PleinAir Salon oil paintings
"Tomorrow's Approach" by Riley Doyle, oil, 18 x 14 in., won the "Best Artist Under 30" category for the May 2020 PleinAir Salon

Congratulations to Riley Doyle (, whose work has been recognized in the PleinAir Salon, an art competition with many categories in which to enter your paintings and drawings.

Riley Doyle on the Painting “Tomorrow’s Approach”

“Tomorrow’s Approach” was painted, like most of my work, simply because there was something about that moment, and that scene and experience, that held me. It is an oil painting on an aluminum composite panel and was done from a photo shoot I did with my brother in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

After sorting through hundreds of images, only a few kept my attention. At the time, I didn’t know what they were trying to communicate, and that’s how I knew I had to explore them further.

After doing a photo shoot and selecting a small handful of images, I do color studies in paint to explore each image further. If it still keeps my attention at the color study stage, then I will typically paint it, though I give it a few weeks as a study to see if I get bored with it.

“Tomorrow’s Approach” was painted because I still had questions, and to a certain extent, I still do. I am finding that sometimes, if all the mystery or excitement of a potential painting is resolved in the preliminary stages of planning, then it doesn’t need to develop any further.

A lot of my final paintings are almost like artifacts of an intuitive process to embrace the mystery that keeps me coming back, as well as to celebrate that mystery. Once the painting is completed, I spend time looking at it and reflecting on what it might mean. I try to listen to it and title it based on what I feel it is saying. “Tomorrow’s Approach” is about looking towards the future not in despair, but not in rejoice either. The subject is looking toward the future with determination to do the hard work necessary to improve upon the relationship we have with our surroundings, whether that be with the environment, or with the people in our communities.

It’s funny how sometimes, when you follow your intuition, your work can be foreshadowing. This painting was finished in January, 2020. Since then, so many things have happened in our world. And it seems this painting is more relevant now, than even several months ago when it was created.

Additional Contemporary Realism Paintings by Riley Doyle:

Contemporary realism oil paintings
Riley Doyle, “Reconnect,” 48″ x 77″, Oil on panel, $10,000, Available through gallery
Contemporary realism oil paintings
Riley Doyle, “Valvoline,” 18″ 23.5″, Oil on acm panel, $1,340, 2020, Available through website
Contemporary realism oil paintings
Riley Doyle, “The Humming of Night,” 24″ x 36″, Oil on acm panel, $2,700, Available through gallery
Contemporary realism oil paintings
Riley Doyle, “Moment,” 28.5″ x 42″, Oil on acm panel, $3,800, 2020, Available through website

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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