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Award Sponsor: RayMar Art

Cypress Sunset
by Laurie Kersey
Oil 30 x 40

Entered in: 8th Annual Competition Month #8 - November 2014

Judge's Comments: This painting is imbued with an outstanding sense of natural light. Anyone who has set out to include the sun in their frame of view can appreciate how it can create a host of problems, none the least of which is the fact that paint itself cannot match the dynamic range of light. Thus, as Turner once advised, “Do not set out to paint the light, paint the effects of light instead.” Laurie not only succeeds at delivering the light, she composes with it as well. Note how the upper boughs of the cypress tree breaks down where the sunlight passes through the needles. Look at how she leads our eyes downwards using light diffracting on the water below. Note the soft penumbra along the shoreline and the delicate top and back lighting on the distant cypress trunks, before we finally land on the illuminated foreground. Laurie does more than replicate a view, she is designs with the tools light has given her. Also note how this vertical movement is placed off-center, yet counter weighted by the silhouette and shadows of the cypress tree to our left. A classic light/dark reversal, asymmetrically balanced. Laurie twists and weaves natural shapes and forms to create an interesting flow. Some of the flow originates from the powerful forces this landscape is subject to but Laurie is not just copying what is there. She is making decisions that reinforce rhythm and movement throughout this painting. There are inward and lateral movements. There are diagonals movements that roll off to our right and curvilinear movements that draw us back towards the center. And throughout it all she uses selective lost and found edges to pick out areas of interest. - Thomas Jefferson Kitts