PleinAir Salon winner - Nikita Budkov -
Budkov’s "Mean Machine, Portrait of a Strongman Victor Blud" won the “Best Artist Under 30” category for the August/September 2019 salon.

Congratulations to Nikita Budkov (, whose work was recently recognized in the bi-monthly PleinAir Salon.

Other categories for this art competition include Best Figure & Portrait, Best Building, Best Drawing and Sketches, and many more! View the complete list at

Why should a contemporary realist enter the PleinAir Salon?

Because this art contest is created by PleinAir 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 PleinAir Salon awards $27,000 in CASH each year! Learn more at, and enter your best work today!

Three Reasons to Enter (from our sister site,

1. Art Galleries Like Seeing the Winners. More than a few Salon winners have reported that galleries treated them differently after they won. Suddenly, top galleries wanted to represent them.

2. To Join Your Contemporaries. “The value of entering these is in trying to achieve excellence and receiving the inspiration from the other contestants, whom I find inspiring,” says Daud Akhriev, the winner of the 2016 April-May contest. “When I receive an award I am really grateful, but when other artists win and show their best work, it is very exciting, too. Especially because in these competitions we artists are contemporaries, not dead museum artists, and one can follow their careers and feel camaraderie and, in a really healthy way, compete to do one’s best.”

3. Test Yourself. Going through your paintings, looking hard at what works and doesn’t, then seeing how your best might stack up with the art that’s out there — even if you don’t win, you’ve learned something.

Related Article > The Contemporary Realism of Vincent Figliola