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Award Sponsor: RayMar Art

grapplers of reliable recycling
by Kirk Larsen
Oil 10 x 15

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

Judge's Comments: Initially, I flipped past this image pretty quickly but kept returning to it until I decided to pull it back into my third cut. Hereís why: Reason one: Kirk has chosen an unusual subject for such a loose and gestural outdoor effort. And given the fact the plein air crowd leans decidely towards depicting bucolic landscapes and ladies wearing white dresses in dappled light, the industrial nature of this image appealed to me. But subject alone is not enough to create a strong painting. Reason two: Kirk is using an old-time illustratorís device in this painting called counter-change. Counter-change is when one part of an object starts off as a light shape against a dark shape, and then transforms into a dark shape against a light shape. Or vice versa. If this confuses you then look at the green crane on our left. The base of the crane is dark against the light of the dirt. The carriage and upward arm of the crane is light against the dark junk pile behind it. Then, the arm turns dark again past the elbow as it heads downwards, against the light sky and the tractor-trailers. Get it? Kirk is placing a dark against a light, a light against a dark, and then a dark against light again. Counter-change encourages the eye to cycle through an image and keep moving about. Look for examples of counter-change in most of the great works of any period. - Thomas Jefferson Kitts