Experimental Show
May 9, 2023 - June 17, 2023

Best of Show - "Horse on the Prowl" - Mary Bubla 

Experimental Show


Show Date: May 9 - June 17, 2023

Awards Judge: Betina Fink

Chairs: Tracy Lynn Ross & Joy Ellsworth

Entry Due Date: Wednesday, May 3rd

Check-In: May 8th, 9-10:30 am

Reception & Awards Presentation: May 18th, 5-7pm

Check-Out: June 19th, 9-10:30am


The Experimental Show is a longtime favorite of SAWG members as an opportunity to try something new, stretch our creative wings with a new style, medium, color scheme or design. Practically anything goes! The first 70 entries will be accepted, as long as they meet the prospectus guidelines and are primarily water-based media. Let's test our innovative creativity and talent to see what beauty can be achieved with experimentation.





Experimental Show 2023 Show Winners!

Comments on winning paintings by awards judge, Betina Fink



Best of Show - “Horse on the Prowl” Mary Bubla

I was drawn right away to the strong intense color palette that is seen in this piece, along with the compositional device of extending the focal point across two surfaces to create a diptych, which the artist used for her experiment. It was unusual to extend the composition in this way. It is delightful to look back-and-forth between the two. I'm also curious when I look at the focal point that is the bridge of the horse’s head, turned to the extreme right, which creates an implied direction off the compositional picture plane. There is a strong composition of light in general, seen on the ground behind the horse, on the saguaros, in the background on the clouds in the sky, then to the dark sky, and then back again to the vegetation in the foreground. In general, the contrast between light and dark, warm and cool color, hard edges and smooth color gradations are a joy. Well done!


Award of Excellence - “Unravelling” Casonti McClure

This piece is a great example of allowing the art making process to lead the way in creating. The artist has successfully used a variety of materials and allowed the layering, painting, and pulling apart of the material to become an integral part of the painting piece. The act of painting and creating takes on new meaning, while the artist continues to make artistic choices, such as directing the implied movement of the black material, punctuated with the red points of color. The surface is at times delicate, which is a wonderful contrast to the more angular areas of the unraveling of the materials tendrils. I greatly enjoyed that the artist allowed the process of revision to become an important facet of her art.



Award of Merit - “Dreams Unleashed” Sandy Walker

Abstract color shapes, create a strong composition that moves left to right, up-and-down, but also forward and back. Textures created by value differences and intricate detail, suggesting organic forms. There is color intensity related to the Yupo surface material that is wonderfully beautiful and suggests movement and stillness at the same time… that is dream like.


Award of Merit - “Waiting for Mom” Carolyn Streed

With intense color choice and range as well as solid composition and focal point there is an implied line of sight in three different directions from each of the baby owls. The brushwork is lively combining visible marks with smooth washes to create dimension. The cool blue background contrasts nicely with the warm foreground. I enjoy the fact that she uses digital manipulation to creatively find solutions.


Honorable Mention - “Summer Splash” Ray Goodrow

This is a lively, direct response to a subject matter painted from life, with gestural paint strokes combined with color which has a good value range, and shows an immediacy and connection to the media and subject matter.


Honorable Mention - “Ethereal Elegance” Joy Ellsworth

Subtle and delicate colors combined with the gentle curled shapes, tendrils, and floral center image, create a strong directional focal point. The color palette is harmonious, and nature based. I enjoyed the experimental use of painting, watercolor on a canvas surface.



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