Some artists got an early gift this holiday season. The winners of the October-November contest in the PleinAir Salon were just announced. Who was pleasantly surprised with a win?
James Kroner won the top prize in the contest, First Place, with his oil painting “Slate Covered Storm.” Eric Jacobsen took Second with “Morning Light.” Third Place went to Richard Boyer for “Busy Crossing.”

“Morning Light,” by Eric Jacobsen, oil, 16 x 20 in. Second Place

“Busy Crossing,” by Richard Boyer, oil, 30 x 30 in. Third Place

“Whiter Than Snow,” by TJ Cunningham, oil, 18 x 24 in. Best Oil

The Best Artist Under 30 award was won by Laila Raslan, thanks to her piece “St. Mary’s Winter.”
Awards were given by subject and by medium. Best Oil was won by TJ Cunningham for “Whiter Than Snow,” Best Acrylic went to Scott Anthony for his piece “Near Mono Lake 1,” and Best Pastel was won by Steven Hill for “Sol Duc Morning.” Best Watercolor went to Steven Givler for “Cabo da Roca, Portugal.”

“Sol Duc Morning,” by Steven Hill, pastel, 15 x 7 in. Best Pastel

 “Cabo da Roca, Portugal,” by Steven Givler, watercolor, 18 x 16 in. Best Watercolor

“Near Mono Lake 1,” by Scott Anthony, acrylic, 16 x 24 in. Best Acrylic

The awards in subject matter are as follows: Best Plein Air, Ned Mueller, for “All Tied Up …and Nowhere to Go”; Best Building, Brent Cotton, for “Turquoise Roof”; Best Figure in Landscape, Daniel Gerhartz, for “In the Company of Kids”; Best Floral, Jerry Markham, for “Orchids”; Best Landscape, Jim Wodark, for “Zion Clouds”; Best Nocturne, Susan Matteson, for “Early Riders”; Best Outdoor Still Life, Jude Tolar, for “Backlit Daffodils”; and Best Water, James Kroner, for “Land of Ice and Snow.”

“St. Mary’s Winter,” by Laila Raslan, oil, 8 x 6 in. Best Artist Under 30

“All Tied Up …and Nowhere to Go,” by Ned Mueller, oil, 10 x 12 in. Best Plein Air

“Turquoise Roof,” by Brent Cotton, oil, 6 x 8 in. Best Building

The PleinAir Salon consists of six bi-monthly contests, with the First, Second, and Third Place winners of each contest, and the category winners, automatically entered into the annual competition. First prize in the annual competition is $15,000 cash and the publication of the winning image on the cover of PleinAir magazine, along with a feature story. Second Place earns an artist $3,000 and an article in the digital edition of PleinAir. Third Place yields $1,500 in cash, and three additional finalists win $500. Aside from First, Second, and Third Place overall, categories include Best Oil, Best Pastel, Best Watercolor, Best Acrylic, Best Plein Air, Best Building, Best Figure in the Landscape, Best Floral, Best Landscape, Best Outdoor Still Life, Best Nocturne, Best Water, and Best Artist Under 30.

“In the Company of Kids,” by Daniel Gerhartz, oil, 30 x 48 in. Best Figure in Landscape

“Orchids,” by Jerry Markham, oil, 20 x 10 in. Best Floral

“Zion Clouds,” by Jim Wodark, oil, 40 x 40 in. Best Landscape

The winner of each bi-monthly contest is featured in this e-newsletter and profiled on In April, the $21,000 in prizes will be awarded to the annual winners at the 2016 Plein Air Convention & Expo in Tucson, Arizona.

“Early Risers,” by Susan Matteson, oil, 16 x 20 in. Best Nocturne

“Backlit Daffodils,” by Jude Tolar, pastel, 11 x 14 in. Best Outdoor Still Life

“Land of Ice and Snow,” by James Kroner, oil, 12 x 12 in. Best Water

The next chance artists have to enter into the contests, and ultimately, for the $21,000 big annual payout, is right now, with the deadline for the December-January contest coming up soon, on January 31. For that contest, PleinAir tapped Gary Haynes, owner of the Haynes Galleries in Nashville, Tennessee, and Thomaston, Maine, to be the judge.


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