A show I now visit fairly regularly is the La Quinta Arts Festival, held in the city of La Quinta in the Palm Springs area of California early in March each year. I visit it because my wife spends two weeks watching the Indian Wells tennis tournament and, when I'm not in the taxi driver role, I try to occupy my time as best I can. So the art show takes up part of a morning and keeps me away from coffee shops.
The show management cites magazines that claim it to be one of the top such shows in the country, though I'm not sure how such findings are made. Like other such shows these days, most of it deals with sculpture, photography, clothing, jewelry, furniture and perhaps a few other things I can't recall. In any case, I don't consider myself qualified to evaluate the quality of such items. For the most part the paintings fall into what I consider the "pretty good" range from a technical standpoint. Subject matter tends to be skewed to what the artist has found to be salable. That's because, so far as I can tell, the artists exhibiting at La Quinta do art as a full-time job.
Along with the matter of artists selling their wares, prizes are awarded. This year's winners are mentioned here. Leading the pack is Teresa Saia, who is a fellow Seattle dweller. I wandered by her tent, spotted the blue ribbon and noted that quite a few of her paintings had already sold (this was the morning of the second day of the four-day show). She was busy talking to other people, perhaps potential buyers, so I moved on to view other displays.
I remembered Saia's works from last year because they were richly colored landscape and cityscape pastels that at first glance seemed like oil paintings. But this year she had some nice thinly-painted oil landscapes on view that in some respects reminded me of Bernie Fuchs' landscapes (here are some examples of his work). Unfortunately, I could find no Web images of Saia's oils of the kind I saw.
For once, I agreed with the judges, because I thought Saia's works were the best on view at La Quinta. Here are examples of her work. The first three are pastels, a fragile medium in my opinion. Of the final two, one is definitely an oil, the other looks as though it might be. Note that she tends to show scenes from a viewpoint looking towards the sun.