The Foothill Artists League held an art show Sunday afternoon at the historic Lanterman House on Encinas Drive, where about 130 visitors browsed through art, toured the house museum and listened to the bluegrass tunes of Keepin’ Fire.
The League is a group of ten painters who paint in the Impressionist and plein air traditions made famous by California artists in the late 19th and early 20th century.
The term “plein air” is French for “open air” and the style of painting stressed that painters move from their studios to work outside, painting nature and buildings as they saw them in natural light.
The show featured art by Foothill Artists League members Jean Tannhauser, Barbara Trevino, Karen Sill, Millie Page, Valery Moorehead, Gail Martin, Karen Horn, Kadija Dada Behary, Desdy Baggott, and Margot Lennartz.
Many of the artists in the League have studied under Lennartz, who is the coordinator and leader of the group.
“This is a group that is glued together and stays together. We critique and stimulate each other. We enjoy our company because we are all friends. We’ve watched each other grow as painters and paint in our own styles,” said Lennartz.
Most of the artists’ paintings showcased the beauty of the San Gabriel Valley with paintings depicting the Colorado Street Bridge, San Gabriel Mountains, Eaton Canyon, La Cañada and Verdugo Foothills.
The ocean and Descanso Gardens inspire the work of Karen Horn. Along with paintings of pastoral landscapes, she showed paintings of the California coastline and a painting of a full harvest moon, which sold at the show.
Kadija Dada Behary’s work differed from the other painters in that she focuses on painting buildings and potted flowers instead of pastoral scenes. “I love architecture, I love documenting where I go,” Dada Behary said. “I considered being an architect when I was younger.”
Like Dada Behary, Karen Sill is also inspired by flowers; many visitors thought Sill’s painting of a Chinese Garden was inspired by the one at the Huntington Botanical Gardens, but it actually depicted a garden outside of Chicago.
As visitors browsed the art work, Jean Tannhauser worked at a painting in the Lanterman House courtyard to demonstrate the plein air style. Later Nancy Klaphak, a painting student of Lennartz won the art raffle, winning a Tannhauser original painting.
“This event takes place every fall at Lanterman House,” said Melissa Patton, executive director of the museum. “It’s a good show for the League in that the house gives them a lovely venue. And it’s good for Lanterman House because it gives us access to people who might not necessarily know about the museum. It’s a really good relationship and we’re looking forward to continuing it.”