Winner Fine Arts Spring 2019 Scholarship Program: Maria Bueno

MARIA BUENO of Goodyear, Arizona is majoring in Painting at Arizona State University. She was awarded one of the two  Fine Arts Scholarships in the Spring 2019 Scholarship Program after submitting her watercolor “St. Anne’s Church in Molo, Illoilo City, Philippines”.

St. Anne's Church in Molo, Illoilo City, Philippines 21.75x14

“St. Anne’s Church in Molo, Illoilo City, Philippines” 2018 © Maria Bueno 21.75×14 Watercolor

Maria’s  goal is to work as a freelance Illustrator in magazines, newspapers, and books.

In her student statement she wrote: Right now, I work in a graphics position for State Press, ASU’s digital campus newspaper. I dedicate 8-10 hours every week for 2-4 header graphics that appear for the articles written by students. The topics that I interpret concern political events and opinions. Also, apart from my article graphics, the magazine has run two of my independent cartoons titled, “Historical Figures in College” and “Sparky Variation Challenge.”

I have interest in Byzantine iconography, political cartooning, caricature, character design, concept art, jewelry making, forensic art, and art history.

I look up to many historically significant artists including Gustave Dore, Edmund Dulac, Michelangelo, and John Singer Sargent. I admire Gustave Dore for his composition, beautiful technique, and storytelling application. My favorite Dore works are his etchings of Dante’s Divine Comedy. Like Dore, I also love Edmund Dulac for his composition, color, and storytelling. My favorite works of his are his illustrations of The Little Mermaid. I admire Michelangelo for his application of art to theology, rendering of the human figure, and philosophy of excellence in art. My favorite Michelangelo artwork is the Sistine Chapel where God gives life to Adam. I very much enjoy John Singer Sargent for his beautifully executed and composed portraits and landscapes. These artists are my ‘heroes.’

A large portion of my independent body of work regards fairy tales and myths, stories of relationships, and parodies of historical figures. I have had one show at Stark Gallery in Phoenix and have also done chalk performance art for the City of Goodyear.

By the end of my career, I hope to benefit society by inspiring my audience to see art as more than just an impractical indulgence.

Winner Art History/Museum Studies Spring 2019 Scholarship Program: Ann Hewitt

ANN HEWITT of Fairfield, Massachusetts is majoring in Museum Studies, Anthropology, and Ancient Studies at Mt Holyoke College in Massachusetts. She is pursuing a Museum Nexus as well as as a double major in Ancient Studies (an interdepartmental major between Art History, Classics and History departments) and Anthropology. She wrote: “This semester thanks to the Laurel fellowship from Mount Holyoke College, the Norman Woodberry Scholarship for Study Abroad from the World Affairs Forum, and the Ismene Phylactopoulou Memorial Scholarship, I am studying abroad at College Year Athens in Greece. To live in Europe for three months and to have class in museums and walk amongst monuments I have only seen in photographs has been life changing. It has also given me new perspectives and has strengthened my resolve to continue in the museum field after graduation and to begin a PhD program in Art History.”

Applicants wrote essays in response to the following statement: During their extensive travels in Mexico, Frederic and Eileen Whitaker often painted similar subject matter. Compare their approaches using the two paintings – “The Fruit Market” by Frederic Whitaker and “Se Venden Naranjas” by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker. 

The Fruit Market and Se Venden Naranjas

(Left) Se Venden Naranjas 1975 © Eileen Monaghan Whitaker 22×30 inches Watercolor   (Right) The Fruit Market 1969 © Frederic Whitaker 22×30 inches Watercolor

Ann’s essay: 

By comparing the approaches of Frederic Whitaker’s “The Fruit Market “ (1969) with Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s “Se Venden Naranjas”(1975) we are given tremendous insight into their individual visions of the world. While Frederic Whitaker’s watercolor gives us sense of place, Eileen Monaghan painting gives us humanity.

Frederic Whitaker painted a vibrant view of a “tianguis”, the traditional weekly open air market, where the heart of Mexican culture beats. These itinerant markets held in designated public places are setup and taken down in the course of a day. In rural communities the market is an event not to be missed because apart from providing the local population with food, it is an opportunity to socialize with others.

The painting is divided into two parts; the top third direct us visually to the markets white and grey awnings which highlight the scene. Between this space we notice on the left a dark green and brownish canopy of trees which contrasts with the turquoise sky emerging from cloud cover on the right. Below is a long dark stuccoed roof of a building upon which part of the awning is fastened. The composition on the lower part of the painting is a figurative scene which begins at the left corner with a woman in traditional dress, holding a basket over her right arm, entering the market place and following the direction of two other woman in front of her. Frederic Whitaker paints from the vantage point of someone observing the market and watching people enter and follow this path to the background of the composition where the majority of men and women are assembled.

We can almost smell the piles of pineapples and oranges in front of the vendors and hear the sounds of the people walking by. Frederic Whitaker captures the markets ambient mood through grey and rose color shadows cast by people, fruit, and the awnings and through his use of perspective he conveys the intimate atmosphere. This is especially noticeable in the way he reduced the area of the figurative scene by painting all of the action – the buyers and sellers of fruit and 30 loose sketches of shoppers- underneath the large white awning. This canopy is supported by of rope scaffolding, corners stretched and affixed to something unshown. Frederic Whitaker painted 4 ties that hang on sides of the awning – their function to tie up after its use for storage. The figures primarily seen from the back, ¾ , and side view move the viewers eyes along the scene. Frederic Whitaker’s use of color, both warm and cooler tones, balances the picture. The browns in the pineapple skins match the dress of the woman who is an orange vendor and the stucco roof, just as the turquoise color of the sash of the woman entering the market is repeated on blouse on a woman in front of her and on the skirt of a woman approaching from the other direction, dark shirt of a man in the market and lead up to turquoise sky.

Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s painting shares many of the warm colors that are seen in her husbands painting. But unlike his work, where there is little expression, her painting exhibits empathy, revealing the souls of the characters she portrays. She gives us an understanding of the life of indigenous woman in a rural Mexico who sell the oranges in the market. The days are long and tiresome, only one basket has been sold and another is half empty.Two woman positioned one in front of the other, sit with their legs outstretched. The woman in front, depicted from the side is older and is perhaps the mother. Her greyish long hair is braided and wrapped around her head. Her skin is weathered and her expression appears to be resigned to her fate as she gazes off into the distance. Behind her a daughter who has a look of acceptance on her face, while a younger girl on her left seems to questioning why? The difficulty of their lives contrasts with the beautiful way the composition is depicted the rich colors beiges, reds, oranges and blues belie the harshness of their lives.

Winner Spring 2019 Fine Arts Scholarship: Samantha Packer

SAMANTHA PACKER of Pringle, Pennsylvania, is majoring in Fine Arts and Art History at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. Her watercolor ” Noah” won one of the two Fine Arts Scholarships in the Spring 2019 Scholarship Program. 

"Noah" 2018 © Samantha Packer 7x8 inches Watercolor

“Noah” 2018 © Samantha Packer 7×8 inches Watercolor

She wrote in her student statement: As a dual major in Fine Arts and Art History, I am interested in both the process of making art and the study of those who have made an impact on the world of art. I am a painting major at Kutztown University, with a strong interest in watercolor and hope to continue exploring the intricacies of this medium. My deepest interest lies in the outdoors, and I have begun to incorporate this love into some of my work. I am also fascinated by the human body. The works I have included in this portfolio focus on my exploration of the delicate colors and textures of the human skin, with the inclusion of tattoos. These paintings allow me to paint realistic skin and make the tattoos seem as if they are a part of the body, not just laying on top. This process has been quite the challenge for me, with some failures and problem solving. With watercolor, I am learning how to deal with mistakes in a medium which is often unfixable.

Watercolor, like many other activities, has a long learning curve. I began working in the medium in fourth grade, taught by a teacher whose specialty was watercolor. As I progressed to high school, I began teaching children aged 5-13 at a private studio. I believe teaching students how to paint in watercolor helped my own practice immensely, as I had to push myself to be able to explain how to best manipulate the paint. After a two year hiatus from which was spent working mainly in oil, returning to watercolor has been an interesting challenge. Remembering back to the basic lessons I taught my students has helped me to be patient in regaining the feel for the ratio of water to pigment, being more careful in saving highlighted areas, and how to solve the problems that arise.

This series of tattoo paintings is ongoing and I would love to one day have amassed a professional body of work which could be shown in a gallery. For an art student, scholarships are invaluable to our ability to continue buying the supplies we need to progress in the art world.

Honorable Mention Fine Art Spring 2019 Scholarship Program: Allison Boyle

Both of the students receiving an honorable mention commendation in the Spring 2019 Fine Arts Scholarship program are studying Illustration at Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s alma mater – Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. 

"After A Long Day" 2018 © Allison Boyle 12x18 inches

“After A Long Day” 2018 © Allison Boyle 12×18 inches

ALLISON BOYLE of Stow, Massachusetts is majoring in Illustration at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, Massachusetts. She received an Honorable Mention Commendation in Fine Arts in the Spring 2019 Whitaker Foundation Scholarship Program. In her student statement she wrote: I love using watercolor to create my illustrations. It’s currently my strongest and go-to medium. My goals for art are to background paint and do concept art for movies and shows; as well as becoming a muralist. I am also considering getting my masters in teaching. My interest for mural painting comes from wanting my art to beautify cities. Though, I not painting murals yet I do enjoy giving to different communities with programs like Habitat for Humanity. I hope to make the lives of everyone who sees my murals more positive; if only for the moment they taking in the imagery. I love attempting realism and am also interested in distorted reality and surrealism. My work is full of bright colors, realism, and expressive mark making.

Honorable Mention Art History/Museum Studies Spring 2019 Scholarship Program – Sidney Petrunich

SIDNEY PETRUNICH of Brownsburg, Indiana received honorable mention in the Art History/Museum Studies category of the Frederic Whitaker and Eileen Monaghan Whitaker Foundation Scholarship Program. She is a student majoring in Art History at Herron School of Art & Design in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Applicants wrote essays in response to the following statement: During their extensive travels in Mexico, Frederic and Eileen Whitaker often painted similar subject matter. Compare their approaches using the two paintings – “The Fruit Market” by Frederic Whitaker and “Se Venden Naranjas” by Eileen Monaghan Whitaker. 

The Fruit Market and Se Venden Naranjas

(Left) Se Venden Naranjas 1975 © Eileen Monaghan Whitaker 22×30 inches Watercolor   (Right) The Fruit Market 1969 © Frederic Whitaker 22×30 inches Watercolor


Sidney Petrunich’s essay

Looking at these two artworks, the strong connection between Frederic and Eileen Whitaker is heavily apparent in their depictions of Mexican life and culture. While their approaches to the two individual paintings may look different, they show a similar goal of capturing human energy and form.

When looking at Frederic Whitaker’s “The Fruit Market”, it is easy to assume that he was depicting his subject matter in a more active style than Eileen. The slight sketchiness in the outlining of those visiting the market, the extreme detail in some facial features and the lack of in others, as well as the loose brush marks seen in the sky and fabric make this painting easily interpretable as perhaps an echo of Post-Impressionism, reminiscent of the lively brush strokes and textural markings seen in the late nineteenth century.

It should be noted; however, that while this painting may look as though Mr. Whitaker had instantly captured the activities of the buzzing fruit market, much of this painting was probably pre-planned as there seems to be a lack of underdrawings beneath the water color. Further, the division of the painting shows a large amount of preparation. The background, middleground, and foreground are well-portrayed. Frederic uses the sky and fabric to depict the background, the a bustling crowd viewing and picking fruit for the middleground, and the foreground consists of a triangular formation of pineapples and a lone fruit seller. In contrast, Eileen Whitaker’s “Se Venden Naranjas”, which roughly translates to “orange sellers”, lacks the planar division seen in Mr. Whitakers work and shows underdrawings present beneath the figures and in the background. Markings showing vase placements and figure outlines never fully painted are seen behind the women figures within the painting. It should be stated that one of Eileen’s orange sellers, the one which is seated with a blanket over her lap, is like Frederic’s fruit seller in the foreground of his piece. This may indicate that while they portrayed differing depictions of the fruit market, they may have been viewing the same scene when painting. This may be why Eileen’s painting shows faded figure outline behind the women figures present in “Se Venden Naranjas”.

Unlike Frederic’s “The Fruit Market”, Eileen’s watercolor depiction of the fruit seller’s focuses on capturing the intimacy of the women, who seem to be closely related to each other and are more than likely from the same family. Mrs. Whitaker intends to capture the quietness and solemnity of the outer edges of the fruit market. While Eileen’s painting uses similar loose brushstrokes and outlining techniques as her husband, she illustrates much more detail in the physical features of her subjects and the quality of fabric and baskets seen on and around the women. Her naturalistic portrayal of the women allows her to capture the gravitas of the human form and energy between the women, and the subtle sobriety present in the moment.

In conclusion, while their artworks focus on separate subjects within the crowded markets of Mexico, their approach to capturing their subject matter and energy show not only their individual take on watercolor depictions. Frederic and Eileen Whitaker’s portrayal of their subject matter contain similar drawing tactics, shading practices, and textural markers. Their use of loose brush strokes when capturing energy, their interest in emotion and feeling in their art, and the similar presentation of the fruit seller seen in the lower portion of Frederic’s painting in comparison with Eileen’s orange sellers all portray their communication and sharing of ideas while working. Their individual approaches to painting render their relationship with one another, and their sharing of ideas and practices within their art.

Honorable Mention Fine Art Spring 2019 Scholarship Program: Elizabeth Ogle

Both of the students receiving an honorable mention commendation in the Spring 2019 Fine Arts Scholarship program are studying Illustration at Eileen Monaghan Whitaker’s alma mater – Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston. 

"The Writer's Boudoir" 2018 © Elisabeth Boudoir 10x20 inches

“The Writer’s Boudoir” 2018 © Elisabeth Ogle 10×20 inches Watercolor

ELIZABETH OGLE of Boston, Massachusetts  was honored for her watercolor “The Writer’s Boudoir”. She is majoring in Illustration. She plans on working at a publishing house, and after a few years, move into freelance work as an illustrator and cover designer for both children’s and adult literature.

She wrote in her student statement: Watercolor is by far my favorite medium to work in. To me, its luminescence demands that the artist observe and translate the subject matter as light. Working in watercolor, particularly from observation, has helped me to progress as a painter and as an illustrator by encouraging this mode of seeing. I love the way that watercolor preserves the texture of the paper beneath, lending the illustration a kind of “grain.” Many of my illustrations are highly detailed, and with watercolor, I can showcase that detail with crisp precision. I sometimes enjoy using touches of colored pencil and/or pigma microns for such details, and appreciate the way that watercolor lends itself to combination with dry media.

I am a bookmaker as well as an illustrator, and I often use watercolor for the illustrations in my books. I recently designed, illustrated, and bound a book with five original watercolor illustrations depicting Homer’s The Odyssey, the pages of which, when spread flat, form the shape of a Greek key. I presented this project at last year’s Undergraduate Research Conference at UMass Amherst.For the past three years, I have been working on a novel and character illustrations which focus on humanism and the empowerment of women. I hope to complete the manuscript (with watercolor illustrations) before I graduate, and to publish the book with a good publishing house.