We’d like to congratulate Luis Azon for winning Overall First Place in the September 2022 PleinAir Salon, judged by William A. Suys.

“This painting allows me to be quietly lost in a space while I hear activity all around,” William said of ‘Late Afternoon in Spain.’ “I’m able to separate from viewing a surface to sensing a feeling of atmosphere while mentally passing in and among groups of people engaged in their individual worlds as they become part of a unified environment.”

“For those who are considering entering your work and would like a broader explanation of my basis for judging,” Bill added, “I’ll leave you with an excerpt of a little essay I added to an early self-portrait, entitled ‘Self-Thoughtrait’. Though basic, I believe the concept holds true:

“When a viewer encounters ‘craft’, you may view and appreciate the surface and shape, but the relationship goes no further. When you meet with ‘ART’ you break beyond the surface and become personally involved. Outstanding work—whether subjective or abstract, painting or sculpture—takes on a life and spirit of its own. The artist may have developed the piece based upon something seen every day or upon something purely abstract and esoteric, but because of profound concept and execution, the finished piece goes beyond its components of shape, color, and finish. The most successful work has the ability to compel the viewer into its environment and to touch their thought or emotions in a unique and timeless way, and the best work will stay fresh and compelling forever.

“But…because ‘ART’ is a two-part connection, success varies with each pair of participants. One viewer might feel transported by a romantic Fragonard, and wonder why Rothko wasted a perfectly good canvas, while another is moved by ‘Guernica’, but scoffs at ‘Gassed’.”

View the rest of the PleinAir Salon winners at pleinairsalon.com.

About the PleinAir Salon:

In the spirit of the French Salon created by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, this annual online art competition, with 11 monthly cycles, leading to the annual Salon Grand Prize winners, is designed to stimulate artistic growth through competition. The competition rewards artists with over $33,000 in cash prizes and exposure of their work, with the winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir Magazine.

Winners in each monthly competition may receive recognition and exposure through PleinAir Magazine’s print magazine, e-newsletters, websites, and social media. Winners of each competition will also be entered into the annual competition. The 12th Annual Awards will be presented live at the Plein Air Convention & Expo in May 2023.

The next round of the PleinAir Salon has begun so hurry, as this competition ends on the last day of the month. Enter your best art in the PleinAir Salon here.



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