Marnie Maree, president of the Springfield Art Guild, is glad that she’s not a judge these days. The Art Guild had its Annual Art Show and Sale, in conjunction with the Friends of Green Spring Park, on Sunday, Sept. 5, at Green Spring Park, which included 94 paintings from artists across Northern Virginia.
“There were 160 submissions, and it had to be narrowed down to fill the space,” Maree said. “This is our one juried show every year. I would not want to be the judge.”
Sherrie L. Chapman, assistant director and historian at the park, said that one of the primary goals of the show is that the submission must go along with the horticultural setting of the park.
“The reception for the show brings a different audience than we usually get here,” she said. “We frequently find that artists are gardeners, and our gardens here are often the subject of some of the pieces in the show,” she said.
Green Spring Gardens has been hosting the annual show for the past 20 years, Chapman said.
“It gives the artists a good place to show their work. There’s good security here,” she said.
John Fratta’s "Lime Lilies" was selected as best in show.
“There are these lilies that grow in front of my house,” Fratta said of his winning submission. “The lilies were ivory-colored, so I took some artistic liberties and made them chartreuse. I had a very positive reaction from the judge,” he said.
Painting has taken up much of Fratta’s time since he retired from a government job in 1995.
“This piece took me about 12 hours to paint,” he said. “The flowers were blooming in July, and the lighting was just perfect.”
Fratta also submitted a rose of Sharon painting, which was accepted but did not win any prize.
“I’ve been a member of the guild and have won best of show for the past three years,” Fratta said. He was very happy over the lily portrait, as it was a combination of two painting styles.
“The blooms are done very realistically, but the background and some of the details are abstract,” he said. “The biggest challenge was to make it not too photographic looking, but it works.”
SECOND PLACE winner Yoon Young Park was unavailable for comment by press time.
Bonnie Driggers was pleasantly surprised to learn that her submission, “Dahlia," had won third place in the show.
“I have a friend that has these in her garden, and she lets me paint them,” she said of the striking rose-colored flowers.
“I’m a botanical artist, and I paint a lot of different flowers. This is just the one I happened to paint before the show,” she said.
Driggers said she got a lot of positive feedback from the judge on her piece. “She thought it was well done as far as the competition and that it was also a true representation of what the flower looks like,” she said.
Driggers' painting was done in watercolor, using a dry brush technique to keep control of the colors. “Watercolors are frequently paint-with-wet-paint on wet paper,” she said. “If I wet the paper at all, it was very slightly to paint a leaf.”
This was Driggers' first show with the Springfield Art Guild but most likely won’t be her last. “I thought it was a really good show. I was interested to see all the other varieties of painting,” she said.
Artists recognized with an honorable mention at the show included Michelle Frantz, Brenda Barthell, Myoung Soo Chung, Lynne Horstman and Jan Peterson. The exhibit will be on display at the Green Spring Park, 4603 Green Spring Road in Alexandria, through October. The Historic house is open Wednesday through Sunday, 12-4 p.m., and the Horticultural Center is open Monday through Saturday, 9: a.m.-4:30 p.m. and Sundays from 12-4:30 p.m.