The Painting That Most Resonated with T. Allen Lawson


We’d like to congratulate Ann Rudd for winning Overall First Place in the March 2024 PleinAir Salon, judged by T. Allen Lawson.

PleinAir Salon art competition - Ann Rudd, “Untitled in Gray,” Oil, 7x5 in.
Ann Rudd, “Untitled in Gray,” Oil, 7×5 in.

“I awarded this small figurative painting first place because of its emotional quality,” Lawson said. “I believe it was beautifully composed and wonderfully painted. It is well drawn yet leaves much to be interpreted. Of all the paintings in this competition this piece really resonated with me.”

“I love the experience of quiet contentment,” Rudd says in her artist statement. “I look for it, appreciate it, and am generally intrigued when I see individuals sitting quietly, alone with their thoughts. I love painting these moods with gray tones and soft edges and I challenge myself to lose as many edges as possible.”

Ann T. Rudd is a contemporary oil painter with work represented in galleries in the United States and abroad. Her artwork has received numerous awards, including the BoldBrush Award for Abstract in June 2022, Top 100 Finalist in PleinAir magazine’s November 2023 PleinAir Salon competition, and a Finalist award in International Artist magazine’s People and Figures competition, published in February/March 2024.

She is from Raleigh, North Carolina, earned a bachelor’s degree from East Carolina University, a master’s in Applied Psychology from Virginia Tech, and provided psychological services for people with special needs for several decades. Over the years, she attended classes with master artists in the Charlotte area and a myriad of online painting workshops, exploring contemporary ideas of abstraction. In addition to painting, Rudd enjoys reading, couch time, family, beach, travel, chess, team trivia, and ongoing efforts at golf and racquet sports.

“For painters and artists thinking of entering a competition or a public exhibition, my advice would be to paint what interests you,” Lawson advises. “Pay no attention to what you may think the judges or audiences would like to see. If you are true to yourself and take the time to learn, really study and learn your craft, then ask yourself why you are drawn to a particular subject matter and then execute your painting to the best of your ability, your painting will be an honest interpretation.”

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.


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