Art competition - PleinAir Salon -
"The Potter" by Larry DeGraff, oil, 18 x 14 in., won the "Best Figure" category for the August/September 2018 PleinAir Salon

Congratulations to Larry DeGraff (, whose work has been recognized in the PleinAir Salon, a bi-monthly art competition.

DeGraff made the leap to fine art after many years as a greeting card artist for Hallmark Cards. He studied illustration and figurative painting at the Kansas City Art Institute and has taken workshops with some of the best landscape painters in the country including Matt Smith, Ned Mueller and Dave Santillanes.

DeGraff paints mostly the landscape but is also inspired to paint still life and figurative pieces. He paints both in the studio and outdoors or and finds that painting from life is essential. Many of his paintings are of humble scenes that reflect his Midwest roots. Whether it’s buildings and vehicles haunted with memories, clear, rocky streams or majestic mountains, Larry strives to paint the light as he sees it. He is represented by galleries in Missouri, Kansas, and Colorado. His work has earned many national and regional awards and been featured in Southwest Art and Plein Air Magazine.

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!

Related Article > Painting and the Search for Excellence


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