The 2015 Los Angeles Plein Air festival was an unexpected pleasure!
Back in October, I got word through an email group of painters that there was going to be a 5 day festival of plein air painting in Downtown LA… that very week!
Having a day job means I couldn't drop everything and go paint downtown right away. But on Saturday, I grabbed my gear and headed down to Raw Materials art supply, which was the festival headquarters. (Apparently they've been doing this a few years. I’m so glad I finally got hip to it!) They stamped my surfaces, handed me some fun art supply schwag, and I hit the streets.
My painting mentor Aaron Donovan and I painted side by side on Broadway and 3rd, in the 100 degree October heat. Tourists, Girl Scouts, homeless people and families all came and talked to us about our work, about art and the city. We grabbed snacks from Grand Central Market, and raced to catch the light and shadows as they swiftly changed on the face of the Pan American building.
All festival paintings were submitted wet, and hung in the Rowan gallery on 5th and spring. The show ran for several weeks, awards and cash prizes were given out, and I was back to claim my painting this evening during the bustling downtown Artwalk.
The caliber of work I saw at this fest was very impressive. And I had an incredible time taking part in this energetic urban art celebration. This tapped into both my favorite style of working and my love for the different textures of LA. I'll definitely be back…