Take a Breath, Take a Brush, Paint

By ALISON ROWE | Special to the Palisadian-Post

Allied Artists of the Santa Monica Mountains and Seashore hosts its first Paint Out of 2018 this Saturday, Jan. 13, at Juan Bautista de Anza Park in Agoura Hills.

It is an organization that combines two passions—the first for figurative art inspired by nature, and the second for the preservation of the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains and seashore.

Susan Flanigan, Aldersgate, 2017
Photo courtesy of Susan Flanigan

And it’s very popular with Palisadian artists who want to experience both nature and art.

The group meets monthly in different nearby locations to draw, paint and enjoy the experience of painting outdoors in nature, known as plein air.

Beginners are welcome, and every Paint Out begins at 9 a.m., with a demonstration of an interesting technique by one of the artist members.

The following time is spent walking and choosing a vista. The artists work uninterrupted—apart from the occasional walker—until 12 p.m., when they reconvene for lunch and to share their work.

However, Allied Artists share much more than lunches and paint recommendations. The organization exhibits regularly and donates 20 percent of sales proceeds to conservation and environmental organizations.

Recent beneficiaries include the National Parks Service, for its continuing stewardship of America’s natural heritage, and the National Wildlife Federation, for its construction of a wildlife bridge over Liberty Canyon.

Russell Hunziker, Will Rogers State Park, 2017.
Photo courtesy of Russell Hunziker

Readers may recall a one-day exhibition and art sale held by the Allied Artists at Village Green in July 2017, which raised funds for the beautification of that little corner of our village.

Palisadian artists Susan Flanigan, Russell Hunziker and Joanne Unger are active supporters of the group taking part in events and exhibitions to bring awareness of the organization and its mission “to promote appreciation of our environment through art and to support conservation and maintenance of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, a place of natural beauty for enjoyment by all.”

The Paint Out is free of charge and open to anyone interested in spending a morning on the trails.

Juan Bautista de Anza Park offers easy access and shade, with grassland, oaks and views of the Malibu Canyon hills.

For more information, visit allied-artists.com.