39th Annual Art Competition: Still Life/Interior Winners

Janice K. Johnson

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We are pleased to have below the winners for the 39th Annual Art Competition in the Still Life/Interior Category. For the full list of winners overall and in all other categories, please see the links at the end of the post.

First Place: Patrick Saunders

Strength in Numbers by Patrick Saunders (oil on linen, 15×30)

I can spend entire mornings wandering the gardens of the Fort Worth Botanic Garden, always discovering new compositions to capture in photographs or paint. This field of dark purple tulips was particularly dramatic due to the way the light was shining through the flowers and reflecting from the water droplets. In the early morning sun, the flowers, stems and leaves worked together, creating a vibration of warm and cool colors. I’ve always found tulips on their own to be rather simplistic as a subject, but in large numbers, they become far more interesting.

“This is the one painting that I kept coming back to, again and again. It has everything—great color, compelling marks, depth—I could go on.” — Carol Marine, Juror


Second Place: Xiaowei Liu

Horn by Xiaowei Liu (oil on linen, 16×28)

I used a “cross” composition for Horn and also placed the center of the sheep’s skull at the golden section point. This created a visually stable and aesthetically pleasing look. The two drapes repeat the colors of the sheep’s skull, forming a rich color gradation with a solemn, ceremonial look. I depicted the bones and horns realistically because death is very real and not far from every life. I hope this painting helps viewers think about these realities so that they’ll live in the present and with significance.

“I love the simple yet bold composition. Every little detail is attended to— even the tiny string of the darker cloth has a cast shadow.” — Carol Marine, Juror


Third Place: Todd M. Casey

Corner of My Studio by Todd M. Casey (oil on panel,9×6)

Corner of My Studio is one of the last paintings I did in my old studio. It’s a very sentimental piece because it marks the closure of a chapter and a goodbye to the studio that I felt had “raised” me as an artist. I have so many good memories of this space, but my growing family needed a larger home. As a still life painter, I usually position the elements of my setups within a shadow box, but in this case, I painted the props as they waited to be moved to a new home and studio—ready for my next work.

“The subtlety of this painting and its variety of grays make it visually compelling—and the cozy setting makes me want to stay a while.” — Carol Marine, Juror


Full List

For the metal winners and the top three in each category, please see below:

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