NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

November 1, 2012

Le Verrier earns top honor at artist show

By Katie Lovett Features Editor
Newburyport Daily News

---- — Newburyport artist Renee Le Verrier hasn’t been painting very long.

To help her hone her skills, she enrolled in a painting workshop offered by fellow Newburyport artist Alan Bull last summer. During the session, Bull explained the concept of painting highlights in a piece, as opposed to shadows.

It was a process that appealed to Le Verrier who enjoyed the challenge of “using the other side of your brain,” she said. Upon getting home, she said, she decided to paint another piece using those same instructions.

“It came out much better,” she said last week.

Frank Roselli, the owner of Soprafina Gallery in Boston, would agree with her assessment. He named Le Verrier’s painting, “Jazz,” as the winner of the Sam Sargent award for Best in Show at the second part of the Newburyport Art Association’s members’ fall show.

“This piece uses the simplest of colors, mostly black and white and pictures one solo person seated, slightly off center. He is looking to the side and seems to be waiting for a cue to resume playing jazz,” Roselli wrote in his judge’s comments. “The mood in this image is conveyed very effectively by the artist’s intelligent use of the varied tonal values. Of course it works so well only because of the artist’s creative skill in the placement of the light that enables the viewer to ‘read’ everything which is suggested by the dapples of light.”

The second part of the show, which opened last week, runs through Saturday.

“I’m still in shock,” Le Verrier said. Entering the show, she said, she hoped to be accepted, and figured she may get an honorable mention at least.

“I love to try different things; I don’t really have a style,” she added. “It was fun for me to try to do this.” Without Bull’s instruction, she said, she may have never tried the style.

“I’m thrilled,” Le Verrier said.

The second portion of the fall show features acrylics, fine craft, mixed media, pastel, and photography. A total of 113 artists entered 204 submissions. Of those submissions, 134 were accepted into the show.

There are 30 acrylic paintings, 44 photographs, 25 pastels, 28 mixed media, and seven fine crafts.

Among the other winners are:

Karen Fitzgerald, Newburyport Five Cents Savings Bank award for work in photography, “Dark Shadows, Peabody Essex”

Robin Frisella, Strem Chemicals, Inc. award for work in pastel, “American Beauties”

Mary Arthur Pollak, Institution for Savings Charitable Foundation award for work in mixed media, “No Boundaries.”

Douglas W. Johnson, ReMax on the River award for work in fine crafts, “North Shore Marsh”

Also, receiving honorable mentions were: Debbie Shirley, Jack Fowler, Patricia Bashford, Robin Frisella and Carol Holcroft.