By Laurie Hill
Plein Air painting began in France in the 1830s and became very popular in 1840 with the introduction of paint in tubes. Plein Air is a French phrase that means painting in the open or “on location” rather than in a studio. The typical image is of a lone painter outdoors painting what he or she sees.
Entering our sixth year, Capitola Plein Air’s talent has already been favorably compared to Carmel’s Plein Air competition. This year’s event features invited award winners from Capitola Art and Cultural Commission’s previous competitions.
The event is sponsored by the City of Capitola and is led by a team of volunteers.
You are invited to watch these artists paint — rain or shine — Nov. 1-6. Keep an eye out for easels, umbrellas, palettes of color, brushes and pastels. These artists work in oil, acrylic, pastel, charcoal, and gouache. Watch the artist lay out the piece’s composition, layer the colors and add the final details.
Please watch from a safe distance, as just one bump on the shoulder can disturb the image the artist is trying to capture.
Find these artists at work along a Capitola sidewalk or ocean bluff, tucked in protected alcoves, sitting inside and looking out (during rain), along your favorite walking and beach spots, and as far away as New Brighton State Beach, Nisene Marks, and Pleasure Point.
This Plein Air event will capture Capitola’s iconic vistas from the perspective of 40 artists during the day and the night. They will paint vistas you might not expect, such as eye-catching architecture, colorful storefronts, beach cottages, maybe a pigeon on the seawall. The first prize painting in 2019 was a foggy morning view from Depot Hill. Previous winners have included an artistic take on street traffic along Stockton Avenue, the Capitola Trestle and shadowy images beneath Capitola Wharf.
The artists will all convene Sunday Nov. 7 at New Brighton Performing Arts Auditorium, 250 Washburn Ave., for the display, competition and sale of their work. View artwork created during the six days of painting and see which pieces are selected to become a part of the city’s growing art collection, receive honorable mention, or awards for People’s and Artist Choice. Doors open at 11 a.m. and close at 4 p.m.
This is your opportunity to pick up an original piece that uniquely reflects an artist’s experience and perspective in Capitola.
Peggy Wynne Borgman
Maggie Renner Hellmann
Annette D McGowan
The sixth annual Capitola Plein Air is a free event. To view the artists at work, check out New Brighton Beach, Depot Hill, the Esplanade, and the Jewel Box area.
For more information, visit www.capitolapleinair.com/