2020 SHOW AWARD WINNERS
Awards Chosen and Commentary by Judge Frank LaLumia


Best of Show
Jenifer Cline “Attendance” Oil

"This oil painting is a tour de force - a plein air home run.  The painting is highly organized. The value structure is simple. The artists never loses sight of the big picture-finding clarity of separation in the dark, middle, and light value families.  the color relationships have been sensitively observed.  This is why we take on the 'burden' of working in the field. Careful observation is necessary to accurately paint light, which is always changing, always new.  All in all, a beautiful job."



1st Place Signature
Peggy Immel “Pink and Blue” Oil

"This painting charmed me right off.  I read it as whimsical, a bit enigmatic, maybe a touch nostalgic. No one will mistake it for David's 'Coronation of Napoleon.' Yet, in its simplicity, it is perfectly realized as a work of Art. When a painting connects with people on a level beyond technique, then something went right. This is one of those."




1st Place Associate
Scott Ruthven “Carefree Summer Day” Oil

"A perfectly executed plein air painting. The technique is flawless, great color (i.e. the painting feels like sunlight). All the boxes are checked. I like the subject matter: Most artists out on the prowl would drive by this subject without a second glance. No dramatic evening light or other exotic features. Just some trees hanging out. This painting is like a 'reverse Bierstadt/Moran Syndrome.' Those artists (and others) were on hand as the West was opening up. When their paintings of Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, etc. were first shown back east, there were cries of disbelief from the public. Many thought that the artists were making it up! (Those were the days, in the pre-photography world where artists were important, needed even ... but I digress...) Time moves forward. As artists, sometimes we need to re-invent ourselves. I have grown to favor subjects of a more modest scale. To me, the message of 'Care Free Summer Day' is that. This is also beautiful. This is also significant. It is an opportunity to convey that message. Bringing light to the more shady places is a big part of being an artist."




2nd Place Overall
Jared Brady  “Wyoming Reflections” Oil

"One of the glories of oil painting are the rich, luscious surfaces that can be created. An impasto brush stroke is enough to send some oil painters into paroxysms of ecstasy. While this style of painting may look slap dash to a no-painter, nothing could be further from the truth. It demands advanced skill and understanding. This piece has great clarity of color, crisp separation of values, and a true light effect. The artist makes it look easy! nicely done."




3rd Place Overall
Buffalo Kaplinski “
Yep, Its Hallets Peak in Rocky Mountain

National Park” Watercolor

"Nature inspires everyone, be it a painter, musician, composer, or citizen. Inspiration takes many forms. For the painter, nature's inspiration is out there for everyone to partake, like a giant all-you-can-paint Buffet. Here the artists takes his inspiration directly from nature - he partakes from this great buffet. He uses what he needs, including compositional elements, value patterns, various textures, and the general ambiance that you naturally come away with from being on-site. Color is used in a different way. Traditional plein air painting uses a 'Color-as-Light' metaphor as its ground of being. Here the artist uses his color harmony to weave it all together, creating a work with individually and a sense of presence. It's fun to see it. Kudos to creativity wherever it may be."




Master Signature Award
Lorenzo Chavez “
View from Arroyo Hondo” Oil

"The essential challenge in Plein Air is painting Light at a particular moment in time. The same subject looks different in November than it does in July. Paint Light, not things: We're not plein air painters until we're fully grounded in that idea. 'The View from Arroyo Hondo' is soaked in sunlight. The color notes add up to a strong feeling of sunlight. I particularly liked the handling of the middle values. In spite of the busy nature of the subject, the value structure holds it all together. The clear separation of values gives the painting strength. It just feels like New Mexico. Nicely done!"




Artists’ Choice Award And PAAC Board Award
Received the most votes by PAAC member artists
and received the most votes by current PAAC board

Kathy Riedinger “Morning Light” Oil





Allen Award
Chosen by Leslie Allen, one of the founders of PAAC.
Jared Brady “Spring Snow” Oil





Award of Merit
Chrissy Pahucki “ Waiting for a Lobster Roll” Acrylic



Award of Merit
Lorie Batson “Hardscrabble Creek” Oil



Award of Merit
Debra Joy Groesser “Back Bay Reflections” Oil



Award of Merit
Mary Ann Davis “Mosquito Creek” Oil




Award of Merit
Marci Cohen “Spring at the River” Pastel



Award of Merit
Sandra Heller “Path to the Barn” Oil



Award of Merit
Colleen Smith “Flower Rewards” Oil




Award of Merit
Chuck Mauldin “Blanco River" Oil

Frank Lalumia, Judge of Awards, is a Signature Member Emeritus and past President of the Plein Air Painters of America (PAPA), a Signature Member of the American Watercolor Society (AWS), the Oil Painters of America (OPA), the National Watercolor Society (NWS), the Transparent Watercolor Society of America (TWSA), the American Impressionist Society (AIS), an Artist-Member of the California Art Club, Author of the Book, "Plein Air Painting in Watercolor and Oil," North Light Publications; and a Contributing Artist for the PBS series: Plein Air: Painting the American Landscape. Frank lives in Trinidad, Colorado.


Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software