Libby Smith, “Measuring Stick, Alder Creek,” gouache, 4 x 6 inches

Six outdoor painters recently undertook an amazing project combining plein air and conservation surrounding the Santa Ynez River Watershed in Santa Barbara County, California. They call themselves “Rose-Compass,” and their work results will soon be on view here.

On February 17, 2018, the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature in Solvang, California, will open a great exhibition and cause titled “The River’s Journey.” The show represents the culmination of efforts by six local artists to tell the story and challenges of the Santa Ynez River and Watershed. Calling themselves Rose-Compass, the six artists were aligned geographically and around the medium of gouache. Among them are Nicole Strasburg, Holli Harmon, Connie Connally, Pamela Zwehl-Burke, Libby Smith, and Nina Warner.

Connie Connally, “Snowy Egret,” gouache, 4 x 6 inches
Pamela Zwehl-Burke, “SYR at Buelton, Deep Drought,” gouache, 7 x 5 inches
Nina Warner, “Paradise Camp,” gouache, 3 x 5 inches
Nicole Strasburg, “Flume, Alder Creek,” gouache, 5-1/2 x 3 inches
Holli Harmon, “Path to Red Rock,” gouache, 4 x 4 inches

According to the group, “Locally, we have all been touched in some manner by the long-term and continuing drought in the Santa Barbara region. While somewhat relieved by the winter rains of 2016/17, the drought likely will be continuing and as of late summer 2017, Lake Cachuma — which provides water for Santa Barbara and other communities — is already under 50 percent capacity and dropping.”

The museum added, “Each artist has their distinct creative points of view, but the medium of gouache and the watershed united them.”

The exhibition will continue through July 9, 2018. To learn more, visit the Wildling Museum of Art & Nature.

This article was featured in PleinAir Today, a weekly e-newsletter from PleinAir magazine. To start receiving PleinAir Today for free, click here.

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