Plein air painting at the beach
A perfect plein air set-up (at least, until the tide begins to silently roll in)

Mother Nature was at her finest for the 9th annual Paint & Photo Tarpon Springs plein air event (April 2018, Florida). The almost 60 participants found inspiration while painting outdoors in parks, beaches, downtown, sponge docks, bayous, and local cottages. A wide variety of subject matter and styles were submitted for judging. Together, all of the artists laughed, shared insights and advice, and made some outstanding artworks.

Also of interest is when attendees Shari Gaines and Sharron Boxenbaum were caught by the incoming tide at Fred Howard Park Beach. Gaines tells us more:

“A fellow artist, Sharron Boxenbaum (from Chicago), and I were looking for a spot to paint,” Gaines said. “We drug a beach wagon loaded down with our supplies to a rocky alcove. I saw a lady nestled among the rocks and knew I had my subject. I wound my way down along the shoreline and set up my easel. I placed my brush container and bag of paints at my feet. Sharron set up just a little farther up on the shore within earshot of each other.

“I started my painting and was really focused. I felt the water gently lapping my feet. Soon I felt the water hitting my calves. I must have been concentrating really hard as I didn’t notice just how high the tide had come in! I heard Sharron yelling ‘Shari! The wagon!’ I glanced over at the wagon and saw that the water was within an inch of soaking our supplies. As I went to move, I noticed that my brushes and paint bag were completely submerged in the sea water!

“I scrambled to drain the container of brushes and quickly moved both the brush container and paint bag to a higher rock. I waded into now knee-deep water to retrieve my easel and painting. Even though Sharron was higher up on the shore, her easel was getting wet, too.”

“We both had a good laugh about it,” Boxenbaum added, “and thought it was quite the plein air adventure!”

Plein air painting at the beach
Art versus the ocean: Shari Gaines painting en plein air during a quietly rising tide
Plein air artists
Plein air adventurists Sharron Boxenbaum and Shari Gaines
Plein air events
Ann Larsen, Kathy Jenkins, Heather Risley, and Mayor Chris Alahouzos

Plein Air Awards

Back at the main event, Judge Kevin Grass awarded, and Mayor Chris Alahouzos presented, the following prizes in painting:

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First place winner Antwan Rama with his painting
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Antwan Ramar, “Bayou by Dawn,” First Place
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Lionel Sanchez, “No Trespassing,” Second Place
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Sharron Boxenbaum, “Sun Path – Howard Park,” Third Place
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Kathy Jenkins’s painting, “Gator Grove,” won the new Artists’ Choice / Ann & James Larsen Award, chosen by fellow artists.
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The Quick Draw, a 2-hour, specific sight event, was won by Joe Palmerio, with Honorable Mentions to Lionel Sanchez and Dawn Lewis.
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Winning painting by Joe Palmerio

Honorable Mentions went to Angel Mercado, Kathy Detrano, Lynn Vaughan, Kate Bauer, and Joe Palmerio, and the Friends of Brooker Creek Preserve Award went to Robin Popp.
This event is sponsored by the Tarpon Springs Art Association, Inc., and local businesses.

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  1. You have had a very nice experience, miss Gaines !
    I wish that i can join you and your friends on the next plein air next year, in Florida ?

    An artist in California
    Dew Nguyen


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