Plein Air Painting Classes at the Cove this Summer

Every summer, Crystal Cove hosts Plein-Air painting classes at Cottage #13 with an instructor, giving beginning painters the opportunity to participate in a nearly 100-year-old tradition at Crystal Cove. Debbie Morines was one such participant in our classes, and eventually went on to be featured in one of our Art Shows! Here is her experience:

I was looking to take some painting classes, so I searched online and found that Crystal Cove was offering Plein Air classes during the summer. Being a full-time teacher, my time during the summer is more flexible. I signed up for one class and I loved it, I was hooked!  I loved that the classes were geared towards beginners, that was me! I loved that all the supplies were included, as I had nothing. The price was so reasonable too! All the supplies, a lesson, a beautiful location…what more could you ask for! I signed up, packed my lunch, loaded up my sunscreen and showed up. I met some wonderful classmates and enjoyed the entire process. A day at beautiful Crystal Cove, my toes in the sand, a brush in my hand, the sound of the waves, a pause to watch some dolphins swim by…what a beautiful classroom to learn in! I then signed up for as many as I could that summer. The following summer I did the same thing!

Alan Nowell was my teacher. I can honestly say that his encouraging words catapulted my enthusiasm and desire to learn as much as I could. He was positive, not only with me but every student in the group.  He explained things step by step. From toning the canvas, mixing a color, analyzing the horizon line, how to hold the brush, the many colors in the sand, I soaked it all up. I never noticed how many colors of green in the world there were until I started painting. When the summer classes ended, I looked for more classes to keep learning. I eventually took workshops from some of the greatest artists in our area, many who had their pieces hanging in the Crystal Cove Store. I read, I studied paintings, I practiced as much as I could. I still do all those things. I invested in my own gear, professional grade paints, an easel, brushes (did I say I was hooked?). There’s so much to learn. Practice, practice, practice.

I had a dream of maybe someday having one of my paintings hanging in the Crystal Cove Store. I knew that every year there was an application process. There are a lot of incredible artists who do wonderful paintings of Crystal Cove, but I wanted to try. When I learned of the Plein Air Show application process, I applied. You cannot imagine the thrill of finding out that I had a piece accepted into the show! I was so excited! This was where I first learned to paint, where the love of Plein Air got me. The night of the show I was so excited to have my piece hanging amongst some of the most beautiful art from well-known artists! What a thrill! Of course, I let Alan Nowell know too. After all, remember, he was the first instructor I had, and I knew he would be happy as well and proud too, just as I am proud of my students in school when they work hard, practice, do their best, persevere and master a task. By the way, Alan still teaches at Crystal Cove, and if you have any desire to learn, you should sign up for a class, you just may get hooked too!

Someday, perhaps, I can teach a Plein Air class at Crystal Cove, my hope would be to inspire someone, like I was inspired, to begin a wonderful journey in art!

We have plenty of classes left, though they are starting to sell out. So sign up today! We look forward to seeing you there!


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