Ventura Land Trust presents July Plein Air Painting Workshop at Harmon Canyon Preserve

Ventura Land Trust broadens its public program offerings with an Artist-Led Plein Air Painting Workshop on Saturday, July 9th at 8:00 am at Harmon Canyon Preserve. Artists Debra Holladay, Laura Wambsgans, and Marian Fortunati will offer instruction for beginner and experienced artists on how to capture Harmon Canyon’s natural landscape through composition, form, color, and paint handling.

Participants will receive instruction as a group and one-on-one. Group discussion will allow painters to learn from one another. Ventura Land Trust staff will join the workshop to share elements of Harmon Canyon Preserve’s natural and cultural history.

Painting en plein air, the French expression for “in the open air,” is the act of leaving the walls of a studio and painting in the outdoors. Artists explore how to paint form and light, with its changing, ephemeral qualities, with portable paints and easel.

Plein air painting allows me to focus and interact in real time to understand and learn about a place,” says workshop leader Debra Holladay. “Experiencing the light, color, sound, smell, temperature, and touch magnifies and records my experience through paint.”

One of the most rewarding aspects of working en plein air is seeing things you’ve never noticed before, like the color of dry grass or a fleeting neon edge where light bends or reflects. I hope to share that aspect of seeing and how to translate it into paint with participants of the workshop, in addition to a basic approach to transforming a blank canvas into a painting.”

The workshop is $20 for Ventura Land Trust members and $30 for non-members. Participants can view a fill list of suggested painting supplies and register for the workshop at

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