"It's a great opportunity to bring people to Laguna Beach to
discover the roots, painting and art that started about 50, 60, 70
years ago, as an art colony started here -- a focal point for plein
air painting," Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. board member Ken
Auster said. "What's happening with this event is that it has brought
attention to that aspect of art -- and the wide variety of
He explained that plein air painting is not limited to landscapes.
He said it can incorporate city-scapes and figurative work. Basically
it's anything people want to paint from life while being outdoors.
"It's grass-roots based in drawing and painting, which are the
fundamentals of all art," Auster said. "The best part about plein air
painting is that it has created a social environment, as opposed to
working in studios, they paint together."
Well recognized plein air painter and Laguna local since 1971,
David Solomon said this is the fourth year he'll be competing.
"I like the fact all the artists are here," Solomon said. "It's
actually a chance to see what everyone else is doing and it keeps you
in touch with what's going on."
Last year Solomon won a bronze at the invitational for a
watercolor painting he painted of the alley behind his house. As for
his favorite places to paint in Laguna Beach, he said he likes
getting up above town and looking into it.
"I like painting from places where I can be a voyeur," Solomon
said. "I've painted hundreds of paintings in Laguna Beach, a lot of
paintings. I like to paint ordinary scenes, not necessarily picture
Marketing director for Laguna Art Museum, Stuart Byer, said he
believes that the invitational got started between Laguna Art Museum
and Laguna Plein Painters Assn. because both entities celebrate this
traditional form of art.
"The museum being interested in historical art as the heir to the
Laguna Beach Art Assn.," Byer said. "It's always been focused on the
history of the city and the artists that had such a big role of
putting it on the map."
First time participating artist Kevin A. Short from San Juan
Capistrano is looking forward to the event.