Awards of Merit in Small Works: SeaPort

Written by Caroline Browne

The Copley Society of Art recognizes exceptional pieces from our Small Works exhibitions with Awards of Merit. The Copley Society Art Committee grants Awards of Merit to ten works of art that demonstrate exceptional presentation, technique, composition, and style.

Awards of Merit truly reflect the effort, talent, and skill of our artist members and we are proud to present them to our artists with every new Small Works show. From still lifes to marine scenes, abstract to realist pieces, the awarded works represent our diverse range of artist members.

The awards given out for Small Works: SeaPort are listed below in alphabetical order.

Pictured: Serena Bates, Sir Penguin, hydrostone sculpture, 12x5x6”, SOLD

Serena Bates is a representational artist with an affinity for portraits and animals, working in clay, bronze, and stone. She trusts intuition and a connection to the subject more than static measurements. This non-traditional approach breathes life into her work and produces the beauty known as "imperfectly perfect."

Serena Bates captures the art of storytelling in each piece she creates. Her affinity for animals is evident in this displayable hydrostone penguin who is looking out to sea.

Pictured: William Burnham, CA, Gentle Cove, acrylic on canvas, 12x15”

An avid photographer, William Burnham, selects his landscapes based on the feelings of tranquility they evoke, hoping to provide these same feelings for the viewer. Having worked in a variety of media, he particularly enjoys the flexibility painting affords him in capturing the minutest details he desires in his work.

In his meticulous attention to detail he captures the light, reflections, and shadow of this Orleans cove on a foggy morning.

Pictured: Meg McLean, Sky Over Squam, oil on gessoboard, 13.5x13.5”

Meg McLean loves the process of creating art, the close observation it requires, and the way it distills time. She is an observational, and often a plein air, painter. Her work is primarily oil on canvas or board; she also makes gouache paintings and exhibits wonderful drawings in charcoal.

The artist is highly regarded for her luminous and distinctive landscapes, frequently taking inspiration from the countryside, building, and skies of New England.

Pictured: Lori Mehta, CA, Carry On, oil, 9.5x9.5”

Lori Mehta's approach to her paintings is that she ceases to consider her subject figuratively, and rather applies her paint in a series of shapes. Painting enables Lori to focus on a simple gesture, or a moment, when it might otherwise go unnoticed. She celebrates these moments and archives them through painting.

Her beautiful and carefully rendered paintings of everyday human viewpoints, such as a beach bag and towel resting on the sand, are fresh and bright. They remind the viewer of the positivity of a particular memory.

Pictured: Laurinda O’Connor, CA, Rocky Coast, pastel, 12x12”

Laurinda O’Connor strives to let simplified strokes of color and line create a path into a scene and moment in time, pushing herself to capture the sense she feels from the landscape as well as to create the up-close excitement of color, texture, and expression on the surface of her paper.

For Laurinda, landscapes are always changing and offer so many possible interpretations.

Laurinda paints expressive landscapes with plenty of paths for the eye to explore. Here, the artist uses the soft colors of pastels to capture waves crashing along the rocks.

Pictured: Joe Reardon, CA, Skippers Entrance, photography, 12x16”

Joe Reardon’s photography reveals his quest to show a sense of wonder in all that surrounds us. His work has afforded him the unique opportunity to travel the world and to capture the essence of nature everywhere he has visited.

The most important tool in his creative process is an ability to isolate the correct compositional elements in a scene that will reveal its voice and evoke a sense of seeing and feeling the same things for the first time, again.

Pictured: Amy R. Roberts, The Steaming Light, acrylic, 14x10”

Amy Roberts creates fine art acrylic paintings including portraits, landscapes, seascapes, cityscapes, and nature magnifications. Her chose medium is acrylics because they work well in her traveling lifestyle.

She enjoys finding the small spaces, hidden places, and mercurial skylines, returning at different times of day to observe the effect of light. Reflections in water, glass, ice, a polished floor offer the kinds of challenges she wants to master. In this piece, Amy shows the viwer a specific scene of a morning in Boothbay Harbor where she observed the hand blown steaming light on a docked boat.

Pictured: Janine Robertson, CA, Blue Shore, oil, 15x13”

Janine Robertson specializes in painting luminous landscapes on aluminum and copper. She draws inspiration from the marshes, fields, and shorelines of the New England landscape. The artist paints both en plein air and in studio to ensure a strong composition and effectively explore the effects of light and time on the landscape.

Color and light add extra dimension to her landscapes, evident in her painting depicting clouds in a blue sky over beach waves.

Pictured: Joe Smith, CA, Nauset Light Beach, scratchboard, 9x11”

Joe Smith’s artwork connects his lifelong enjoyment of drawing with his career as a forester and conservationist. Using the scratchboard medium, the artist adds texture and detail to his natural scenes. Scratchboard — a two-dimensional, subtractive medium in which abrasive tools remove a surface layer to expose a contrasting layer underneath — allows Smith to bring out both strange and familiar textures in these natural scenes.

His work is mostly drawn from the varied landscapes of his beloved New England home, such as this plein air creation of a dune on Nauset Light Beach.

Pictured: Susan Valentine, CA, Spray It!, oil on linen, 13x16”

Susan Valentine finds much of the inspiration for her painting in the natural world. Her painting style is realistic and vibrantly colorful. She often concentrates on enlarging her subject matter or using unique perspective to highlight color, light, and details.

Her works reflect her technical skill with oil painting. Here she presents the mast of a small ship, capturing the motion and lifting of the sails.

You can see these award winners and many other fantastic works in Small Works: SeaPort, on view virtually and in the Lower Gallery through August 22nd.