TORREY PINES STATE NATURAL RESERVE — More than 100 plein-air painters, and other artists, will dot the trails and overlooks at Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve the weekend of May 5 and May 6 to capture images of the magnificent panorama.
The public is invited to share in the third annual Art in the Pines festival sponsored by the Torrey Pines Natural Reserve Docent Society and the Torrey Pines Association. The event is free and begins at 10 a.m. each day, ending at 5 p.m. on Saturday and 4 p.m. on Sunday.
“Plein air” is a French term meaning “open air,” a method of painting that became popular in the 19th century in Europe and the United States with the introduction of pre-mixed oil pigments and Pochade boxes, which made it easy for artists to carry compact easels, palettes and paint boxes outdoors. The method also allowed artists to take advantage of natural light.
California plein-air became popular in the San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California at the beginning of the 20th century.
Del Mar resident Joan Grine became interested in plein air 30 years ago, and today is a teacher.
“The French impressionists painted many of their beautiful landscapes ‘en plein air,’” she said. “I like it because it is much more effective than painting from a photo because you can see more detail when you are out on location, particularly in darker areas.”
Architect Jeffrey Field took up plein-air painting about five years ago. This is his third year at Art in the Pines.
“It’s a treat to be included in the juried event, and a great venue,” he said. “It’s very challenging, almost a contest, to see if you can capture the light, or remember it, before it changes. I move around from the cliffs and scrub oak to the lagoon and beach.”
Some artists, like Grine, will be painting while manning their booths.
“People ask questions about the process and how I use pastels,” she said. “Sometimes I’ll do a demonstration.”
Art in the Pines features fine, juried original art and an awards ceremony. Plein-art paintings, pastels, drawings, sculpture, ceramics and photography will be available for sale in a broad price range.
Other attractions include artist booths, expert demonstrations in several artistic mediums, children’s nature and art activities, guided nature walks and tours of the historic Torrey Pines Lodge.
Live music will be provided by Joe Marillo (mellow saxophone), Minerva String Quartet (classical) and Endangered Speciez (contemporary jazz).
Espresso Urbano will offer coffee, smoothies and brownies. Lucy’s Party Time Taco will serve up tacos, salads, hamburgers and hot dogs.
“Last year Art in the Pines was only for one day,” co-organizer Cindy Wollaeger said. “It was so successful that we decided to double the opportunity to see the Torrey Pines Reserve.”
Proceeds from the festival will benefit Children’s Nature Education, a model program that serves 4,000 children in San Diego County every year with an outdoor experience that is tied to the school curriculum.
“We hike and talk to the children about the reserve,” said Wollaeger, a docent with the children’s program. “Topics include the Kumeyaay Indians, whales, the ecosystem, the food chain and the habitat. Art in the Pines also benefits the Junior Ranger program.”
A free shuttle will run from the reserve’s north beach and south beach parking lots. Lot parking is available at $10 per car or with a valid annual pass. Guests are encouraged to walk to the event, which takes approximately 15 minutes uphill from the south parking lot.
Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is located at 12600 North Torrey Pines Road. From I-5, exit on Carmel Valley Road and drive west for about 1.5 miles till Highway 101. Turn left and proceed along the beach for about a mile. The park entrance is on the right just before the highway begins to climb the Torrey Pines grade.
For more information, visit artinthepines.org, email AITP@torreypine.org or call (858) 755-2063. For information about Joan Grine’s plein air classes, visit joangrine.com, e-mail email@example.com or call (858) 481-8783. Jeffrey Field’s art can be viewed at jeffreyolsenfield.com.