I believe I've seen the future of realistic contemporary w/c portraiture, and her name is Jenny Davis
. It was my privilege to judge the Washington DC chapter of the National Society of Arts and Letters' 2007 Harriet L. Newbill Art Competition
("Water Media on Paper"), and we awarded the 1st place $4000 prize to Jenny for one of her portraits. She will go on to the last stage of the competition in Tempe, Arizona, competing for the $10,000 top prize. I think she has a very good chance - for this style of watercolor portraiture, I've never seen anybody better, and incredibly, she's 18 yrs old! Her subjects are typically her friends, caught in candid and intimate moments. Her mother, Tanya Davis
, is a highly respected and smokin' NWS painter, and she shares her studio with Jenny at the Torpedo Factory
There was a very good crowd at the Heineman Myers
gallery in Bethesda, including several past presidents of NSAL and even Harriet Newbill herself.
Keep your eyes open for Jenny's astonishing work, you will undoubtedly be seeing it somewhere soon. If you check out her blog
, make sure you look back through the archives
with her portrait "Tess"
Judges: Walter Bartman, Director and Founder of Yellow Barn Studios; Judith Brodie, curator of modern prints and drawings at the National Gallery of Art, me
, Stephen Phillips, curator at the Phillips Collection in DC.
I was also very impressed by the work of another young artist, Shelly Voorhees
...wish we could have sent two people to Arizona.
A huge congratulations to Jenny, and I know this is just the beginning!