Over a hundred years ago, landscape artists from the East Coast migrated to California for the light.  The colors of our ocean and landscapes were vivid, the atmosphere was different; it was the land of sunshine.  With this migration, the artists called the movement “California Impressionism.”  It was a romantic time, experiencing and documenting California in its early history.  Years later, another movement emerged in the tradition of the “Early California Impressionist.”   Like their contemporaries, they painted out in the open air, en plein air as the French put it, documenting the beauty of California.

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I first met the owners of Roger’s Gardens when we worked together with Joan Irvine Smith on an art event. Joan Irvine Smith is one of the key figures and driving forces in creating the plein air art movement of this era. I like to think of her as The Queen of Orange County, if there was one.

Dorothy painting 2-13

A “Day of Art” at Roger’s Gardens has been an idea germinating for a while now.  Roger’s Gardens has hosted several art shows in the past and have always supported the arts.  Roger’s Gardens is the perfect location for inspiring artists to paint and display their work throughout the gardens for the public to view.

Day of Art, 2-2-13 (97)

For our first “Day of Art” we opened our doors to all artists of different mediums to experience Roger’s Gardens for the day.  During this “Paint Out”, plein air painters worked in oils and pastels along with watercolorists from the Botanical Artists Guild of Southern California.  It was an inclusive day involving both artists and the public with art activities throughout the day.  Our first go of it went so well we had to do it again, but better.

Day of Art, 2-2-13 DD 1

We will be branching out for our second “Day of Art” with focus on the 50 artists painting on the grounds.  The plein air painters will paint from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM, at that time they will slip their very wet painting into a ready to hang frame and have it displayed.  The watercolorists will paint something from the gardens earlier to also be placed on display.  These paintings will be shown in the gardens and available for sale for the remainder of the weekend.

Day of Art, 2-2-13 Pastel Workshop

Artists love the opportunity to paint in beautiful surroundings and have their artwork viewed and appreciated.  Our guests will get the chance to meet and chat with the artists and watch their work develop from start to finish.  Who knows where this will all lead? The art seedlings have sprouted and are taking root in our community.

Day of Art, 2-2-13 BS 1

Day of Art, 2-2-13 BS

To add to the excitement of the day, we will also have an artist opening reception for Brian Blood in our art gallery from 4 to 6 PM.  Brian Blood is one of our six permanent artists on exhibit throughout the year.  May 25th will commence the first of our six Summer Solo Exhibits. The solo exhibits will spotlight the recent work of each Featured Artists for 16 days throughout the Summer. With each of the six opening dates, the public will have the opportunity to celebrate with the artist and see first hand their new exhibit from 4 to 6 PM.

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Please check our website for opening dates and times.  Come spend a “Day of Art” at Roger’s Gardens on May 25th!


Theresa Marino

Fine Art Gallery Manager