Richard J. Demato, of RJD Gallery, in Sag Harbor, New York, judged the June-July contest of the PleinAir Salon, awarding 20 honors and choosing an image depicting a mother and child for First Place.
The top winner was Lauren Tilden of New Jersey, whose oil painting “Stronghold” won First Place out of hundreds of submissions.

“Illusions,” by R. Mike Nichols, watercolor, 17 x 23 in. Second Place

“Fate Is Closer Than It Appears,” Joe Kabriel, graphite, 18 x 24 in. Third Place

“The Plasterer’s Assistant,” by Robert Akers, oil, 24 x 48 in. Best Oil

Second Place went to R. Mike Nichols for “Illusions.” Third Place was won by Joe Kabriel for “Fate Is Closer Than It Appears.” Kathleen Denis and her painting “Tea Time” won Best Plein Air.

“After the Rain,” by Doreen St. John, pastel, 15 x 24 in. Best Pastel

“Have Dock Will Peer,” by Karen Hitt, acrylic, 5 x 7 in. Best Acrylic

In the awards for various media, Robert Akers won Best Oil with “The Plasterer’s Assistant,” Doreen St. John earned Best Pastel for “After the Rain,” R. Mike Nichols won Best Watercolor with “Illusions,” and Karen Hitt earned Best Acrylic for “Have Dock Will Peer.”

“Peace,” by Shannon Castor, oil, 14 x 18 in. Best Artist Over 18

“Teenager,” by Eugene Kuperman, acrylic, 5 x 7 in. Best Artist Under 30

“Rhinos,” by Dianne Bollentini, pen-and-ink, 16 x 20 in. Best Artist Over 65

The Salon gives awards based on subject matter. In the June-July contest, Richard Sneary won two awards: Best Building for “Hoop Dreams” and Best Nocturne for “Night Light.” Best Figure in the Landscape was won by R. Mike Nichols for “The Curious World of Reynaldo and His Twist of Lime Suit.” Best Floral went to Bill Inman for “Rise to the Occasion,” and Best Landscape was won by Mason Mansung Kang for “On the Hill, California.” Susan Brandsema won Best Outdoor Still Life with “On the Fence,” and Larry Cannon won Best Water with a watercolor, with “Laguna Cove.”

“Tea Time,” by Kathleen Denis, oil, 11 x 14 in. Best Plein Air

“Hoop Dreams,” by Richard Sneary, watercolor, 10 x 14 in. Best Building

“The Curious World of Reynaldo and His Twist of Lime Suit,” by R. Mike Nichols, watercolor, 14 x 20 in.
Best Figure in the Landscape

“Rise to the Occasion,” by Bill Inman, oil, 16 x 20 in. Best Floral

You may not have noticed that PleinAir magazine recently added several new categories to the PleinAir Salon, which we did indeed do. Best Sketchbook was won by Barbara Rallo for “Sketching at Sophie’s Gite,” Best Vehicle was won by David Belling for “’50 Chevy,” Best Artist Over 18 was won by Shannon Castor for “Peace,” Best Artist Under 30 went to Eugene Kuperman’s “Teenager,” and Best Artist Over 65 was won by Dianne Bollentini for “Rhinos.”

“On the Hill, California,” by Mason Mansung Kang, oil, 30 x 40 in. Best Landscape

“Night Light,” by Richard Sneary, watercolor, 6 1/2 x 10 in. Best Nocturne

“On the Fence,” by Susan Brandsema, oil, 18 x 24 in. Best Outdoor Still Life

The PleinAir Salon consists of six bi-monthly contests, with the First, Second, and Third Place winners of each contest, and the category winners, automatically entered into the annual competition. First prize in the annual competition is $15,000 cash and the publication of the winning image on the cover of PleinAir magazine, along with a feature story. Second Place earns an artist $3,000 and an article in the digital edition of PleinAir magazine. Third Place yields $1,500 in cash. Three additional finalists win $500. Aside from First, Second, and Third Place overall, categories include Best Oil, Best Pastel, Best Watercolor, Best Acrylic, Best Plein Air, Best Building, Best Figure in the Landscape, Best Floral, Best Landscape, Best Outdoor Still Life, Best Nocturne, Best Water, Best Vehicle, Best Sketchbook, Best Artist Over 65, Best Artist Over 18, and Best Artist Under 30.

“Laguna Cove,” by Larry Cannon, watercolor, 8 x 8 in. Best Water

“Sketching at Sophie’s Gite,” by Barbara Rallo, watercolor, 11 x 18 in. Best Sketchbook

“’50 Chevy,” by David Belling, watercolor, 15 x 20 in. Best Vehicle

The winner of each bi-monthly contest is featured in this e-newsletter and profiled on In mid-April, the $21,000 in prizes will be awarded to the annual winners at the 2017 Plein Air Convention & Expo in San Diego, California.


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