Last Fall the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico, a plein air club of which I am a member, put out a call for entries in an online painting contest.  These are great opportunities to show off current work- especially among members and we all get to vote for our favorite. The contest title was "Color Passages"; appropriate for Autumn paintings and I had just returned from the Westcliffe Plein Air event with a painting that won a prize there- and I posted it here at that time.
I think Fall brings out the best in most painters and it was no surprise to see a lot of good work posted by the membership which includes painters from all over the country. Usually, I post a vote and forget about it, so I was very gratified when my piece ended up in a tie for 1st Place - with Michael Chesley Johnson.  Well, I admire Michael very much; we have never met but I read his blog, his books, follow his stuff and someday hope to catch up with him at a PAPNM paint out. All that to say - I was  ASTONISHED when a few days later I was informed that my piece had won the contest. This was about December and it all went to the back burner of my mind until the day before Christmas when my PRIZE arrived in the mail. YIPPEE - YIPPEE - YIPPEE!!
Edgar Payne's 'The Scenic Journey' - the definitive book (coffee table size of course) on his life and life's work.  This was the best present and the book you want with you when it is 30 below outside and you can't "go out" to paint.
Thank YOU to the Plein Air Painters of New Mexico membership for voting my painting First in the 'Color Passages' contest and for the FABULOUS prize.