The Plein Air portion of the exhibit, Paintings of Cambria, captures the storybook feel of the village, homes and ranches which originally attracted me to the area. I have been equally delighted by the beautiful natural state of the coastal cliffs covered in wildflowers and grasses, the Old Growth Forest with its fallen trees, lacy lichen and red poison oak, which I have discovered since moving here.
I like to call Plein Air painting a sport. Not only are painters getting up and out early to catch the light, but they are carrying heavy equipment, setting it up, breaking it down, standing for hours on end, fighting the sun, wind, fog and cold, to breathe in the fresh air, smell the smells of the forest, catch a fleeting spot of sun, a bloom, some passing wildlife. Our seasons offer continual change and endless inspiration. Despite the extra effort required it is well worth the effort.
On a completely different note, in the used bookshop room you will find watercolor paintings that have a very different approach. I had the great fortune to study botanical painting with sought after teacher, Anne-Marie Evans of Oakham UK when she taught at the Huntington Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Ca. Unlike Plein Air painting, botanical painting is a very controlled and detailed art, at times using a microscope to understand the exact structure of the plant. I’m looking forward to capturing some of Cambria’s local flora in the coming years.
Oil paintings and Botanicals exhibited may be purchased through Monarch Gallery, 755 Main Street (805) 395-0560. 10% of the proceeds will be donated to the Cambria Library.