Here is my winning painting, "Red Door" which won First Place in the Plein Air competition at the Florida Blueberry Festival in Brooksville, May 5 and 6, 2012. I painted this view of the old Christmas House in Brooksville. It's 14x11" and done in acrylic.
I thought I'd include some of my preliminary steps to the final painting. Above you can see a couple of pages from my sketchbook, with thumbnail sketches to work out the composition -- my students groan when I tell them they must do thumbnails first, but putting in the time to do it really helps me work out the focal point and plan my composition to get what I want to achieve. Under the sketches, is the oil under-painting I started on Wednesday afternoon, the first day I went out painting. Because this was a plein air competition, all canvases had to be stamped before starting out and turned in at the end of each day, so that people don't go home and use photos and other technological means to enhance their paintings. When I went back out on Friday to finish up, I realized I didn't want to use this first version of the painting because it emphasized the tree and not the red door, which was my focal point. So I started completely over, this time with acrylics since I knew I only had an hour and a half until I had to turn it in at noon. I raced and slapped the paint on to get it done in time. At the top of this post you can see the final painting that I submitted for judging. I was quite surprised (very happily!) when I found out I won first place.