Holscher earns AWS honor

Published 7:53 pm Sunday, May 30, 2010

Lifestyles & Features Editor

The American Watercolor Society has honored Washington artist Pat Holscher with signature status.
That means she’s earned the right and privilege to include “AWS” beneath her signature on all future pieces she paints.
Of the 70 artists who qualified, Holscher is one of only 30 artists from around the world to achieve the designation this year. Last year, the AWS honored her with its gold medal.
“The gold medal is the highest honor you can get, so this is just the cherry on the top,” Holscher said. “I feel like I’ve done as good as I can do as an artist.”
The AWS and the National Watercolor Society are the two most prestigious organizations for watercolor artists in the country. The NWS honored Holscher with signature status about 10 years ago. She also has achieved that designation with the North Carolina Watercolor Society and the regional Southern Watercolor Society.
This latest award comes as a result of her painting of pelicans titled “Party Animals.” The American Watercolor Society show was exhibited in New York in April, and Holscher was recognized during a closing reception. Accompanied by her husband, Fred, as well as her son, Franz, and daughter-in-law, Holscher enjoyed taking a bite out of the Big Apple, with her trip including the Broadway show “Lion King” and the King Tut exhibition.
Adding to her recognition on the international level, “Party Animals” was purchased by an art collector from Michigan the last day of the New York show. That collector will have to wait another year to claim the prize however, since a collection of the award-winning paintings will now tour the United States.
Even before the most recent honor, Holscher was a nationally and internationally recognized artist. Along with achieving signature status in several art societies and winning various awards, she has been featured in a 2004 issue of International Artist magazine and in the February 2010 issue of Watercolor Artist, a national publication that included Holscher’s work in an article titled “The Year’s Best Paintings.” Most recently, she was featured in the April issue of Art Collector magazine.
“That gold medal earned me more recognition than anything could,” Holscher said with a smile. “I’ve been getting e-mails from everywhere.”
Shows are keeping the artist busy these days, as well. Her paintings are featured in two different exhibitions in Morehead City, and her work can be seen in galleries as far away as New York, Kentucky and Georgia. And she’s mulling over the idea of entering a piece in this fall’s National Watercolor Society show, which could entail a trip to California.
Despite the awards, Holscher said she isn’t content to rest on her laurels. Realizing she had pretty much reached the zenith in the art world, she admitted to a bit of a letdown.
“Afterwards, I’d been kind of in a slump, but I’ve got to be remotivated,” she said.
Now, she’s ready to spread her wings and experience new things.
“It’s about time for me to move on from my birds,” said Holscher. “I love my dogs, my pet portraits, and I’ll always do them, but I don’t want to limit myself.”
Inspired by the work of other artists, Holscher is considering the field of people portraits, quite a departure from the gulls, pelicans and other feathered friends that have been her specialty in the past.
“I need to pull out all the stops and try some really different stuff,” she said. “What I want to do is just really experiment and do some different things. All of a sudden, I’m excited again.”
For more information about Holscher and her work, visit www.holscherstudio.com.