April 2018 Staff Picks

The following artworks were completed in the month of April by the members of our tribe. Our staff then highlights some which stood out for them. We then present the list to an anonymous juror who may be an art collector, gallery owner, or art writer. The artist whose work which is selected by the juror wins a PayPal cash prize.

Here are the selections for this month.

There is much to like about this beautiful portrait. Claudia has balanced strong elements to create a bath for the eyes. The color combinations pulse with calm vitality. The woman exudes a comfortable serenity and makes me want to go to wherever she is inside. I am happy to look at this painting repeatedly and for a long time. Superb.
— John Dalton
Erin Milan is a seriously talented oil painter and in this work (Dead Fish, Oil on linen, 40 x 40 inches) she shows her control of lighting and texture and atmosphere. The metal surface of the bowl, the interplay of warm and cool light, and the accuracy of edges all show a commitment to realism. But Milan is not just interested in realism as a technical display, the whole point is to communicate a somber emotional mood, which this work does immensely well. Some of the best art explores emotions and that is what’s happening here.
— Walt Morton
Jodi has managed to convey a lot in this wonderful painting. With her courageous composition, she has charged almost half the canvas with throbbing emptiness. The lady’s hair blends into the sky. She sleeps. Time passes. Her thoughts dissolve into the ether. Her body shows the slow deflation of age as maybe her personality dissolves too. But it’s okay. There is no sense of loss just a nodding return to the mystery.
— John Dalton


Love the pose and the expression of this delicate study. It has a wholeness and connects emotionally even as a sketch.
— Natalie Holland
 Teresa Elliott | The Arrival | oil on aluminum | 47x33

Teresa Elliott | The Arrival | oil on aluminum | 47x33


I tend to prefer narrative over portraiture. I like the idea of women needing to protect themselves from the invasion of the toxic zeitgeist. While it’s hard to tell from a jpeg, it looks well-painted too.
— April 2018 Juror
Without doubt my favorite. Great design - grabs your attention as thumbnail and makes you want to see close up. Close on the painting, it is the finesse of her technique and saturated colour that pleases the eye. Intriguing image where you don’t really know what’s going on, but you want to find out and you keep looking. Stunning piece.
— Natalie Holland
So powerful is this painting that I am cheering for the girl before my eyes have had time to take in the whole composition. I don’t even know why I’m cheering. She just seems like a real person. And one who should be cheered for.

It would be easy for the kaleidoscopic furniture to be distracting but Jodi includes it masterfully and uses it to further the narrative. I don’t know what the story is but I don’t need to. I know she got through it whatever it was. Her resilience comes across well. It’s not the resilience of the thick skinned but the gentle resilience of the spirit shining through her face.
— John Dalton
Zack Zdrale’s small painting of a male torso is enjoyable for it’s keen ability to show quality oil painting skills. It’s composition is nearly abstract in it’s cropping, yet immediately reads as a human torso. A great example of how paintings are made in color and value more than in any specific detail.
— Walt Morton
April Dawes portrait painting is a jolt for it’s very self-conscious graphic design and approach to the subject. Dawes is not a realist but a figurative painter whose work, while accurate is stylized for a calculated, simplified effect. While attractive, the work feels stark and slightly weird and makes the viewer think. It’s a dramatic and psychological portrait.
— Walt Morton
“Joe” is an excellent example of a basic concept done thoughtfully, and with care. I love the mossy, muted palette. The soft edges on the subject, and the blurred background, provide depth to the piece, and allow ‘Joe’ to appear very naturally set in the environment. Simple, classic, front-facing portrait done very well.
— Jay Menendez

guest curators and staff

John Dalton diverse works include painting, writing, music, photography, social practice art, and video , He produces a successful art podcast, Gently Does It. He lives in Kerry, Ireland.

Natalie Holland is a realist artist with focus on portraiture of contemporary humanity. She applies her technical skill and storytelling ability to bring forth en extraordinary dimension in familiar situations and encounters with people. Her paintings open up a personal dialogue with the viewer with whom she aims to establish a unique, emotional connection.

Natalie received her education in St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, started her career as artist in Norway and, after attending the studio of Odd Nerdrum in Oslo, proceeded to exhibit internationally, with gallery shows in Norway, Italy, USA and UK. Currently, she lives and works in London. Here, she exhibited at BP Portrait Award 2009 and several times with the Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, The Society of Women Artists and Federation of British Artists at Mall Galleries.

Jay Menendez is an artist living in the Midwest. She is PoetsArtists publisher’s assistant and daughter. She curates and is an editor on staff.

Walt Morton is a maker, writer, painter, photographer, creative director, etc.

Didi MenendezComment