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Best in Show: “Full Bloom North Hudson,” Richard Abraham

Atmosphere in Plein Air Hudson 2018

It was a warm weekend with the sunlight filtering through a smoky haze for the artists competing in Hudson, Wisconsin.

Taking the top prize this year was Richard Abraham, for “Full Bloom North Hudson.” Bob Upton was the Second Place winner with his painting “Haze at Troy Beach,” and Christopher Copeland was the Third Place winner with “Hazy Sun Over the River.”

Well-known Minnesota artist and Plein Air Hudson 2018 judge Joshua Cunningham shares his thoughts:

Best in Show: “Full Bloom North Hudson,” Richard Abraham (shown at top)
“The shadow of the porch on a typical summer day is strong and deep and rich, but on this day it is soft and diffused, still clearly there, but offering much more nuance. Richard exploits this challenge by exploring the way the soft sun bounces and combines its light with the colors of the porch back up into the cast shadow upon the wall. On the other side of the painting is one of the most subtle and empathetic explorations of late summer greens I have seen.”

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Second Place: “Haze at Troy Beach,” Bob Upton

Second Place: “Haze at Troy Beach,” Bob Upton
“The smoky atmospheric conditions of a weekend can offer a great deal of frustration to a painter who isn’t in the habit of painting the light and air of a given day. Bob’s brushstrokes move across the sky, changing hue and temperature all while expressing light and air and morning.”

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Third Place: “Hazy Sun Over the River,” Christopher Copeland

Third Place: “Hazy Sun Over the River,” Christopher Copeland
“Everything in this painting is walking a tightrope of softness, if the edges are any softer and it fades away to oblivion, but if Chris makes things more defined he loses the mood and atmosphere of the evening.”

Also awarded this year were a number of Honorable Mentions:
“View From Badlands Road,” Wendy Lacska
“Savannah,” Greg Lecker
“Hazy Morning Farm,” Jo Nelson
“Waiting for a Breeze,” Bob Upton
“Sailing School,” Jim Turner
“Farm King,” Hannah Heyer
“Golden Shore,” Richard Abraham
“Checkered Past,” Lisa Stauffer
“Listen to the Falls,” Tom McGregor
“Morning Rush,” Laura Frykman
“Babicka,” Patricia Duncan
“Swimming at the Falls,” Dan Wiemer

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People’s Choice: Wendy Lacska,“St Croix Nocturne”

And a People’s Choice award went to Wendy Lacska for “St Croix Nocturne.”

For more information about Plein Air Hudson, please visit

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