The 13th Annual Plein Air Paint-Out
Treat yourself to a week of dazzling autumn days painting in the picturesque Wet Mountain Valley of Colorado. Sweeping scenic views of the magnificent Sangre de Cristo mountains, intimate outdoor scenes, historic architecture and special events await your creativity.
This paint-from-life event includes alla prima painting created from life in the manner of plein air, but not necessarily done outdoors. Subject matter embraces landscapes, ranch life, figurative and still life. All paintings are created from life during the event, which culminates in an opening reception, exhibition and sale on Friday, September 27. The show continues through October.
An optional one-day workshop with Sarah Woods at the beginning of Alla Prima Westcliffe will help you tune up your plein air creativity. See below.
Alla Prima Westcliffe runs during the 13th annual Arts Hullabaloo in Westcliffe, from September 27-29. This fun event highlights arts of all kinds all over town, including stunt kite flying demos and professional chalk art. Come for the fun and expand your artistic horizons!
Finalize your art enjoyment at the Art for the Sangres exhibition and benefit for the San Isabel Land Protection Trust on September 28. Art for the Sangres showcases remarkable art for a vital cause – helping to protect land, water and wildlife while there is still time.
Juror – Cheryl St. John
Cheryl St. John is a fourth generation Colorado native, with a great appreciation of nature and the environment and the preservation of both. Working as a plein-air and studio landscape artist, Cheryl’s inspiration comes from the wide open spaces of Colorado, New Mexico or as far away as a European hillside.
Cheryl studied fine art and design at The Rocky Mountain College of Art and at the Colorado Institute of Art. She is a current member of Oil Painters of America and The Art Students League of Denver. She is a signature member of the American Impressionist Society, Plein Air Artists of Colorado and the Colorado Watercolor Society. She has won numerous awards and is currently in Corporate as well as Private Collections around the world.
She states “Painting en plein-air is always a challenge! The changing light and weather conditions create a sense of urgency that translates to a spontaneous and loose interpretation of the scene, something that is very difficult to achieve in the studio.”
She works mainly in oil but loves to work in watercolor as well. Each medium has its own characteristics which when using clean vivid colors and as few brush strokes as possible makes for a loose impressionistic finished work of art. She states “Keeping the painting fresh, not over-worked is part of the fun and challenge of a good artist, which is always the goal. I want the viewer to be able to feel what I felt when painting the piece …feel the warm sun, or the cool breeze, or whatever else is going on nearby and therefore capture the essence of the scene for themselves.”
Saturday, September 21 (8:45 am – 4 pm), tune up your skills for a week of painting.
Sarah Woods will be teaching this year’s Plein Air Workshop. For 36 years, Sarah has been inspired by the beautiful landscapes and wildlife of the Sangre de Cristo mountains. She’s had a 33 year tenure at one of America’s premier galleries, Trailside Galleries in Jackson, Wyoming, and has been with The Broadmoor Galleries in Colorado Springs since their inception. Sarah began teaching with her BUILD A BETTER PAINTING workshops 14 years ago. She will talk about the keys to a successful plein air painting—strong composition and design, sharing techniques to create depth and bring the viewer into the painting, as well as using a limited palette to create color harmony. She will demonstrate in the morning and give individualized instruction throughout the day. Join Sarah for a great learning experience on Saturday, September 21st, 8:45-4; only $75.
Enrollment in the workshop has closed as we have reached the maximum of 10 students.
- Best of Show: $1,000 cash + an invitation to the 2020 Art for the Sangres exhibition
- First Place: $500 cash
- Second Place: $400 cash
- Third Place: $300 cash
- Best Nocturne: $100 cash, sponsored by Dark Skies of the Wet Mountain Valley
- Best Impressionism: $100 cash + a free upgrade on Paris hotel room when you travel with My Art Trip, sponsored by My Art Trip.
- Judges Choice Award: $200 Blick Art Materials gift certificate
- Best Miniature Award: $100 Judson’s Art Outfitters gift certificate
- People’s Choice Award: $100 Judson’s Art Outfitters gift certificate
- Best Quick Draw Award: $150 Blick Art Materials gift certificate
- Second Place Quick Draw Award: $50 Terry Ludwig Pastels gift certificate
- Honorable Mention Award: $100 Cheap Joe’s Art Stuff gift certificate
- Honorable Mention Award: $150 value frame from Front Range Frames
- Student Award: TBD
- Novice* Award: $100 H.R. Meininger gift card
*Novice is defined as any artist new to plein air painting within the past two years.
Plus randomly drawn “door prizes” for artists from sponsors:
- Judson’s Art Outfitters
- SourceTek Canvas Panels
- Williamsburg Oil Colors
- San Isabel Land Protection Trust
- Ravens’ Airbnb
Early registration has closed. Late registration fee $60. STUDENT* registration fee $45. Workshop registration has closed. *Student, age 18-24 and actively enrolled in school. Registration includes lunch at Music Meadows Ranch.
Online Registration: By clicking Add to Cart you will be taken to a secure site where you can pay by credit card (MC, Visa, Discover, AMEX) or by Paypal.
If you experience any problems registering online, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Manual registration: please send checks to:
Sangres Art Guild
PO Box 205
Westcliffe, CO 81252
This schedule may change a little as we form it throughout the summer. Please check back for updates!
- Check-in and canvas stamping begins Sunday, September 22. Check in once & get all of your surfaces stamped, or come in again during the week and get more stamped.
Saturday, September 21
- 9am-4pm. 1-day optional plein air workshop. Meet at 3rd Street Gallery. Be prompt!
Sunday, September 22
- 8am-5pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at Greenstone Artworks. Free day to paint anywhere in the valley. See maps below and additional maps as part of your artist’s registration packet.
Monday, September 23
- 8am-5pm. Check-in and canvas stamping at Greenstone Artworks. Free day to paint anywhere in the valley.
- 6pm-ish. Meet at Tony’s Mountain Pizza in Silver Cliff for an artists meet and greet, on-your-own meal and camaraderie with fellow artists.
Tuesday, September 24
- 10am-2pm. Canvas stamping at Greenstone Artworks. Optionally paint at Grape Creek (no dogs! porta potty will be present) or paint anywhere in the valley. A map to the place will be part of your artist’s registration packet, and we’ll have the place well marked. Or paint anywhere in the valley.
- 7pm. Bohemian Night. Eat popcorn, enjoy artistic camaraderie, watch the artistic film “Artemisia” at Greenstone Artworks. BYOB and chair.
Wednesday, September 25
- 10am-2pm. Canvas stamping at Greenstone Artworks. Optionally paint at Music Meadows Ranch – lunch is included! A map to the place will be part of your artist’s registration packet, and we’ll have the place well marked. Or paint anywhere in the valley.
- 6-9pm. Nocturne Night. Stretch your abilities — paint a nocturne in downtown Westcliffe or elsewhere in the valley. Earn the Dark Skies Award! Brookwood Gallery will be open with warming drink and facilities until 9pm. No paint in the gallery!
Thursday, September 26
- 10am-2pm. Canvas stamping at Greenstone Artworks. Free day to paint anywhere in the valley.
- 2-4pm. Early intake of competition paintings at 3rd Street Gallery.
Friday, September 27 – Intake Day
- Intake and the reception is Friday at 3rd Street Gallery!!!
- 10am-12pm. Intake of competition artwork at 3rd Street Gallery, 59000 N. Hwy 69, Westcliffe.
- 12-2pm. Judging – no artists!
- 2pm-4pm. Arrangements for the reception
- 3:30-4:30. Dixieland Band entertains
- 4-6pm. Opening Reception. Come with your clients to 3rd Street Gallery. Enjoy the Dixieland Band. Must be present to win artist’s door prizes. There will be a “Drawing for a Drawing” — put your name in the hat for an opportunity to own an original drawing by Curt Gillespie.
- 5pm-ish. Awards Ceremony
Saturday, September 28
- Participate in Arts Hullabaloo.
- 9am-12noon. Paint models in the park. Paint other stuff in the park. Sell your artwork commission-free. Do some professional level chalk art on the street. Show off!
Also Saturday, September 28
- 1-3pm. Open admission to view artwork at Art for the Sangres, sponsored by the San Isabel Land Protection Trust.
- 5-8pm. Optionally attend the Art for the Sangres exhibition and benefit for the San Isabel Land Protection Trust.
Rules For The Alla Prima Competition
- Alla Prima for this event is defined as a painting of an outdoor or indoor scene done entirely on location. Use of photographic references is not allowed.
- All paintings entered must be 2 dimensional and completed during the event dates; all traditional mediums are accepted.
- Blank painting surfaces must be stamped prior to painting during the event.
- Artists can paint anywhere in Custer County and the Wet Mountain Valley during the event and/or their own indoor or outdoor set.
- Artists are strongly encouraged to paint in Jess Price Park on Saturday during Arts Hullabaloo. Models will be available, as well as other scenes. All sales by artists on Saturday in the park are commission-free and can be any kind of art the artist wants to offer for sale. Sales and sales tax must be handled by the artist. Artists can paint and sell off their easels or set up their own display booth. Booth fee is free to Alla Prima Westcliffe registered artists. Vendor application.
- Artwork for the competition and show MUST BE FRAMED (per Gallery Criteria; no gallery-wrapped or un-framed canvases – wet paint smudges the walls). Artwork must be for sale.
- Competition artwork must be brought to the 3rd Street Gallery ready to hang by 12noon on Friday, September 27. NO EXCEPTIONS! Late deliveries will not be registered and will result in forfeit of registration fee.
- The back of the painting must be visibly stamped by SAG and marked with the artist’s name, title and medium and price.
- Limit 3 entries per artist + 1 miniature if desired (4 total).
- Maximum artwork size is 16″x20″ per painting (except miniatures). The size limit does not include matting or framing.
- Miniature painting size limit is 5″x7″ (does not include matting or framing). We will have a few miniature canvases and frames available for purchase.
- Artists’ Reception and Show opening is Friday, September 27, 4-6pm, with Awards Ceremony at 5-ish. Public welcome. REMEMBER TO INVITE YOUR CLIENTS!
- Commission for all Sales is 30% for SAG members, 40% for non-SAG members. You can join the guild during the event for the lower commission.
- Entrants must sign waivers of liability for the show. SAG assumes no liability for the paintings, however we will make our best effort to assure the security of the artwork once it is at the show.
- Entrants and their guests assume all liability for their presence and conduct on private property during the event. Please respect property owner’s rights. Do not trespass.
- Artists agree to the use of their images and images of their artwork for the promotional activities of the Sangres Art Guild.
- Unsold artwork must be removed by the artist or his/her representative on Sunday or Monday, October 27 or 28, *or* can be withdrawn after Arts Hullabaloo (3-4pm) on Saturday by artists unable to leave their painting(s) for the full show. Buyers may remove the artwork with purchase.
- Artists must be 18 years or older to participate in the show.
Accommodations And Info About The Area
- Custer County Tourism Board
- Custer County Chamber of Commerce
- Lamp Post Lodge
- Hillside, Colorado
- Music Meadows Ranch
- Blue Moon Pottery RV Parking (email Karen)
- Ravens’ Airbnb
Suggestions For Artists
- Bring your own chair and a beverage for Bohemian night.
- See Cliff Austin’s Checklist for a Wet Painting Session
- See Kathleen Dunphy’s Update: Recommended Plein Air Equipment and Carry on! What to Pack for Plein Air Painting
We try our best, but these criteria are subject to changes at any time, especially during the summer when we’re still improving the details.