Testimonials for the PleinAir Salon Online Art Competition


We asked artists to how they felt about winning, and to share their experiences with the PleinAir Salon Online Art Competition.

And the Winner Is…

2023 12th Annual Winner Kimball Geisler

How Winning Changed Their Lives

Past Grand Prizes Winners Talk About Winning

Past PleinAir Salon Online Art Competition Grand Prize Winners on stage at 9th Annual Plein Air Convention & Expo in Santa Fe, NM

Sheryl Knight “Northern California Marsh at Sunset” Oil, 12×16 in.
Third Place Overall, August 2023

It is always so exciting to win something, and also such an honor.  I really like participating in the Plein Air Salon Competition for many reasons, but one is that you are so great about sharing and promoting the award winners. It makes me want to keep painting the best I can and to enter every month.

Angela Parr, “Reef Raider” Pastel, 17 x 24 in.
Best Animals & Birds, January 2024

PleinAir Salon has such a wonderful reputation for attracting world class artists that I was so impressed when I found out I was amongst the top 100 finalists. Then when I discovered I had won the Animal and Bird section I was completely speechless. I know I have worked hard over the last few years to really improve my craft, but this has been an overwhelming honor.

Barbara Jaenicke, “Steelhead Falls Drop-off” Oil, 28×22 in.
Best Water, January 2024

It’s always a euphoric honor to find out that a painting which took a crazy amount of planning, exploration and good ‘ole hard work came together with a just the right dose of visual excitement to capture the eye of someone else just as it captured my attention to paint it in the first place.

How I Got $5k for a Painting

Steven Hill shares his PleinAir Salon Experience

Giuseppe Bucci, “Ad laetam” Graphite and Charcoal, 43×31 in.
Best Drawing, October 2023

Oh my God, it was an incredible feeling! I relived in a second all the late nights, all the sacrifices, all the time I spent in my little refuge to create her. She is the one who leads to happiness and that morning when I heard about the victory, She exploded in my heart and I shouted Her name!

Dan Mondloch, “Shoreline Rhythms” Watercolor, 11×15 in.
Best Landscape, December 2023

I was very surprised! Having experienced the ups and downs of entering competitions, I wasn’t holding my breath to win anything, so it was delightful to hear the news!

How the PleinAir Salon
Changed my Life


Luiz Vilela shares his PleinAir Salon Experience

Lisa Skelly, “Rock Steady” Pastel, 8×10 in.
Best Plein Air Pastel, October 23

This award was really a special one for me. I almost didn’t enter. I was going up against some of the best Plein Air Pastelists that I know. They are also my friends and extremely talented. (I represent a few of them as well at the Huse Skelly Gallery). Then I thought I needed to start seeing how my work compares up against the best Pastelists with an impartial judge. So I took a chance and what a surprise to win this particular month. I am deeply grateful and humbled.

Janet Kohler, “Gold Rustle” Pastel, 9×12 in.
Best Plein Air Pastel, November 2023

Oh, so excited! My work can now stand beside all the many other great artists and talent your Magazine and competitions display! All these years, tons of paintings, many exhibitions under my belt and now this to add to my awards! I am so blessed to be able to create and express movement and feeling through my artworks and send this out into the world to enjoy.

Sami Ali, “Squirrels Playground” Oil on linen, 16×20 in.
Best Beginner, September 2023

Grateful is an understatement for how I felt when I found out I won. I actually won in April as well for a best Beginner, so winning again validated me and my efforts. Having another judge also “approve” of my painting was such a special moment. It made me feel that I’m on the right track.