Season 3 Episode 6 - Plein Air Brush Off

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Video Summary

Watch the Emmy Winning Episode.

It's a race against the clock, and a call for good weather, from artists as they begin their work on Artist's Point in Grand Marais. With a blank canvas and dueling brushes, adventurous artists have just 90 minutes to create a winning masterpiece. Raw materials include oil & watercolor paint; pastels and passion. It's a fast-paced imaginative competition that pushes artists to the brink of frustration; yet it also inspires quick, efficient creative brilliance.

Plein Air “The Brush Off”

Artist Information

Grand Marais Art Colony:

  • Began in 1947 as a summer refuge for artists seeking to study the wilderness.
  • Located in a renovated church acquired 1963 and newly constructed studio building 2005 overlooks Lake Superior quoted as having “the best view of Lake Superior”.
  • Teachers and students may earn continuing credits and independent study credits.
  • Winners of the Duluth Superior Area Community Foundations 2011 Touchstone Award for Generosity

2011 Plein Air Competition Winners:

1st Place: Scott Lloyd Anderson
2nd Place: Susan Novak
3rd Place: Christopher Copeland

Night Paint: Michelle Wegler
Quick Paint: Neil Sherman
People's Choice: Lisa Stauffer

Scott Lloyd Anderson:

Neil Sherman:

Joi Electa:

  • Silver Bay Painter/ Photographer
  • Photography features animals and outdoor environments
  • Paints with oil, pastel

David Gilsvik:

  • Father was a writing of outdoor hunting magazine and an author; David tagged along honing his skills and eventually illustrated 3 of his fathers books.
  • Studied at MCAD; and courses at Grand Marais Art Colony.
  • Was a painter for billboard company
  • Created own business “Gilsvick Signs and Murals” based in Two Harbors; now pursuing a painting career
  • Work featured in “Sivertson Gallery”

Lisa Stauffer:

  • Uses a watercolor under painting, and primarily uses pastel
  • Masters in Design from the University of Minnesota; Studied at Parson School of Design in NYC
  • Her art is seen in Lizzards Gallery; Art Dock, and Waters of Superior all located in Duluth, MN
  • Has competed nation wide
  • Currently a teacher at GM Art Colony
  • Lake Country Pastel Society- MN’s Pastel Society from 2002-present

Mary Pettis:

  • Just finished teaching a week-long workshop in Tuscany, Italy. Oct 1-8, 2011.
  • Teaches, exhibits and paints worldwide, including workshops in her hometown of Taylor’s Falls, MN and in Hawaii, Switzerland, Russia, China and Italy.
  • Holds a BFA in Art and in Humanities from the College of St. Benedict.  Mary studied with Hungarian artist Bela Petheo at nearby St. John's University
  • Mary Pettis was commissioned to create a piece of artwork that was presented personally to the King and Queen of Sweden
  • Mary Pettis has work in many permanent collections including  the Minneapolis Institute of Art and Emigrant Institute in Vaxjo, Sweden check it out at
  • Was the juror for the Grand Marais Art Colony’s 9th Annual Plein Air Competition

Matt Kania:

  • Matt Kania has studied at the Duluth Art Institute, Minneapolis Academy of Art & Design and High Point Prints. He has taught classes at the Grand Marais Art Colony.
  • Matt Kania is the founder of a map and illustration studio!! Check it out
  • Matt Kania is from Chicago and currently lives in Duluth, MN. 

Kristin Blomberg:

  • Plein air painter/student from Grand Marais, MN
  • Member of the Grand Marais Art Colony

Funding for this program is provided by the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund. Click here for more information or visit the Minnesota Legacy website.

Clean Water, Land & Legacy Amendment