Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Plein Air Competitions are fun to participate in. I have done several competitions around Wisconsin. 

When you arrive in the town where the competition is held, you register and check in. The organizers of the event stamp the back of your canvases, and give you a set amount of time to complete a few paintings. They stamp the canvas, so that they know that you created the painting during the set time limit. You then frame up your paintings, and return them to the venue, for the chance to win awards and prize money. There is always a great reception for the events, and I've found that the whole community comes out to see what the painters created. 

I was in Beloit, WI painting for the Edge of the Rock Plein air festival last week. 

I painted from a rooftop, downtown, again this year.Painting from the roof was great, but came with several challenges. We had to climb a fire escape up two stories, and then set up a ladder to make it up the last ten feet. I painted 20x24, so I needed my large easel, big paintbox, umbrella, canvas, and lunch. All in all, my gear was 50 pounds, and once we were on the roof, we had to scale several walls to get to our vantage point.

Getting the laddar was easy on the first day. Tom at Suds O'Hanahans borrowed us his nice wooden ladder, which we returned at the end of the session. Tom was home sick on the second day, however, and we didn't have a ladder. We went from store to store in downtown Beloit, asking everyone and anyone to help us out with a ladder, but nobody had one to borrow two young men with paint smeared clothes and backpacks. At our last possible stop, we found an employee of Beloit College, who borrowed us her large ladder. We were very lucky, and happy to be back on the roof.

It was hot on the roof. I worked for four hours in each of the two sessions that it took to complete the painting. On the second day, a can of soda exploded when I tried to open it because of the heat. This startled us, and I was reminded of the 2013 Beloit Plein Air Festival when Matt Holt and I were painting, and gunshots rang out just down the street.

The show reception and awards were held on Friday June 12. The gallery was packed with paintings, patrons, friends, and fellow painters. There were great snacks and beverages, and two good friends of mine were judges!

When it came time to announce the winners, I was honored with the Pride of Beloit award. My award was sponsored by North American Tool Company, and they received the painting as the award was a purchase prize. Josh got an award as well, the Friends of Riverfront Award. Josh's work was not a purchase prize, and a smart collector quickly bought the piece.

I had a great time at the event, and plan to paint in Beloit again next year. To read more about the show, please visit

In July, I will be hosting a unique workshop at my Chicken Coop Studio. The workshop will focus on painting afternoon and evening light, including sunsets. I have had a lot of interest in this workshop, if you would like to to sign up, please let me know at

Have a great day!

Old Barn 8x8" $200 Framed

Memorial Union Girls 8x10" $200 Framed