Plein Air Beauty in the Eye of Beholder (and Judges)


It may look like a dreary day and blurry canvas to some, but excitement races through the minds of artists involved in the plein air painting process. Shown is a participant of the annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, taking place Oct. 9-16, 2011. The public is invited to attend an entire week of demonstrations, lectures, painting opportunities and viewing of over 50 painters from Maryland, Tennessee, Hawaii, Oregon, Texas and California, painting on location in Laguna Beach. Read more...>

Plein Air painters can make their task look easy–they seem to enjoy time on location outdoors, interpreting scenes that unfold. The problem for these painters, however, is that people move, clouds constantly roll by, the lighting changes from sunny blue to cloudy gray, and cast shadows change angles, sizes and shapes. The details that most of us hardly notice during our daily activities outdoors provide the challenges for plein air painting.

California experienced one of the most popular plein air movements around the turn of the 20th century when artists discovered the fine weather available for painting landscapes in Laguna Beach and Carmel by the Sea. The two cities are favorites for painters whose works can sell for a few hundred dollars or thousands in fine galleries.

Other places where plein air painting is popular include the Bay Area and California Central Coast.

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