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About the Artist

Art has been a part of Judy’s life longer than she can remember; since early childhood she has loved to draw and paint. Her first art award was for a crayon drawing her teacher named “The Calico Cat” – when she was in the first grade! Today she is grateful for the opportunity to indulge in her passion for painting. She loves capturing everyday subjects such as beloved pets, wildflowers, rural scenes, fishing boats, and landscapes, as well as depicting the exotic, such as frolicking dolphins and African wildlife. Judy paints in a highly realistic manner with a unique sensitivity to detail which has won her many awards for her fine art.
by Judy age 7
Now and Then
This little crayon drawing was done by Judy at age 7....
35 years later, Judy redid the same subject: "Now and Then"
Judy began painting with watercolors in 1980, while teaching art in public schools, after receiving a B.A. in Creative Arts summa cum laude. "I was teaching drawing and painting at the high school level at a time when my own creative outlets were 3-dimensional art forms like fiber work and pottery. I figured I should be honing my skills in what I was teaching, so I enrolled in an introductory watercolor evening class at a nearby vocational school taught by a local artist whose work I loved. By the end of the course, I was hooked on watercolors!"

Judy worked in watercolors for many years after that, as time permitted while her career shifted to graphic art. She was primarily self-taught as a painter, other than occassional demos and workshops presented by other artists. While living in St. Augustine, Florida, an active fine art community, Judy began to paint more, further refined her skills, and began to exhibit in galleries and shows. She developed a distinctive style, with dynamic use of color and dramatic lighting. She learned to use bold contrast and sharp edges to carry your eye to the center of interest, softening and muting tones in the rest of the painting. "I've never been one to use paints in a fluid, diluted way. I remember rubbing a wet brush around and around in the little square of color in my paint box as a kid, to get the paint really thick and dark.... I guess I never grew out if that!"

Judy made a conscious shift from watercolors to acrylics in the late 90s. She had always disliked how framing her watercolor paintings under glass (necessary to protect the paper) created a barrier in front of the work. Paintings on canvas can be framed with nothing over the painting itself. The switch from watercolor paints to acrylics was a struggle, but Judy slowly adjusted to the differences, and adopted a palette of fluid acrylic paints by Golden which eased the transition. Today she paints nearly exclusively in acrylics and loves them. "Acrylics allow me to work in a variety of painting methods and on numerous surfaces, providing me with continuous challenges,” Judy reveals. Still harboring a deep-seated love, Judy can't resist occasionally painting with watercolors or using the acrylics on watercolor paper as multiple glazes of transparent color, and letting the white of the paper create the whites of the art image.

A wide variety of themes inspire Judy to paint. Most often, she has the finished painting pictured in her mind before it is even started. “I love to present subjects in a way most people don't take the time to see themselves,” the artist says. “By exaggerating colors, or sometimes altering them from reality, I aim to preserve a moment in time, recreating the subject in my own way.” Interesting textures - like weathered barn boards and rusted old trucks - inspire her, as do delicate colorful flowers and brightly lit landscapes. "I think that being an artist has made me more aware of my surroundings and more observant of the effects of light and shadows... and of the world around me." Judy most often does her own matting and framing to complete the presentation of her work, ensuring the finest quality from start to finish.

Judy’s strong design skills and graphic experience are undeniable in her paintings. Conversely, her graphic knowledge of digital art has also found its way as a tool in her fine art. Judy was one of the first in the country to use limited edition giclee prints to reproduce her work, scanning her original paintings to create digital files and printing in the finest quality inks available, as museum quality limited edition canvas and paper giclee prints.

Her work is in private collections in the US and abroad and is exhibited in many juried shows. The online gallery features original paintings and limited edition fine art prints. Judy also does work on commission, including pet portraits, also shown in the gallery.

Judy Lavoie is a signature member and multiple award-winner of the the Jacksonville (FL) Watercolor Society, the Florida Watercolor Society, and the Tennessee Watercolor Society. She has been honored with Best in Show and numerous other awards. Judy was named Artist of the Year for 2002 by the Jacksonville Watercolor Society and her long list of awards attests to the quality of her work.

Group Exhibitions and Competitions

Tennessee Watercolor Society
2016 Juried Bienniel Exhibition (Juror John Salminen) In The Spotlight, winner of the "Beauty of Watermedia" Award (also chosen for the Traveling Show, touring museums and galleries throughout the state for the next year).
- 2014 Juried Bienniel Exhibition (Juror Pat Dews) - [rules changed so only one painting per artist accepted for all bienniel exhibitions now] Accepted: Elles Tobacco Planter (also chosen for the Traveling Show).
- 2012 Juried Bienniel Exhibition (Juror Gerald F. Brommer) - two paintings accepted, and both award-winners: Jerry Van, Music Man (also chosen for the Traveling Show), and Jesus Saves.
- 2010 Juried Bienniel Exhibition (Juror George James) - two paintings accepted: Decadence and Nature Paints a Picture, and the former received an award and was selection for the Traveling Show.
- 2008 Juried Bienniel Exhibition (Juror Cheng-Khee Chee) - one painting accepted: Out to Pasture

Dogwood Arts 2009 Regional Fine Art Exhibition, one of 75 selected from 450+ entries (Juror Karlota Contreras-Koterbay): Nature Paints A Picture
Dogwood Arts Festival 2009 Limited Edition Print Exhibition and Competition, Finalist and winner of online popular vote: April in Paradise

Florida Watercolor Society (only 100 paintings are chosen for annual exhibition)
- 2000 Annual Juried Exhibit (Juror Martha Mans)
- 1998 Annual Juried Exhibit (Juror Don Getz)
- 1997 Annual Juried Exhibit (Juror Louise Cadillac), Bertha Nichols Award
- 1995 Annual Juried Exhibit (Juror Robert Wade), The Wayne Sessions Award
- 1994 Annual Juried Exhibit (Juror Marilyn Hughey Phillis)

Jacksonville (Florida) Watercolor Society
- "Artist of the Year" Spring 2002 Solo Show
- Fall 1996 Exhibition, BEST IN SHOW (Juror Joe McFadden): Nana's Rocker
- Juried Shows since 1994, with numerous awards

St. Augustine (Florida) Art Association, St. Augustine Florida
- Numerous Juried, Group and Honors Shows since 1993, numerous awards

Southeastern Watercolor VIII, juried show, 1995 (Juror Miles Batt)

Solo Shows and Awards

Solo Show, Tellico Art Center, Tellico Plains TN, January 2015
Solo Show, Tellico Art Center, Tellico Plains TN, January 2013
Solo Show, Butterfield Garage Art Gallery, St. Augustine FL, March 2004
Artist of the Year, 2002, Jacksonville (FL) Watercolor Society
Featured Artist - Tellico Art Center, Tellico Plains TN, December 2001
Honorable Mention, "Rose Medallion" Fall 2000 Exhibit, Jacksonville FL Watercolor Society
Award of Excellence, "Out in Elkton", Members Show, St. Augustine Art Association, May 2000
Memorial Award, "Satisfaction", Fall 1999 Exhibit, Jacksonville FL Watercolor Society
Solo Show, Joaneda House Gallery, St. Augustine FL, September 1999
Award of Distinction, "Molly-By-The-Sea", St. Augustine Art Association Members Show, Spring 1999
Opening Show, Joaneda House Gallery, St. Augustine, Florida, May 1998
Equal Award "Princess Darla" Animals Show, St. Augustine Art Association, March 1998
1st Merit Award "Cleaning the Conch" Fall 1997 Exhibit, Jacksonville Watercolor Society
Bertha Nichols Award: "Nana's Rocker", Florida Watercolor Society, 1997 Exhibition
Best in Show: "Nana's Rocker" Fall 1996 Exhibition, Jacksonville FL Watercolor Society
Equal Award: "Catching Some Rays" Flora/Fauna Show, St. Aug. Art Assc, April 1996
Solo Show: P.A.St.A. Gallery, June 1995
Solo Show: Crescent Beach Art Gallery, Cresent Beach FL, July 1995
Wayne Sessions Award: "More Than We Think They Know", Fl. Watercolor Society, 1995
Merit Award: "Charlotte Street, St. Augustine", Jacksonville Watercolor Society, 1995
Honorable Mention Award: "Shirley's Zinnias", Members Show, St. Aug. Art Assc., 1995
Honorable Mention Award: "Charlotte St., St. Augustine" Honors Show, SAAA, June 1995
3rd Place : "Rodrigues-Avero-Sanchez House", Watercolor & Pastel, SAAA, Jan 1995
People's Choice Award: "The Waiting Room", Watercolor & Pastel, SAAA, Jan 1995
Honorable Mention Award: "Blue Angels" Florida Show, St. Aug. Art Assc., Dec. 1994
Honorable Mention Award: "Heron on San Julian Marsh", St. Aug. Art Assc., Spring 1994

Cover of A GUIDE TO HISTORIC ST. AUGUSTINE FLORIDA, published 2007 by The History Press, features Judy's painting "Bayfront St. Augustine."

"Nana's Rocker" included in POURING LIGHT - Layering Transparent Watercolor by Jean Grastorf, published 2005, North Light Books.

Historic Guide to St Augustine Florida

Signature Member, Tennessee Watercolor Society
Signature Member, Florida Watercolor Society
Jacksonville Watercolor Society, Jacksonville, Florida
St. Augustine Art Association, St. Augustine, Florida

Lowell University, Lowell, MA - Masters Program, 1978, Grade Point Average 4.0
Bradford College, Bradford, MA - B.A. in Creative Arts, 1976, Summa Cum Laude (grade point average above 4.0 - due to an "A+" in 3-Dimensional Design!)

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