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Plein Air 'Palooza! Art Lovers Flock to the 14th Annual Invitational

The Laguna Art Museum hosts the plein air competition this week, which takes place pretty much all around the city.

On a spectacular Sunday afternoon at Heisler Park, spectator H. H. Bradley watched as plein air artist Ken DeWaard added a dab of blue to his painting of Laguna's Main Beach. Bradley had come down to watch several artists painting during the "Quick Draw" two-hour paint out. This event was just one of several scheduled for this week as part of the 14th Annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational sponsored by the Laguna Art Museum.

Laguna College of Art and Design students will be painting at Heisler Park on Wednesday. Invitational artists will paint at Crystal Cove on Thursday. On Friday, artists will present outdoor painting demonstrations. LAM will host a collector's soiree on Saturday evening, and the week will conclude with a public art show and sale on Sunday.

Plein air artist Morgan Samuel Price came all the way from Florida to participate in the competition. She was painting one of the notable gnarled trees on the lawn of Heisler Park. 

"This tree is beautiful, it's just beautiful," said Price. "How can you not look at this tree?"

And she said about the competition, "It's a great invitational ... beautiful scenery, great people ... I love to see my artist friends, and it's very well done."

A crowd watched local professional artist Calvin Liang create a painting of the crashing waves and swaying palm trees below north Heisler Park. 

"The whole group of people who paint together," said Liang, "they influence and learn a lot from each other."

Cher Bettencourt and Pam Cali watched artist Scott Prior paint a 1959 Chevrolet El Camino, which was parked at Heisler Park. Prior also gives art lessons to Bettencourt.

"Scott is an outstanding teacher," said Bettencourt. "He doesn't just do things for you, he shows you how to do it. I'm learning [how to paint] chrome as we speak."

Amateur artist Karen Cardinale brought her daughter Krista to watch the various plein air artists in action.

"I'm learning about the new techniques and getting ideas," said Karen. "It's just exciting."

For more information about this week's events, click here.

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