Plein Air Salon - Rukiye Garip, “Winter Reflection,” watercolor, 30 x 22 in.
Rukiye Garip, “Winter Reflection,” watercolor, 30 x 22 in.

We’d like to congratulate Rukiye Garip for winning Overall First Place in the December 2022 PleinAir Salon, judged by Kathleen Dunphy. (Watch the live announcement on Facebook here.)

About the PleinAir Salon Winner, “Winter’s Reflection”

By Rukiye Garip

My inspiration for this painting is the woodland area near my home, where I am fascinated by its enchanting beauty in every season and at different times of the day – melting snow during a walk in snowy weather, leaves in the water, reflected tree branches, and light.

Since the reference photos I took did not fully meet my dreams, I created a new composition using a few photos. I discarded the details that would create confusion and added leaves and branches. I had to decide where to start for this seemingly multi-layered work. In this process, where I had to plan from the beginning, I experimented with drawing and color for three days.

In order not to drown in the details, it was best to act in accordance with the order and layers in nature. First of all, I worked on the snowy areas, then the lightest tonal transitions in the reflections, and finally all the details layer by layer.

I used a salt effect for leaf, stone, and snow textures. I used maskıng fluıd to protect the small glittery areas on the water surface. I completed the painting phase in five days, working an average of four hours a day.

The biggest challenge in works with reflections is maintaining transparency in the water. Therefore, wet and fast work is required in the first layer. The hardest part for me in this picture was to mix the colors of the leaves visible under the water and the color of the water, without creating any pollution in the first layer. It was both challenging and exciting to be able to give the magical effect I wanted by thinking about the next layers and preserving the light.

Art competitions are areas of choice that require bold steps for almost everyone because in the end, there are only two possibilities: winning and losing. For me, it is important to experience both.

It is very natural for a person who participates in a prize art competition to dream and expect the grand prize, but at the same time, it is necessary to accept the negative consequences as normal. An artist who wants to participate in the competition must first make sure that the conditions and concept of the art competition are suitable for him/her. It is important to be aware of your own level, to know the general participant profiles, and therefore not to be disappointed with the possible results. Instead of expecting good results with a mediocre work, I recommend that they participate with their best work.

Not getting a reward once should not reduce the next motivation. The experience you gain will guide you in the new steps you will take. Whatever the result, it is necessary to meet with maturity and write it as a plus to our experience section.

While learning the result of [this round of the PleinAir Salon], I experienced the excitement of waiting for the result, the happiness of knowing that my effort was appreciated, and the feeling of peace at the same time; the announcement of my name also sounded very nice. My motivation to make new and many paintings was renewed.

Connect with Rukiye Garip:
Facebook | Instagram

Browse more PleinAir Salon winners at

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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