JOHN POTOTSCHNIK FINE ART

Informative

San Gimignano

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28 May 2007: Italy…..At 1:30 PM we left for the small, medieval hilltop town of San Gimignano. The walled town is located between Siena and Florence, in the province of Siena in Tuscany, and is known for its many towers. There were originally 72 towers, built by wealthy families to show off their wealth and influence in the area. » Read More

30th Anniversary Show

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The 30th Anniversary Show currently on view at the Greenhouse Gallery of Fine Art in San Antonio, TX is spectacular. The show » Read More

Art Journey America: Landscapes

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FW Media’s North Light Books has just released a new book, Art Journey America: Landscapes. I was one of 89 landscape painters invited to participate. Only in America was selected to be represented in this beautiful, nicely designed book. » Read More

Celebrating One Year

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One year ago this new adventure of writing a weekly blog began. I have come to greatly admire those who are able to write and post something sensible and worthwhile every day.  » Read More

The Vermont Experience

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Just arrived home after spending 10 days in New England, mainly Vermont. My wife and I were first there in 1986 and still cherish fond memories of that trip. It’s just hard to believe its been 25 years. » Read More

Plein Air Painting in the Flint Hills 2

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As I mentioned in last week’s blog, I had the distinct privilege of enjoying three days of plein air painting in the Flint Hills of Kansas with a great group of talented artists. You may » Read More

Plein Air Painting in the Flint Hills

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I just returned from three days of plein air painting in the Flint Hills of Kansas. I remember, as a young boy, passing through the area several times a year with my folks on the way to visit my grandparents in Pittsburg, Kansas. » Read More

Outdoor Painting

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Spent a wonderful day with my friend Gary Klingemann this week. We’ve been talking about getting together for about a year in order to paint. During that time we discovered we have many things in common, including » Read More

Is OPA Judging Rigged?

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If you want to be juried into an art show, or win an award in a show, it’s important that you have “connections”. Knowing the judge or jurors doesn’t hurt, maybe even being involved in the host organization will further your changes of winning something, anything…Right?

Accusations of award winners being preselected or friends being shown favoritism are occasionally leveled against art organizations by disappointed applicants. Oil Painters of America is not immune from such criticism. The question is, is there justification for such accusations?

BeckOPA_Dan_AWarmBreeze_36x24_$5800

Dan Beck – “A Warm Breeze” – (2011 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

 

Recently, within the last three weeks, I was bestowed the honor of seeing how an OPA Selection Committee works…from the inside out. I was one of five judges chosen to select the paintings that will be in the OPA Western Regional Exhibition this October at the Lee Youngman Galleries in Calistoga,

Now that all the selections have been made, I am able to tell you how it works.

Qian_Mary - Model on Break

Mary Qian – “Model on Break” – (2010 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

 

First off, you need to know, I still do not know who the other four jurors were…and will probably never know. I asked out of curiosity, after the judging was completed, but received no response. Another thing, only two people knew the identity of the five jurors, the OPA President and the Jury Chairman.

David Riedel - Wooden Bowl David Riedel - "Wooden Bowl" - (2009 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

David Riedel – “Wooden Bowl” – (2009 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

 

We had four days to rate the 924 entries, grading them on a scale from one to seven. The entries were viewed using the internet and we had no way of knowing how other jurors voted. After all the grades for each painting were compiled we were given an additional three days to reevaluate the top 190 entries scoring them in the same way…one to seven. Those receiving the highest cumulative scores were selected for the show.

I did not enter the competition this year, but if I had, I was instructed to vote for my painting in order to avoid any possible computer processing issues. However, it was the average score of the other jurors that would have been substituted for my vote. So, even in that, the temptation to show favoritism toward one’s own work was eliminated.

Howard Friedland - "Morning in Giverny" -  (2008 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

Howard Friedland – “Morning in Giverny” – (2008 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

 

Paintings were evaluated based on design and execution. The best works had one dominant value, a dominant color harmony, a clear center of interest, balance, accurate drawing, convincing value relationships, consistent and believable color temperature relationships, appropriate variety of hard and soft edges, and varied and interesting paint application.

Get all those elements right and you ended up with a seven…in the top 1-3 percent of entries.

Johanna Harmon - "Vintage Dreams" - (2007 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

Johanna Harmon – “Vintage Dreams” – (2007 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

 

I have judged many art shows and only once did I sense a little urging to vote a certain way…and that was for an Elementary School art competition.

Oh, you may be wondering if the artist’s signature on a painting has an influence. Well, to be very honest, I make it a matter of personal integrity to avoid looking at the signature. If the focal point of the painting is located in the area of the signature, there’s no need to be concerned about awards.

I’m sure if an advantage can be gained in any art competition, there will be those who will try to get that advantage. But, as for the Oil Painters of America Exhibitions, I was most impressed to see just how unbiased the jury process actually is. This should be an encouragement to many of you. Hey, it all comes down to the quality of the work, not to who you are or whom you know.

 

Robert Coombs - "Almost Sundown" - (2006 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

Robert Coombs – “Almost Sundown” – (2006 Gold Medal Winner / Associate Signature Division)

 

Below are website links to those featured in this article: