Bridge to Forever 15x30, oil, plein air. Near Sedona, AZ. Best in Show Sedona Plein Air, 2014.
Bill Cramer, Bridge to Forever; oil, plein air, 15×30, 2014.

2016 Juried Plein Air Exhibit

“An Artist’s Vision of Reality”

Juried by Dr. Don Cooke

July 1 – August 6, 2016

Opening Reception: Friday, July 1 from 5–7pm

Artwork Pick-Up: Monday, August 8, 10 am – 12 pm

Exhibit Sponsored By

The 2016 Juried Plein Air competition was open to all plein air painters in the Four Corners region and beyond. Work must have been created within the last two years and not larger than 3 feet x 3 feet. Work submitted must be for sale.  This exhibit was made possible thanks to the coordinated efforts of the Friday Painters Group and the Plein Air Painters of the Four Corners.  DAC also wishes to thank the following individuals who were involved in the planning of this year’s competition and exhibit: Lori Walters, Mary Ellen Morrow, Alice Crapo and Sharon Abshagen.


BEST OF SHOW : Sharon Mantor, Mountain Meadow, oil on linen on panel
2ND PLACE : Karl Brenner, “Male” Run, oil on linen on board 
3RD PLACE : J. Milt Beens, Cattails, oil

Honorable Mentions

Lyn Boyer, 1937 GMC Pick-Up
Janice Mackenzie, Tombstone Hills
Meredith Milstead, Cholla Sunrise
Juanita Nelson, Lazy Animas Afternoon


Don Cooke

Don Cooke is a local physician who has been painting seriously since 1997. He began painting in oil and had some early coaching by Durango artist Mike Desatnick. In 1999, he took a workshop with Albert Handell in Taos, and became interested in pastel as a medium. He works primarily outside, en plein air, but also continues studio work, particularly in figure painting and portraiture. Most of his landscape paintings are completed in pastel or oil on site and often the field studies are used for larger studio paintings. Don has studied at the Scottsdale Artists School with Leslie B DeMille and Matt Smith. He has also attended workshops in portraiture and landscape painting from New York City to California. He has spent many hours painting outdoors with former Durangoans, Connie Morse and Dave Sime.

Don’s work has appeared in many juried shows. His work has been juried into the International Association of Pastel Societies show in Santa Fe. He has won both the People’s Choice award and Juror’s award at the New Mexico Pastel Society. He has exhibited with the Four Corners Plein Air Painters. At the show in Farmington in March of 2005, he won the Juror’s award, the Award of Excellence, and People’s choice. At the show at Fort Lewis College in November 2005, he won the Best in Show Award. His painting “Evening on the Animas” was selected as the La Plata Open Space Conservatory poster in 2006. His work was also juried into the Scottsdale Artists School Best and Brightest show in 2010. In 2014 he collaborated with Isabelle Roche of Henri Roche pastels in Paris, France, to select a pastel palette for the southwestern landscape.

Don describes himself as a colorist, and advances in pastel manufacture and papers have allowed the intense use of color that turns out to be anything but “pastel” in appearance. With a young daughter at home, pastel allows for quick trips to the studio, but he still enjoys mixing oil paint when time permits.

Workshop – FULL / WAITLIST

Durango Plein Air with Bill Cramer July 9 & 10 9am–5pm

$300 DAC Members / $350 General

Bill Cramer teaches various approaches to working on-site and how to efficiently compose and complete plein air paintings. Emphasis will be placed on how to effectively translate the often complex three dimensional landscape onto a two dimensional plane using thumbnail sketches, limited palettes and the thoughtful use of colors, values, shapes, edges and textures. Further emphasis will be placed on the creative process to make paintings that are more than strict representations of the landscape we see. Multiple demonstrations will be complemented by individual attention and group learning.

Plein Air students of all abilities are welcome. All students should have a basic familiarity with their equipment and some previous workshop experience with plein air painting. Bill will be demonstrating with oil paints. Find more information on Bill Cramer at