PORT ANGELES — When nearly two dozen artists set out to create art on the Olympic Peninsula, the region accommodated with six sun-filled days of fine weather.
Twenty-three plein air (outdoor) painters from around the United States and Canada descended upon the Olympic Peninsula on Aug. 21 for the 2016 Paint the Peninsula competition.
Christine Debrosky of Arizona, plein air artist and 2016 Paint the Peninsula judge, reviewed the nearly 80 paintings hung in the fine arts center gallery to be considered for awards, selecting Jason Situ’s “Port Angeles Boat” as Best in Show.
Juried artists could be found painting mountain locations such as Hurricane Ridge and rural scenes such as Dungeness barns and Agnew Grocery. Various artists painted the Nippon Mill at dawn, Lake Crescent in the afternoon, sunset at Second Beach and the Port Angeles waterfront by evening light.
After each full day of painting, the artists returned to the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center to fill the gallery with their artwork. As the collection grew, local and visiting art lovers recognized beloved places such as Salt Creek, Madison Falls and Shi Shi Beach reflected on canvas.
For one full day, the artists painted only within the boundaries of Olympic National Park in anticipation of special awards. Yong Hong Zhong of Oregon won the Park Superintendent’s Award for his painting titled “Rialto Beach,” and Patrick Saunders’ “Above and Below the Sol Duc” won the Olympic Interpretation/Ranger’s Award.
On Aug. 26, artists were invited to paint at Port Angeles City Pier during the “Paint Out” event.
From 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., artists peppered the thick-planked boardwalk and new esplanade, capturing scenes of red-hulled boats, the blue observation tower and Ediz Hook across the harbor.
Local visitors stopped to watch and chat with the artists while they painted, some buying paintings on the spot.
“Paint Out” judge Susan Spar awarded first place to Missouri’s Patrick Saunders for “The Old and the New,” second place to Ned Mueller for “Dockside” and third place to Susan Kuznitsky for “Still Waters.”
The plein air festival is hosted by the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center Foundation with the financial assistance of many generous sponsors and patrons. This year, visitors to the gallery and painting demonstration sites totaled nearly 1,000 and 40 paintings were purchased, double the number of last year’s sales.
Here are the 2016 award winners:
• Best in Show: Situ’s “Port Angeles Boat.”
• Artists’ Choice: Eric Jacobsen.
• Poster/Publicity: Bruce Gomez’s “The Shi Shi Lights.”
• Best Landscape: Melanie Thompson’s “Sunrise at Hurricane Ridge.”
• Best Waterscape: Gretha Lindwood’s “Late at the Creek.”
• Best Architecture: Richard Sneary’s “Window Panes Lake Crescent Lodge.”
• Best Motors, Wheels and Sails: William Rogers’ “Agnew Grocery at Night.”
• Best Nocturne: Rachel Pettit’s “First Star I See.”
• Spirit of the Olympic Peninsula: Robin Weiss’ “Campfire at Second Beach”
• Honorable Mention: Eric Jacobsen “Banks of the Sol Duc.”
• Honorable Mention: Patrick Saunders “Lake Crescent Beckons.”
See www.paintthe peninsula.org for more information.