Year in Review – Our Top Winning Artists for 2021

It’s that time of the year again when we at the Light Space & Time Online Art Gallery announce our “Year in Review” recap. In this annual feature we highlight and promote again the gallery’s top winning artists for the 12 individual monthly art exhibitions and any other special online art exhibitions the gallery conducted, which in 2021 included the gallery’s “555 Special” art exhibition.

In 2021, the gallery received more than 11,787+ entries for our art competitions and the following artist’s and their art are what we consider to be the best entries from our online themed exhibitions. 

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 Gallery Archives.

Please enjoy reading about these extremely talented artists.

“All Women” – January 2021 – Merrilee Soberg – “The Timekeepers”

“All Women” – January 2021 – Merrilee Soberg – “The Timekeepers”After retiring from a successful career as a professional potter, Merrilee turned to photography and digital art to fill the creative void. She honed her digital art skills in Sebastian Michael's Photoshop Artistry online courses. As a result, she has been published in numerous editions of "Living the Photoartistic Life" magazine and was featured in the February 2020 edition.

In 2020, Merrilee received first place in Fusion Art's "Leaves and Petals" competition plus second overall (first place in photography division) in "Light Space & Time's" Nature competition. Many of the photos used in Merrilee's compositions were taken at home on Vancouver Island on the west coast of Canada or during her world travels.

She is passionate about photographing wildlife, especially birds, in their natural habitat. As she lives on the edge of a seasonal wetland, other elements of nature regularly find their way into her artistic creations. These photos combined with digital painting are the building blocks used to create inspired, unique works of art that can be beautiful, intriguing, moving and at times thought provoking. She focuses on the resilience, strength and connectedness of the human spirit.

Nature and the human form....what a magical combination.

Merrilee’s website is  

“CityScapes – February 2021 – Sandy Friedkin - "Schnippers for Lunch”

“CityScapes – February 2021 – Sandy Friedkin - "Schnippers for Lunch”Sandy received a BS Degree from Columbia U., School of Occupational Therapy, and practiced as an OTR for many years. She had training in many artistic & craft media and enjoys taking pictures and post - computer processing. Sandy was born & spent most of her life in New York City. Her family still lives in the New York Metro Area & if she has an opportunity to visit NYC, she takes her camera & goes there. These pictures were taken on one such visit.

Sandy has lived in beautiful South Florida for the past 30 years. She loves the year-round warm climate and the outdoors. There is always something of beauty to photograph, whether wild birds, wildlife, flowers & botanicals, people, architecture or Land and Seascapes. Sandy has had her photographs displayed in many juried shows, galleries, and in many homes in South Florida. She has won a number of “Best in Show”, Special Merit, and Honorable Mention Awards.

If you would like to see more of her work, visit her website:

“Abstracts” – March 2021 – Ingrid Black – “The Cosmic Eye”

“Abstracts” – March 2021 – Ingrid Black – “The Cosmic Eye”Ingrid Black is a self-taught artist who has worked with acrylics for over 35 years. Since retiring from her real estate career in 2008, she has devoted herself to art. She has had four solo exhibitions and has participated in numerous group exhibitions since then. Her cityscapes were very popular in the eighties. She went on to paint a series of portraits of performing artists, capturing her subjects’ energy on stage - depicting them in a surrealistic style. When she submitted her portrait of Bob Marley to the Bob Marley website in 2012, it went viral.

While she was painting portraits, she liked to paint birds and other animals, on occasion, which led to a series of bird paintings - realistic depictions of birds in settings normally associated with human beings. Also very popular, these paintings tell a story, often with humorous undertones.

She ventured into abstracts in 2016. Her fascination with texture, colour, contrast and light is evident in her abstract creations. In 2020, David Stark, Editor/Publisher of two websites, who has been involved in the music scene in London, England for many years, purchased the right to use Magical Mystery Tour, her psychedelic painting of the Beatles, for the cover of his new book, It’s All Too Much.

Ingrid Black’s work comprises a wide range of styles and subject matter - she tries something new just about every year. Not doing so would make her feel as though she is standing still. She is a member of The Lakeshore Association of Artists in Pointe Claire, Quebec, and The Society of Canadian Artists.

Ingrid’s website is

“Figurative” – April 2021 – M. Gilmour - "Sitting. Waiting.”

“Figurative” – April 2021 – M. Gilmour - "Sitting. Waiting.”Based in Munich, Germany, Michael is a Senior Member of the Federation of Canadian Artists. With no formal training in fine art (Michael's formal education is in accounting and law), Michael is a self-taught painter who has relied on practice, casual advice, books and videos to develop his painting techniques since he began painting in 2012.

Michael favours representational art with the aim of giving the viewer a high sense of realism to create the illusion of life. Michael prefers still life and figurative motives, and generally works with photographers to find natural compositions.

Michael’s website is

“Botanicals” – May 2021 – Cher Pruys - "Coneflower”

“Botanicals” – May 2021 – Cher Pruys - "Coneflower”Cher Pruys was born in Regina. Over the years she lived in many places including Saskatoon, Calgary, Edmonton, Ottawa, Fort Frances, settling into her present home in Devlin, on the banks of the Rainy River with her husband Mark, 4 dogs and 2 cats.

By age three, Cher was seldom found without a drawing tool in hand. She worked in pencil, charcoal and ink over the years, until, she picked up a paintbrush at the age of 35. Beginning with oil paints, she found her chosen mediums in acrylic, watercolor and gouache.

Although self-taught, her dedication and talent has seen her work juried into 99 International exhibits, as well as exhibits in numerous non-juried shows. She has won 75 awards for her work at the International Juried Exhibits. Included in these awards, the first recipient of a major Canadian National Award, The Mary Pratt Crystal Award of Excellence at the 2014 SCA Open Juried Exhibition, The SCA 1st place award of distinction twice respectively, 2016, and 2017 at The Canada’s 150 show. The Gold Medal recipient for Figurative Painting in The Mondial Art Academia’s International 2018 Competition. The Aviation Week & Space Technology Award Best of the Best, and the ASAA Award of Distinction for the best painting in the ASAA International Space & Technology Exhibit & Competition, consecutively for 2 years. She has had 14 solo exhibits. Cher is also an avid fused glass artist, and a certified teacher of piano and guitar.

Her painting “The Bubble” had the honour of being part of the Masterworks from The International Guild of Realism Tour. She was elected to the American Society of Aviation Artists as an artist member in 1996, and eventually was elected as a Foreign Affiliate Artist Fellow, one of only two Canadians receive this honour. Her work has graced the covers of 3 books, 14 magazines, and has-been featured in over 50 international publications. Cher’s works have found a permanent home in private and public collections worldwide.

Cher’s artistic style can be described as Realism with a hint of Abstract in her latest works.

Cher’s website is

“Animals” – June 2021 – Kaz Turner - "Rise to the Bait”

“Animals” – June 2021 – Kaz Turner - "Rise to the Bait”Since a very young age, visual art has always been of great interest. Kaz began to paint and illustrate from a very early age and continued to do so as a hobby. Kaz pursued an artistic career for a short while, although circumstance led her to a change in career.

Eventually after a long break, she returned to the art world and enrolled onto a part time class at a local college. This transition intensified her eagerness to create a personal style of decorative imagery; consequently, this progressed to the foundation course in Art and Design. It was here her drawing strengths were apparent and subsequently Kaz went on to gain a BA Hons in Illustration for Children’s Publishing at Glyndwr University Wales where she experimented with a plethora of materials, and found the amazing result pastels could produce when creating a design.

As a professional wildlife artist not only does Kaz have an avid interest in animals and their welfare but her love the natural world has been the inspiration to create realistic works of art. Her aim is to capture the spirit and character of the animals she paints, paying particular attention to the assiduous detail, their energy and form. Her portraits are a true representation capturing a pet's personality.

Kaz also offers one to one tuition, at her home studio in which she enjoys helping others to improve their own painting skills. All age groups are catered to, from beginners to advanced. Commissions for pet portraits are always welcome. As a consequence, she considers it an honour and a pleasure to illustrate nature and animals in art.

Kaz’s website is

“Landscapes” – July 2021 – Barbara Mierau-Klein‏ - "Tetons Sunset”

“Landscapes” – July 2021 – Barbara Mierau-Klein‏ - "Tetons Sunset”I enjoy combining my photography skills, education in graphics, and love of painting to create mixed-media digital works of art. Using all three disciplines enables me to diversify my style. My first love will always be abstracts. I create these with more of a feeling rather than starting with a vision of the end result. As I get older, I find myself leaning toward more of a modern style of work. The less complicated feel and composition appeals to my "less is more" aesthetic. I am an optimist and generally positive person. I focus on creating art that is colorful, has movement, light and uplifting. There's enough darkness in the world, I choose "HAPPY"!

Michelle’s website is

“555 Special” – July 5 – September 5, 2021 – Jon Bøe Paulsen - "Dead Ringer”

“555 Special” – July 5 – September 5, 2021 – Jon Bøe Paulsen - "Dead Ringer”Jon Bøe Paulsen’s (1958) paintings are hauntingly realistic. His impeccable skills give filmic qualities to his works. The artist studied at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston (US) and graduated from the Norwegian State Art Academy in 1984.

His portraits tell many stories in one single image, and his dynamic between light and dark add a “carravaggistic” feel. Jon’s success as an artist was translated into various commissions, awards, and publications, including a documentary film on his life.

The artist’s work has been featured in exhibitions in Norway, the United States, France, and the United Kingdom.

Jon’s website is

“Open (No Theme)” – August 2021 – John H Diephouse - "Carriage for Hire”

“Open (No Theme)” – August 2021 – John H Diephouse - "Carriage for Hire”I am a primarily self-taught photographer who began exhibiting my images about fifteen years ago. I seek to share images with which I has a strong and instinctive personal connection. Images may be simply documentary, invoke a sense of time and place, or resonate as an abstract blend of color, shape or form. Others provoke an indefinable question that does not readily yield answers without further study and reflection.

My creative process follows an intuitive yet patterned path, searching for the combination of elements that produces an instinctive but undeniable connection. Most often, the images that provoke the strongest connection are those that do not produce an immediate reaction but provoke a response through repeated contact and consideration over time.

I exhibit widely and have received awards in local, regional, and national exhibitions. My photographs are also included in several corporate and private collections.

John can be reached via his email.

“Patterns” – September 2021 – Christopher Brown - "Firmament”

“Patterns” – September 2021 – Christopher Brown - "Firmament”I am a working artist with a master's degree in fine art. Included among my abstract works are wall sculptures, paintings, and drawings. I use a variety of traditional and nontraditional materials including canvas, paper, charcoal, chalk, pen, pencil, oil paint, varnish, plywood, wood, steel, and epoxy resin.

My abstract artworks are informed by Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism (Surrealism in that I give the unconscious/subconscious mind considerable liberty while working and Abstract Expressionism in so much as the pieces are not rooted in, nor do they mirror or seek to translate, objective reality). The artworks exist (for the most part) independent of direct visual reference to the physical world. When a direct reference is made, via a representational image fragment or a material that comes loaded with associations, it is done to induce a sense of memory, of fading or forming thought.

Free from the tethers of objective "subject", I use color, line, shape, material, and composition as “notes” struck in dynamic, gestural ways as well as quietly and reflectively played. These “notes” occupy visual spaces that are emotive and contemplative—internal, inward-looking spaces.

My large-scale pieces are intended to envelop the viewer and immerse them as they experience the work. Through this experience, I hope that the viewer may find respite from the noise of the “real” world, a breathing space, and calm found through quiet reflection.

Christopher can be reached via his email.

“SeaScapes” – October 2021 – Laurie Snow Hein - “Sailor's Delight”

“SeaScapes” – October 2021 – Laurie Snow Hein - “Sailor's Delight”Laurie Snow Hein has been painting since first grade when she first picked up a paintbrush and watched the bright paint colors dripping down the paper. It was love at first stroke. Her parents had convinced her that it was impossible to make a career as an artist; but it was in her DNA. Both parents, brother, and grandmother were multi-talented in the arts. At age twelve she started studying with Graham Ingels, a retired illustrator, famous for “Tales from the Crypt.” Her high school teacher encouraged her to apply for a scholarship which she received from Columbus College of Art and Design. She decided to major in Industrial design to be practical. At the end of her first year, Laurie was the first freshmen at CCAD to be awarded the Katherine M. Tuttle Scholarship.

After college, she married considering art as a pass time. Six children later at age 40, she was suddenly in need of supporting her family by herself. Her strength was the arts, portrait painting primarily, so she immediately started advertising to paint portraits. Her garage was converted to a teaching studio. She took a job instructing art in all mediums, teaching at two local country clubs. When her paintings of children and animals were noticed by a national publisher, her career in art licensing and reproductions was launched. God blessed her and provided the opportunities and ability to support her family with artistic talent. Had it not been for the necessity of using her artistic abilities she would have never grown to be the artist she is today.

Working 30 years as a professional artist, teacher, licensed artist, illustrator, showing at art festival circuits, Laurie now shows primarily in Florida. Her subject is concentrated on local landscapes, beaches, botanicals, wildlife. The beauty and variety of God’s creation is all the inspiration needed when exploring the amazing world there is to enjoy. Large paintings making you feel in the moment are her forte. Although very realistic, her brushstrokes are bold, rich with colors, transparent glazing, textures, and energy. You feel like you could almost step into the painting. The pace was so fast and demanding for many years that there wasn’t time to consider entering competitions for awards. Now at 70 plus there is a focus to share her art more with her peers and enter competitions creating greater value for her many collectors.

Traveling is a passion, while she searches out the heart of locations to paint. In 2019 Laurie traveled across the US on a 90-day trip starting a new collection of plein air artworks representing our National Parks. In 2021, she created several more plein air paintings during a white-water rafting trip down the Colorado River, flanked by the majestic Grand Canyon.

Contact her directly from her website: for originals and commissions or custom made giclee reproductions. Follow her art and videos on Instagram and Facebook and collections on Pinterest.

“Nature” – November 2021 – Carolyn Dakin - "Full Moon"

“Nature” – November 2021 – Carolyn Dakin - "Full Moon"Carolyn is a digital artist and photographer, whose art is inspired by the beautiful natural environment of the South Island of New Zealand. She spends time photographing many images, which she layers together to create painterly and timeless stories. Her work integrates themes of joy, beauty and delight, often with humorous or playful aspects.

Carolyn’s website is



“Primary Colors” – December 2021 – John Jaster - "Boat Reflections”

“Primary Colors” – December 2021 – John Jaster - "Boat Reflections”John was born in Columbus Ohio, graduated from Ohio State and lived in Southern California for 30 years. Although John learned to draw and paint as a young boy, his degrees are in the computer science field. It wasn't until 2010, when his wife bought him a large easel and encouraged him to start painting again, that he began to take his art career seriously.

Since then John has been selected in over 130 gallery shows and juried contests, including the National Oil & Acrylic Painter's Society 2013 International On-line Exhibition and 2014 Best in America show.

John's Carousel Horse #1 was featured in the June 2014 issue the Artist's magazine Competition Spotlight, and he was featured in the 'Artists to Watch' section of the Southwest Art March 2016 edition.

John's acrylic painting have been included in AcrylicWorks Best of Acrylic Painting volumes 1-6+8 and his paintings have been voted FAV15% in Bold Brush on a number of occasions.

John’s website is

Congratulations to our Top Winning Artists for 2021 - Your Works are Magical and Stunning! Thank you.

2021 Year in Review – Our Top Winning Artists

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