Hudson won for her painting “Bright Morning, Timberline Falls.” The artist took a moment to describe the painting experience that informed the plein air piece. “This particular painting was certainly high risk, high reward — it was the most hard-fought of my career because it required a nearly 10-mile round trip hike to Timberline Falls during the Plein Air Rockies event last year,” says Hudson. “I devoted plenty of time to a preliminary thumbnail sketch so I could use it to paint consistent morning light even as the shadow patterns changed. I really wanted to emphasize the warm glow of the sunlight illuminating the spray at the crest of the falls.”
Hudson recalls, “To cap the adventure, an elk tailed me down the trail for a few anxious minutes during my return hike that afternoon. I was concerned for my own safety and the wet painting — I didn’t have the proper size panel carrier so I had strapped it to the back of my pack facing out. Luckily, she lost interest, and the painting and I made it down the mountain without further incident.”
The other top winners in the year-end awards were Nancy Boren, Second Place for her oil painting “Cimarron Solstice;” and Jacob Aguiar, Third Place for his pastel “Gentle Stroll.” The Salon also awarded Merit Awards. Timothy Horn won a Merit Award for his oil painting “As the Crow Flies,” Richard Sneary won with his watercolor “West Texas Town,” and Melanie Thompson won with “Wallowa Valley Twilight.”
When Hudson talks about her big win, it’s clear she’s still slightly in a state of shock. “Having followed the Salon for several years, I’m deeply honored to win,” she says. “It is surreal because I know just how many show-stopping paintings grace the bimonthly awards each year. For this reason the Grand Prize signifies more to me than just a recognition of my painting — it’s also a challenge to keep growing, to continue pushing my vision and painting process further.”
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