Andy Evansen, “Going to the Opening,” watercolor on paper, 13 x 18 inches

The Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) is overjoyed to have just opened a stellar exhibition dedicated to transparent watercolors. It’s in collaboration with the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation for the Arts and CURATE Fine Art, and you won’t want to miss this!

Opened on May 13 with an exciting reception, the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association is hosting “Waterworks,” a fantastic collection of more than 40 original paintings on view at the Forest & Ocean Gallery in Laguna Beach. Of the original artworks on view, many are by members of LPAPA, and both studio and plein air works are featured. Also on view will be a selection of historical paintings by Joe Hanks Van Cleave from the family’s private collection, including her portrait by Elma Reynolds, circa 1955.

Cindy Baron, “Peaceful Dawn,” watercolor on paper, 12 x 12 inches (First Place)

“Transparent watercolors offer unique challenges for the plein air artist to overcome,” suggests Rosemary Swimm, LPAPA’s executive director. “They are particularly challenging and much more susceptible to outdoor elements. When we were approached by the foundation with the idea for this show, we were very excited, and our artists were equally excited and have presented us with some amazing artwork. We plan to make this one of our special expanded shows presented annually.” In fact, LPAPA has an expanded online-gallery show for “Waterworks” available through

Barbara Tapp, “Daily Walk,” watercolor on paper, 7 x 15 inches (Second Place)
Tom Swimm, “Crystal Memories,” watercolor on paper, 11 x 14 inches (Third Place)

It’s quite exciting to see the partnership between LPAPA and the Joe Hanks Van Cleave Foundation. Founded in 2014 in memory of the artist, the foundation both supports individually and collaborates with established charitable organizations in the education and art of plein air watercolors. “Joe’s work tells the story of her family life, travels, her local community, and the architecture and landscapes of California and the Southwest,” says Kirsten Hermstad, founder of CURATE Fine Art. “She showed regularly in Laguna Beach, at the Laguna Beach Art Association Gallery, and the Laguna Art Museum from 1957-1969.”

Larry Cannon, “Irresistible Force,” watercolor on paper, 10 x 14 inches (Honorable Mention)
Hans Groeneveld, “Florence Tuscany,” watercolor on paper, 14 x 10 inches (Honorable Mention)

Proceeds from sales will benefit the artists and the nonprofit Laguna Plein Air Painters Association. Among others, works by the following are included in the show: Larry Cannon, William Crawley, Rick J. Delanty, Frank Eber, Linda Gunn, Wendy Li-Bertrams, Rolf Lygren, Pete Roberts, Robin Purcell, Robin Rogers Cloud, Bonnie Joy Sedlak, Jeff Sewell, David Solomon, Tom Swimm, Barbara Tapp, Durre Waseem, Cindy Baron, Andy Evansen, Thomas Jefferson Kitts, Susan Lynn, Hans Groeneveld, and Georgia Mansur.

Thomas Jefferson Kitts, “Centro Historico, Mexico City,” watercolor on paper, 5 x 7 inches (Best Plein Air Watercolor)
Joe Hanks Van Cleave, “Crescent Bay,” 1962, watercolor on paper

During the opening reception, held May 13, a few artists were honored with awards as well. LPAPA Signature Artist Cindy Baron’s gorgeous watercolor “Peaceful Dawn” took first place. Close behind her was LPAPA artist Barbara Tapp, whose painting “Daily Walk” was awarded second place. Third place was awarded to LPAPA artist Tom Swimm for his painting “Crystal Memories.

Linda Gunn, “Palms,” watercolor on paper, 16 x 18 inches
Hans Groeneveld, “Amsterdam Harbour,” watercolor on paper, 14 x 11 inches

LPAPA Signature Artist Thomas Jefferson Kitts was honored with Best Plein Air Watercolor for his work titled “Centro Historico, Mexico City.” Two other artists received honorable mentions: LPAPA Signature artist Larry Cannon for “Irresistible Force,” and Hans Groeneveld for his work titled “Florence Tuscany.”


  1. We’ll be visiting August 28-31st and looking to hire an artist for private lessons for 4, if you know anyone interested.

    Watercolors, pastels, and acrylic painting.

    Thank you,


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