeps you from being "hung up" on the first boat...it's only an introduction to the second boat that is fully disclosed. The concrete wharf is a great design tool to move you up through the boats to get to the ones at the back. The color palette is absolutely stunning because of the sophistication and control of chroma. The hot orange stripe on the second boat with a little more chroma in the blue is wonderfully complimented by the rest of the tonal color passages. Watch the blue continue to recede back through the boats and end up as a cover in the back boats. You don't usually see people paint water this color because the left side of their brain tells them, "It's got to be blue!" This is a museum piece, if I've ever seen one. And I wish it were in my own collection!!! Derek is a diamond in the rough and a fast approaching star! You're awesome, baby!!! Congratulations Derek! - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Self Portrait With Fur Hat by A Westerberg
24 x 16 Oil

Judge's Comments: "Self Portrait with Fur Hat" by Aaron Westerberg is a very stunning and wonderfully painted piece. The design quality is at the highest level of a master's work. Every brush stroke around the face and hat gives such tremendous movement with color harmony. Wow!!! The sensitivity coexisting with the stoic pose is breath-taking! You just want to keep looking and looking! If I were going to have someone do my portrait for posterity, Aaron would be at the top of the list! I seriously wish I could add this one to the top three! ....make it "3- B"!!! Congrats Aaron! - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Little Girl with Toy Cars by Yen-Ching Chang
28 x 22 Oil

Judge's Comments: This is another painting that appears to me to have a lot of the "turn of the century" look and feel to the portrait. Terrific design and a well-crafted head. It is so wonderfully painted. Congrats to Yen-Ching Chang for "Little Girl With Toy Cars". - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Gospel Musician Dr. Trevor W. Payne by Steven Rosati
36" x 36" Oil

Judge's Comments: This wonderfully executed photorealistic painting has shades of the early Chuck Close pieces. The discipline in detail is at the highest level. What is extremely special to me is that this artist's precision painting skills did not drop off with the hands, which often happens. The hands are as believable as everything else. I am absolutely perplexed that someone has the ability to paint with this level of skill. I was stunned when I first saw this piece. It is a phenomenal work. Congrats to Steven Rosati for his painting "Gospel Musician Dr. Trevor W. Payne"! - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Farms Across the Valley Floor by Bryan Mark Taylor
11 x 14 Oil

Judge's Comments: "Farms Across The Valley Floor" is a spectacular impression of a designed reality. The suggestive quality of the entire execution of brushwork makes it more beautiful than the reality in a photograph. This is a perfect example for those impressionists who can actually boast that there painting looks better than the actual scene. Extreme sensitivity and brush manipulation and color. It's a phenomenal piece of high art. Congrats Bryan Mark Taylor! - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Dolls, Books, & Crayons by Daniel Keys
16 x 20 Oil

Judge's Comments: "Dolls, Books, & Crayons" is a brilliant piece!!! The design of this painting coupled with the color harmonies of green and red, and yellow and violet, and blue and orange are extremely are extremely well crafted. The rhythms of white and the rhythms of color harmonies continue to move you around this composition. It's a very creative idea with a huge variety of painting manipulations; huge variety but unified in all the disciplines - value, color, edges, paint manipulation. A very interesting usage of the "equalization" theory created by the American Modernists (1920's - 30's), although, for me, there may be a "centrality" or "resting place" at the cup with the crayons. Bravo to Daniel Keys!!! - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Girl with silk headscarf by Cheng Lian
36 x 24 Oil

Judge's Comments: What an attractive painting! Fantastic design, well disciplined paint quality with great attention to the important details. The hair down in the face takes this painting to a whole other higher level. It conjures up a narrative that has many questions. Very interesting piece that demands you look it over well. Congrats to Cheng Lian for "Girl with Silk Headscarf"! - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

More Than You Can Chew by Joel Carson Jones
24 x 20 Oil

Judge's Comments: I don't think there's a better "Harnett" than this piece!!! What a skilled technician with an outstanding, creative idea to make it 3-dimensional! This piece is more than just "fool-the-eye", it has sophisticated color harmonies and unbelievably top notch edge work in a realistic look. I really love looking at this piece. The more I look, the more I see. And for me, that doesn't usually happen with realistic paintings. It's a real eye-stopper. Congrats Joel Carson Jones for "More Than You Can Chew"! - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

solemn by David Kassan
35 x 25 Oil

Judge's Comments: This painting "Solemn" is at the highest level of realism and abstractionism that I've seen. The tonality is brilliant with slight sprinkles of very limited chroma right where the artist wants you to look. It is so sophisticated. What a phenomenal execution and discipline and talent. The mood takes it to a whole other place. It is a thought-provoking piece. I want to keep staring at it!!! And many artists could have judged this as the best of show. I'm in awe. Congrats David Kassan! - CW Mundy








   $1,000 Winner
Award Sponsor: RayMar Art
Judge: C.W. Mundy

Sow the Seed by Tanya Bone
18 x 24 Oil

Judge's Comments: This painting, "Sow the Seed" by Tanya Bone is the epitome of choosing such a mundane subject and making it beyond realism. Only someone as talented as this artist could pull off such a powerful statement. The irregular rhythms in the subjects coupled with a powerful centrality of focus in the shovel is amazing. The details of textures of the subjects are accurately described and the varieties of metal from different rusts to the shiny shovel is so believable. This painting reminds me of Trevor Chamberlain's painting of an old man burning trash. Who would paint that? and the same with this!!! Only someone who has a creative vision and intuitiveness with the skills and ability to pull it off. This is a show-stopper. And many could pick this as the top painting. I love creative thinking, and this is at the top! Congrats Tanya! - CW Mundy