Enjoy An Eagle’s View: The PleinAir Salon Monthly Winner

Curator and Art Connoisseur Richard Montoux has revealed his selections for the winners in the April 2024 PleinAir® Salon.

View the top winners below, and see what the judge, Richard Montoux, has to say:

PleinAir Salon Winners Preview:

1st Place Overall: “An Eagle’s View”

“I found that this piece was well realized, mastering elements such as the clouds, the atmosphere, the light, the perspective, and the composition.”

PleinAir Salon - Daved English, “An Eagle’s View,” Oil, 12x16 in., First Place Overall, $600 Cash Prize
Dave English (Meridian, Idaho), “An Eagle’s View,” Oil, 12×16 in., First Place Overall, $600 Cash Prize

Dave English tells us how “An Eagle’s View” came to be:

“The 2021 Driggs Plein Air Festival started with stormy weather that was to clear out the following day. Light is everything in a painting so I wanted to portray the dramatic view of the iconic Grand Teton from Table Mountain by capturing the breaking light when the storm dissipated. To do this, I climbed the long 7-hour, 6.5-mile hike to the 11,000 ft. Table Mountain, in the storm.

“I spent that night listening to the voice of the Almighty as a severe lighting storm filled with thunder, downpours, grapple, and wind lasted all night long. The following morning, I rose to such a green, cold, wet environment that it was as if the mountain had its first drink of water for the year.

“Right on cue, the storm started breaking and shafts of morning light illuminated the Grand Teton through the parting clouds. All morning long I scrambled to capture the light, values, and colors as fast as I could while the sporadic sunlight opened and closed on the peak. A mist rose from the valley floor offering a design element of soft edges vs. the hard edges of the mountain.

“I observed an eagle soaring below and thus was the inspiration for the title, ‘An Eagles View.’ I finished the painting by strategically inserting the eagle in the composition to add interest and perspective. I was fortunate to be favored with the view and light that I had hoped for because light is everything to a successful painting.”

2nd Place Overall: “Afternoon Tea”

“According to me, this still life is very refreshing. The artist is great in realism and brings also a touch of pop in his painting.”

Robert Bucknell (Carson City, Nevada), “Afternoon Tea,” Oil, 18x24 in., Second Place Overall, $300 Cash Prize
Robert Bucknell (Carson City, Nevada), “Afternoon Tea,” Oil, 18×24 in., Second Place Overall, $300 Cash Prize

3rd Place Overall: “Arnold”

“This portrait is powerful. The artist’s technique is strong in elements such as the skin and the hair.”

Svetlana Semenova (United Kingdom), “Arnold,” Oil, 12x8.3 in., Third Place Overall, $200 Cash Prize
Svetlana Semenova (United Kingdom), “Arnold,” Oil, 12×8.3 in., Third Place Overall, $200 Cash Prize

Best Plein Air Landscape: “Morning Burnoff”

John Eiseman (Hebron, Maryland), “Morning Burnoff,” Oil, 20x30 in.
John Eiseman (Hebron, Maryland), “Morning Burnoff,” Oil, 20×30 in.

Best Plein Air Acrylic and Gouache: “Small Town Post Office”

Jimmy Navarro (Des Moines, Iowa), “Small Town Post Office,” Acrylic, 9x12 in.
Jimmy Navarro (Des Moines, Iowa), “Small Town Post Office,” Acrylic, 9×12 in.

Best Plein Air Oil: “Quai de la Tournelle”

Kevin Macpherson (Taos, New Mexico), “Quai de la Tournelle,” Oil, 11x14 in.
Kevin Macpherson (Taos, New Mexico), “Quai de la Tournelle,” Oil, 11×14 in.

Best Plein Air Pastel: “Laguna Low Tide”

Kathleen Kalinowski (Comstock Park, Michigan), “Laguna Low Tide,” Pastel, 12x12 in.
Kathleen Kalinowski (Comstock Park, Michigan), “Laguna Low Tide,” Pastel, 12×12 in.

Best Plein Air Watercolor: “Hose and Violets”

Carolyn Lord (Livermore, California), “Hose and Violets,” Watercolor, 15x11 in.
Carolyn Lord (Livermore, California), “Hose and Violets,” Watercolor, 15×11 in.

“I always recommend artists submit their works to art competitions,” said Montoux, “because this is a great opportunity to get visibility, to commit to giving their best to an art piece, and finally to get some feedback and learn where to grow in their technique.

“At each stage of an artist’s career, art competitions are important. For beginners, it helps the artist to persevere. For middle-career or more established artists, art competitions will give them recognition. Awards help artists to get visibility either from the public or from art dealers.”

Enter the PleinAir Salon Today

All winners will be entered into the judging for the annual cash prizes, including the Grand Prize of $15,000 and their painting on the cover of PleinAir® Magazine. Could you be the next winner?

The next round of the PleinAir Salon has begun so hurry, as this competition ends on the last day of the month. See the rest of this month’s winners and enter your best art in the PleinAir Salon here.


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