Steve Diamant, founder of Arcadia Gallery, has revealed his selections for the winners in the PleinAir Salon bi-monthly art competition.
Congratulations to the winners of the February/March 2020 PleinAir Salon! The 1st Place Overall winner is shown above; keep scrolling to see more winners and learn how to enter your best paintings and drawings today!
First place will receive a cash prize, plus all winners will be entered into the judging for the annual cash prizes, including the $15,000 grand prize for the best painting of the year. The annual winners will be announced on stage at the next Plein Air Convention in Santa Fe on August 11, 2020. Could you be the next winner?
1st Place Overall: “Koi Pond” by Derek Penix (shown at top)
On Choosing the Winners: By Juror Steve Diamant (Arcadia Contemporary)
The choices were made based on two specific criteria:
1)The level of skill displayed in the works and
2) Could I really see “the artist’s voice” in the paintings?
So many painters may be skilled, but their work is “anonymous” and by that I mean, you look at it, it may be well executed, but you’re not really sure who created it. There’s no “individual voice” that says “so and so did this.” And while I was not able to see other works by the top three painters, you could see that how they created their paintings
was genuinely unique and well executed. For me, all three artists’ works look like they were created by professional painters and not by people that do it “on a Sunday, if the weather is nice.” This is their craft, their passion, and the time spent perfecting that comes through in the final painting.
As for other artists who are considering entering a competition like this: paint, paint, paint; take classes; seek out opportunities to learn from the artists you admire and if you can’t get to them, study their works. I don’t mean copy what they do, but really LOOK at how they paint. Dissect every square inch of their work…..watch videos if possible. The key is to be “inspired” by other artists, but not copy what they do. If you are going to be a representational painter, draftsmanship is and MUST be the foundation of what
you create … when you have that strength, then you can “loosen up” and develop your own style. And “having your own style” is what is going to bring you success.
View the rest of the PleinAir Salon winners at pleinairsalon.com/winners.
Note: Judges are not provided with contestant names.
Seth Hopkins, Booth Western Art Museum Executive Director, is the April judge. But hurry, this competition ends soon. Enter your best art in the PleinAir Salon here.
About the PleinAir Salon:
PleinAir magazine presents the ninth annual PleinAir Salon Art Competition. 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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