Richard Abraham, “St. Croix Channel,” 2017, oil on canvas, 12 x 16 inches (First Place)

Twenty-three regional artists recently competed for ribbon glory in Hudson, Wisconsin. The depth, skill, and range of paintings left judge Scott Lloyd Anderson with some tough decisions. Who did he decide was the “cream of the crop”? Find out here.

Plein Air Hudson, hosted by Seasons on St. Croix Gallery in Hudson, Wisconsin, is quickly becoming one of the go-to regional plein air competitions, despite having just completed its third year. Located just over the Minnesota/Wisconsin border along the scenic St. Croix River, the area has proven to be a perfect location for Midwestern painters to work — offering pristine shoreline views, open farmland, and rolling hills populated with diverse wildlife and colorful forests. In 2017, 23 painters attended the event, which took place August 18-21.

Dan Mondloch, “Sunday Stroll,” 2017, watercolor on paper, 12 x 16 inches (Second Place)
Bob Upton, “Cool Retreat,” 2017, oil on linen, 11 x 13 inches (Third Place)

Artists were asked to create three paintings during the competition, including one water-themed, one featuring architecture, and one of the artist’s choice. Taking the top prize this year was accomplished painter Richard Abraham, for his luscious work titled “St. Croix Channel.” Watercolorist Dan Mondloch was the Second Place winner with his painting “Sunday Stroll.” Finally, talented artist Bob Upton rounded out the top three with his work “Cool Retreat.”

Dan Wiemer, “Prairie at Willow River,” 2017, watercolor and acrylic, 12 x 16 inches (Honorable Mention)
Lisa Stauffer, “Along the Shore,” 2017, pastel and watercolor, 12 x 12 inches (Honorable Mention)
Jeanette Richards, “Sailing School,” 2017, acrylic, 12 x 12 inches (People’s Choice)

Also awarded this year were five Honorable Mentions, which were taken by Lisa Stauffer’s “Along the Shore”; Dan Wiemer’s “Prairie at Willow River”; Tom McGregor’s “An Egret’s Day”; Christopher Copeland’s “St. Croix Marina Sunset”; and MaryAnn Cleary’s “Time’s Past.” Finally, Jeanette Richards’ “Sailing School” was the crowd favorite, earning the artist a “People’s Choice” award.

MaryAnn Cleary, “Time’s Past,” 2017, pastel on paper, 16 x 16 inches (Honorable Mention)
Christopher Copeland, “St. Croix Marina Sunset,” 2017, oil on canvas, (Honorable Mention)
Tom McGregor, “An Egret’s Day,” 2017, oil on linen, 9 x 12 inches (Honorable Mention)

As the event continues to grow and expand its reach, you might be interested in throwing your hat into the ring in 2018. Details of how to register and plan your attendance can be found here.

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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