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Painters are quick on the draw at Laguna Beach plein air contest

The 20th annual Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational got rolling Sunday with a Quick Draw competition at Heisler Park.

The Quick Draw gave the 50 artists invited to participate in this year’s week-long festival two hours to paint the subjects of their choice in the seaside park. Their works were later offered at a show and sale.

The Plein Air Painting Invitational, a celebration of creating art outdoors, is headquartered at the Festival of Arts grounds at 650 Laguna Canyon Road. However, artists can be seen around town all week painting landscapes, coastlines and city scenes.

Festival events continue Monday with a Kids Paint Out for fourth- through 12th-graders at Heisler Park. Their artworks will be displayed at the Festival of Arts grounds and sold, with all proceeds benefiting participating schools.


Also Monday, artists in the Plein Air Painting Invitational will talk from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Festival of Arts’ Forum Theater. Tickets are $15 for general admission and $10 for Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. members and are available at

Other festival highlights:

Tuesday: Nocturne Paint Out: All 50 artists in the competition will take their kits outside for an evening session on and around Forest Avenue and the rest of downtown Laguna Beach. The event starts at 6 p.m. and the public is invited to observe. Admission is free.

Wednesday: Next Generation Paint Out: College students will create in Heisler Park from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Their paintings will be judged for scholarship awards.


Wednesday: “The Art of Looking at Art: Developing a Critical Eye for Fine Art”: Jean Stern, director of the Irvine Museum Collection at the UC Irvine Institute and Museum for California Art, will give an illustrated lecture that aims to familiarize guests with the basic tenets of representational art, such as composition, perspective, line and color. Also, the Laguna Plein Air Painters Assn. will hold a signing for its new book, “Best in Show: The Laguna Beach Plein Air Painting Invitational, 1999-2018” and will exhibit for sale the original artwork to be included in this year’s collectible 2018 Invitational Art Catalog. The events are from 5:45 to 8:30 p.m. at the Festival of Arts’ Forum Theater. Tickets are $20 for general admission and $15 for association members at

Friday: Painting demonstrations: Invitational artists will do demonstrations at Heisler Park, Main Beach and Treasure Island between 11 a.m. and 12:30 p.m.

Saturday: Plein Air Painting Invitational Collectors Gala: Invitational artists and art lovers will wrap up the festival with a gala starting at 7 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds, where guests can view and purchase paintings and see who wins Best in Show. Tickets are $150 through Thursday and $175 afterward, with a 15% discount for LPAPA members. For tickets, visit

Sunday: Invitational Art Show: From 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Festival of Arts grounds, the public can meet the artists, watch live painting demonstrations and buy artworks created during the competition. Admission is free.

For more information about the festival, visit