In October, I entered my first plein air painting competition in Escalante, Utah. This competition was part of the Everett Ruess Days Festival. The object was to create an image that attempted to capture the same beauty of the Grand Staircase/Escalante area that inspired the artist/wanderer Everett Ruess. Participants had one week to do a maximum of five paintings in the categories of oil/acrylic and watercolor/mixed media. Only one painting per category was submitted. My oil painting entry (see above left) won an award of merit. It was an exciting weekend!