The Next Generation Plein Air Project is one of the elements of our Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational. It is a 4-step program that provides college level students with the following opportunities:
1. To learn about the history of Plein Air Art in California
2. Perception Games & Skills
3. Participate in a workshop taught by a professional Plein Air painter
4. To actually participate in a professional plein air painting competition
The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) along with Jeff Sewell, Signature Artist and Director of Education, and Signature Artist Member Rick J. Delanty developed the Next Generation Plein Air Project as a way to offer college level students an enhanced learning experience, help prepare them for a professional experience in the arts, help to augment their painting and drawing skills and to give them recognition for their creative efforts. This program is partially funded through LPAPA as part of their mission to provide our next generation art education and is presented in collaboration with each participating college. Preparation for the program includes a mandatory orientation and mandatory mentor workshop. Each of these steps is described below.
Steps 1 & 2: Orientation geared toward learning about the history of Plein Air Art in California and a discussion on Perception Skills
This portion of the program is conducted by LPAPA’s Volunteer Coordinator Derry Coe and a LPAPA Mentor Artist, instructing the students about what it means to paint “en plein air”. They will also discuss the methodology of plein air artists and true historical significance of plein air painting and will incorporate perception skills: testing visual memory, drawing comparisons, identifying differences and evaluating art providing many different ways to engage with art. This will be an interactive lecture and discussion between LPAPA mentors and students.
Step 3: A workshop with LPAPA Mentor Painter – a day of Plein Air Painting
This portion of the program is lead by an artist mentor who will conduct an onsite workshop, encompassing the fundamentals of creating a 9 x 12 painting outdoors, plein air equipment, subject selection, choosing a vantage point, environmental considerations, etc.
Step 4: Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational Next Generation Paint Out is open only to student artists who have completed the prior 3 steps.
In this portion of the program students will compete in a 3 hour quick draw painting competition, creating a 9×12 painting in the allotted timeframe. Paintings are framed, hung and entered in competition for awards with the top award winning paintings to be hung at the Annual Collectors Gala and the artist students will be invited to receive their awards.
The main objective of the Next Generation Plein Air Project is to provide college students with the knowledge of plein air painting, field study, and a multi-faceted education of California’s natural landscape and outdoor painting history. The program is meant to engage students in a professional painting event, expand personal and artistic skills, and their abilities related to careers in the arts. Ultimately, LPAPA hopes that the program will change the way a student looks at their surrounding landscape and inspire them to further explore their artistic abilities.