Early California Art

by Sandy Hunter

George Gibson, Noon Rest, c.1962, w/c

The early California artists painted from the late 1890's to the 1940's. They worked outdoors on location or "plein air." Their oil paintings were considered impressionist and reflected a certain decorated style. The subject mater was the beautiful California landscapes - deserts, mountains, forests, foothills, valleys, canyons, sea shores and islands. These artists were not necessarily born or educated in California, but traveled to and resided in the state.

Alex Ignatiev, Palace of Legion of Honor Park, San Francisco," c.1940

Just as the "plein air" oil painters of California recorded the early history of our time, so did the early watercolor artists, or as they were called "California Regionalists" or "Scene painters." The style of the regionalists was denoted in their broad brush strokes and strong rich colors. This group,of artists was also very important in documenting the day to day life in their work. California scene painting flourished from the 1920's to 1950's.

Sam Colburn, Sugarloaf," c.1938

As a fine art collector you may still find some of these paintings at the California Art Gallery, 305 N. Coast Highway, Suite A, Laguna Beach, CA 92651. You may reach Sandy at (714) 494-7270. We would appreciate your mentioning that you saw this story in out internet magazine.


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