Meet Our 2015 Winners

All artists

Meet the entire crowd of wonderful artists…

The Bermuda Plein Air Festival Committee are pleased to announce the 2015 Competition Winners

After a full week of painting island-wide, the Exhibition and prize giving on Saturday, November 21st was opened by Mr. Charles Gosling, the Mayor Hamilton, and welcome comments were given by Mr. Bill Hanbury, the CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, lead sponsor for this event.

Mr Hanbury said, “The Plein Air Festival captured the essence of Bermuda. It has combined our extraordinary natural land-and sea-scape beauty with the talents of artist both from on and off the island. The event committee is to be commended for executing a terrific week-long program that placed our island paradise in the best of possible light. Also, we are grateful to our overseas visitors who not only brought their impressive artistic talents to Bermuda, but also contributed to our tourism economy. These types of events, which speak to authentic and original tourism experiences, are exactly what the BTA is interested in nurturing as we invest in a brighter tourism future for Bermuda.”

Presenting the prizes were Steve Lynton, representing Old Holland and Silver Brush; Michael Harding, founder of Michael Harding Oil Paints; Charles Gosling, Mayor of Hamilton, for the Hamilton “Quick Art” Winner; and Bill Hanbury for the “Best in Show” prize.

All our artists and the public who attended enjoyed the “one day” exhibition event from 4 to 8pm at the Bermuda Society of Arts Gallery, where the artists’ framed work flew off the displays! A total of 233 framed pieces of art were submitted for hanging. Sales were very brisk, and the gallery commission will be split among four local art galleries (Bermuda Art Centre in Dockyard, Bermuda National Gallery, Masterworks and the Bermuda Society of Arts) to enhance their ongoing art programmes throughout Bermuda.

The judges had a big job to do! The committee would like to thank Michael Harding, CEO of Michael Harding Art Materials Ltd, Mr. Franklin Hill Perrel, a Hofstra University graduate, painter and Trustee of the Hecksher Museum in Huntington and the Bermuda National Gallery and Lyn Donovan, Owner/Director of Coastal Maine Art Workshops, in Rockland Me, for both their time and full support of our PleinAir festival and exhibition.

Now Meet the Winners

1. Best in Show Winner: Mr. Christopher MarsonBest in show

$5,000 cash and the Plein Air Magazine certificates for 1/4 page Ad and feature in Plein Air, presented by Mr. Bill Hanbury, CEO of the Bermuda Tourism Authority, our title sponsor

2. Winner of the “Quick Art” in the City of Hamilton: Mr. William (Bill )Rogers from Nova Scotia, Canada Best quick artJPG

Winner of Michael Harding $1,000 gift certificate and Silver Brush set of brushes, presented by Michael Harding and the Mayor of Hamilton, Mr. Charles Gosling

3. Best Oil Painting: Mrs. Sheilagh Head

Best oil

The winning gifts were presented by Steve Lynton, representing Old Holland Paints included a deluxe gift box with a full set of oil paints set in a mahogany case, two oil primed canvases and brush sets by Silver Brush.

4. Best Watercolour: Poppy Balser from Nova Scotia, Canada Best Water colour

The prize package included  a 24 colour set of Old Holland watercolours and case, with brushes from Silver Brush, and a $150 voucher from Guerilla Paints – all presented by Steve Lynton, on behalf of Old Holland

5. Winner of the Best Pastel/ Acrylic Painting: Mary O’Connor from New York

Best Pastel JPG

She won an Old Holland Acrylic set, Pan Pastel set, brushes from Silver Brush and a $150 Guerrilla Paints gift certificate, presented by Steven Lynton on behalf of Old Holland Paints.

6. Charles Knights: Exhibition Judges Choice AwardIMG_1155

He was presented with a $500 gift certificate of Michael Harding Paints, from sponsor and judge, Michael Harding.


The entire event was a tremendous success, with 58 artists taking part in the full week of painting island-wide, including a half day quick art session throughout the City of Hamilton.

Our sponsors for this first event were tremendous” said Rhona Emmerson, Event Organizer, “with the international support from Plein Air Magazine, as well as Old Holland paints, Silver Brush, Guerrilla Paints and Michael Harding Hand Made Paints, and Pan Pastels, ensuring our prizes were world class.

Our local support came from the Bermuda Tourism Authority, DNA Art Shoppe, Frameworks, Butterfield & Vallis, Goslings, Mail Boxes, ByWays Tours and AAC Saatchi & Saatchi doing all of the graphics and web site development, Nancy Smythe and Frank Ginocchio for sponsoring all our painters’ aprons and several very generous personal anonymous donations made this event possible.

In addition, the beautiful Rosedon Hotel provided a door prize draw for a weekend stay for two, which was won by Karyn & Michael Harding. They were thrilled and are already making plans to return.

The guest artists left Bermuda on Sunday and Monday Nov 22nd and 23rd, having made many new friends and firm commitments to return to Bermuda. Images and photos of the week can be seen on our face book page, Bermuda Plein Air, or on the website:

A few comments from our guest artists :

Mary O’Connor, New York

“An amazing week. So happy to be a part of this wonderful event. ”

Poppy Balser, Nova Scotia


All those blues at Castle Point.

We went out to Castle Point to paint. Everywhere I turned it looked like a scene from a travel brochure. I painted Rock Walls and Greenery, 7×10″, a plein air watercolour. I painted this at the Botanical Gardens. I have been fascinated all week by the roadside walls made of the native limestone. They are quite porous. The crevices in the stone soon become home to a gardener’s basket of plants. I find them beautiful and wanted to paint them before I left.!

Sylvia Lussing May , Bermuda

It was such a great week! So wonderful to meet so many artists.

Joseph Sweeney , Philadelphia

Great day painting at the fort (Fort Scaur). Thank you Rhona and the Bermuda crew.


Painting at Fort Scaur

Tsering Dorjee , California

Colour of Bermuda, amazing. And sweet of Bermuda Plein Air community. Keep in touch everybody, and see you all soon next year 2016. Till then every day paint .

Eli Cedrone, Boston

Another day in paradise!

Nancy Smythe, Florida


Lee tucks in and away from the winds.

The Bermuda Botanical Garden was our venue for the Plein Air Festival today. Masterworks Gallery hosted our lunch and Tom Butterfield gave a tour of the fabulous gallery that now exhibits the Charman Exhibition. I decided to paint “Match Me If You Can,” and despite three rain showers was very happy with the piece.”

Louisa Calder , London & Bermuda

Such an amazing experience and honoured and admired by all those taking part, we owe a huge thank you to You and the team – and to whatever God was smiling on Bermuda for That Incredible Week of Sunshine! Thank You

Barbara Jones, Toronto, Canada

I am home in sunny ( but only 42ºF so far today) Mass. and am thinking of the wonderful week, and I want to say a huge thanks! I’ll hope to see you another time to paint.

Shaunagh Butler, London & Bermuda

I have had an absolute blast, and I’m sure I speak for all of us when I say it was so rewarding. It’s been a wonderful week full of adventure, and good lessons learnt amongst a fabulous set of new friends and old, thank you again.