Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival

Exhibit Dates:  October 18 – December 20th

2020 Awards

1st Place:  “House on the Hudson” by Jim Laurino, oil 22″x22″ $1,500

2nd Place:  “Yards at Hudson” by Tony Conner, watercolor, 18″x21″ $900

3rd Place:  “Looking Around Storm King” by Patrick McPhee, oil, 9″x12″ $1,500

Best of Basha Kill:  “Island View” by Jacqueline Jones, oil on linen, 24″x28″ $2,500

Best of Goshen: “Autumn Cornfields” by Thomas Adkins, oil, 15″x18″ $950

Best of an Audubon Site:  “Long Swamp” by Vaune Sherin, pastel, 18″x14″$200

Best Nocturne:  “Barn Cats” by Chrissy Pahucki, oil, 9″x12″ $575

Artists’ Choice (tie for win): 

“Clump o’ Trees” by Janet Howard-Fatta, oil on linen panel, 9″x12″ $300

“Marsh Maple on the Hudson” by Thomas Adkins, oil 9″x12″ $950

Quick Draw 1st Place:  “West Point Farm Market” by Tatiana Rhinevault, oil, 14″x11″ $495

Quick Draw 2nd Place:  “Train Station on the Hudson” by Patrick McPhee, oil 9″x7″ $650

Quick Draw 3rd Place: “Railroad Cut” by Chrissy Pahucki, oil, 8″x10″ $400

View and Purchase All 2020 Works Here

View and Purchase All 2020 Works Here

From October 13-18, 2020, artists from around the country painted “en plein air” (out-of-doors) in various locations around the Hudson Valley region.  Artwork created during the festival is exhibited publicly at the Wallkill River School as well as online until December 20 and then will travel to various public and business locations around Orange County.

Thank You to Our Generous 2020 Sponsors!

 

This year, artists participated at two levels:

Competing Artists have been juried in by our judges and will be eligible for Awards and Prizes and will be included in the Gallery Exhibit at the Wallkill River School.  Competing Artists will also be eligible to participate in the traveling show.  For more information, please see the  Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival 2020 Prospectus

Non-Competing Participants have all levels of skill and experience. They will each receive a badge and a painting map and have their work offered for sale on the Wallkill River School website through December 20.  (Non-Competing Participants will NOT be eligible for prizes or the gallery exhibit at the Wallkill River School or the HVPAF Travelling Show)


If you would like to sponsor, click to download the information: Sponsorship Info


2020 Artists

Thomas Adkins

Thomas Adkins divides his time between his Southbury, CT and Bristol, ME studios. He is a graduate of Paier College of Art of New Haven along with graduate classes at the School of Visual Arts in New York. He has worked as art director and creative director for some of Connecticut and New York’s most prestigious advertising agencies, while also exhibiting in galleries and museums throughout the United States. Currently, he sits on the board of The Hudson Valley Art Association and is an Elected Member of The Connecticut Plein Air Painters and Elected Member of The Lyme Art Association, and has received numerous awards, such as the First Place Lyme Art Association New England Landscape Invitational, People’s Choice Award – New Britain Museum Of American Art, Finalist, Artist Magazine Landscape competition among many others. On numerous occasions, he has exhibited in the Mystic Museum International Marine Exhibition, The Butler Institute Of American Art, and the Mattatuck Museum. thomasadkinsfineart.com


Elisabeth Barnett

Elisabeth Barnett grew up in New Paltz, NY and then lived in many other places before settling in Rhinebeck, NY in 2006. She identifies as a plein air painter but also engages other subject matter, aiming for a sweet spot between realism and abstraction. She has been delighted to spend time painting outdoors around the Hudson Valley, socially distanced, in recent months.


Janet Campbell

Janet Campbell’s watercolor paintings reflect a transparent and loose style. Living on the Shawangunk Ridge and close to the Bashakill Wetlands in Sullivan County NY offers her rich subject material. She has exhibited in numerous shows in the Hudson Valley. Janet won 1st Place in the Quick Draw at the 2019 Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival. Her work has been accepted into exhibitions of the American Watercolor Society, the North East Watercolor Society, the Transparent Watercolor Society of America, and the Adirondacks National Exhibition of American Watercolors where she has won numerous awards. She is a Signature Member of the North East Watercolor Society. watercolorsbyjanetcampbell.com


Tony Conner

Tony Conner’s path as a self-taught artist has followed a serious and active course that has been dedicated to a single medium – watercolor – and an apprenticeship to its unique disciplines. His representational watercolor landscape and seascape paintings are recognized for their unique and expressive style and have been exhibited in many regional and national exhibits, receiving a number of awards. He produces both studio and “en plein air” paintings, which are mostly expressions of his favorite subjects – scenic coastlines and rural landscapes. He is a Signature Member of the New England Watercolor Society and Vermont Watercolor Society, and an Associate Member of the North Shore Artists Association. www.tonyconner.com


Catherine De Cesare

Catherine was classically trained in drawing and painting at the Paier School of Art in Hamden, CT, studying realism and the techniques of the old masters. After several years, Catherine found herself in New York City studying the New York Painters and the Abstract Expressionists at the Art Students League and School of Visual Arts where she received her BFA in Illustration. Her art background is varied with jobs at J Walter Thompson advertising, designing for Knoll and Herman Miller furniture, also painting and creating for the United States Government, a project which entailed painting multiple murals for public spaces, throughout the Veterans Administrations Hospitals. It was a move to Alexandria, VA that expanded her work to include “the architectural form,” working on architectural drawings and paintings of historic buildings. It was here she developed her business offering her unique drawing style to architects, property developers and commercial real-estate agents. catherinedecesare.com


Daisy de Puthod

Born in Paris, France to a family of artists, early on in her career, Daisy de Puthod leaned towards illustration with a focus on fashion illustration for magazines and story-book illustrations for advertising and educational publications, including coloring for Marvel Comics. Daisy has now found her passion in fine art, especially plein air painting in oils. She participated in over 25 juried plein air events in California, Maine, Maryland, New York, Vermont and Virginia. Daisy is a signature member of the American Impressionist Society and the New York Plein Air Painters. Her work has been featured in the Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, the Edward Hopper Museum, the Norman Rockwell Museum and in NYC at the National Arts Club & the Salmagundi Club. Daisy loves to work from life… always looking for the special moment when the subject comes alive in the painting. www.daisydeputhod.com


Regina Gelfer

Regina Gelfer is a professional graphic designer, illustrator and painter. She began her career as a studio artist/penciller for Archie Comics and later became editor of “Jughead’s Pal Hot Dog” comic. She also was a penciller for Marvel’s Barbie Comic. Regina’s illustrations have appeared in countless children’s books and educational publications, including “That Sounds Like Fun”, “Sorrow Cave”, “Puppy Tales Two” and her own book, “The Kiss Box” – which she wrote and illustrated as a tribute to her Mom. She currently works as an illustrator/designer for Maryknoll Fathers & Brothers. Regina is a member of the Garrison Art Center, Hudson Highland Plein Air Painters Club and the Fest for Beatles Fan Artists Club. She is a graduate of SUNY Purchase School of Art & Design with a BFA in visual arts. www.gelfergraphics.com


Naomi Genen

Naomi Genen has always been interested in art. She majored in Fine Arts at Brooklyn College and taught art for twenty-seven years. Most of her paintings are in acrylic and a few in oils. She loves plein air painting and thoroughly enjoys painting in New York and Miami. It has shown her that even though there are differences in topography, each area has its unique beauty. naomigenen.com


Jennifer Gibson

Jennifer Gibson is an artist/illustrator based in Trumansburg, NY. She works in a variety of media but primarily gouache, watercolor and oils. She has participated in a number of plein air festivals throughout upstate New York and Canada, and was awarded at a few, most recently third place last year at the 2019 Morristown Plein Air festival. She completed a bachelors of humanities and fine arts at Carnegie Mellon, and has formally studied illustration in addition to plein air painting. www.jgibsonillustration.com


Cynthia Harris-Pagano

Cynthia Harris-Pagano specializes in portraits, still-life and landscape in oil and pastel. She works out of her north light studio in Otisville, NY, one hour northwest of NYC. Her paintings are in public and private collections in the USA, Canada and Europe. In 2018, she curated and showed paintings in the exhibit North Light: a Painter’s Study at Amity Gallery, Warwick, NY. She conducts and paints with her Atelier outdoors and from her studio on Wednesdays. Classically trained in both Anatomy with Robert Beverly Hale at the Art Students League NYC, and in Landscape, Still-Life and Portrait Work with John Phillip Osborne at Ridgewood Art Institute, Ridgewood, NJ, she is creating her personal vision of light and form. cynthiaharris-pagano.com


Janet Howard-Fatta

Hudson Valley fine artist Janet Howard-Fatta creates a variety of works from landscapes in oil depicting place and time, to figurative works in wet and dry media. Light, color and a love of nature are the driving forces behind her work. Janet’s work reflects a relationship between the world around her and the painted image. She strives to create a visual representation of what she experiences through her senses. Janet received a BFA in painting at Pratt Institute. Currently she paints events on weekends and is a board member of the Orange County Arts Council. Janet facilitates the Warwick Life Drawing Group at the Seligmann Center. She lives in the Hudson Valley – Warwick, NY, surrounded by the beauty of a rural landscape that includes farms, mountains and state parks. www.jhowardstudios.com


Jean-Pierre Jacquet

Jean-Pierre Jacquet is a French-American painter and formerly a film animator. He likes to paint what he sees, rather than what he knows, and tries to uncover the hidden designs in his nature scenes and urban landscapes. He is partial to free and bold brushstrokes, which helps him keep a certain sketchiness to his paintings. His work has been part of a number of group and solo shows, and he has received a multitude of notable awards. www.jeanpierrejacquet.com


Jacqueline Jones

As a child, Jacqueline Jones studied with local artist Joseph Gionfriddo of Gilead, CT. A former student of Guy Wiggins and James Goodwin Manus, Gionfriddo instilled in her a love of traditional oil painting. She went on to earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting from the Lyme Academy College of Fine Art in Old Lyme, CT. Influenced by the early American Impressionists from the Old Lyme Art Colony, she paints from life with passion, spontaneity and solid design. An award winning artist, she is the recipient of numerous awards including “1st Prize for Outstanding Work” at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in NYC. In addition, Stamford Hospital recently acquired a number of her works for their permanent collection. Jackie is often sought out to give demonstrations to local art organizations and teaches at the historic Lyme Art Association, Glastonbury Arts and the Hillstead Museum. www.jacquelinejones.com


Melanie Landrith

Melanie Landrith spent the first eighteen years of her life on the plains of Kansas, watching the sun rise and set every day and the green, tan, and white of the changing seasons. She discovered Plein Air Painting several years later while taking a summer course at the University of New Hampshire. She enjoyed finding the best local views so much that she took another class the following year. She has had the opportunity to travel to many places around the US and the world. She thinks when you see a place on a daily basis you take it for granted. As a visitor, she feels you pay more attention and appreciate it more. She senses we are all related in some way, and the experiences of visiting and painting a wide variety of places and subjects makes us appreciate the local beauty even more. The spontaneity and synchronicity of places and events is something she appreciates more each year.


Jim Laurino

Jim Laurino began painting at a young age, and eventually studied design and color theory at the University of Connecticut. Over time, Jim developed a bold representational painting style that balances the impressionists’ influence with contemporary subject matter. His expressive application of paint, married with a keen eye for classic New England scenes, charms the viewer and truly makes his work unique. Jim constructs frames for all of his paintings using reclaimed wood materials. A brief write-up of Jim’s approach to painting and framing was featured in Plein-Air magazines’ Dec-Jan 2018 issue. Jim’s paintings are in numerous private collections. He shows his work in galleries throughout the nutmeg state, and enjoys participating in competitive events across the country. Recent Awards include: 2019: Artists Choice Award – Parrsboro Plein Air Festival (Nova Scotia), and 2018: Third place Award – Finger Lakes Plein Air Festival (Canandaigua, NY). www.jimlaurino.com


Patricia MacDonald

Originally from New Jersey and presently living in New Hampton, NY, Patricia MacDonald received a BFA from Columbus College of Art & Design. She worked in computer graphics with IBM and Merrill Lynch from 1981-1989. She presented a solo botanical exhibit at SUNY Orange and was a guest speaker with a hands-on drawing class. She has been a member of the Goshen Art League since 2018 and displayed a solo show at Griffith Olivero Realtors in Goshen, NY from June-Aug 2019. Describing her inspiration, she states, “The flowers are willing to show off their beauty and the clouds are willing to show their power, that inspires me. When I choose a landscape I am looking for peace and solitude, something that should be noted and felt, a connection. Then there is the essence of a new story.” pmacdonaldart.com


Robert Masla

An award-winning, full-time professional artist whose exhibition history extends over 40 years, internationally exhibited painter Robert Masla’s canvases, murals and portraits can be found in galleries, private residencies, corporations, the hospitality and healthcare industries, restaurants and on film. His work has been featured in many solo and group exhibitions and appeared in various books and publications such as: The Artist and the American Landscape, Changing Prospects, The Artists Magazine, Art New England, PleinAir Today/Outdoor Painter and American Watercolor Weekly. Throughout his career, Robert has also remained dedicated to art as an educator, teaching and lecturing in various settings with a wide range of populations, in schools, colleges, museums, and workshops. In 2005, he built Casa de los Artistas, his Studios South, on the west coast of Mexico. Each winter for the past 15 years, Robert, along with esteemed artist colleagues, has conducted workshops there. www.maslafineart.com


Bonnie McGown

The unusually fluid and masterly work of Ringwood, NJ resident Bonnie McGown captures floral still lifes in full spring bloom, the muted background serving to simply accentuate this loveliness. Her landscapes, often of the Highlands area, are lush with nature’s ripeness while simultaneously suggesting its mystery in the shadows. McGown has studied in the US, Canada and abroad. She has been strengthening her Plein Air work by participating and garnering awards in many Plein Air events. She is continually striving to preserve the uniqueness of the Highlands and has been referred to as “The Painter of the Highlands.” She preserves the beauty of our lakes, mountains and trees, one painting at a time, providing a record to inspire future generations to save and remember the beauty that surrounds us today. bmcgown.faso.com


John McNally

John McNally has been plein air painting for over 20 years. With a minor in Studio Art from Penn State, and an MFA from LSU, he studied with Buck’s County artist Robert Beck along the Delaware River in the 90’s, then began traveling and painting in the Northeast and Southwest. He has received numerous awards from various painting events, including two 1st place awards from Morristown, NY (2014, 2016); 2nd place Adirondack Plein Air Festival (2015); 2nd Place Morristown, NY (2018); 3rd Place Easton Riverside Festival of Arts (2015); and Honorable Mentions from Hudson Valley Plein Air (2016), Highbridge Paint Out (2017), and The Dutot Museum En Plein Air (2019). johnmcnallyart.com


Patrick McPhee

Patrick McPhee was drawing at an early age, usually all over his school assignments. He was lucky to have great art teachers in high school and at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where he majored in illustration. Nature is a never-ending, always-changing source of inspiration. He has found painting outside to be a form of meditation. New York State has an abundance of historic and beautiful places that inspired America’s first school of art, the Hudson River School. He considers himself lucky to follow in the footsteps of these great artists and admire the same views with his brush! PatrickMcPhee.com


Edward Mills

Edward Mills, FAIA is principal of Edward I. Mills + Associates, a New York based Architectural firm that is widely known for its high level of design in the making of intricate works of architecture that are characterized by attention to craft and detail, creative use of materials, and inventive forms and spaces. A native of North Carolina, Mills received his Bachelor of Architecture from North Carolina State University and received his Master’s Degree from Harvard University. Mills has taught architecture at Columbia, Yale, the Rhode Island School of Design, Syracuse University and the University of Pennsylvania. His drawings have been exhibited in galleries and museums such as Denmark’s Louisiana Museum, the Museum of Finnish Architecture, the Architectural Association in London, Columbia University, Cooper Union, New York University, and the Fashion Institute of Technology among others. eimills.com


Chrissy Pahucki

Chrissy Pahucki is a plein air landscape painter from New Hampton, NY. She loves nature and spends much of her summer painting en plein air. During the colder months, she paints landscapes and nature studies from photographs in her studio. Using acrylics, and sometimes oils, she is especially interested in the relationship between land and water and how water affects the colors, shapes and dynamics of landscapes. cpahucki.com


Susan Roth

Susan Roth has a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma, and has been actively painting en plein air since 2012. She has participated in the Wallkill River School Plein Air arts programs over the years, and also organizes opportunities for artists to participate in plein air events. She currently studies at the Ridgewood Art Institute and volunteers with the Wallkill River School.


Mitchell Saler

Mitchell Saler is a fine artist who primarily paints realistic landscapes in oil. In his works, he enjoys conveying vastness, dramatic lighting, and atmospheric effects. He has been exhibiting in a number of venues and is a represented artist at the Wallkill River School. He is a member of the Salmagundi Club in NYC, the Goshen Art League, the Orange County Arts Council, the Middletown Art Group, the River Valley Artists Guild, the Monroe Arts Society, and a Board Member of the Wallkill River School. He graduated with an Associate Degree in Visual Arts from Orange County Community College in Middletown, NY, and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting and Drawing, summa cum laude, from the State University of New York at New Paltz. He has received awards in various art exhibits including two awards from the Salmagundi Club. He lives in Middletown, NY, and teaches art classes, including at the Mulberry House Senior Center. www.mitchellsaler.com


Mary Mugele Sealfon

Entranced by the Hudson Valley, award-winning artist Mary Mugele Sealfon, enjoys plein air landscape painting, portrait and still life in pastel and oil. After receiving her BA in painting, UCSB, and MA in printmaking, NYU, she pursued a graphic design career in NYC and taught at SUNY Orange and the Wallkill River School where she exhibits her paintings. A member of the Garrison Art Center and Lower Hudson Valley Plein Air Painters, she also participates in the Palisades Park “Artists in the Park” program, painting and exhibiting at several park locations. She states, “Though I grew up amidst the amazing beauty of the San Francisco bay area and the Sierra Mountains of California, I find the Hudson Valley equally inspiring. Whether portrait or landscape, I prefer to work from life. Paintings are more alive when painted on location. Perhaps the joy of the experience is somehow transferred to the painting.” msealfon.weebly.com


Vaune Sherin

Vaune Sherin resides in Maybrook, NY. She studied art at SUNY Orange and received a BA in art from Binghamton University with a concentration in painting. Her early work experience was in the art department of a silk screener for the garment industry. She is now a pastel painter focusing on still life and plein air landscapes. Vaune studied pastel with Shawn Dell Joyce for several years. A represented artist with the Wallkill River School of Art, she also belongs to the Goshen Art League and exhibits frequently with both groups. Her love of nature and the beauty of the Hudson Valley inspire her artwork.


Christopher St. John

Christopher St. John supports positive and responsible stewardship of the biosphere we share with all life on this unique and beautiful planet. His work is in the permanent collections of two American museums, and he is represented in France and the United States. Two years ago, he shifted his subject matter away from the human face and story we are all so accustomed to seeing and hearing, and he has focused his work on animals and the natural world. He was already thinking a lot about the climate emergency we are living through and the extinction event we are witnessing. It remains a fact that we live on the only known planet with a biosphere, and if art can be positively used to draw people’s attention to the unique beauty of life on this planet, then we are all better served. www.christophermichaelstjohn.com


Bruce Thorne

Bruce always knew painting was in his heart. Born in Brooklyn, he is one of eight children raised in Suffern, NY. From the age of five Bruce spent his summers in the Adirondack Park, where his attachments for the mountains and lakes influence his love of life and creating art. This love shows through his paintings with brilliance. When Bruce paints, he breaks all the rules. And his paintings fairly explode with energy and vision. In the tradition of the Impressionists, (he cites Vincent van Gogh and Claude Monet as among his influences) Thorne’s paintings speak in the dots and dashes of light and shadow that make up the code of his vision. Thorne eschews contemporary trends. He refuses to limit his palette, choosing instead to paint with whatever colors are right for that day, that scene. He often foregoes a traditional brush, choosing instead to use a palette knife. Sometimes he applies paint directly from the tube. www.thornegallery.com


Lita Thorne

Lita Thorne’s roots run deep in the Appalachian Mountains, where her Southern Appalachian heritage greatly influences her creativity and her love of nature and color. Kinship with the Earth pulses in Lita’s heart, runs in her blood and informs her bright and powerful paintings. Lita wears more hats than most. As if being daughter, mother, wife, moma to her grandchildren Rei and Vincent, and entrepreneur of her own marketing business weren’t enough, she somehow finds time to paint outside with her soulmate Bruce by her side. At every opportunity, Lita studies with Ian Roberts, the guru of composition and Mary Anne Goetz, Woodstock’s landscape painter and teacher extraordinaire. www.thornegallery.com


Marylyn Vanderpool

From an early age, Marylyn Vanderpool has had a passion for art and dreamed of being an artist. In fulfillment of that dream, she studied art at the Traphagen School of Fashion Illustration and Design in New York City. Although she loved illustration, in her heart, she really wanted to be a painter. She was introduced to watercolor painting by the late artist Don Selchow. After many years of studying watercolor painting she began experimenting with oil paint, which is currently her medium of choice. Early on, she began to visit Rockport, MA and Kennebunkport, ME. The quaintness of these New England coastal towns and her love of the ocean spoke to her creative spirit and inspired her love of painting. She is an elected Fellow of The American Artists Professional League, NYC, NY; a member of The Ridgewood Art Institute, Ridgewood, NJ; The Wallkill River School, Montgomery, NY; Artists in the Parks, Bear Mtn., NY; The Lower Hudson Valley Plein Air Painters; and Garrison Art Center, Garrison, NY. An award-winning artist, she is represented by The Wallkill River School and Gallery in Montgomery, NY and The Gallery in the Bear Mountain Inn at Bear Mountain State Park. Her work is included in many private and corporate collections. Marylyn has studied with Master Artists, Andrew Lattimore of Cornwall, NY and John P. Osborne at the Ridgewood Art Institute. Marylyn spends as much time as possible living her passion, painting in her studio, or “En Plein Air.” marylynvanderpool.com


Susan Whiteman

As a plein air artist, creating a piece of art is a response to what Susan Whiteman is experiencing on location, and it’s a way to capture a story with a composition that is written not in words, but in whirls of color, in light and darkness, and sometimes in the wonderful contrasts and contradictions that occur in nature. But the story is the driving thing. As she has stood by the side of the road working, the owners of the land she is recording at that moment often come to share their stories of the land that has been in their family for generations, or they tell her of the house they have loved for so many years, or the names of their cows, or the story of their farm. Sometimes they’ll find her in a gallery or a restaurant, and tell her the history of whatever it is of theirs that she has captured on canvas. These everyday histories captivate her, and resonate. She hears them when she goes back to a location to paint again. She is honored to listen, to be given the gift of the telling. www.susanwhitemanpastels.com


Nancy Woogan

Through various painting mediums, such as watercolor, pastels, oil and acrylic, Nancy Woogan captures what she sees and experiences. Her great love for the outdoors and art create a wonderful combination for plein air painting. She holds a Bachelor’s in art studio from SUNY Geneseo and a Master’s in Art Education from SUNY New Paltz. As a retired public art school teacher, she spends as much of her time painting as possible. Growing up in the Hudson River Valley has inspired her love for this magnificent area.  In addition, her travels have given her much inspiration and subject matter for many of her paintings. Her attraction to nature continues in her love of plant life and gardening seen in her watercolor botanicals. She is a member of Garrison Art Center, New York Plein Air Painters and Lower Hudson Valley Plein Air Painters. Woogen-art.com


This year’s award judge will be Rebecca Leer (www.rebeccaleer.com)

Classically trained, Rebecca Leer received a BFA degree from Rochester Institute of Technology for medical illustration and studied illustration on a scholarship at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco, CA. After moving to Ridgewood, she studied painting with John Phillip Osborne. She has been a professional artist for over 25 years, gleaning awards and honors from the Societies of Illustrators of New York, Los Angeles and Washington, D.C., the Hudson Valley Artists Association, the American Artist Professional League, Allied Artists of America, the Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Oil Painters of America and others, including the prestigious Land of Enchantment Award for her children’s book illustrations. Her work has been seen in books, magazines, advertisements, museum exhibits and corporate and private collections.  Ms. Leer was recently profiled by American Artist Magazine as one of 12 up-and-coming artists handpicked by the artist community. Ms. Leer currently serves on the Board of Trustees at the Ridgewood Art Institute and curates their Permanent Collection. Rebecca Leer’s style is based in realism, and she uses the prismatic palette first developed by Frank Vincent DuMond to reveal the infinite variety of nature with the goal of creating sincere paintings in oil. Her works are an emotional response to what is real. Plein air sketches serve as reference for more refined studio paintings, and figurative and still life paintings are created from life in north light.


The three jurors of selection were:

Olena Babak (www.olenababak.com)

Olena Babak is an award-winning, classically trained artist, whose landscapes and figurative works can be found in galleries, public and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. Some of her selected awards: 1st place Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival, Best Marine Cape Ann Plein Air, Artists Choice Plein Air Richmond, 1st place Quick Draw & People’s Choice Award Finger Lakes Plein Air, Best Representation of Rockies National Park, 1st place Booth Bay Plein Air and others. Her work has been featured in “Strokes of Genius” series, the “Poet’s and Artist’s: 100 Great Drawings,” and the “Classicist” as well as Plein Air Magazine.


Kirk Larsen (kirklarsenfineart.com)

Kirk Larsen is a widely celebrated plein air and Marine Master artist.  He’s a fun, personable and compassionate artist that enjoys all subjects, all mediums with a particular love for oils and watercolors.  Recognized with over 166 awards, including Grand Prize and Collectors choice at Easels In Frederick, many 1st places in Quick Draws, Best Nocturne at CAPA (Cape Ann Plein Air) 2018, The Award Honoring the Great Painters of Cape Ann- CAPA 2019 and plein air work in the permanent collection of The Mystic Seaport Museum of America and the Sea. In 2019 he was one of 21 artists invited to paint at the Grand Canyon Celebration of the Arts (GCCOA) plein air paint-out and Exhibition in conjunction with the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the park.  A veteran of over 48 major plein air events and invitationals, he’ll be returning to Plein Air Easton for the 7th time this year. He enjoys a compelling familiarity with his subject from the Grand Canyon to the Florida keys, from West Texas to Nova Scotia or painting LIVE bands and at weddings, galas and black-tie receptions. Tempo and pulse of the location is important, “I want the viewer to feel the experience of the place.” With a lively, upbeat presence he always enjoys sharing his art as much as he does creating it, sharing process and approach to beginners through professionals in demos, workshops and private lessons.  Kirk also does Facebook LIVE Morning Coffee with Watercolors-sessions on his page Kirk Larsen Art as a way for folks to de-stress. People watch from as far away as Norway and Japan. #LIVEmorningcoffeewithwatercolors #kirklarsenart In addition to being a versatile visual artist he’s a Film and TV actor, an accomplished writer (Nominated for Poet Laureate of Nassau County, NY) and plays a mean blues harp.  Sign up for the email newsletter on his website, see upcoming events and workshops and follow him on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter all @kirklarsenart. “…The best thing about being and artist is that I get to paint the beauty, serenity or majesty of what I perceive and that joy is multiplied when someone else gets to take that art home” -K. Larsen


George Van Hook (georgevanhookfineartist.com)

George Van Hook was born and raised in Abington, Pennsylvania and began painting very early.  His family owned a farm in Bucks County, home of the Pennsylvania impressionists, and he became heavily influenced by their fine academic training coupled with a love of the prosaic landscape. Another early local influence was the “Brandywine Tradition”, the illustrative work of Howard Pyle and the generations of Wyeths. George has spent many summers painting in the mid-coast area of Rockland and Rockport Harbor, and on North Haven Island where his wife’s family owned property adjacent to the famous Boston artist Frank Benson.  Van Hook spent two summers during high school filmmaking throughout France and England. This allowed him to visit many of the great museums, and further increased his commitment to become a professional artist. Following college, he left for Paris and spent nearly a year copying at the Louvre and traveling through France, Italy and Holland making numerous paintings en plein air.  After marriage and the start of a family, George returned to the East Coast, eventually settling in Cambridge, NY.  Van Hook thinks of his paintings as primarily a visual response to the selected environment, be it landscape, figure or still life. “I want the color to be beautiful and the drawing firm and secure,” he says. The paintings are a marriage of external and internal forces – what emerges on the canvas should be a reflection of both the beauty of the world and the artist’s most inner response.  Van Hook has been involved in Plein Air competitions, and has won numerous awards including: Best of Show Adirondack Plein Air Festival, Best of Show and 1st Place Quick Draw Finger Lakes Plein Air, Best of Show Billsboro Plein Air, Best of Show Ocean Park Plein Air, Best of Show Bennington Plein Air and others.  Van Hook was the 2014 Juror and Judge for the Connecticut Plein Air Society annual exhibition.  He was invited by Plein Air magazine to be a live instructor at the Plein Air National Convention, 2015 in Monterrey, CA.  Liliedahl Productions and Plein Air Magazine released in 2014 a 90 minute instructional film, “How to Paint Impressionism Outdoors” by George Van Hook.


View List of 2019 Artists

View List of 2018 Artists

View List of 2017 Artists

View List of 2016 Artists


Wallkill River School’s Hudson Valley Plein Air Festival
Organizing Committee includes:

Susan Roth, Janet Campbell, Catherine De Cesare, Janet Howard-Fatta, Sarah Pierson,
Mitchell Saler, Vaune Sherin

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