Painting California: Seascapes & Beach Towns

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By Jean Stern and Molly Siple

This volume on plein-air painting in California by members of the California Art Club is a followup to the successful California Light: A Century of Landscapes (2011), which was a celebration of the club's 100th anniversary that documented 100 years of painting across California's beautifully varied terrain--from desert to mountain to forest to the seaside. This volume focuses on paintings of California's beloved seascapes and seaside towns. It presents more of the club’s distinctive and lush plein air painting, an impressionistic style in which painters work outdoors in order to capture the ephemeral moment when the natural lighting of a landscape elevates an already beautiful scene into something sublime. The book will be of interest to lovers of art to amateur painters and watercolorists and to those who dream of California.

Luminous, gorgeously realized landscape paintings made en plein air by members of the California Art Club over the past 100 years. This volume showcases 200 works by California Art Club artists who have focused on the evocative seascapes, charming seaside towns, and beach communities from San Diego to San Francisco, demonstrating a breathtaking range of natural settings suffused with atmosphere, drama, and light. Since the dawn of the twentieth century, California has been home to artists from all over America and Europe who aspired to depict the state’s compelling natural landscapes on canvas. In 1909, these artists founded the California Art Club, which stands today as one of the most esteemed painting societies in the United States.

As observed by W.H. Auden, “Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” We as a species are drawn to the sea—artists perhaps even more so than others, as beautifully evidenced in this book.

Hardcover with jacket, 276 pages

Dimensions: 11 3/8 x 10 1/4 x 1 1/4 inches

About the Authors:
Jean Stern is the executive director of The Irvine Museum. An authority on California Impressionism, he coauthored California: This Golden Land of Promise and has contributed to several books about California artists. He also appears in the PBS documentary series Impressions of California: Early Currents in Art, 1850–1930.

Molly Siple is an artist member of the California Art Club. She contributed to the book Enchanted Isle: A History of Plein Air Painting in Santa Catalina Island and has written for magazines such as American Artist and Workshop.