Year in Review – Our 2018 Top Winning Artists

Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery is pleased to announce its annual “Year in Review” recap has been compiled and is now posted for your enjoyment.  This feature reviews and promotes the gallery’s 12 top winning artists for the 12 individual monthly art exhibitions held in 2018.

In 2018 the gallery received more than 9,389+ entries for our monthly art competitions. Thank you to all the artists who shared their incredible art with us. The following artists and artwork are what we considered to be the best entries for each monthly theme. 

The gallery received a broad array of media and artistic styles throughout the year.  We tried to showcase the various media received in our art exhibitions and we hope that you will take some time to view the various exhibitions that we have posted in our Archive Section.


Seascapes – December 2018 – Laurie Hein – “Rhythm and Blues”

Laurie Snow Hein has been painting all her life. Like many young artists, she was doubtful that she could make a career of her passion. Laurie’s parents had convinced her that it was impossible to make a living as an artist. It was in her DNA…both parents, a grandmother and a brother were artistic. Her father, a photographer, owned a photoshop, was the number one producer for Dexter Postcards from Maine to Key West.

After a year of college, Laurie married and began combining art with being a wife and busy mother. Then, at age 40 when her 6th child was born and her oldest was heading to college, Laurie’s husband lost his job. Her talent as an artist was now needed as the source of the family’s income. She began teaching classes and accepting portrait commissions. When Laurie’s paintings were noticed by a national publisher, her successful career in art publishing and licensing was launched. She says, “I was blessed to be able to support and raise my family of six children solely on my art income.”

Working 30 years as a professional artist, teaching, licensing, creating the illustrations for books, and doing art festivals around the country, Laurie now shows primarily in Florida concentrating her time on images of the state of Florida, it majestic skies, enchanting landscapes, and magnificent beaches.  Laurie’s website –


Nature – November 2018 – Judith Edwards-White – “The Botanist”

Judith Edwards-White lives in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. As a small child, she was always interested in art and loved coloring books to color in the drawings with pencils and paint. Her love of painting continued into adulthood until 2008, when browsing the internet, she discovered “scratchboard art” on the website Wet Canvas, and ever since it is a medium she is passionate about.

She is totally self-taught in the use of oils, acrylics, and scratchboard and has had no formal training whatsoever. Scratchboard – “an unglamorous name for beautiful art” an appropriate quote she read by another artist recently, is quite labor-intensive and requires many hours to do a small area of work by “scratching” or “cutting” (another term used) by using only the tip of an Xacto blade thousands of lines or dots onto the blackboard to create the image. Although time-consuming, this medium is very therapeutic and addictive. Color can be added to the image with inks, watercolors or watercolor pencils.

Animals are fabulous subjects to work on in the medium and are her most favorite as it is perfect for creating the texture of fur and feathers as well as dramatic light and shade. In addition, still life, portraits, botanical and landscapes are also perfect for the medium.

In March 2009 Judith’s work appeared at the Dean Johnson Gallery Indianapolis USA “Scratching the Surface” which was the first known international show of scratchboard art and in 2011 she applied to become a Master Scratchboard Artist (MSA) after the International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA) was formed and Judith became one of the first two MSA’s in Australia and is now one of only four MSA’s in the country.

Judith has had numerous Australian publications showing her scratchboard art, as well as it being featured on the covers, and workshops showing her scratchboard process. She has won many awards for her scratchboard art with a highlight being when she was approached by the Australian Ashdene company to have one of her scratchboard pieces, “Freckle the koala,” produced on their coffee mugs, scatter trays, teabag holders and coasters.

Judith’s scratchboard art is in private collections in Australia, New Zealand, China, the United Kingdom, and the USA. Her website is


Patterns – October 2018 – Cynthia Coldren – “Seven By Two”

As an artist, Cynthia Coldren uses a non-objective abstract style to visually explore opposing concepts and rethink how we react to them — chaos and order, complexity and simplicity, repetition and diversity. She finds inspiration in strong visuals of spare landscapes, urban structures and geographic patterns that become understories for her abstract “ideascapes.”

With a creative process that’s both intentional and spontaneous, Cynthia frequently pairs geometric shapes with color and textural abstraction. Her use of squares, lines and gridded patterns is a unifying thread through her art that creates a sense of familiarity in the abstract.

Cynthia studied fine art as an undergraduate student before completing her BAS in communications and management. Largely self-taught, her early artwork focused on photo-realistic pastel paintings. In the last 10 years, she transitioned to an abstract style using acrylics paints, inks and mediums on canvas and paper. She lives in the Dallas, Texas Motorplex. Her website:


Open – September 2018 – Donald Greco – “Heavens Crying”

Born in New York City, Mr. Greco has been hankering to express his visions, thoughts, dreams, and emotions since he was a young boy. Enraptured by the mountains and beauty he found in a short visit to Utah, Mr. Greco decided to relocate in the late 1980’s.

After arriving Mr. Greco quickly searched out the art scene, and was introduced to Ken Baxter who recognized his talents and became a mentor and friend of now more than 25 years. Mr. Greco knew from the first day this faithful meeting was not a coincidence, but the perfect timing from a higher power to push his artistic passions even further.

In his early years of experimenting, there was no premeditated vision of the end result, up until the Golden Moon. Followed by “Heaven’s Crying” which was inspired by his late wife Kimberly. Heaven’s Crying was painted after the death of Eric Clapton’s son with the hope she could one day give it to him, following her own death in 2010 he added her image to the painting.

Mr. Greco is primarily self-taught, drawing inspiration from Bob Ross, and guidance from his mentor Ken Baxter. He has perfected a unique multi-step process using broken automotive, metal shards and other items creating a style that is all his own.

Painting abstract art enables him to capture the very soul of what he sees and the deepest thoughts of what he feels. The title of the paintings are his interpretation, but the beauty of abstract art is that it allows the viewer to interpret it with their own imagination making it personal. His art has been shown at the Utah Arts Festival, Access Art Exhibition and the Springville Museum of Art. Donald’s website:


Botanicals – August 2018 – Paula Weech – “Summer”

Paula always been drawn to creativity. She lived her early years in Niagara Falls where, in third grade, her artwork was displayed in a children’s show at the local art museum. She later moved on to Illinois where she attended junior and senior high schools during the 1960s. At that time, girls were required to choose between home economics and art. Paula chose the latter. Yet what she learned in those early years of art classes does not resonate in her artwork of today. Her love of abstract became evident, many years after her high school graduation.

Paula was married at age 17, right after high school and did not go on to college. After marrying young and immersing herself in raising three children, her artistic talents lay dormant. She worked in the fields of banking and accounting in the Midwest until 1986. It was then that Paula and her family relocated to Tucson, Arizona where she launched her twenty-three-year career as Director of Operations for a national advertising research company. Such a career path was a far cry from that of an artist, but she maintained her appreciation and love for art, and a strong desire to express herself artistically.

In the late 1980s, through a serendipitous encounter, Paula met a gentleman who taught “meditation painting.” She took a private class from him and realized the act of dripping and throwing the paint onto large canvases was a very liberating experience and began painting occasionally on the weekends to relax and unwind. Eventually, she began to experiment with a variety of papers as her base rather than the large canvases with which she began her artistic journey. Her acrylics took on a new life atop fibrous watercolor papers, rice papers, metallic and high gloss paper.

Paula is primarily a self-taught artist; however, she continues educating herself in a variety of art mediums and styles, enrolling in various workshops. Her recent exploration of pouring watercolor on yupo and creating with collage has become her new passion. As with the large canvas paintings, she continues to paint abstractly allowing her mood, the colors and the flow of the paint to guide her. Pouring on yupo is challenging but invigorating. It encourages her to let go of control and allow the paint to merge and flow. Her colors are rarely chosen before the start of a painting, as she allows her prevailing mood to dictate her palette. Paula doesn’t set out to paint about one subject or another. She enjoys painting abstractly because it is exciting to watch the painting evolve. Painting with abandon uplifts her soul and spirit.

Paula started painting more seriously a few years ago, after retiring from her career. She is a member of Arizona Watercolor Society, Contemporary Artists Southern Arizona, National Collage Society, and is a signature member of the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild. While she continues to submit her work for juried shows, Paula’s work is consistently exhibited at the Southern Arizona Watercolor Guild gallery.

Please contact Paula at for more information about her work and upcoming showings.


555 Special – July 2018 – Steven Lester – “Star Spangled Banner” 

Steven has an insatiable curiosity and he embraces life with a passion. He loves what he does and has fun doing it. And he often breaks the rules. His playful process allows him to convey the inspiration that a moment invoked in him.

After a long and successful career as an art director and illustrator, Steven shifted his boundless energies to focus on creating art that expresses feeling, engages the heart, and resonates on an emotive, visceral level.

His tools of the trade are the aggregate of his extensive life experiences. And It has become a good staging ground for him to paint a colorful narrative through a compelling point of view.

Steven’s paintings and collages are marked by bold colors, expressive brushwork, and a fresh, impressionistic style. According to Steven, “I see with my heart and I paint with my hands, but I always desire to provoke fascination, imagination, and wonder”.


Landscapes – June 2018 – Laurie Hein – “Loxahatchee River”

Our world is so amazing! Description using words seem to fall short. I hope to bridge the gap with my artwork, filling the silence between our thoughts with vibrant images.

I strive to explain what my words cannot express but what my heart and emotions interpret and recognize.

My hope is that my landscape paintings accentuate the beauty of South Florida and the American tropics that I call home.

Always trying new media and continuing to experiment in order to create interesting effects, I create textures and sensations within my developing work.

Each portrait, still life, and landscape is another way to communicate and experience the beauty of Florida.  Laurie’s website: 


Animals – May 2018 – George Ann Johnson – “Two Pair”

George Ann Johnson is a nationally recognized wildlife artist. Her work has been published in various venues, including books, magazines, and catalogs and has been shown in numerous galleries. Professionally, George Ann has been an active artist for over 30 years. Having a strong natural talent, she initially began her art career painting professional racehorses to help support her own horse business. This eventually led her into starting her own commercial art company. Her Kansas City-based company was utilized by businesses throughout the Midwest, California, and Hawaii. After several years of commercial art, she began her career in fine art by studying at the Danforth Museum of Fine Art in Boston. Her training at the Danforth propelled her to study with numerous artists through short courses and workshops. Through this training, George Ann has continually refined her skill as an artist. In an effort to give back, George Ann has utilized this training to present various workshops and demonstrations and has taught at East Central University.

George Ann has been a member of numerous art guilds and organizations throughout the United States including the Colored Pencil Society of America (CPSA) and International Society of Scratchboard Artists (ISSA). She acted as President for the CPSA Oklahoma Chapter and CPSA District Chapter Developer for the Eastern United States. She currently is an active member of the Corpus Christi Art Center and Rockport Art Center.

George Ann is a realist artist. Although she has worked in watercolor and oils, George Ann’s principal media are scratchboard and colored pencil. It has been her recent exploration in the media of scratchboard that has allowed her to produce the high level of realism that is warranted by her talent and skill. As a result, her work has captured national attention. Her recent recognition in competitions by The Southwest Artist Magazine and The Artist Magazine as well as becoming Merit Finalist in the national Dimensions Art Show and prestigious Rockport Texas Art Center is clear evidence that her work is increasing in popularity and value.  George Ann’s work can be viewed online at


Figurative – April 2018 – Thu Nguyen – “Chaos and Order”

I was born in Saigon, Vietnam. Being very shy, I spent much of my childhood hiding away upstairs painting, instead of playing with other children. My first brush with success was a Best of Show prize at the 1974 children’s exhibition in Saigon sponsored by UNICEF. In 1975 Saigon fell and in the resulting confusion, I was separated from my parents. I ended up in a refugee camp near Hong Kong for a year prior to immigrating to the United States as an orphan. After one very snowy and cold winter in Pennsylvania, I went to Los Angeles to stay with some relatives.

During my high school years, I earned extra money doing fashion modeling work in the garment district and upon graduation started on the pre-med program in college. During this time I fell in love with art again and changed my major to art. While in college I had an acting stint in Hollywood on the side (I got a part in Oliver Stone’s ‘Heaven and Earth’ and followed with a lead role in Elizabeth Hong Yang’s ‘Touch Within’ in China).

After getting my art degree, I have since settled down to pursue my art career in Los Angeles, later Seattle and finally Hawaii with the big excitement being adopting my first daughter from China and my second daughter from Vietnam.


Abstracts – March 2018 – Barry Rafuse – “Azure Divide”

Barry Rafuse is a Canadian abstract artist who resides in British Columbia. He retired from a 35-year career in the judicial field. He was always a hobby painter; in his earlier years he used mainly oil paints and his subjects were traditional landscapes and seascapes. He is primarily self-taught however, he has taken numerous courses over the years which have helped him develop his own style. His love of watercolor on paper gave him permission to “trust the flow of paint” and from that, came his passion for abstraction. The less he could control the end results, the better he liked it. His love of combining mixed media (paint, pastels, graphite, and crayon) also gave him permission to experiment.

In the past fifteen years, he has become an established, professional abstract artist. He was awarded his signature status (SFCA) with the Federation of Canadian Artists (CFA) in 2013. He is an art instructor as well as a juror and he frequently exhibits his work in Canadian galleries.

Rafuse describes his painting process by stating, “Rarely do I commence a painting with pre-conceived ideas or a predictable outcome in mind. I like the challenge of working with the unknown and discovering satisfying results when paint and textures interact”. His work “evolves” from what he calls, “his inspiration from nature”. He is heavily influenced by patterns, designs, and compositions seen in nature. The textures and colors from rust, the deterioration of leaves, the power of erosion, the complexities of cloud formations, the magic of snow and frost – they all catch his attention.

He states, “I like to push the medium, to take chances and to explore the paint and textures. I see nature doing just that. I listen to what the painting wants to become”. Rafuse uses large brushes to keep his paintings look loose and non-detailed. He uses large canvas surfaces which allow him to obtain energetic, spontaneous results. From his fondness for texture, he uses acrylic gels, cheesecloth, sand granules and layers of paint to build his surfaces. He then scratches and/or scrapes back paint using a sharp tool to expose patterns beneath. He likens painting as an adventure because each piece is different and the process often changes throughout. He states, “Painting is an essential part of my life. It keeps me grounded”.

Barry Rafuse is now in his seventies and he has not slowed down. He wants his abstract paintings to be enjoyed by the viewer, but he also wants people to appreciate what seniors are capable of doing.  Barry’s Website is


CityScapes – February 2018 – Jeffrey Friedkin – “Soho Afternoon”

Jeffrey Friedkin is a fine art and street photographer, specializing in capturing the energy, vibrancy, and isolation of New York City. Jeffrey is a juried photography member of the prestigious Salmagundi Art Club in NYC. He is the Vice Chairman of the Public Relations Committee and serves on the Photography Committee for the Salmagundi Art Club.

A multiple award-winning photographer, Jeffrey has widely exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the tri-state area in addition to a large international online presence. His work has been featured on various news sites and is held in private collections and clubs. A series of his photographs have recently been acquired by the Yuko Nii permanent collection at the Williamsburg Art and Historical Center in Brooklyn, NY.

Jeffrey Friedkin’s photography employs a synthesis of the artistic eye and technology. His work focuses on New York life: the streets, people, architecture, and nature. The lush rural landscapes and sparkling seascapes of the Hudson River Valley region equally inspire him. His images tell these stories. Jeffrey’s website


All Women – January 2018 – Jolanta Soares – “New Chapter”

Jolanta Soares, an Abstract Expressionist artist, grew up in Communist Poland, coming of age during the Solidarity Movement, before emigrating to the United States. This background intermingles with her experiences as a mother, her love of sailing and working as an IT professional, to inspire her many different series of works. “Stories” describes her life’s journey, “Into the Cloud” conveys a rebellion against the digitization and vulnerability of our identities, “Poppies Fields” embodies the beauty and pathos inherent in poppies, and “Don’t Think” being the Joie de vivre. Reminiscent of De Kooning, Joan Mitchell and other Abstract Expressionist artists, Jolanta uses an Oil & Wax and Encaustic techniques to create paintings.

“My art represents my emotions, memories & desires. My paintings are intuitive. Every so often I start my paintings without any plan or structure, I just put paint on a board and play with the butter like mixes of oil paint and beeswax. I put down several layers of paint while experimenting with colors, textures, and markings while using different tools such as brooms, whisks, skewers, pencils etc”.

“The process of adding and subtracting paint is an essential part of the process. By revealing older layers and building up new ones, different feelings and memories are awakened and they eventually lead to the finished pieces that speak to me”.

2018 Year in Review – Our Top Winning Artists

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