Art competitions - Plein Air Salon floral winner by Kathy Anderson
"Spring with Apple Blossoms" (oil, 9 x 16 in.; Turner Fine Art, Jackson, Wyoming) by Kathy Anderson won the "Best Floral" category for the May 2021 Plein Air Salon

Congratulations to Kathy Anderson (, whose work has been recognized in the Plein Air Salon, a monthly art competition with many categories in which to enter your art.

Best Floral, May 2021 Plein Air Salon:
“Spring with Apple Blossoms”

Kathy Anderson is known for her love of painting flowers. We asked her to share her inspiration for “Spring with Apple Blossoms” (shown above).

“This painting holds a very special meaning for me,” Anderson said. “It was a few weeks after the passing of Richard Schmid when I visited my good friend Nancy Guzik to spend a little time with her. Spring was almost in full bloom and it was as if Richard was calling out to us to spread the joy and beauty from the garden.

“We gathered from an abundance of flowers outside (Nancy said the garden never looked as beautiful as this year) and my painting almost painted itself! The apple blossoms were the main focus for the composition, as I used what Richard taught me once about using branches or stems to lead the viewer in the desired direction.

“I entered this painting in the Salon as I felt it was one of my best, and I would encourage everyone to think about this when you decide to enter any competition!”

Kathy explains her process for painting flowers in the art video workshop “Bringing the Garden Indoors.”

Additional Floral Paintings by Kathy Anderson

Kathy Anderson, “Zinnias in Terre Cotta,” oil on board
Kathy Anderson, “Zinnias in Terre Cotta,” oil on board, 11 x 14 in., Legacy Gallery, Scottsdale, AZ. “Picked from my garden in August, I guess I really love flowers that come in many colors to combine and create harmony.”
Paintings of flowers - white anemones
Kathy Anderson, “White Anemones,” oil on board, 10 x 16 in., Horton Hayes, Charleston, SC. “I loved pairing the blue china with the anemones, a refreshing color combination, like the sea.”
Kathy Anderson, “Ruby and Nasturtium,” oil on canvas
Kathy Anderson, “Ruby and Nasturtium,” oil on canvas, 16 x 20 in., Turner Fine Art, Jackson, WY. “Using the beautiful stems and leaves of nasturtiums to keep the eye moving and tie everything together.”
Paintings of pansies
Kathy Anderson, “Pansies with Chickadee,” oil on canvas, 12 x 20 in., Salmagundi Club annual floral show. “My love of all the colors of my favorite flower, with admiration from a little chickadee.”
Paintings of flowers - Kathy Anderson, “Openings,” oil on board
Kathy Anderson, “Openings,” oil on board, 11 x 14 in., OPA Western Regional show. “The amazing variety of peonies and buds couldn’t be a more exciting subject to figure out how to put together and not look too jumbled.”
Paintings of Spring flowers
Kathy Anderson, “I Dream of Spring,” oil on board, 16 x 12 in., Susan Powell Fine Art, Madison, CT. “What says spring more than tulips, iris, and freesia? And tulip leaves are such fun to paint!”
Kathy Anderson, “Cascade of Dogwood,” oil on board
Kathy Anderson, “Cascade of Dogwood,” oil on board, 12 x 9 in., Susan Powell Fine Art, Madison, CT. “I took a section of a dogwood branch, designing the blossoms to create a flow guiding you through the painting.”

Other categories for the Plein Air Salon art competition include Best Building, Best Drawing and Sketches, and many more! Visit to view the complete list.

Why should a contemporary realist enter the Plein Air Salon?

Because this art contest is created by Plein Air magazine, which features not only plein air paintings, but also studio paintings, all types of paintings are eligible and do not need to have been completed in plein air, but should originate from a plein air study or plein air experience. As we know, many studio paintings start with plein air sketches. Our interest is in rewarding great paintings.

The Plein Air Salon awards $33,000 in CASH each year! Learn more at, and enter your best work for your chance to win this art competition. Enter now – the next deadline is coming soon!

Enter Now

If you’ve never entered, it only takes a couple of minutes to create your own account. Once you do that, just upload the images of your best work and select the categories you wish to enter – very manageable to do!

All of our awards are CASH, with the grand prize winner getting called up on stage at the Convention & Expo to claim their check for $15,000. That grand prize winner will also have their winning painting featured on the cover of Plein Air magazine (can it get any better?).

There are smaller cash awards, too, and you can find out all about them here. Remember, even if a previous judge did not select your painting, our current judge just might find it to be a winner!

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