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Top paintings picked in West Vancouver 'en plein air' contest

You can vote for your favourite now, with the people’s choice award announced next Monday

If there’s a virtue to paintings that take thousands of hours in a studio to complete, there’s another virtue to an artist painting the outside world around them in a single sitting.

Last weekend (July 30-31), a group of jury-selected artists were sent up Hollyburn Mountain in West Vancouver to paint two pieces of art en plein air – French for “outdoors” – with cash prizes for the top painters furnished by British Pacific Properties.

The jurors chose their winners on Sunday, with Simon Shawn Andrews from White Rock taking home first prize and $1,500 for his piece The Cliff. His work makes great use of contrast and texture, with a small spot of sunlit grass floating on a dark mass of shade and shadowed greenery.

In second place was Fleeting Morning Light by Port Coquitlam-based artist Michael King. And Chris Block from New Westminster won third for his piece High Point Arbutus.

Many of the other artists produced strong pieces, and you can vote for your favourite this week. A people’s choice winner will be announced Monday, Aug. 8.

West Vancouver’s Kim Rosin is another artist in the contest. One of her paintings depicts a dead conifer in a crowded wood. She said she was inspired by an Isabel McLaughlin painting (Tree), which apparently was inspired by a Georgia O’Keeffe (The Lawrence Tree).

“It’s very large and dominating,” Rosin said of McLaughlin’s work. “It really is all about the tree.”

Suffering from a lack of creative zest over the past couple years, Rosin said the idea clicked a couple days before the contest.

But what would she name her work?

“Maybe I need to call it The Tree,” Rosin said. And that’s what she did.

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