The PleinAir Salon is a monthly art competition with a master artist, gallery owner, or other type of art expert chosen to be the juror for each round. Visual artist and plein air painter Kevin Macpherson judged the July 2023 round, and had the following to share with us:

“Judging over 1,000 paintings is not easy but fortunately, I had over two weeks to go through all of these images. I always take my job as a judge seriously because no matter what level the artist is, they put their heart and soul into it. As an artist with over 40 years of professional experience, I know that I grow and evolve over time.

“Sometimes during this evolution as an artist, we move forward, and sometimes we move to the side, and sometimes even backward as we explore and experiment and strive to make great works of art. A great painting goes beyond just great technical ability. I must feel that the intention of the artist and the choices that the artist makes to direct the viewer through the painting, hold the viewer’s attention, let the viewer feel the emotion of the heart, and the reason for doing the painting must come through.

“I try to view each painting objectively and subjectively. I think the craft is important but the message is very important – painting with passion and purpose. Over the course of the two weeks that I daily viewed and reviewed all of the choices and tried to edit down the selection further and further to the award winners there were certain paintings that stood out that I couldn’t get out of my mind.

“I’m an artist, but if I wasn’t an artist, I would be an art connoisseur. I have always collected art. I have created a wonderful collection of art of both living and deceased artists, so when it comes to judging a show I basically put my money where my mouth is – I would personally buy the award winners! They look very simple, but simple is not easy. Simplicity is something that many artists strive for most of their lives. These are winners because of the artists’ choices in color, harmony, and strength of design. It sets these paintings ahead of the pack. I wish they were hanging on my walls.

“Continue on the art journey and remember to enjoy each step. Share the beauty you see in the world with others. Open their eyes to see as an artist.” ~Kevin Macpherson

PleinAir Salon - Vlad Duchev (Baltimore, MD), "Together Again," oil, 18 x 24 in.
Vlad Duchev (Baltimore, MD), “Together Again,” oil, 18 x 24 in., First place winner in the July 2023 PleinAir Salon art competition, judged by Kevin Macpherson

Helpful links:


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here