Jeremy Sams captures a coastal view

The historic Solomons Island in Maryland was host once again to a vibrant plein air competition and festival, with names both familiar and new earning those prized ribbons, bragging rights, and cash. Who were they?

Featuring idyllic coastal views, fantastic food, and good vibes, Solomons Plein Air Festival has become one of the nation’s go-to destinations for outdoor painters. The renowned artist Jason Sacran was charged in 2017 with the task of handing out awards, and it was surely difficult given the dynamic range of talent.

Andre Lucero, Patrick Lee, and Christine Lashley
Carmen Gambrill, Michelle Held, and Beth Bathe enjoy a boat ride
Carmen Gambrill with PleinAir magazine’s Tracey Norvell

Thirty-three artists went head-to-head this year, with artist Palden Hamilton earning the Grand Prize for “Room with a View,” which came with a $3,500 award. Patrick Lee’s “Spectre” was the $2,500 Second Place winner and Charles Newman took home the $1,500 Third Place prize for “Seen Better Days.” Newman also caught the eye of artists, receiving the Artists’ Choice award for “Matt’s Marina” — a $1,000 prize.

Brienne M. Brown showing off her lovely watercolor
Bruno Baran shown here working
Artist Devin Roberts during the Quick Draw (winner)

Christine Lashley’s “Sunrise-Cove Point” was deemed the Best Cove Point Sunrise painting, earning her $1,000. Olena Babak took home $500 for her painting “Morning Magic,” which had the Best Use of Light. PleinAir magazine also sponsored an award, which was given to Jeremy Sams’ “Solomons Stroll.” This award comes with a 1/4-page ad in the publication.

Artists’ Choice winner Charles Newman receives his award with congratulations from Patrick Lee and Olena Babak
Christine Lashley at Paint the Town

A $750 Artistic Divergence award was taken by Lon Brauer’s “Once A Place Called Home.” The quickly ascending Kathleen Hudson won Best Waterscape — a $500 award — for her painting “Cove Point Surf.” Neal Hughes’ “Tennison Sunrise” won Best Nocturne, and Richard Sneary’s “Beacon Marina” won Best Architectural. Both awards came with a $500 prize.

Kirk Larsen
Neal Hughes at Cove Point
Palden Hamilton and Christine Lashley in action

To learn more, visit Solomons Plein Air Festival.

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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