What’s going through the mind of a juror as he or she is judging an exhibition? Artist and juror William Schneider was willing to share with us his thoughts on the winners of the 2013 Prairie Plein Air Competition and Show, held recently in Schaumberg, Illinois.

“When judging any show, I look for: shape (drawing), value, color temperature and edge treatment, and design. The six pieces selected all seemed convincing in terms of the first four and each had a design (distribution of light and dark masses) strong enough to carry from across the room.”

First Place at the 2013 Prairie Plein Air Competition and Show went to Eddie Corkery’s oil painting “By the Cabin.”

1st Place

“By the Cabin,” Eddie Corkery

“Very strong composition. The light and shadow pattern and temperature relationships gave a sense of light and atmosphere — not mere paint. The cool reflected light on the broken tree on the left is particularly effective.”

Second Place went to “Spring Moment,” an acrylic painting by Loretta Gragnani.

2nd Place

“Spring Moment,” Loretta Gragnani

“I love the subtle, cool color harmony! Again this painting reads as light and air, not splotches of paint. Great color variation in the tree trunks without breaking up the form. I wish the large tree on the left was downplayed a touch.”

Third Place went to “Park Creek,” by Frankie Johnson, oil.

3rd Place

“Park Creek,” Frankie Johnson

“No mistaking the center of interest on this piece. Convincing water — and I love the fact that the artist grayed and simplified the distant tree line and fields. The red reflected light in this tree is a strong touch. Bold color choices.”

Honorable Mention: “Down Wind,” by Thomas Trausch, oil.

Also Honorable Mention: “Sunday at Prairie Center,” by Lynn Allen, oil.

“Thru the Woods and Over the Creek,” by Eric Forsberg, oil. Honorable Mention.

Incidentally, Schneider‘s painting “Alone in Warsaw” recently won First Place at the Artists Association of Northern Colorado’s 22nd National Exhibition and Sale.


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