Judging Criteria/Categories

  1. Compelling — An irresistible visual impact. It’s memorable. Often hard to put into words. You can watch people walk up to it. They are drawn to it like a magnet. You say, “I keep coming back to this. There is something about this piece.”

  2. Craftsmanship — Drawing, values, skill of the medium, material handling, presentation. You say, “This is really well done. It reads right. It’s painted beautifully.”

  3. Composition — The unity of a painting. The whole impression. Design, balance, movement, rhythm. It’s thoughtful, not accidental. You say, “This works together as a whole. Everything is in the right place.”

  4. Color — Not just bright color, but color harmony. Color relationships. Color balance. It can be subdued color or strong color. The effect of light permeating a piece. You say, “I like the color; it feels right.”

  5. Creativity — Not common. A unique perspective or voice. Outstanding — stands out from other works. You say, “I haven’t seen this before.”

  6. Capture — Truth is presented. Not photographic, but real. You feel something. Capturing the light. You say, “This really captured that moment. It’s like I’m there in the scene.”

Guidelines by Bob Upton


Wild Rivers Recreation Area-  Artwork must be painted within the Wild Rivers Recreation Area. Location identified on check-in label

Landscape- Artwork must be a painting of the landscape within a 20 mile radius of Questa. Location identified on check-in label.

Architecture-Artwork must be a painting of a building structure within a 20 mile radius of Questa. Location identified on check-in label.

Experimental- Artwork must be a produced on location, inspired by the view, within a 20 mile radius of Questa. Location identified on check-in label. Use of technique and medium in a non-traditional method. 

This project is supported in part by an award from New Mexico Arts, a division of the Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts. Art works.

NM Arts
Taos Lodgers Tax
Red River Lodgers Tax
Questa Economic Development Fund
Chevron Community Fund
Alpine Lodge
Dick Blick
Guerrilla Painter
Cobra, Art Cocoon
Gamblin Art Materials
Southwest Art Magazine 
Lamberts Restaurant
Taos Inn, Raels Market
Wilder Nightingale Fine Arts 
Ponderosa Lodge
REI, Ampersand
Barry Norris Studios
Reservations Unlimited
The Bobcat, Sitzmark 
Monte Carlo Lounge 
Plein Air Magazine
Jack Richeson and Company
KWK Events, Der Markt
Golden Nugget
Auslander Lodge and Condos
Cids Food Market
Bureau of Land Management
Red River Real Estate
Yesterdays Diner
Woodlands on the River
Eisenhut Codo
Main Street Mercantile
Capos, Dairy Bar
Heilman Designs
D&K Enterprises/Climates
Red River Angler and Sport
All Seasons Sports
Red River Brewery
Candy Mountain
Weezies, Cheap Joes
Community House
Taos Community Foundation
Los Alamos Foundation
Centinel Bank
Williamsburg Oil

We would also like to thank these sponsors for their donations to Wild Rivers Plein Air Paint-Out!

Rael's Market

2016-19 by Peggy Trigg

Questa Creative Council

All Images are Copyright Protected

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