Edgar Payne, “Rugged Peaks,” oil, 50 x 50 inches

J. Bond Francisco, Edgar Payne, Paul Lauritz, and William Wendt are among the blockbuster artists represented during the Irvine Museum’s current exhibition “Moods of California,” which explores seven unique ecological regions of the Golden State.

Any lover, admirer, or collector of plein air or landscape painting should plan on viewing the Irvine Museum’s current exhibition “Moods of California.” On view now through February 8, 2018, the exhibition explores seven distinct ecological regions of California as viewed through the eyes of some of the state’s most championed landscape painters.

J. Bond Francisco, “Scrub Oaks,” oil, 26 x 34 inches

The regions in focus include the North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast, Shasta-Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Central Valley, and Desert. Via the exhibition webpage, “John Bond Francisco (1863-1931) was recognized as the best painter in Los Angeles at the turn of the twentieth century. Known for his tonal views of the San Gabriel Mountains, ‘Scrub Oaks’ shows the landscape under a threatening sky, perhaps just prior to a thunderstorm.

Paul Lauritz, “Mountain Silence,” 1923, oil, 40 x 50 inches

“Edgar Payne (1883-1947) is immediately identifiable by his numerous paintings of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. ‘Rugged Peaks’ is an imposing work painted in his studio using a number of on-the-spot plein air sketches as the basis for this large painting. By contrast, Payne’s ‘Sycamore in Autumn,’ painted in what is now Irvine Park in 1916, is an intimate study of light and color in the shade of a giant sycamore tree.

William Wendt, “Arcadian Hills,” 1910, oil, 40 x 55 inches

“Norwegian-born Paul Lauritz (1889-1975) also fell under the spell of the Sierra Nevada range and painted ‘Mountain Silence’ in 1922. His ‘Poinsettias’ is a more delicate rendition of the scarlet blossoms, painted against an adobe wall at the old Mission San Juan Capistrano.

William Wendt, “The Old and the New,” 1925, oil, 25 x 30 inches

“William Wendt (1865-1946) produced a significant number of views of Southern California. His majestic ‘Arcadian Hills,’ painted in 1910, shows an invigorating spring landscape in the Santa Monica Mountains, just north-west of Los Angeles. ‘The Old and the New’ is set near San Luis Obispo, not far from the ‘Nine Sisters,’ a series of ancient volcanic outcrops.

“The exhibition includes scenes of the Arroyo Seco, San Diego County, Monterey, the Central Valley, the Mojave Desert, Yosemite Valley and other picturesque parts of California.”

To learn more, visit the Irvine Museum.

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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Editor PleinAir Today, Andrew Webster
Andrew Webster is the Editor of Plein Air Today and works as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.

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