This weekend, I had a very rare head cold and missed – for the first time in 12 years – the opening of the Laguna Beach Plein Air Invitational. Believe me, this did nothing to improve my mood.

I love the Plein Air Invitational. In my small opinion, I think it’s one of the coolest Laguna-esque creations we have in this town. It’s a phenomenal homage to the great plein air artists who first populated Laguna Beach back in the early 1900s, and it continues to draw the country’s most renowned plein air artists with a full week’s spotlight on their unique skills.

Luckily, I’ve only missed a few days of the event as we still have six days to enjoy meeting the artists and seeing their work in action.

Today (Tuesday), watch for artists in numerous locations, from beaches to city streets and he hills above, as they continue to paint entries for the closing auction days this weekend.

While the pros will choose new locations for more outdoor painting on Wednesday, their younger counterparts from the Laguna College of Art + Design will be painting at Heisler Park from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. (Their art will also be included in the large auction at week’s end.)

This Thursday, the invited artists will be choosing between Heisler Park, Treasure Island Park and Main Beach to set up painting demonstrations that invite the public to ask questions and get to know the artists on a more personal level. At that same time, the Children’s Artwork Exhibition & Sale will begin at Forest & Ocean Gallery, all works from the Monday’s Kids’ Paint Out. Stop by between 10:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., and I guarantee you’ll be surprised at the level of mastery in much of this work.

On Friday, it’s the moment art collectors wait all year long for – the Collector’s Gala Reception at Tivoli Too. From 7:00 – 10:30 p.m., collectors have the opportunity to purchase artwork in advance of the general public, choosing from the three best paintings each artist has created during the week.

This is the only ticketed event of the entire week’s offerings at $175 per person. Buy online at before the last of these treasured tickets are snatched up!

Finally, on Saturday and Sunday, Tivoli Too will open its temporary plein air art gallery to the public for the final art show and sale. On Saturday, it’s 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and on Sunday, 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Once again, we’re blessed with beautiful weather this week; it’s as if the gods above know our Plein Air Invitational is underway. Take a break from work, swing by with your kids after school, or make a point of stopping and watching a masterpiece unfold as you come across these artists visiting our town. When you stand there and see the kind of work these people do, you’ll understand why we’re particularly blessed to be residents of Laguna Beach.


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