Saturday, August 1, 2020

Patrick Saunders Fine Arts - 2020 Plein Air Driggs Judge

It was an honor to judge this year's Driggs Plein Air competition with Scott Jones, and I am greatly disappointed that I was unable to do so in person. I haven’t been to the area in a few years, and I was looking forward to not only viewing all of the work by other artists, but painting some of my own in such a beautiful part of the country.

Going through all of the work in the show made this desire to paint on site even greater. I’m inspired and eager to be a part of next year’s event. The best paintings not only work on a level of technical expertise, but tell a story about the artist’s personal experience with the landscape, and many of these works achieved that. So many in fact, that my responsibility as a judge was extremely difficult. I only wish we had twice as many awards. This is exactly what I strive for in my own work and what I look for when evaluating paintings in a show. Tell me your story, set a mood, invite me to explore, and the painting draws me in.


Congratulations to everyone who participated, even in this particularly difficult year where a new approach was required. As artists, your work is a constant reminder that the world is a wonderful place, even in times of hardship. 


Go to www.driggspleinair.org now to see the online gallery of great work available for sale.
 - Patrick Saunders


Best of Show
• David Marty • "Mustard Fields” • Oil • 8"x10"
Everything comes together perfectly in this painting to give us a story of the beauty, the expansiveness and the awesome power of the landscape.

We are immediately struck with the strong design of the foreground fields. The sharply controlled edges of the yellow suggest the influence of humanity. This is not a wild place, yet as we move up the painting, the brushstrokes become ever more spontaneous.

Once our eyes reach the sky, the chaotic impasto paint of the clouds suggest the unpredictability of nature, even in the face of the familiar fields. This juxtaposition creates a tension that keeps us moving through and exploring the scene.

Congratulations Marty on a fabulous painting. - Patrick Saunders


I find the foreground of the piece to be fascinating. Diagonals, colors, light and shadow is all complimented by a solid backdrop (with just the right amount of complimenting colors) and immense sky. The total package combined in one excellent plein air painting. - Scott Jones
Second Place
• Don Miskin • "String Lake” • Oil on Linen • 16"x20"
 This piece is beautifully executed overall, and the careful balance between the mountain and the line of trees particularly grabbed my attention. The wide variety of subtle greens throughout the foreground of the painting suggest a depth to the forest that is often overwhelmed and overlooked in paintings depicting breathtaking mountain views. Yet the mountain does not lose any of its importance.

The controlled use of value and color temperature changes in the mountain not only hold it together as the monolith that it is, but also add atmospheric depth to the image. The entire scene is tied together by the expert capture of the low sun cascading across the landscape. - Patrick Saunders

Third Place
• Benjamin Walter • "Canyon Glow” • Oil on Canvas • 9" x 12"
I enjoy the scale and atmosphere of this piece. The rear mountain peak and sky work so well together. And create a wonderful visual backdrop to the remainder of the painting. I feel that I am there -- looking up. – Scott Jones
Fourth Place - Plein Air Painters of Idaho Award
• Sherri Carter • "Pastoral Barn” • Oil on Linen Panel • 8" x 8"
The calm and quiet mood of this scene immediately emanates from this painting. While the execution appears simple and direct upon first viewing, if one looks closer, a very deliberate control of color, value and edges is revealed. The expert choice to break the boundaries of the window invites the viewer to explore the rest of the scene. - Patrick Saunders
Honorable Mention
• Allen Brockbank • "North of Town” • Oil on Panel • 8" x 16"
My artist friends know that I often focus my attention on the foreground of a painting. This painting starts so very strong in the foreground and then it compositionally takes you through the remainder of the piece and right back to its strength in the foreground. Good use of color that is not harsh or overdone. - Scott Jones
Honorable Mention
• Kerri Hammond, Kerri Hammond Fine Art • “Resilience" • Oil on Board • 6" x 8"
There is not a single unnecessary brush stroke in this painting, with each mark boldly applied to the surface of the canvas. This confidence in application transcends the paint medium and gives a sense of solidity to the heavy rocks and the single tree that dominate the composition.

When one moves past the rendered scene, there is an abstract beauty within the texture of every brushstroke, making this a painting not just about a representational landscape, but of the beauty of paint itself. - Patrick Saunders

Honorable Mention
• Trish Melander  • "Open Seating At the Rodeo” • Oil on Panel • 12" x 16"

Raw is the first word that comes to mind. Confident is the second. I can feel the heat of the sun. Not an easy day and light to paint this one. I have a hunch I would have learned something watching the artist paint this one. - Scott Jones

Honorable Mention
• Don Miskin • "River View” • Oil on Linen • 16" x 20"
There is a wonderful sense of depth to the piece, and as the viewer's eyes move backwards in space, one notices that while the saturation of colors decreases, the number of subtle color variations does not. This invites us to explore everything about the scene. This is not a painting about a mountain, trees or a stream, but rather the total package. - Patrick Saunders


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, July 26, 2020

Patrick Saunders - 2020 Driggs Digs Plein Air Judge

I'm looking forward to judging this week's Driggs Plein Air event. The festival's competition and sale will be online this year. 

The works will be available for purchase beginning July 27! Check out their Facebook page to see many of the works in progress. - Patrick Saunders

"Cornet Creek" • Oil on Board • 12”x16” • Private Collection 

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, July 19, 2020

Patrick Saunders Fine Arts - 2020 Olmsted Plein Air Invitational Community PaintQuick - Atlanta, Georgia

Today is the 2020 Olmsted Plein Air Invitational's Community PaintQuick.

This year, all of the invited artists are participating remotely and all paintings, including those by local community artists, will be available for purchase with 10% of all sales going directly to The Good Samaritan Health Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Paintings will be available for sale this afternoon here: https://bit.ly/OlmstedPaintQuick

Here is my submission. - Patrick Saunders

"Umbrellas" • Oil on Linen • 6"x8" • Available at olmstedpleinair.com
Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Patrick Saunders Fine Arts - 2020 Olmsted Plein Air Invitational Painting Sale

I’m thrilled that another painting, purchased Tuesday by a collector, will support The Good Samaritan Health Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Now through July 31st, 10% of all painting sales at the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational will go directly to Good Samaritan. My thanks to Lillian Kirbo Ansley and everyone at Olmsted for your tireless work on this great event. - Patrick Saunders

"Sidewalk Sale at the Strand" • Oil on Panel • 9"x12" • 1 Hour • Private Collection
© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Patrick Saunders Fine Arts - 2020 Olmsted Plein Air Invitational Painting Sale

I’m honored that this painting, purchased yesterday by a collector, is the first sale to support The Good Samaritan Health Center in Atlanta, Georgia

Now through July 31st, 10% of all painting sales at the Olmsted Plein Air Invitational will go directly to Good Samaritan. My thanks to Lillian Kirbo Ansley and everyone at Olmsted for your tireless work on this great event. - Patrick Saunders
"Maggy's Path, Blowing Rocks" • Oil on Linen • 16"x20" • Private Collection
Winner, 1st Place Award
Winner, Artists' Choice award
2020 Lighthouse ArtCenter Plein Air Festival


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

Plein Air Easton 2020 - Easton, Maryland

We had hoped to be on the road today, heading towards Easton, Maryland on our way to the Plein Air Easton Competition and Arts Festival. With the competition portion unfortunately cancelled, we won't see all of our East Coast friends until next year.

For #TakeMeBackTuesday, here's one of Patrick Saunders Fine Arts' competition pieces from last year's festival.

"Where the Wild Things Are" • Oil on Linen • 20"x24" • Private Collection
 Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.
© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Art Review - "La lettre de rupture" by Alfred Emile Stevens - Musée d'Orsay, Paris, France

Today for #MuseumTourTuesday, I'd like to share a more obscure painting at the Musée d'Orsay

This piece by Alfred Émile Stevens was located in a room focused on art deco furniture, so it was very dimly lit and difficult to see, let alone photograph. We almost walked right past it, but I'm glad that we didn't, as it has a beautiful mood and subtlety.

Click through the photos for my thoughts.

Painting photos by Saunders Fine Arts.

"La lettre de rupture” (The Break Up Letter) • Alfred Stevens • 1867 • Oil on Canvas • 73x54cm
The title of the painting clearly sets the scene of a woman who has just read a break up letter from her lover, and so many interesting details in the painting support her emotions.

Notice the glimpse of a potted floral to the right, suggesting a larger room while she stands alone in the shadows of a privacy screen. These are emotions that one can only face alone. The letter is heavy in one hand, while the other clutches her abdomen. This is the exact moment that she comes to grasp the meaning of the letter.

Notice the compositional draw towards the letter. The strong movement of the dark in the middle of the privacy screen directs the eye towards the letter. The cool light blue of the letter contrasts with the dark warmth of the privacy screen. Both hands are more in focus than the head, leading the eyes downward.


"La lettre de rupture” Detail • Alfred Stevens • 1867 • Oil on Canvas • 73x54cm
The features of her face also fade into shadow, further enhancing the emotion of wanting to hide from the world. The face is very softly painted without a single hard edge. The nose is almost nonexistent. The letter is the star of this painting. Her face only explains its significance.


© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Patrick Saunders Fine Arts, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Throwback Thursday - "Burst" - Patrick Saunders, Plein Air Easton

Here is one of Patrick Saunders Fine Arts's favorite plein air florals for #ThrowBackThursday. This was painted this during the 2017 Plein Air Easton Competition and Arts Festival

For a short time, there were two versions. Patrick leaned over the painting while reaching for some framing materials, and a perfect imprint was created on his t-shirt. Fortunately, the actual painting survived, but the t-shirt is no longer with us.

"Burst" • Oil on panel • 6"x8" • Private Collection
Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Throwback Thursday - The Sweet Potato in Kansas

For #ThrowbackThursday, an image of the Sweet Potato at our campsite in Kansas last May not long before we encountered multiple tornadoes on our way to Carmel, Indiana for a Patrick Saunders Fine Arts painting workshop.

We outran a couple of small tornadoes, then hunkered down with our fingers crossed in a campsite in Missouri as another larger tornado came close, but thankfully bypassed our campground. The winds bent and broke many trees, but the Sweet Potato made it through unscathed and water tight! We got very lucky on that trip, and we won't push our luck like that again.




© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Patrick Saunders Fine Arts - Parker County Peach Festival Art Competition Judge

Texas artist friends, Patrick Saunders will be judging the Weatherford Art Association's 2020 Parker County Peach Festival Art Competition, hosted by the Doss Heritage and Culture Center.

The festival itself has been cancelled as a safety measure, but the art competition is still open. This is an annual event with cash prizes awarded in both adult and student categories.

Click here to learn more and to enter:
https://bit.ly/Peach-Festival-Art-Show-Registration



© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2020. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.