Eastpoint’s Millender Park was the scenic ground zero for both budding and seasoned painters Saturday, as the Forgotten Coast’s Great Plein Air Paint-Out held its Quickdraw event.

Once the horn blew at 10 a.m., 70 competitors, 21 of them invited participants from among the visiting plein air artists, busied themselves with capturing everything from the gnarled stumps that line the waterfront to the stately trees that grace the park.

Two hours later on the sunny and dry morning, the horn sounded again, and the painters placed their easels in a circle in the center of the park.

Judge Robert Stenstream, who owns an Ocala gallery specializing in 19th and 20th century American and European art, then slowly circled the drying works to make his choices for First Place Overall, Best Emerging Artist and three Honorable Mentions.

Winning $50 each for being among the Honorable Mentions were three of the invited artists: Lori Putnam, from Charlotte, Tennessee, Luke Buck, from Nineveh, Indiana and Greg LaRock, from Newport Beach, California.

Receiving $75 as Best Emerging Artist, selected from among the ranks of the artists who are not part of the plein air paint-out, was Natalia Andreeva, from Tallahassee, who painted the band that performed under the pavilion, “Up Close and In Person,” featuring KT and Mexico Joe. Andreeva was a participant in the 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 Forgotten Coast Great Plein Air Paint-Outs.

Taking home First Place Overall, and $100, was invited artist Leon Holmes, originally from Perth Australia, and now living in Munich, Germany. “It has a very painterly quality to it, with good color harmonies,” said Stenstream. “It sort of pops out.”

The judge had high praise for the many works he examined. “The quality of the art is fantastic,” he said. “Lots of good artists, both invited and non-invited.”

Stenstream said he paid attention to the combination of color, composition, simplicity and design. “In some, what gets to be the main factor is ‘Does this come off the canvas and hit you?’” he said. “Overall the work is very good.”

Winning pieces were moved to a special display area in the "Wetroom" at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art.

See www.pleinairfl.com for schedules and additional information.


The Forgotten Coast’s Great Plein Air Paint-Out continues through this weekend.

On Friday, May 9, an artists’ roundtable discussion “Art As A Window” will be from 2 to 4 p.m. in the wet room at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art.

On Friday, May 9 from 2 to 4 p.m., and on Saturday, May 10 from 9 to 11 a.m. there will be artists demonstrations at Apalachicola’s Riverfront Park.

On Saturday, May 10, the Grand Patrons’ Party will be held in the wet room at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art from 6 to 10 p.m. Meet the artists, view and purchase their works. Debut of Artists Choice painting. $40 per ticket.

On Sunday, May 11, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Apalachicola Center for History, Culture and Art, will be “Art In The Afternoon” This is the final exhibit and sale, and will feature family entertainment, children’s art activities and more