|THE CALIFORNIA PLEIN AIR COLORIST TRADITION
By Sarah Bessara, Editor, The Plein Air Scene, Monthly Newsletter (Continued)
|Pam Glover, c1990
Oil on Canvas, 20x24
|The Third Generation
A decade later, in 1983, founding Outsider mem-ber Jerrold Turner was converted to plein air painting in much the same way the Six were struck by the Impressionists at the Panama Pacific Exhibition. An exhibit of Selden Gile's paintings in Walnut Creek changed the course of Turner's painting career.
"I met Peter Brown in 1983 during the Selden Gile show at the Walnut Creek Civic Art Gallery which Peter curated. I couldn't stop coming to see those incredible little plein air gems of Gile who was the spiritual leader of the Society of Six. It seemed like I'd seen them all before in my dreams. Peter introduced me to Terry St. John and Lundy Siegriest, and I started painting with them - also with Pam Glover and Paul Carey (Maurice Logan's business partner) and a small dedicated plein air art group. The audience for contemporary plein air painting hadn't taken off yet. Even Terry and Lundy weren't selling many works then.
It was after the 1984 retrospective show of Lundy and his father Louis Siegriest at that same Walnut Creek gallery that things changed. The art world got a chance to see work of the last surviving member of the Society of Six and his son Lundy who died a few weeks before this show. People started to buy those new plein air paintings of Northern California, including mine."
In the years that followed, the Civic Arts Gallery in Walnut Creek, with Outsider member Warren Dreher curating and the William Sawyer Gallery in San Francisco promoted the new plein air painters through group shows. Eventually, a whole new generation of plein air painters was spawned when Pam Glover and Jerrold Turner began teaching dozens of students who flocked to their workshops. Glover has taught plein air painting at the Orinda Art Center for the past 15 years. Her students, some 25 of them, have spun off into their own group - The Glover Group - and exhibit together throughout the East Bay. Their paintings depict the historic towns and rural back roads of the East Bay.
Thus, a tradition which began in the 19th Century is undergoing a renaissance at the beginning of the 21st. Plein air painters like the Outsiders and others are capturing a disappearing California in paint for future generations.
|"Terry St. John at Diablo," c1980
Oil on Board, 12x16
|"China Camp," c1990
Oil on Board, 16x24
|"Northern California Scene," c1980
Lundy Siegriest (1925-1985)
Oil on Board, 12x16