NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

January 10, 2013

'Greek Village' earns NAA top honors

By Katie Lovett
Features Editor

---- — Like many others, Newburyport’s Jan Roy has been fighting a touch of the flu this week. Feeling under the weather and battling the winter doldrums, she perked up rather quickly, however, when she answered her phone Tuesday afternoon.

It was a staff member at the Newburyport Art Association calling to inform her that her oil painting was named “Best in Show” for this year’s winter show for artist members.

“I was very pleased,” Roy said. “It’s a good feeling.”

This is Roy’s third time earning a “Best of Show” honor during a show at Art Association where she has been a member for close to a decade. Roy has been painting full-time since 2000 after she ended a 30-year career as a silkscreen artist.

A painting presents an artist with “endless possibilities,” Roy said. “A painting is never finished; it’s only finished when you’re finished with it. It can go on forever, and that’s part of what makes it fun.”

Each time she wins an award at the association, Roy said, “it’s a really wonderful feeling.”

“I’m always very honored,” she added. “There’s so much good art submitted to each show.”

Roy painted the image, called “Greek Village,” shortly after returning from a vacation in Europe. While she didn’t sit down at her easel with the intent to paint an image of Greece, she realized as she worked, that was exactly what was happening. She has visited Greece twice, most recently about six years ago.

“I’d love to go back,” she added with a laugh.

Roy was given the honor by the jurors for this year’s show: Lucas Spivey, exhibitions manager at Montserrat College of Art and Design, and Diana Tuite, an adjunct professor at Maine College of Art.

The pair called Roy’s painting “a combination of surface abstraction and rich landscape, and can be enjoyed for either or both.”

“The village, mountains and water are represented with interweaving layers while retaining flatness and soft geometry. With her deft and muscular paint handling and accomplished use of tonal color, Roy renders this landscape with tremendous expressiveness and spatial sophistication,” they wrote in their comments. “The small size of the canvas amplifies the power of the faceted brushwork used to describe the village itself.”

The first part of the winter members show opens tomorrow and runs through Feb. 2. A total of 109 artists submitted works in digital art, drawing, oil, printmaking, sculpture and watercolor; 95 artists were accepted into the show.

The show features 140 pieces of artwork, selected from 186 submissions.

This includes: 92 oil paintings, 24 watercolors, five drawings, seven prints, seven sculptures and five pieces of digital art.

In addition to Roy, the other award winners are:

David R. Jones, “Sea Chapel,” Best of Oil; Joan Benincasa, “Red Wagon,” Best of Watercolor; Kate Hanlon, “Charlie at Sea,” Best of Printmaking; Karen Jones, “Blowing Grasses,” Best of Drawing; Michael Forehand, “Fauna,” Best of Sculpture; Jack Fowler, “2 Birch,” Best of Digital Art.

Gay P. Cox, Barbara Naeser and Daniel Shaw earned honorable mentions.

The second part of the show will run from Feb. 8 to March 2, and will feature works in acrylic, fine crafts, mixed media, pastel and photography.