Opus Plein Air Challenge – Halfway Highlights!

June 20, 2022

It’s hard to believe it, but we’re already halfway through this year’s Opus Plein Air Challenge! Your response has been incredible and our gallery is brimming with extraordinary artworks, creativity, and stories. There’s still plenty of time to participate and lots of prizes to be won, but in the meantime, here are a handful of highlights.

Kirsten Bollen

Canadian artist ❍ Love of the wild
explore » create » connect

Found the perfect place to set up and paint for a few hours at Cameron Lake in Waterton! The flat rocks along the shoreline acted as a seat and table, although I still brought my trusty crate so I could paint the view straight on.

This was my largest plein air piece, and it took a bit longer than I anticipated. Halfway through it started to get a little gusty and cold winds came off the lake, so I rushed and will need to touch it up a bit later.

So many extra things you need to think about outdoors in an uncontrolled environment: temperature, wind, bugs, tint from sunglasses, onlookers, and more bugs! But there’s nothing quite like it. I felt so connected to be out painting in nature. Hope to get out more this summer!

Instagram: @krist.makes.art


Thank goodness for my Opus Umbrella. It was crowded by the water because of the Pride Parade so I found a seat in the sun. I love the chair I got to sit in! Bear safety is always in the back of my mind when painting Plein Air.
Sorry to all boat lovers, I cut all but one out of each picture I painted on my little 4×5 inch minis. If anyone has tips on how to properly crop photos for this … ah, I’m an artist, I’ll be too busy creating to remember! 🥰 The sun was in and out with the clouds all day so my shadows don’t match the picture … wait five minutes and they will change again!

Instagram : @drag.nfly

Alec Blair
Landscapes paintings based in Vancouver, British Columbia

Managed to get enough of a break in rain this weekend to paint at Murrin Park. Really nice to have a few favourite plein air sketching locations to return to in different seasons and weather. I seem to almost always paint this view on clear days, so a bit of variety was very welcome. 

Instagram: @alecgblair

Ann Reflection
Seasonal artist. Playing with light. 

This is an organized plein air painting activity last Saturday led by @kevpriceart. I was 15 minutes late. This time I brought my chair and set up across the street. The garbage can was within arm’s length to me, so therefore I wore my mask. I sort of completed the painting in an hour. I was eager to leave for the Victoria art gallery open house. It was perhaps good timing: as I was packing up, a van pulled in front of me. The driver seemed to take a break but also seems to get the goods to be unloaded (by the market staff) 

I probably will not stay at that spot again. 

Instagram: @annreflection

Tosha Beans

British Columbia, born & raised. Great outdoors is where I spent most of my days. Unfocused spoonie artist.

This was my submission for the jury after the #opuspleinairchallenge that I took part in the other day ❤ I started a few things, while waiting for watercolor to dry, but this was (one of) the only ones that actually got finished.

While I fully did not expect to receive any award of any kind, this was my very first time submitting anything to a jury! It is a bit of an exercise in humility to submit yourself to being judged on purpose. I’ve just never done it before, and there are many mixed emotions 😊

Here’s what I learned:
– Bring a chair
– I’m not bringing watercolors next time, that dry time is a killer lol
– Trying new things and not getting “ideal” results makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time, just like when i was 5 years old

Instagram: @toshabeans

Congratulations to all the featured artists!

As well as picking up a $50 Opus Gift Certificate, everyone is still in the running to win other prizes. We’ll be publishing more highlights at the end of the month, so there’s plenty of time to participate – be sure to get your submissions in!



Adventure Events | $15,000 in Prizes | Ends July 3, 2022


  1. Paint, Draw, and/or Sketch in Plein Air (outdoors)
  2. Share your setup and your painting, and tell us about your adventure on Instagram with #OpusPleinAirChallenge to be entered to WIN over $15,000 in prizes from the worlds’ top art material brands.
  3. Repeat! You can enter multiple times, so keep painting outdoors and sharing your experience of what it’s like to paint ‘en plein air’ throughout the month of June.