“Marmalade Sky” Wins July

Michael J. Ruple, Director of aux gallery, has revealed his selections for the winners in the PleinAir Salon monthly art competition.

Congratulations to the winners of the July 2022 PleinAir Salon!

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, and they’ll see their painting on the cover of PleinAir Magazine. Could you be the next winner?

“I understand it is easy to be influenced historically as to what constitutes a landscape painting,” said juror Michael J. Ruple. “From Corot to Diebenkorn these artists were making art for their time and therefore, were directly influenced by their environment. Don’t be afraid to lean into contemporary subjects and narratives.” Below, he shares his comments on the top three paintings.

Watch the live announcement of the winners here:


PleinAir Salon, July 2022 Winners Preview:

1st Place Overall: Marmalade Sky

“‘Marmalade Sky’ was an immediate first choice as soon as I saw it. I was initially drawn to the cinematic high chroma palette, but it was the subtle additions of modernity that kept me in the painting. It’s not heavy-handed like some industrial landscapes or cityscapes, to be honest it’s almost ordinary, something we’ve all seen driving along the outskirts of a city. I think it’s really special when you can discover beauty in the unexpected, and for that reason I would consider it a great example of the contemporary landscape.”

PleinAir Salon - Patricia Ryan, "Marmalade Sky," oil, 24 x 36 in.
Patricia Ryan, “Marmalade Sky,” oil, 24 x 36 in.

2nd Place Overall: A Study of Hook Mountain, N.Y.

“‘A Study Of Hook Mountain NY’ really struck a nerve, at only 9 x 7 inches the painting reads like a considerably larger work of art. The artist in my opinion inspired by the Hudson River School, and its composition makes me immediately think of Jasper Francis Cropsey, who is one of my favorites from that period. Beyond its historical context, I think the graphic use of the foreground and the quality of brushwork are really exquisite.”

PleinAir Salon - Marco G. Vera, "A Study of Hook Mountain, N.Y.," oil, 9 x 7 in.
Marco G. Vera, “A Study of Hook Mountain, N.Y.,” oil, 9 x 7 in.

3rd Place Overall: Soul Food

“‘Soul Food’ elicited a narrative response for me. I started to wonder where, why, and what am I waiting for or walking into. Similar to that mystery found in Andrew Wyeth’s works, the structure lost to time tells a story all on its own and makes for a great subject. As for the technical approach, I really enjoyed the use of the limited palette and almost drybrush mark-making.”

PleinAir Salon - Elizabeth Morgan, "Soul Food," oil, 24 x 36 in.
Elizabeth Morgan, “Soul Food,” oil, 24 x 36 in.

Best Plein Air – Landscape: Red Rock Point

Christopher Copeland, "Red Rock Point," oil, 12 x 16 in.
Christopher Copeland, “Red Rock Point,” oil, 12 x 16 in.

Best Plein Air – Still Life: Peaches

Serhii Cherniakovskyi, "Peaches," oil, 19.6 x 27.5 in.
Serhii Cherniakovskyi, “Peaches,” oil, 19.6 x 27.5 in.

Best Plein Air – Acrylic: Councillors Strand, Dunmore East, Ireland

Steve Browning, "Councillors Strand, Dunmore East, Ireland," acrylic, 10 x 14 in.
Steve Browning, “Councillors Strand, Dunmore East, Ireland,” acrylic, 10 x 14 in.

Best Plein Air – Oil: A Good Day to Read

Don Demers, "A Good Day to Read," oil, 12 x 8 in.
Don Demers, “A Good Day to Read,” oil, 12 x 8 in.

Best Plein Air – Pastel: The Ivy Wall

Bill Sweeney, "The Ivy Wall," pastel, 15 x 22 in.
Bill Sweeney, “The Ivy Wall,” pastel, 15 x 22 in.

Best Plein Air – Watercolor / Gouache: Magnolia in Bloom

Marita Hines, "Magnolia in Bloom," watercolor, 11 x 15 in.
Marita Hines, “Magnolia in Bloom,” watercolor, 11 x 15 in.

View the rest of the PleinAir Salon winners soon at pleinairsalon.com.
Note: Judges are not provided with contestant names.

The next round of the PleinAir Salon has begun so hurry, as this competition ends on the last day of the month. Enter your best art in the PleinAir Salon here.

New This Year! We’re now offering a People’s Choice Award in each monthly cycle, with a prize of $100! (When you enter your painting, you’ll be able to “promote your artwork” with a special link.)

About the PleinAir Salon:

PleinAir Magazine presents the 12th annual PleinAir Salon Art Competition. In the spirit of the French Salon created by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, this annual online competition, with 11 monthly cycles, leading to the annual Salon Grand Prize winners, is designed to stimulate artistic growth through competition. The competition rewards artists with over $33,000 in cash prizes and exposure of their work, with the winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir Magazine.

Winners in each monthly competition may receive recognition and exposure through PleinAir Magazine’s print magazine, e-newsletters, websites, and social media. Winners of each competition will also be entered into the annual competition. The 12th Annual Awards will be presented live at the Plein Air Convention & Expo in May 2023.

Please Note: We are the PleinAir Salon because we were created by PleinAir Magazine, not because we are a strictly plein air art competition. We know there are a lot of plein air painters who paint in the studio as well as in other styles, subject matters, and mediums. Our magazine features all the artworks of these great plein air painters, and so we too allow non-plein air pieces to win as long as they meet the criteria of the category in which they enter.

Related Article > 3 Secrets to Winning Art Competitions


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here