For 50 of the country’s top plein air painters this Sunday, it couldn’t have been a more fabulous day to kick off the Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational.

The Plein Air Invite, hosted by the Laguna Art Museum, is a week-long event that asks the top “open air” painters to set up shop and let us watch as they create artistic masterpieces on the cliffs and secret trove areas of Laguna Beach. For the last few years, the Plein Air Invitational has kicked off at what we locals call “Treasure Island Park,” now the well-manicured grounds above, below and ambling around the Montage Resort.

Hundreds and hundreds of art enthusiasts were not disappointed as they roamed from artist easel to artist easel to peek over their shoulders at the works in progress. Many of these artists are quite affable and readily answer questions about their technique, their history, their shoe size, whatever – how they field questions and still paint is beyond me, but I commend the folks for trying to get along with the passerby.

You’ll see these same 50 artists dotting the Laguna Beach ‘scape this week as they choose their own locations and paint throughout the week. Be sure, though, to catch the finale at Heisler Park on Saturday, Oct 16th. It’s the “Quick Draw” event, where each is required to complete a painting in a 2-hour timeframe from 9-11 a.m. Hours later, you’ll see the artists’ chosen favorites hanging on the walls during the Collectors’ Soiree at the Museum.

Again, tickets for the Soiree are here: Laguna Museum Plein Air Party, or you can drop in to the museum on Sunday to view and purchase these one-of-a-kind works!

See the original versions of this Plein Air Gallery at

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