Winners of the Hot 100 Watermedia Competition

22 May 2009

Watercolor magazine is proud to announce the winners of its online Hot 100 Watermedia competition. The Hot 100 was not a typical juried art competition—it encompassed four categories reflecting different levels of artistic experience, and it was not decided by a jury but by a large community of art enthusiasts. Artists entered themselves or were nominated into the competition, and one or more paintings were uploaded to the competition’s website to represent each participating artist. Then, over the course of several weeks, artists, collectors, and members of American Artist’s online community reviewed the contending watercolors and voted for their favorites in each category—Emerging Talents, Informative Teachers, Professional Artists, and Innovative Painters. Thousands of votes were cast, and secure voting practices were enacted to ensure that an individual could not vote multiple times to stuff the ballot boxes in favor of a particular artist.

Hustle and Bustle
by Stephen L. Flowers.

The Emerging Talents category honors artists who have either been creating art for less than five years, have recently resumed making art, or have otherwise made significant progress in a short period of time. Emerging Talents received more entrants than any other category, and it produced the tightest race of the competition, with only a small number of votes separating the leading artists. Stephen L. Flowers emerged as the category’s winner with Hustle and Bustle, a depiction of urban street traffic. Thomas W. Schaller was the category’s runner-up for his painting Japan 1.

Monhegan Morning
by Debi Watson.

Informative Teachers seeks to honor the many excellent teachers who spread knowledge of watercolor through workshops, university classes, and filmed programs. Debi Watson won this category for Monhegan Morning, an interior scene that Watson found in an artists’ colony on Monhegan Island, Maine. “This wasn’t the most picturesque coastal view,” Watson wrote of the subject, “but sunlight makes beauty happen anywhere.” The Pennsylvania-based painter specializes in contemporary realism and has been teaching watercolor workshops for 10 years.

Gore Creek Snowbank
by Gerald Fritzler.

Gerald Fritzler’s painting Gore Creek Snowbank won the Professional Artists competition. The Colorado artist is a world traveler, but many of his landscapes—including the winning image—depict close-to-home scenes of the Rocky Mountains.

Stream in Winter
by Katherine Jenkins.

The final category, Innovative Painters, is an open-ended category intended to recognize artists who break new ground through innovative use of materials, uncommon subject matter, or new styles of expression. The category was won by Katherine Jenkins for her painting Stream in Winter. Jenkins’ bold, monochromatic landscape was the leading vote-getter of the entire competition.


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