Showcase Your State
Weekend With the Masters
This month Massachusetts is the featured state for our
national Plein Air: Showcase Your State competition. Massachusetts is a popular destination and residence for
artists, with its many charming harbor towns, picturesque landscapes close to
the Berkshire Mountains, and historic communities with
rich artistic legacies. Plein air painters in
particular often travel to Massachusetts to
paint in Provincetown—where Henry Hensche’s Cape School of Art originated—try their hand at
the famous Motif # 1 of Rockport, or marvel at the nautical and natural beauty
on Cape Cod and Nantucket.
Entries came from both residents and frequent visitors to the state, and their
paintings were all fine examples of not only some of the more popular and
well-known motifs of Massachusetts
but also some of the hidden gems of the area. Our editors have reviewed the
entries, and we have selected the following three landscape paintings as
Showcase Your State: Massachusetts
finalists. Thank you to all who submitted for sharing your interpretations of
and stories from this favorite landscape-painting destination.
* If you would like to submit an
entry for any of the 50 states for the Showcase Your State competition (with
the exception of New Jersey and Massachusetts, which have already been
decided), please send a low-res (72 dpi) JPEG or TIFF to
email@example.com, and please include a brief description of the
subject as well as caption information for each of your entries (title, year,
medium, dimensions, collection). No more than two entries per artist, please.
For full contest rules, see below.
FINALIST #1: JEANNE PIERCE (from Townsend,
Summer Day, Plum
by Jeanne Pierce, 2008, oil, 12 x 16.
In the Words of the Artist: “Plum Island's
Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, in Newburyport, Massachusetts,
has been a favorite painting spot of mine for many years. Dunes, beaches, salt
marshes, and meadows provide habitat for many resident and migratory birds, and
it is a favorite place for bird watchers, artists, bikers, and runners. On a
hot July day at the height of greenhead fly season, I was captivated by this
view. Puffy clouds filled the sky, and cloud shadows swept over the meadow. The
shrubs standing watch in the middle distance are known to locals as 'the pea
and the bean' and have had that distinctive shape for as long as I can
remember. I began this painting with the sky, as I was anxious to capture the
feeling of the clouds. Next I massed in the distant hill, the shadow shapes in
the trees and tall grasses, and the cloud shadow on the meadow. Then the light
areas were added and color applied to indicate the masses of wildflowers in the
FINALIST #2: MARY ERICKSON (from Marshville,
By Mary Erickson, 2008, oil, 8 x 10.
In the Words of the Artist: “In September I made a plein air painting trip
from Newport, Rhode Island, to Boothbay, Maine, stopping in Boston to visit my
good friends Gary and Cindy Davis. We spent a day looking at paintings in
Gloucester and then painted this scene in Essex. Plein air painting is
all about capturing the essence of a scene—the light, emotion, and atmosphere—and
a sense of place on a two-dimensional surface. The challenges of weather, bugs,
and time constraints can be easily overlooked once you get into the moment. For
me, this painting is a momentary memory captured on canvas.”
FINALIST # 3: J. RICHARDS, JR. (from Williamstown,
by J. Richards, Jr., 2008, oil, 24 x 30.
In the Words of the Artist: “This painting is a scene from the west side of Mount
Williamstown, Massachusetts, overlooking Williamstown
and the Taconic mountain range. In this studio painting done from on-site
sketches and historical references, I tried to capture the plumes of fog rising
off the stream as the morning sun warms the mountain, similar to what Winslow
Homer observed and painted when he visited the Berkshires many years ago.”
The plein air sketch that preceded
the finished painting above.