Choctaw artist Joyce Hartmann received two top awards at the Plein Air Art Competition held in June at Steelville, Mo. Steelville Drugs sponsored the $500 purchase award of her watercolor "Dillard Mill" on June 19 and Missouri Hick Barbecue sponsored the $500 purchase award on June 21 of her watercolor "Good Morning, Steelville!"
Twenty-six artists competed from Missouri and Arkansas, painting daily between 6 a.m. and 4 p.m. Paintings were judged each day, with awards including a purchase award and 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place cash awards. Winners were displayed at Zeke Gallery and later auctioned at a dinner and gala.
Plein air is a French expression that means "open air" and is used to describe the act of painting outdoors. Working in natural light allows the artist to interpret the subject matter more realistically and creatively; however, natural elements often combine to make painting more difficult. In plein air competitions, Hartmann has experienced extreme temperatures from 33 to 95 degrees, sleet, rain, wind, insects, traffic, noise, hikes on loose gravel or steep hills, too much sun, and more. Like the T-shirt given to artists by the Steelville Arts Council says, "Plein air is not for sissies."
For more information on the event and to see other art work, visit www.steelvilleartscouncil.org .