Ladies of Bath: Cynthia Rosen, (Andre Lucero: male photo bomb) Susan Lynn, Crista Pisano, Alison Menke, Olena Babak, Jackie Clark, Beth Bathe, Christine Lashley, Barbara Buhr (Warm Springs Gallery owner), Mary Ann Davis

A large contingency of world-class plein air painters recently participated in the Fifth Annual Bath County Plein Air Festival in Virginia, which resulted in a stunning array of paintings. Which ones earned ribbon distinction? Find out here!

For seven days, October 2-8, 30 nationally acclaimed artists set up their easels, pulled out their paintbrushes, and captured the landscape brilliance of Bath County, Virginia. While their goal was to catch up with friends, sell some paintings, and enjoy the food and culture of Warm Springs, the competitive side of each sought to earn awards from the discerning eye of judge George Van Hook.

Lon Brauer, “Barn Light,” oil (First Place)
Kyle Buckland, “Old Friends,” Second Place
Christine Lashley, “Trout Pool,” Third Place

In 2017, organizers partnered the festival with the Garth Newel Music Center (GNMC). On Thursday, October 5, the Garth Newel Music Center hosted a Farm to Table Dinner in which paintings from the week were on sale/display, with a percentage of sales benefitting the GNMC. On October 6, the Garth Newel Piano Quartet performed a special selection of works that were created by composers seeking to capture the vivid colors and impressions of nature’s magnificence; the program included music by Gabriel Faure, Louise-Heritte Viardot, and Johannes Brahms.

Alison Leigh Menke, “The Gathering,” Best Vista

Saturday witnessed a Gala Celebration and awards ceremony. Artist Lon Brauer took home the First Place award, worth $1,000, for his painting “Barn Light.” Artist Kyle Buckland was the $750 Second Place winner for “Old Friends,” and Christine Lashley’s “Trout Pool” was the $500 Third Place winner.

Jeremy Sams, “Bath County Moonlighting,” Best Nocturne
Patrick Lee with “Spirits in the Wood,” Best Architectural
Doug Clark with his Best in Show Peer Review Award painting

Woody Cyrus’ “Autumn Glory” was the People’s Choice winner. The Best in Show Peer Review Award went to Doug Clarke, who also grabbed the Gordon F. Ferguson Memorial Award for “Hot Springs Laundry.” The $500 Donald S. Lewis Memorial Award was given to Crista Pisano’s “Dunn’s Gap Trees.” “Spirits in the Wood” by Patrick Lee was the $500 Best Architectural winner; Beth Bathe’s “The Beauty of Nature” took the $500 Best Figurative award; Jeremy Sams’ “Bath County Moonlighting” earned Best Nocturne; and Alison Leigh Menke’s “The Gathering” was the $500 Best Vista winner.

Susan Lynn, “River Light,” watercolor, 16 x 20 inches (honorable mention)

Honorable Mentions included Susan Lynn’s River Light” and Roberta Goschke’s “Garth Newel Trees“.

To learn more, visit Bath County Plein Air Festival.

This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.


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