Artistic Excellence Winning Entries from Last Year

Every year as the judges weigh and ponder each art contest submission that comes in for the Artistic Excellence art competition, we wait with more than a few tingles of anticipation at what the winning artworks will be. And now the wait is over.

Here are all the winning art contest submissions and why we love them. It’s a smorgasbord of inspiring visuals and proves, yet again, what a creative and skilled audience of artists and makers we have. Meanwhile, the Artistic Excellence competition judges are accepting entries now for this year, so what will your limelight-worthy art contest submission be?

The Winning Works

Red-Backed Fairywren by Mostafa Keyhani, oil, 8 x 8

An artwork that shows a painter’s skill is least about chasing photorealistic representation. Instead it is the visible qualities of the paint that enchant and give an incredibly appealing architecture to the painting’s surface.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Charcoal Fire by Zhu Liangchuan, watercolor, 14 x 15

Here is where the control of the medium known for its fluidity is truly put to the test — and aced. The textures captured and the colors that glow within the painting’s limited palette are noteworthy as well.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Esperanto by Laurence Saunois, oil, 32 x 40

A fantail dove full of swagger with starkly beautiful white plumage against an almost velvety black background? What’s not to love?

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Maggie by Sam Dolman, oil, 20 x 16

Old girl, your sweet face and gentle eyes make everyone who sees you understand the meaning behind ‘faithful companion.’ The color gradation and rendering of fur texture shows the artist’s virtuosity.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Live Long and Prosper, Nichelle Nichols at 84 by Robin Damore, oil, 36 x 30

As an African-American woman in a position of leadership and power on television, famed actress Nichelle Nichols inspired thousands and continues to do so. This portrait attests to that same poise, power, and beauty.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Sunlight and Shadows — Girona by Thomas W. Schaller, watercolor, 20 x 30

Light and shadow are the sweet spot for Schaller. The prismatic portrayal of those ranges (and all the color that goes into them) is one of his signature skills.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Bioluminescence IV by Rob Rey, oil, 18 x 24

The painter has a gift for brushstrokes that skillfully capture the appearance and texture of the paper lanterns on display. Plus color know-how for creating a glow that is both searing and surreal.

 

More Figures, Still Lifes, and Wildlife

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Falling for You by Cecile Baird, colored pencil, 27 x 10

Punning titles are just the beginning of the artist’s abilities. The form of the banana from peel to slices as they tumble in midair is nothing short of mesmerizing.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Sleeping Child by Stephanie Deshpande, oil, 24 x 30

Feelings of coziness and safety are evoked as the viewer contemplates the child’s sleeping form. The rumpled sheets and half-light further the appeal.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Vintage Tutu by Anna Rose Bain, oil, 50 x 36

The grace of a dancer is never easily captured and yet this work shows poise from limb to limb. The figure’s stance, subtle musculature, and the gossamer fabric of her costume are all masterfully captured.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Bathing in Glory by Bruce Lawes, oil, 24 x 32

This painting is rendered in stultifying detail. But neither that nor the composition compare to the lush, vibrant, irresistible glory of that pink sky.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Ballerinas Blue by Michael Fitzpatrick, oil, 30 x 40

Decorative elements and classically represented figures come together for this trio representation. The eye is inevitably caught on the bold blue of the dancers’ costumes.

 

Art contest submission -- winner from Artistic Excellence art competition

Instinct by Brenda Lee Gibson, oil, 16 x 20

The moment of nurturing and care captured in this art contest submission is what the entire work hinges on.

They’re Waiting for Your Art Contest Submission

The Artistic Excellence competition is accepting entries now. Take a moment to look at the artwork you’ve created to see what could be your winning submission. It’s likely hiding in plain sight, waiting for you to realize its potential.

If you’d like to know more about art competitions, check out our free eBook full of tips and resources, and be sure to bookmark our Art Events and Competitions page to have all of your art contest and competition opportunities at your fingertips.