Wednesday, October 20, 2010

En plein air

For the past two weeks, plein air artists from near and far have come to paint in the Laguna Plein Air Painter's Association's 12th annual invitational. Brought to you by the good folks at the Laguna Art Museum, this event is steeped in history. The first artist to call Laguna Beach home was Norman St. Clair. Living in Pasadena at the time, St. Clair came to Laguna in about 1903, and is considered to be the first artist to establish a studio here in town. Finding the light and subject matter to be of top quality, he began to urge other artist friends to paint here. With notable painters such as Granville Redmond, William Wendt, Edgar Payne among others, Laguna had gained the title of "artists colony." And we have clung to that title ever since.
William Wendt - The Mantle of Spring - 1917
The view northbound at Sleepy Hollow Beach

Loving history and art as I do, I can't tell you how great it was to see the artists working away, capturing our landscapes and seascapes in their own unique ways. But as always, there was a hitch. Nearly every day of those two weeks was dreary and drizzly. Well, that's no big surprise for us. With the weather we've had all summer long, and now into the fall, we warm blooded Southern Californians are finally kind of warming up to this weird, unusual gloom. Nowadays, we jokingly say that we're from Laguna Beach, Oregon. Yea, it's been that bad. But I couldn't help but feel sort of bad for these artists who had traveled from all over the country, expecting warm, sunny days, and that wonderful autumn light that Laguna is famous for. Oh well, sorry about that! It did however, make me really curious as to how they would individually paint the fog, clouds and gloom.

So, this past Saturday was the end of the event. All of the artists came together at the Laguna Art Museum, and hung their work for the public to view. And it was really cool to see how so many of the artists painted in muted tones, and how they somehow made the clouds and fog part of their subject. Ok, here it comes, but I forgot my camera! So, unfortunately you won't be able to see what the heck I'm talking about. Darn, I hate when that happens! Well, there's always next year, right? Anyways, here are some of the artists works that I stole off the internet. I think these were all painted in the last 2 weeks, but there were so many more I wish you guys could have seen! 

Jeff Sewell - Gold on the Horizon
Debra Groessner - Crystal Cove Memories
Gavin Brooks - Laguna Evening Walk
Daniel Aldana - Victoria Beach
Paul Kratter - South Laguna Light

And last but not least:

Ronaldo Macedo _ Laguna Morning Study
It was really fun meeting a few of the artists, and seeing their distinctly different styles. Oh, and I can't forget to tell you the best thing. They were actually selling their work! In this economy, that's close to a miracle. 


  1. Laguna's beauty, no matter the weather, is inspirational!

    PS you need to attach your camera to yourself!