We’d like to congratulate Angus McEwan for winning Overall First Place in the August 2023 PleinAir Salon, judged by master artist Albert Handell.
Angus McEwan on “Early Morning Quiet”
In my painting of a dark interior within a 17th-century Dutch studio in Leiden, I explore the concept of liminal spaces. This studio, nestled near Rembrandt’s first workspace, exudes character, presence, and an undeniable stillness. As I provided a workshop for watercolour painters within these hallowed walls, I vividly recall that moment when I stepped into the quiet studio early in the morning, eagerly absorbing its atmosphere.
This image resonates with painters across time and place; it embodies that comforting familiarity one experiences in art classes. The arrangement of easels, donkeys, and drawing boards forms a pyramidal composition, evoking a sense of potential within the room, akin to the calm before the artistic storm. It’s reminiscent of the works of English painter Ken Howard, who captured what he termed ‘the landscape of the studio,’ often placing models amidst a forest of easels, paintbrushes, and jars. These paintings embody the hope that all artists share as we embark on our creative journeys.
I often use lighting and perspective to create a sense of depth and dimensionality, emphasizing the boundaries and edges of the space. By playing with light and shadow, I aim to create a sense of atmosphere and mood that invites the viewer to contemplate the potential for transformation and growth.
In my paintings, I often use abstract shapes, lines, and shadows to create a sense of ambiguity and uncertainty. By omitting or obscuring details, I aim to create a sense of openness and possibility, inviting the viewer to fill in the gaps with their own perceptions and experiences.
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 $50,000 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 Annual Awards will be presented live at the next Plein Air Convention & Expo.
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.
PleinAir® Magazine is a registered trademark of Streamline Publishing, Inc.