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California Plein Air Art

Updated on July 26, 2011

California Plein Air art is a visual therapy to me. Viewing a piece of this impressionistic art produces physiological benefits that are conducive to stress reduction.

What is Plein Air art?- Just stroll along the bluffs in Laguna Beach (or any seaside artsy community) and you will probably find a plein air artist creating an ocean-scape or landscape. In essence, plein air painting is painting in the open air. The artist is more focused on capturing the light and atmosphere of the outdoors, rather than sitting in a studio and to paint the outdoor scene. Also, there is less emphasis on detail and more on spontaneity, freshness, and boldness.  I think it must be like playing piano by ear while not being confined by your ability or lack thereof when it comes to reading musical tablature.

When looking for something fun to do on the weekend   or vacationing in southern CA, be sure and visit:

The Irvine Museum

The only museum in California dedicated to the preservation and display of California Impressionism or Plein-Air paintings, an art style that flourished from 1890 to 1930. Exhibitions are installed every four months, and the bookstore is a rich source of books, catalogues and note cards of California Plein-Air paintings.


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    • Catlyn profile image

      Catlyn 8 years ago from Somewhere in the OC

      Thanks James for reading the hub and taking the time to respond!

    • James A Watkins profile image

      James A Watkins 8 years ago from Chicago

      Interesting topic. Thanks!