Showcase Your State: North Carolina Finalists!

The American Artist editors have reviewed the submissions for the Showcase Your State: North Carolina contest, and below are the four chosen finalists. Whether it was expansive views of the Blue Ridge Mountains as seen from the Highlands; still, serene marshlands at sunset; open, sunny fields filled with bales of hay; or coastal scenes featuring tugboats and bridges, the entries we received testify to the varying landscapes throughout the state—all visually inspiring and beautifully unique in their own way. Thank you all for your submissions and for sharing the scenery surrounding plein air painters in North Carolina!

 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, Massachusetts, and North Carolina, which have already been decided), please send a low-res (72 dpi) JPEG or TIFF to, and please include a brief description of the subject as well as caption information for each of your entries (title, year, medium, dimensions). No more than two entries per artist, please. For full contest rules, see below.

FINALIST #1: SANDY NELSON (from Leland, North Carolina)

Enchanted Marsh
by Sandy Nelson, 2009, oil, 12 x 18.

In the Words of the Artist: “The wetland marshes in the county of Brunswick (we live on the coast in the town of Leland) are teeming with wildlife, but there is a certain time of day when the sun has almost set, the birds and animals have called it a day, and quiet settles over the landscape. It is truly enchanting: there is a stillness, the expanse of sky and marsh seem to go on forever, and the solitude is palpable. Only a distant boat or plane can be heard, and you can really feel the vastness of the place—that's what continues to draw me there to paint.”


FINALIST #2: ROBERT PERRISH (from Livonia, Michigan)

Planting Red Hills
by Robert Perrish, 2009, oil, 11 x 14. 

In the Words of the Artist: “Although I’m not a North Carolina resident, I’ve been going down there a couple times each year to paint and participate in Germanton Gallery’s annual plein air event. From the Blue Ridge Parkway to Harker’s Island, North Carolina is one of the most beautiful states in the country. The subject of this particular painting is the west side of Hanging Rock State Park in Stokes County, the only county with its own mountain range. When the dirt is tilled over in the spring, it’s such a beautiful color, accented with all the spring buds and lime green. It’s one of those fleeting visual effects that happen every year, and you have to paint it before you lose it.”


FINALIST # 3: Kim Maselli (from Raleigh, North Carolina)

Bridge Over Falls Lake
by Kim Maselli, 2009, oil, 9  x 12.

In the Words of the Artist: “I love to paint near the water, and this fishing area in Raleigh is a great location any time of year. The colors continuously change with the seasons, and everywhere you turn there's a scene just waiting to be painted. On this crisp autumn day the light was particularly striking, and I knew my time was limited and I had to capture it quickly. In the coming months, when it's too cold to be outside for long, I'll pull out this study to make a larger studio painting and remember this glorious fall day."

FINALIST # 4: Mary Erickson (from Marshville, North Carolina)



Turner's Fields
by Mary Erickson, 2008, oil on panel, 12 x 12.


In the Words of the Artist: “Twice a year the hay is cut, dried, and rolled in the fields around town, and twice a year the farmers expect me to stand around in their fields and paint. The natural compositions that they create are amazing. The nostalgia of the farm life that still exists here is a welcome respite from today's world.”



• You may submit no more than two entries per state for consideration.

• All work submitted must be done en plein air. If it is a finished studio work, it must be done from plein air sketches or studies. (Please provide documentation of the actual on-site work.)

• Submissions may come from residents of the state for which they are applying or may come from frequent visitors to the state who are familiar with the resident landscape.

• Please include the following information with your submission: title, year, medium, and dimensions of the painting; your full name and hometown; a brief (no more than 200-word) description of the location of each painting and what that location means to you/how you approached it. Pieces must have been painted within the last three years.

• We will accept e-mail submissions only, with the painting attached as a lo-res JPEG or TIFF (72 dpi). Please title your digital file with the state you’ve painted and your last name, i.e.: New Jersey_Smith.jpg.

• E-mail your entry for the state you wish to represent to Please include the state for which you’re applying in the subject line of your e-mail, i.e.: Showcase Your State: New Jersey. 


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Plein Air Painting Blog
Allison Malafronte

About Allison Malafronte

Allison Malafronte is the senior editor of American Artist magazines, and the project editor of  Plein Air Painting and Workshop With the Masters magazines. She is also the creative manager of the Weekend With the Masters Workshop & Conference ( which was launched in 2009 and is now in its third year. She is author of the Art for Thought column in American Artist magazine (also on the Artist Daily site under The Artist's Life blog) and the 2008-2010 Plein Air blogs on Artist Daily. 

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