“Abstracts” Art Exhibition 2022 – Overall Category

The Overall Winning Artists Category consists of the 10 Best Entries received from the 3 media categories of the Painting & Other Category, Photography & Digital Category and the 3 Dimensional Art categories. 

The overall winning artists’ category of the 13th Annual "Abstracts" Art Exhibition will receive extensive worldwide publicity and promotion in the form of email marketing, 550+ press release announcements, event announcement posts and social media marketing. 

Congratulations to our artists who made our 13th Annual “Abstracts” Art Exhibition so successful this month. At any time, we invite our winners and other interested visitors to link their websites to the Gallery’s Archive section for further ongoing promotion. Thank you to all of the artists who participated and for being a part of the gallery.  

Scroll down the page to see read about each of our Top 10 Winning Artists. In the image gallery at the bottom, click on a thumbnail image and that will take you a lightbox to view the entire artwork. In order to leave the Slide Show at any time, just click on the X at the upper right side of the Lightbox and that will take you back to the thumbnail images. To return to the Abstracts Home Page click here.

1st Place – Overall - Harrie Handler - "The Melting of Winter”

1st Place – Overall - Harrie HandlerHarrie still resides in her birthplace of Tucson, Arizona. After attending one photography class in high school, she decided to pursue a career in teaching art. During her university years, she studied with master photographers Jack Welpott, Todd Walker, and Harold Jones and was inspired by their work. Her volunteer work at the UA Center for Creative Photography allowed her the opportunity to meet Ansel Adams.

Harrie began a teaching career after graduation, teaching high school photography for seven years in the Tucson Unified School District during the day, and Art for Personal Development at night for Pima Community College. Her teaching continued for another 21 years. After retirement, she was contracted to lead two commercial interior design projects, and was able to concentrate on her painting which is now her preferred art form. While her original emphasis was oil painting, she currently paints mostly in acrylic.

In her abstract paintings and photography, Harrie is inspired daily by the shapes and forms, textures, shadows and color seen in reflections of water, clouds, human figures, peeling paint, wood and ordinary objects. She is an active member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild (SAWG), Contemporary Artists of Southern Arizona (CASA), Contemporary Art Society (CAS), Southern Arizona Artist Guild (SAAG) and the International Society of Acrylic Painters (ISAP).

See more of Harrie’s work on her website.

2nd Place – Overall - Charlie Murphy - "Vases”

2nd Place – Overall - Charlie MurphySince discovering a book of 19th century Irish photographs as a child, Charlie Murphy has been fascinated by photography’s power to both freeze time and shape how we experience the world. He purchased a small digital camera in 2005 and fell in love with photography soon after. He began documenting his travels both local and international, initially with more passion that skill. Over the course of tens of thousands of snaps, his skills improved, and the camera reshaped his way of seeing and understanding the world. He learned to look more deeply and became aware of the patterns, shadows and reflections revealed in both nature and the built environment. His photographic passion lies in seeing and sharing the intricate simplicity of the world we create and experience.

See more of Charlie’s work on his website.    

3rd Place – Overall - Jyl Blackwell - "Pome”

3rd Place – Overall - Jyl BlackwellJyl is a retired professional photographer whose passion for photography has not retired! She is a freelance photo retoucher and has a love of Photoshop and digital art. Her art seeks to illuminate the unseen and express emotion through the blending and interplay of digital layers. Swirling layers of gradient pixels are put into motion and painted on the digital canvas. Sometimes these layers reside on their own and sometimes they are incorporated into photographic or digital collages.

Drawing from intuition and experience and thus extracting only those elements of color, line, and luminance that define the subject, she creates a unique vision of the world around us. Leaning toward abstraction to simplify her vision, she allows the viewer to reflect upon his or her emotional response to each element or the entirety of the piece.

Jyl's art can be found in galleries and wineries in the Seattle area. Her work has been seen in numerous magazines, she was a finalist for KelbyOne's Gallery competition and has been awarded in multiple international competitions.

See more of Jyl’s work on her website.        

4th Place – Overall - Natalie Wetzel - "Sunrise, Sunset”

4th Place – Overall - Natalie WetzelNatalie Wetzel is a professional, international award winning artist, who lives in Normal, Il with her husband of nearly 31 years. They have four children together. Natalie holds a bachelor’s degree in fine art from Illinois State University. It was there, that she had the privilege of studying painting and color theory under the late Dr. Harold Gregor's direction. Gregor taught a systematic approach to color theory that he had personally developed throughout his professional career. His teachings have had a profound effect on Natalie and her artwork. To date, she is still employing the various techniques she learned under Gregor's teachings.

Natalie is most known for the vivid colors that immediately capture the attention of her viewers. She is a mixed media artist who prefers to work from a buttery smooth surface such as Claybord or Yupo paper. She most often uses alcohol inks, encaustics and jelly roll pens. Her work is process oriented. It involves layering materials in a way that causes colors to pop and adds depth and interest to each painting. Her favorite medium is encaustics. She appreciates the way the paint interacts with light, the depth and richness of color it invokes, it's versatility and the fact that it dries very quickly.

For many years, Natalie owned and operated a small boutique gallery known as The Pod. She represented and sold the artwork of over 75 local artists, as well as, her own art. After seven years of running The Pod, Natalie chose to close the doors in exchange for her commitment to becoming a full time artist. Since that time, Natalie has been a prolific producer of art. Although Natalie considers herself to be an abstract artist, she also enjoys incorporating identifiable subject matter into her work. She has found by doing so, more people can relate to and connect with her paintings. Natalie finds great inspiration to create by observing the beauty found throughout all creation. Her strong Christian faith is one of her greatest motivators and she often draws much inspiration from Scripture.

Over the years, Natalie has won numerous awards in international exhibitions. She has also had the privilege of being chosen for an artist residency two years in a row with McLean County Art Center, and her has been artwork published multiple times with a Chicago based art magazine known as Vigore'. Currently, Woodwalk Gallery in Egg Harbor, WI, 3 Square Art located in Fort Collins, CO, and Main Gallery 404 in Bloomington, Il all represent her and her artwork. In early October of 2021, Natalie was chosen to be an official Mixtiles artist. She appreciates their mission to offer affordable artwork to the masses.

See more of Natalie’s work on her Instagram.  

5th Place – Overall - Martha Clarkson - "Cooking”

5th Place – Overall - Martha ClarksonMartha Clarkson is a writer and photographer accepting snail mail in Kirkland, Washington. Trained as an interior architect, Martha has designed many commercial workplaces during her career. No matter the artistic endeavor, she views the world from a neglected vantage, which brings her work its unique perspective. Her photos, poetry, and prose have been published internationally and won awards. She also bowls.

See more of Martha’s work on her website.  


6th Place – Overall - Linda Larsen - "Blue”

6th Place – Overall - Linda LarsenInfluenced by decades trekking the hills of Northern California in order to paint its beguiling beauty, my studio abstracts reflect my continuing fascination with color and atmosphere. I often approach an abstract painting by laying out an expanse of one color, then adding or subtracting further colors intuitively, composing with relationships between color and shape.

I now experiment with pouring paint to differentiate areas, allowing the paint to define outcomes and hopefully sidestep my usual preferences and intentions. These poured shapes have enlarged my vocabulary of expressive forms and have freed me from my tendency to judge my results too harshly. I may add lines to emphasize the energetic direction or mood of the composition. These lines can become too aggressive, intruding upon the stillness of meditative spaces and require effort to keep them in check. The physicality and constant challenge of abstract composition keep the work alive for me.

See more of Linda’s work on her website.  

7th Place – Overall - Garret Demarest - "February”

7th Place – Overall - Garret DemarestGarret Demarest is a Palm Springs, CA based artist. Garret's work has evolved over time. His initial interest was in capturing images of objects but soon turned to people, animals, plants, and flowers as he grew in his studies in psychology and human development that included emotional reactions to color and color psychology. His early focus was on “spontaneous portraiture” capturing personalities of people either unaware or just being themselves.

Garret was mentored by New York industrial designer, Robert G. Newbauer who encouraged him to capture his “decisive moment” in his originality and storytelling. He was also inspired by viewing the photography of Walker Evans, Steve McCurry as well as National Geographic photos. Garret’s later career as an organizational development consultant, took him around the world and provided the opportunity to photograph people and places that captured something unique and spontaneous.

Now retired, he spends his free time immersed in his hobby of photographic art where he manipulates original photographs into abstract images resembling paintings of the “Color Field School” brought to life by Mark Rothko and other abstract impression artists in the Mid-20th Century, thus creatively blurring the lines between photography and painting. His technique allows for creating any type of abstract image while using specific colors from the original photograph.

In this series, Garret has taken original photos of a variety of different things – decorative pillows, flowers, water scenes, sunrises, sunsets, and re-envisioned them through his abstract manipulation arriving at images that move through the visual and emotional excitement of bold color and abstract impressionism. Light, color, patterns, textures, and reflections are about seeing the world in new ways thereby allowing an emotional transformative process to take place. These photos are about the power of the human soul to see bold colors of abstract images and respond.

See more of Garret’s work on his website.  

8th Place – Overall - Gareth Jones - "Inconceivable”

8th Place – Overall - Gareth JonesToday’s world continues to be full of fear, uncertainty and political entities around the globe that unite only to move us all away from a global, caring, and sympathetic world. My self-taught art is both an antidote and a reminder. It’s an antidote because some images will take you away from the news of the day to give a moment to escape, to breathe and to join me on my creative journey. This break from the everyday, relentless stresses that flow over us, provides something specific for all to savor, to smile, to think. It’s a reminder because some images will stir you as those artworks make statements on our world and societies - but these are to remind all of things we need to do to save our existence.

Art can provide these pointers - both subtle and direct - whilst still offering and allowing viewers to enjoy the images. It’s always a balance. It’s never easy - but it is worthwhile. Remember to breathe, and hopefully find images that allow you to join my exploration, my journey to fulfil my creative quest, to be happy in this amazing universe. I have a mind full of artistic expressions that have yet to see the light of day - it's a wonderful journey.

I am an International, award-winning, multiple gold medalist, speaker and photographer/artist. My images are in private collections around the globe providing both antidotes and reminders to all viewers.

See more of Gareth’s work on his website.   

9th Place – Overall - Marne Jensen - "Center of the Earth”

9th Place – Overall - Marne JensenMarne Jensen is an abstract and impressionist painter whose artwork is flavored by nature. She has spent most of her life involved with some facet of artistic expression. She has a B.A. degree with a minor in Fine Art followed by graduate school where she majored in Business Administration. Her skills as a painter have been enhanced by numerous workshops with nationally recognized master teachers, and over the past twenty years her paintings have been featured in several fine art galleries and juried exhibits in the Seattle area as well as in Arizona.

Her career in the world of commerce includes several years owning her own business consulting firm in the Seattle area where she specialized in marketing planning. As a teacher, she was a faculty member at City University of Seattle as well as the Sedona Arts Center in Arizona.

Working primarily with acrylic paint on canvas, she focuses on contemporary artwork expressed with interesting combinations of shape, color, and texture and is equally as comfortable painting a landscape as she is creating an abstract. Creativity is the train that pulls her artwork which she views as a puzzle that needs solving. The best solution for each one differs. Her objective is not to capture an exact physical likeness, but to aim for an emotional experience. She attempts to get past the mechanics used to reproduce a subject and instead capture the essence.

The development of her work involves serendipity as she endeavors to create a visual story rather than reproduce what can be accomplished with a camera. When beginning a painting, she views it as uncharted territory with no road map – only potential options and choices that offer challenges where the journey many times becomes more important than the destination.

See more of Marne’s work on her website.

10th Place – Overall - Robert Obier – “Dynamo”

10th Place – Overall - Robert ObierRobert Obier was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana where he now resides. He received a Bachelor of Architecture Degree from LSU in 1981 and a Master of Science Degree in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design in 2007.

Robert’s work as an architect/designer/illustrator has been featured in numerous exhibitions, magazines and web articles. His work has appeared on television and was selected for a location shoot in a major motion picture.

His range of eclectic influences include the organic architecture of Frank Lloyd Wright, the explorations of geometry in nature by Andy Goldsworthy and the theatrical creations of Industrial light and Magic for a time long ago in a galaxy far, far away. His work explores the intersections and obscures the boundaries between architecture, industrial design and art. Each piece is as much a realization of an abstract design concept as it is a unique work of three-dimensional art. From creation through completion the dichotomy of ‘handmade’ and ‘computer generated’ informs the development and execution of the work.

See more of Robert’s work on his website.

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