Awards of Merit in Holiday Small Works

By Anastasya Pena on December 5, 2019

The Copley Society of Art grants Awards of Merit to works of art that demonstrate exceptional presentation, technique, composition and style. There are a total of ten small works in the Holiday Small Works Show that have received awards of merit. In this week’s blog post we have highlighted four of those works, continue reading to take a closer look.


Laurinda O’Connor, Colors of Fall, pastel, 12” x 12”

In Colors of Fall, Laurinda O’Connor works with pastel to capture the essence of an autumn landscape. Through her use of expressive marks, O’Connor communicates both the color and texture of the changing leaves and landscape. In her own words, Laurinda explains that she works to “let simplified strokes of color and line create a path into a scene and a moment in time.” By doing this, Laurinda shares the “moment” she observes with the viewer, inviting the viewer’s gaze to follow the pastel marks into the center of the piece. Laurinda received her MFA from Boston University and her BFA from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has taught pastel classes for both adults and children and shows across multiple galleries in the New England area. 


Janine Robertson, Red Dusk, oil on aluminum, 15” x 10”

Janine Robertson’s Red Dusk explores subtlety and contrast through her skillful use of color. Areas of periwinkle pop against a variety of greens in the trees and landscape. Hints of pink (and even red and orange) create reflection in the water and sky while simultaneously moving your eye around the painting. Robertson typically paints on aluminum and copper which allows the paint to stay on the surface glittering and rich with pigment. It’s clear that Janine Robertson has mastered reflective surfaces, both as material and subject matter.


Timothy Neill, CA, Avocado, oil, 12” x 13”

Timothy Neill has a background in art education, art history and art conservation and restoration of paintings and frames. In 2010, Neill founded Allied Conservation which provides a variety of services such as cleaning and physical repairs of works of art. In addition to this, Neill maintains his own studio practice in Hamilton, Massachusetts and teaches studio art classes at the ArtRoom Studio in Topsfield, Massachusetts. Avocado is only one example of Neill’s mastery in realism and unique choice of subject matter. In this piece, Neill creates a deep sense of space and contrast by placing highly rendered objects against an almost black background. As a Copley Artist, Timothy Neill has been accepted into five juried shows at the Copley Society of Art.


Christy Gunnels, Baltimore Oriole, oil, 7” x 7”

Painting for Christy Gunnels “blurs the divide between the act of simply observing a thing and the experience that comes from interacting with that thing.” Gunnels is interested in the experience between the artist and subject matter just as much (if not perhaps more than) the practice of conscious observation itself. In Baltimore Oriole, the viewer makes direct eye contact with an Oriole bird who seems to have just noticed its spectator. There is nothing else in the composition of the painting, as if to suggest that our gaze is meant to be held with the bird.

See these paintings along with many others during The Holiday Small Works show currently on view in our upper and lower galleries through December 23rd.