Frederick Somers winner in Abstract/Experimental category

Frederick Somers "Ruby’s Crowned Waters"

Frederick Somers won the first place in the Abstract/Experimental category of the Artist’s Magazine 26th annual competition with his pastel painting.
For more than 30 years, Frederick Somers has noted those small sections of flowers and grasses sequestering pools of water in the Minnesota farmlands. In winter, as the days grow shorter and darker and the sun sits lower in the sky, the longer wavelengths of light create vibrant purples and reds, like those in Ruby’s Crowned Waters. The painting originated from a reference photo he’d snapped impulsively from his truck window. “Near the peripheral edges of my sight, I saw colors of the most brilliant light blues, reds and greens,” says Somers. “When I turned my head, they were gone. I believe the colors were some kind of prismatic effect.”
Somers began by painting shapes and values, then added details and final color notes. He used the flat side of his pastel and a “dry wash” applied with Viva towels—a frequently used tool for both adding and removing color. By this means he achieves the perfect balance of hard and soft edges and bright or dull color. The Artist’s Magazine

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