Most artists know that Idaho is beautiful. The Driggs Digs Plein Air event celebrates this every year. Peruse some of the scenes artists chose to depict.

First Place winner by Jacob Tarazoff

Third Place winner by S’zanne Reynolds (tie)

The big winner this year in Driggs was Doug Braithwaite. He won Best of Show (for “Crossroads”) and a Quick Draw competition. Other winners included Jacob Tarazoff (First Place), S’zanne Reynolds and Aaron Cordell Johnson (tied for Third Place), plus Honorable Mention awards for Charity Anderson, Lauri Eskelson, Kimball Geisler, and Patrick McClellan. Silas Thompson won the Quick Draw that was held in Driggs City Plaza, and Braithwaite won the Quick Draw that was tied to the Music on Main concert held in nearby Victor, Idaho.

Third Place winner by Aaron Cordell Johnson (tie)

Lauri Eskelson’s Honorable Mention winner

“The winning piece was inspired, as most of my work is, by driving, biking, walking, or hiking in the outdoors and seeing something that makes my heart skip a beat,” says Braithwaite. “I really responded to the sun-bathed trees at an empty rodeo grounds, but what really made me stop and work from this scene was the spatial relationships of the trees in the foreground relative to the ones midway back, and then again to the ones way back. I love how that drew me into the scene. And then the way the two roads converged and drew my eye to the far right and then back behind the trees appealed as well. The gradation in the sky seemed to help solidify my eye to stay in the composition. The whole thing felt very understated but complicated at the same time.”

Patrick McClellan’s Honorable Mention winner

Kimball Geisler’s Honorable Mention winner

Charity Anderson’s Honorable Mention winner

Braithwaite said his Quick Draw winner was a case of painting a moving crowd and featuring a backlit subject. “I was attracted to the challenge of painting the ever-changing rhythms of the crowd,” he says. “So I had to pick a person here and there and take a mental photo of them in my head, then quickly block them in as best as I could remember. It was very fun to do, but very risky. I also really loved the drama of the backlit composition. The strong lights and darks and intense colors were very intimidating, but a great challenge nonetheless.”

Quick Draw winner from Driggs City Plaza, by Silas Thompson

“Vendors,” by Doug Braithwaite, 2015, oil on board, 8 x 10 in. Quick Draw winner from Music on Main

Braithwaite won a half-page ad in PleinAir magazine as part of his Best of Show award. Jane Bell Meyer, of Illume Gallery, and artist Dave Santillanes served as judges.


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