Historic Front Street and South Park City in Fairplay took on a different character for the two-hour Quick Draw Paint Out competition Sept. 12.
Twenty-three Quick Draw Plein Air artists lined Front Street to paint their favorite scenes.
Visitors strolled up and down the street viewing the artists’ paintings, taking photographs and talking to the artists.
The artists had two hours to paint their chosen subjects along Front Street or in the alley behind the street.
They then had one hour to mat and frame their painting for the Best of Quick Draw award and the live auction that followed.
The Quick Draw competition was held, the last day of the Sixth Annual South Park Plein Air Arts Celebration, which started Sept. 8 with an artist reception in the evening at Colorado East Bank and Trust and sponsored by the Town of Fairplay.
Plein Air is a style of painting developed mainly in France in the mid-19th century, painting out in the open air and using natural light.
Participating artists could choose to compete for the whole five-day competition or pick and choose which day they wanted to paint.
A total of 38 artists entered the competition.
Most of the artists were from Colorado, but there were two from South Dakota, one from Ohio, one from Kansas and one from Kentucky.
Eight of the artists were from Fairplay.
According to Julie Bullock, special events and business development coordinator for the Town of Fairplay, on days two, three and four, artists headed out at 8:30 a.m. to a hosted location or a location of their choice to paint for the day.
Sandy Newman of South Dakota said that it was a tough week. Artists had to have two framed pictures in by 4 p.m., necessitating a mini-framing studio in the back of their vehicles.
The Best of Day award was presented each evening.
Newman started Plein Air painting when she and her family moved to the Black Hills of South Dakota in 2001. This is Newman’s first time at the Fairplay competition. Her Quick Draw painting sold for $250 at the live auction.
Kathryn Goettelman from Alma chose an old homestead cabin at the far west end of Front Street in South Park City to sketch with charcoal. Goettelman said she had been painting her whole life, all fourteen years of it. Goettelman is a student at South Park High School.
Although Goettelman participated in the Fairplay Plein Air Celebration last year, this year is the first time she competed. Goettelman loves all art but spends most of her time studying cartooning, she said.
Clare Scott, while painting an the scene of an old bank building in South Park City, said color challenges and inspires her. Scott has been painting since college but became serious over the last couple of years and uses mainly pastels.
This is Scott’s fourth time at Plein Air in Fairplay. She has also participated in plein air painting in Westcliffe and Grand Lake, Colo.
The $100 Best of Quick Draw prize was awarded to Holly Schroeder with her painting of an old homestead cabin titled “Days Gone By.” The prize was sponsored by South Park Pottery and Backroom Bead Shop.
Schroeder was born and raised in Germany and spent much time in the Alps. She fell in love with the Rocky Mountains on a vacation trip and moved here with her family in 1973. Schroeder lives in Littleton, Colo.
Judge for the Quick Draw, Deb Hamm, owner and operator of Front Street’s Unrepentant Artist, said it was very hard to decide the winner.
“The quality of the entries was phenomenal and it was a process of elimination,” Hamm said.
Hamm’s decision was based on something she felt peaceful with, something she would pay for and something that stood out.
Schroeder’s painting sold for $175 at the auction.
The top selling painting in the auction was called, “Back Alley” by Susan Mayfield, which sold for $325. Mayfield is an award winning artist from South Carolina and currently lives in Salida, Colo.
The first one-hundred dollars that was bid on each painting in the auction was given to the artist. Then anything above that went to the Fairplay Food Bank.
At the time of this writing there was no information available on the amount of money raised during the event.
The auctioneers were Jane Newman, the principal of South Park Middle School and High School and Town of Fairplay building inspector Gerrits Kasper.
Bullock said it was the biggest reception they have had yet for a Plein Air. This was the first chance for the public to view and purchase artwork completed during the week and Bullock said that a lot of the paintings were sold on Friday evening.
The Best of Day award each day was awarded $200.
Winning artist on Wednesday at Bartle Lakes was Tom Lockhart with “Early Autumn Glory.” Lockhart is from Canon City, Colo.
At Bristlecone View Ranch Thursday, Jennifer Reifenberg won Best of Day with “Aspen Impressions.” Reifenberg is from Castle Rock, Colo.
Friday’s Best of Day was won by Paul Darrah with “Headwaters.” Darrah is from Fairplay.
Best of Show, which was sponsored by the Town of Fairplay, was awarded to Susan Mayfield for her painting titled, “Late Afternoon Clouds – Park City.”
Best Overall Artist as chosen by the artists, was awarded to Tom Lockhart.
The People’s Choice Painting, which was painted at Bartle Lakes, was titled, “Down in the Woods” by artist Rick Frisbie. Frisbie is from Salina, Kansas.
Many of the artists and Bullock commented on how nice the weather had been during the week. The days were cool and the nights were crisp. There was plenty of sunshine and just the start of fall colors – perfect for open air painting. Everyone seemed to have had a very pleasant week.