PleinAir Salon bi-monthly art competition winner
"Logan Street Sunset" - Best Sunset/Sunrise/Nocturne, February/March 2020 Plein Air Salon, oil on panel, 16" x 24"

Congratulations to Gavin Glakas, whose oil painting “Logan Street Sunset” won in the “Best Sunset/Sunrise/Nocturne” category of the February/March 2020 PleinAir Salon. In this spotlight, Glakas tells about how the Charleston-inspired painting came to be.

On Painting “Logan Street Sunset” 


I’ve taken a few painting trips to Charleston, South Carolina, a city I love to explore for its history and architecture, but because I have small kids, I usually can’t stay for longer than two or three days.

In my painting “Logan Street Sunset,” you see an intersection I’ve painted a number of times. It has a gritty, almost dangerous, historical feel to it, and one gets a sense of the generations of people who were born, lived and worked, found triumph and tragedy, and died here. The feel of this particular house juxtaposed against the majesty of the clouds made for a perfect statement to attempt to convey.

I really wanted to do this painting justice – I didn’t want to be held captive by my limited time – so I did a plein air study, which I brought back home to use as a jumping-off point in my studio. I used Jack Richeson brushes. I particularly love the sharp edges of their flat Grey Matters brushes – and a lot of palette knife to get the feel I needed and the different textures.

Additional Bi-Monthly PleinAir Salon Winning Paintings by Gavin Glakas

PleinAir Salon bi-monthly art competition winner
“An Address in Rome” – Best Building, August/September 2019 Plein Air Salon, oil on panel, 11″ x 14″
PleinAir Salon bi-monthly art competition winner
“Montorno Doorway” – Best Plein Air Work Only, February/March 2020 Plein Air Salon, oil on panel, 11″ x 15″
PleinAir Salon bi-monthly art competition winner
“Friday in Rome” – Best Building, June/July 2019 Plein Air Salon, oil on panel, 24″ x 24″
PleinAir Salon bi-monthly art competition winner
“Night Falls on 2nd Avenue” – 1st Place Overall, April/May 2019 Plein Air Salon, oil on panel, 24″ x 36″

On Entering the PleinAir Salon

I think I first saw an ad for the PleinAir Salon on Instagram and I am truly honored to have won a number of awards over the last year. There are so many incredible artists working today and it is a real thrill to see my work recognized alongside theirs.

The only advice I have for other artists is to enter the competition and keep entering it! Deadlines, competition, disappointment, and triumph can each be invaluable tools for helping us learn and grow.

Connect with Gavin Glakas and see more artworks at

Additional Paintings by Gavin Glakas

Landscape paintings
“An Appointment in Siena” – oil on panel, 16″ x 24″
Landscape paintings
“The House by the Library” – oil on panel, 12″ x 18″
Landscape paintings
“The Glassblower Pub” – oil on panel, 24″ x 24″
Landscape paintings
“Austin” – oil on panel, 24″ x 48″

About the PleinAir Salon

In the spirit of the French Salon created by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, this annual competition, with six bi-monthly cycles leading to annual Salon Grand Prize winners, is designed to stimulate artistic growth through competition. The competition rewards artists with $27,000 in cash prizes and exposure of their work, with the winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir magazine.

It is our belief that cash prizes provide further inspiration and an avenue for artists to thrive and create new work by helping alleviate financial pressure.

Winners in each bi-monthly competition may receive recognition and exposure through PleinAir magazine’s print magazine, e-newsletter, and social media. Winners of each bi-monthly competition will also be entered into the annual competition.

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