Early California Art

Early California Art
The California Plein-Air artists depicted the California landscape - the foothills, mountains, seashores, and deserts of the interior and coastal regions. California Impressionism reached its peak of popularity in the years before the Great Depression. The California Plein-Air painters generally painted in a bright, chromatic palette with "loose" painterly brush work that showed some influence from French Impressionism. These artists gathered in art colonies in places like Carmel-by-the-Sea and Laguna Beach as well as in cities like San Francisco, Los Angeles and Pasadena. Organizations like the California Art Club, the Painters and Sculptors Club, San Francisco's Sketch Club, The Carmel Art Association, The Laguna Beach Art Association and the Los Angeles Museum of History, Art and Architecture played a key role in popularizing the work of the Plein-Air Painters of California. While Impressionist-influenced paintings remained popular in California well after it did in Europe or the Eastern United States, as the Depression worsened and newer, more modern styles became accepted, the movement fell into decline.

Postcard: View of Ojai Valley, Ojai, California, circa 1924