November 1st marks the launch of the fourth annual Capitola Plein Air Art Festival, when forty professional artists will leave their studios behind to paint outdoors along the idyllic California coast.
The three day live painting event invites the participating artists to set up easels and capture images of natural landscapes and village life around the historic wharf, shoreline, and streets of Capitola-by-the-Sea. The plein air setting offers painters the opportunity to design a piece around the elements and beautiful vistas, and gives observers a chance to meet local artists and learn the tricks of outdoor art. Plein air paintings are unique for their freshness and spontaneity, as artists have to work with the environmental challenges of constantly changing light and unpredictable weather conditions.
The plein air practice dates back centuries ago but was popularized as an art form by the French Impressionists. Their desire to paint the ephemeral, shifting qualities of light, combined with the creation of easily transportable paint tubes and box easels gave artists the freedom to paint “en plein air,” which is the French expression for “in the open air.”
Hosted each year by the Capitola Art and Cultural Commission, the 2018 “paint out” welcomes fantastic local and regional artists to paint diverse creative perspectives of the area. Each one will be working with varying painting and drawing styles and techniques, with media including watercolor, oil, gouache, and pastel. View these inspiring artists in action at locations like New Brighton Beach, Depot Hill, the Capitola Esplanade, and the Jewel Box.
On Sunday, November 4th, hundreds of framed paintings will be exhibited, for sale, and entered into a juried art competition held in the New Brighton Middle School Performing Arts Center. The guest judge for the 2018 Festival is Terri Ford, an award-winning artist who has been working with pastels in the studio and plein air since 1987. Terri is a highly acclaimed master pastelist, art instructor and juror, and her colorful pastel paintings have been recognized internationally.
This free Festival invites the public to browse artwork, cast a vote for the People’s Choice Award, sample from a local food truck, and participate in a hands-on art activity presented by Watershed Art Studio.