Monday, October 30, 2017

Plein Air Texas 2017

Patrick Saunders was surprised and thrilled to win second place at Plein Air Texas in 2016. When he won third place this year, he was actually shocked.

Patrick has applied, and been lucky enough to be accepted, to this juried competition for the last three years, and will participate again in 2018. Plein Air Texas is one of his favorite events, and it's not really because he has won there. It's the people who run this event that make it special, and Texas hill country itself holds boundless inspiration for painting. The organizers of Plein Air Texas and the whole community of San Angelo do an incredible job of making competition artists feel welcome. They roll out the red carpet, so to speak. They feed you, entertain you, invite you to experience their beautiful ranches, and they make it all fun. It's not just a competition. It's an event. We've said it before, and we'll say it again: Texas hospitality just can't be beat, so don't even try.

We lucked out yet again this year with just phenomenal housing hosts. They let us park our Airstream under a beautiful old tree on their gorgeous acreage. Their house sits near the edge of a hill, and they have designed a back patio garden that looks down and out onto their land. It's a spectacular view. The patio garden itself is landscaped and decorated so charmingly that it's the kind of spot that makes you feel good the moment you step into it. That's why Patrick decided he had to try to paint it, and it was the painting that won him second place this year. It was a very busy scene for a painting, making it a lot to tackle, but that's precisely what drew Patrick to it. Our hosts ended up buying the painting, because how could they let their slice of heaven go somewhere else? It actually hangs on a wall in their house right next to the french doors leading out to their patio garden, so as you pass by to go outside, you can catch a glimpse of the beauty you're about to experience in real life. Very nice.

Patrick Saunders "Oasis" - 2nd Place Winner, Plein Air Texas 2017. Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

We had just picked up our new 2017 25FB Airstream Flying Cloud about two months prior to the event, so we were still pretty obsessed with our new baby, which we named the 'Sweet Potato.' So much so that Patrick decided to paint it during Plein Air Texas. The fact that our mooch dock spot on our hosts' property was so gorgeous pretty much sealed the deal for a painting.

Patrick Saunders "Guest House" (oil on linen, 18"x24"). Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

Patrick caught this waterlily just as it was opening up on a cool San Angelo, Texas, morning. Painted at the International Waterlily Collection for the event.

Patrick Saunders "White Water Lily" (oil on linen, 12"x16"). Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

Patrick's Mini-Pearl painting for Plein Air Texas, painted at one of many beautiful ranches competition artists were invited to spend time at during the event.

Patrick Saunders "Just Off the Trail" (oil on canvas, 6"x8"). Painting photo by Saunders Fine Arts.

On the last day of the event, some of the competition artists did portrait demonstration paintings at locations around San Angelo. Patrick painted a ballerina from Ballet San Angelo at the Cactus Hotel.

We had a great time, as always, at Plein Air Texas. It was a lovely end to Patrick's 2017 plein air competition season.

© Patrick & Kimberly Saunders, Plein Air Streaming, 2017. 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, and/or to Saunders Fine Arts for photographs, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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