PleinAir Salon - Megan Whitfield,
Megan Whitfield, "Out of the Dark," Charcoal on paper, 9 x 12 in.

Congratulations to Megan Whitfield, whose work has been recognized in the monthly PleinAir Salon. Her charcoal portrait, “Out of the Dark,” won in the Best Drawing category for the January 2023 round of this art competition.

Artist Megan Whitfield
Artist Megan Whitfield


“Living through a global pandemic brought physical and emotional challenges for so many of us,” Megan said. “The inspiration for this drawing stemmed from the experience of isolation which gave way to growth and a sense of renewal.”


“This piece truly emerged from the darkness, much like its title. I started with a thick layer of charcoal and used a kneaded eraser to find the highlights and shape of the face. I wanted to balance the rough simplicity of the shadows of this portrait with a keen focal point.”


“The biggest challenge I faced with this piece, as with everything I create, is finding the ability to balance my work and career with the wonderful privilege of being a mother and wife. Many times I am forced to step away from a painting or drawing to tend to my kids. While this can sometimes feel like I am ripped out of a moment of creativity, it also can be the push I need to take a much-needed pause.”

On Winning “Best Drawing” for the Monthly PleinAir Salon:

“I was absolutely overjoyed! I jumped up from my sofa and fist-pumped the air while yelling out who knows what. I’m certain my entire family was caught off guard and deeply concerned!

Advice for Entering Art Competitions:

“When entering art competitions you are bound to fail. As they say, you can’t win ‘em all, and they are right! Failure is a stepping stone to greatness. With each no, you are faced with an opportunity to examine yourself and your work to find that spirit of resilience and identity that will eventually give way to a yes. My advice for other artists is to keep submitting your work, but more importantly, do the work you love and stand by it without regard to who says yes and who says no.

Connect with the artist:
Website | Instagram

About the PleinAir Salon:

In the spirit of the French Salon created by the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris, this annual online art competition, with 11 monthly cycles, leading to the annual Salon Grand Prize winners, is designed to stimulate artistic growth through competition. The competition rewards artists with over $33,000 in cash prizes and exposure of their work, with the winning painting featured on the cover of PleinAir Magazine.

Winners in each monthly competition may receive recognition and exposure through PleinAir Magazine’s print magazine, e-newsletters, websites, and social media. Winners of each competition will also be entered into the annual competition. The 12th Annual Awards will be presented live at the Plein Air Convention & Expo in May 2023.

The next round of the PleinAir Salon has begun so hurry, as this competition ends on the last day of the month. Enter your best art in the PleinAir Salon here.

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