Grand Prize winners of the PleinAir Salon Art Competition on Winning an Art Competition

Past PleinAir Salon Grand Prize Winners on stage at the 9th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo.
From Left: Carl Bretzke, Jim Wodark, Lori Putnam, Kathleen Hudson, Dave Santillanes.

“[Winning] has really changed my trajectory in a dramatic way. There was a definite before and after for me.”

Kathleen Hudson
6th Annual PleinAir Salon Winner, 2017

“The recognition [changed my life] but for me, it has been more about before I won, when I was trying to win it. I would try to do better than my last painting, or better than my best. I really enjoyed that part of it.” 

Jim Wodark
7th Annual PleinAir Salon Winner, 2018

“What winning really did for me was putting me on a magazine cover. I have never been on a magazine cover before and it was fabulous to get that from winning.”

Lori Putnam
10th Annual PleinAir Salon Winner, 2021

“My life really did change. The exposure is one thing, but we actually bought a camper with the award which is now our Plein Air mobile. It has created some really fun family memories already.”

Dave Santillanes
9th Annual PleinAir Salon Winner, 2020

It’s been surprising to me how many people have noticed this award, especially as the magazine issue has come out, and I feel like people take me more seriously as a painter (whether that’s actually deserved or not is a different story)! 

[There’s been an] Dramatic increase in demand for new workshops, and the classes seem to be filling up. I’ve reached my absolute limit for this year in terms of how many workshops I can possibly fit in!

I have a couple upcoming appointments with “dream galleries” that are a direct result of winning my award.

Kimball Geisler
12th Annual PleinAir Salon Winner, 2023