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Runner-Up in Plein Air Painting Contest!

Exciting News!

I had 2 paintings in Arte in Loco: Horizons of a Genius, a Plein Air Painting Contest organized by Studio Peregrino and Pro Loco Vinci, and after voting closed I was named a runner up!

I've won a year-long subscription to Plein Air magazine and a voucher for handmade frames from Landi Cornici in Florence!

All of the paintings in the contest were made in or of Vinci, Italy on il Giorno di Leonardo, a fantastic day full of events in Leonardo Da Vinci's eponymous home town on April 16th (the day after his birthday, April 15... 1452!)

Over the course of the day, I made the two plein air oil paintings (shown below) and entered them in the competition!


The Vinci Countryside

Oil on panel, 35x50cm, 2023

The Vinci Countryside was painted from within an old olive grove with a beautiful view of the town. I managed to get a shady spot under an old-growth tree that provided protection from the Tuscan sun and sporadic gusts of wind. I got to spend the whole morning alone with the bees and wildflowers, enjoying painting and thinking about the countryside that inspired one of the greatest of minds - I highly recommend reading Leonardo da Vinci: The Biography by Walter Isaacson if you want to learn more about him!


An Old Olive Tree at la Casa Natale di Leonardo da Vinci

Oil on panel, 25x35cm, 2023

An Old Olive Tree at la Casa Natale di Leonardo da Vinci was painted in the late afternoon after I trekked up to the house Leonardo da Vinci was born in. After walking around the property I (shhhh...) snuck past some signs with all of my painting gear and posted up under a tree (never a better place to paint than under a tree) and studied this beautiful, twisted, old olive during the golden hour. Maybe a little "Leo" ran past this tree barefooted as a child, or it was grown from the fruit of one he did - a painter can dream!


Thank you to Marta and Jon at Studio Peregrino for inviting me to take part in the day as one of the plein air painters! And thank you to everyone who voted for me!

Aside from being submitted in this contest, both artworks are currently available for purchase! As always, you can send me a direct email at with any inquiries.

Thanks for reading!

All my best,

Saara Knapp


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