We were recently introduced to the gorgeous plein air art of Jeremy Harper and we immediately fell in love with his brush work, colors and of course Central Coast subject matter. Harper was raised in the beautiful Santa Barbara where he developed his artistic ability attending local art schools. As his talent grew he went on to attend the San Francisco Art Institute and graduated with a degree in the fine arts.
Harper's impressionistic oil paintings are incredibly unique and capture the majestic atmosphere of the landscapes they represent. He surrounds himself with the subject, painting each piece outdoors in the midst of the landscape, a practice referred to as "plein air painting." Unlike referencing a photograph or a still image of their subject in the studio, plein air artists are influenced by the constant movement and natural change of the environment.
Artists have long painted outdoors, but in the mid-19th century, working in natural light became particularly important to the Barbizon school, Hudson River School, and Impressionists. The popularity of painting en plein air increased in the 1840s with the introduction of paints in tubes, where previously, painters made their own paints by grinding and mixing dry pigment powders with linseed oil. The act of outdoor painting from observation has been continually popular well into the 21st century with artists like Jeremy Harper.
With each piece Harper continues this long practiced and skillful tradition of plein air painting and creates a stunning visualization that captures the beauty of our iconic California coastline.