Plein Air Painting Weekend Offers Inspiration to Get Outdoors | Arts & Entertainment

Posted on Jun 10, 2021
| 1:20 p.m.

Artists demonstrate their craft at the Art from the Trail Show at the Wildling Museum of Art and Nature

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Kevin Gleason’s work “Fall Colors Ellwood Bluffs”. (Kevin Gleason)

Libby Smith's painting “La Purisima Spring House Aqueduct”.
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Libby Smith’s painting “La Purisima Spring House Aqueduct”. (Libby Smith)

The Wildling Museum of Art and Nature is hosting a Plein Air Painting Weekend from June 26th to 27th from 11am to 2pm with artists Kevin Gleason and Libby Smith. Smith’s demonstration is on Saturday and Gleasons on Sunday.

Smith and Gleason are among 27 local artists in Art From the Trail: Exploring the Natural Beauty of Santa Barbara County, the current exhibit at the Wildling Museum’s Valley Oak Gallery that celebrates the outdoor treasures of the Central Coast’s outdoor treasures.

Smith and Gleason will have live painting demonstrations and give museum visitors a behind-the-scenes look at how artists bring outdoor inspiration to canvas.

A goal of the exhibition, in partnership with Healthy People Healthy Trails and the Santa Barbara County Trails Council, is to promote awareness of the myriad of Santa Barbara County’s hiking trails and to inspire visitors and community members to explore them while promoting healthier lifestyles.

The trails highlighted on the show range from the south coast, Santa Ynez, Santa Maria, and the Lompoc Valley, including trails in Carpinteria Bluffs, Goletas Lake Los Carneros and Ellwood Mesa, La Purisima State Historic Park, and Lake Cachuma.

Direct questions by email [email protected] or call 805-686-8315.

The exhibition is included in the museum admission fee: adults USD 5, children 17 and under have free admission.

Smith was born in Kansas City, Missouri, and grew up in Los Angeles. She moved to Santa Barbara to study at UCSB, where she received a BA and an MFA with a major in drawing.

She taught painting and drawing at Santa Barbara City College for 31 years and the SBCC School of Extended Learning for seven years.

After retiring from teaching in 2016, Smith now mainly works outdoors on landscape painting. She lives in Goleta. Her work can be seen on Instagram: @ libbysmith051.

“My art unites two of my greatest loves: exploring beautiful wild places on foot and drawing with a brush,” says Gleason. “When I’m exploring to set up my easel, I look for a combination of two things – a fascinating natural theme that literally appeals to me mixed with a sense of light and atmosphere that appeals to me emotionally.

“I was lucky enough to grow up literally in my yard in South Lake Tahoe, with miles of wilderness, mountains, lakes, and streams. I then went to college in Santa Barbara and experienced life again in beautiful surroundings, this time with oak forests and the Pacific Ocean.

“In addition to my work as a landscape painter, I teach art at Dos Pueblos High School in Goleta.”

Gleason’s work can be viewed at and on Instagram: @kevingleasonart.

You can find more information about the exhibition at

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