Here's what they had to say:
Director's Selection Award: #155_1: Alert, 2007 -This painting embodies all that I had hoped to see in this competition. The technical ability in using the medium is unquestionably expert. Although I am generally not drawn to work of such photo realistic expression, Ms. Lancaster has in this piece, and in fact in all of the pieces that she submitted, used the distortion in the photo reference to convey the expression and temperament of this horse in a way that is undeniable. In doing so, she has stepped way beyond what we expect in equine portraiture. I commend and celebrate her boldness, as well as her achievement.
Judge's Comments:2nd PLACE, #155_1: Alert, 2007, Acrylic on canvas, 18x14"-- The artist has created an interesting and innovated composition in "Alert" that shows a strong confidence in their use of medium and craft. I feel a disturbing element in the painting and can sense the horse's alarm at something that is out of the frame or is it maybe the viewer who is alarming this horse? The artist's use of negative space and use of a skewed viewing angle adds to the drama of this stellar painting.
7TH PLACE #155_5: The Stare, 2008, Acrylic, 18x14" I love this one. How often I have seen this very view of my horses! Sometimes after falling off! The image is well done. This artist is very confident of his/her medium and has great drawing skills and an interesting take on composition. I loved all the work submitted by this artist! This artist has something to say.