Cyrus “Chad” Hunter raced time and tide to get his award-winning piece done at Capitola Plein Air. Here’s what the judge had to say about his painting.

“I was really drawn in by the abstract nature of the pier combined with the soft light setting over the coastline of Capitola,” judge Kevin Courter says of Hunter’s painting. “It was a piece that had the ability to draw you in from across a room.”

“Sunset Under Pier,” by Cyrus Hunter. First Place at Capitola Plein Air
“Sunset Under Pier,” by Cyrus Hunter. First Place at Capitola Plein Air

Hunter says the restraints and pressures of plein air painting likely aided him in this piece.

“I guess I’ve noticed I work better when I work quickly,” says Hunter. “My work is fresher and more immediate. I was forced to work quickly with this piece, with the sun setting and tide coming in. There’s immediacy, boldness, impressionistic and abstract aspects, and more intent when I’m under the gun.

“As far as being impactful across the room, I think that’s what we’re all working to achieve with every piece. I appreciate the compliment from Mr. Courter. The composition of this piece is all about shapes leading to a bright focal. I think I’ve learned a lot from this competition and hope to be able to apply what I’ve learned going forward.”

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