Even for winter-tempered Midwesterners, the cold can mean a lot more time at home instead of painting in the field. To heat up the quiet winter, one self-described “art instigator” conjured up the idea of a border war between painters in nearby states.

“Late on the Klondike,” by R. Gregory Summers. Kansas

No cash awards have been tendered and no jurying is planned for the manufactured contest — yet. Wendie Thompson, founder of the Wisconsin Plein Air Painters Association and motivator behind the creation, says she hopes the Great Mid-West Plein Air Border Wars will at least have a trophy of some kind that resides in the state that most recently won a judging, and a show in a gallery. For now, it is a website where participating artists and associations can post images via links.

“Pink Hour at Midday,” by William A. Suys, Jr., oil on panel, 16 x 12 in. Wisconsin

“I call myself an art instigator,” Thompson says. “I get seeds of ideas, and I just have to start them. So yesterday I just started. Winter is as good a time as any because in winter sometimes you need a little bit of a push to get out in it.

“Dodge Barn in Winter,” by Judith M. Anderson, 2013, oil on linen panel, 9 x 12 in. Minnesota

“I believe it was Matt Anderson who a while ago called me and suggested a border war. It would be a huge amount of work if you tried to do it physically. But after a year of thought, I spoke with Mary Ann Davis in Indiana, and some people around here got excited about the idea. And here it is.”


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