Southwest Art Magazine Best in Show: Carolyn Lord, "Autumnal Equinox Heliotropes," watercolor

The fifth annual Mendocino Open Paint Out (MOPO) recently concluded in California in which six prestigious featured artists and 64 participating artists created 438 works in total. Which of these rose to the top?

Nearly $9,000 in cash and prizes were up for grabs during the 5th annual Mendocino Open Paint Out this year. Hosted September 18-24 by the Mendocino Art Center (MAC), the event presented the public with free opportunities to watch artists paint en plein air, attend featured artist hosted demonstrations, attend daily “wet paint” sales with new watermedia, oil and pastel paintings hung each day, and watch the Quick Draw Competition and cast a vote for winning pieces.

Southwest Art Magazine Best in Show: Carolyn Lord, “Autumnal Equinox Heliotropes,” watercolor
PleinAir Magazine Overall Consistency Award: Wendy Brayton (Photo by Larry R. Wagner)
PleinAir Magazine Overall Consistency Award: Wendy Brayton’s Mendocino Open Paint Out paintings

The 438 paintings created throughout the event were judged by featured artists John Hewitt, Jody Bryan, Maeve Croghan, Susan Elwart Hall, Chuck Kovacic, and Jim McVicker. Wendy Brayton was awarded the PleinAir magazine award for overall consistency while Rolando Barrero’s watercolor “Noyo Harbor” earned the artist the PleinAir Collector Featured Artist Award.

PleinAir Magazine Featured Artwork Award: Rolando Barrero (photo by Larry R. Wagner)
PleinAir Magazine Featured Artwork Award: Rolando Barrero, “Noyo Harbor,” watercolor

Carolyn Lord’s “Autumnal Equinox Heliotropes” was the “Best in Show” award winner, sponsored by Southwest Art magazine. For the Quick Draw event, the Viewer’s Choice went to Sharon Bamber while the People’s Choice went to Wendy Brayton.

In the oils/acrylics category, James Morgan took First, Rick Delanty Second Place, Vince Walsh Third Place, and Chella Gonsalves an Honorable Mention. In the pastel category, Sharon Bamber was the First Place winner. Linda Roemisch took Second Place and Judith Perry earned Third. An Honorable Mention award went to Jacquelyn Cisper.

Mendocino Open Paint Out 2017 (Photo by Steve Greenwood)
Mendocino Open Paint Out 2017 (Photo by Larry R. Wagner)

For the watermedia category, Cleo Vilett was the First Place winner, John Jameton Second Place, and Paul Rickard Third Place. Kay Smith received an Honorable Mention.

Featured Artist Judge’s Choice Awards were presented by John Hewitt to Evan Garber, by Jody Bryan to Jan Godachy, by Maeve Croghan to Jan Ramsey, by Susan Elwart Hall to Dennis Simpson, by Chuck Kovacic to Dave Howell, and by Jim McVicker to Rob Anglin.

Two new awards were presented at the Mendocino Open Paint Out this year: Best Waterscene, awarded to Ellen Howard, and the Early Bird Award (best painting hung by the end of the third day), received by Linda Abbott.

Mendocino Open Paint Out Featured Artist Jim McVicker (Photo by Dale E. Moyer)
Mendocino Open Paint Out 2017 (Photo by Russ Christoff)

The Mendocino Coast, located along a beautiful expanse of the Pacific Ocean in Northern California, is a spectacular setting for a plein air festival. Artists claim that the quality of light is unlike anywhere else in the world. From the rugged surrounding landscape, to the bay and beaches, to the quaint Victorian architecture and water towers of the town of Mendocino, the artists find abundant creative inspiration. The sixth annual Mendocino Open Paint Out is scheduled for September 17-23, 2018.

Learn more by visiting the Mendocino Art Center.

This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.

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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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