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Painting the Lost Coast

The five-day plein air event includes prizes, workshops, and a Quick Draw at the Benbow Inn.

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    THAT BEAUTIFUL BALANCE: Keeping a special spot wild and remote and in its peaceful, nature-a-riffic state is the work of many people around the Golden State. But it can be a challenging task. On the one hand you want those out-of-the-way locations to stay as out-of-the-way-ish as possible, where they may remain very much themselves. And yet making them known, to spread the notion of their beauty, is the flipside, and also important work, because the more experience people have with such beauty, the more protections can slide into place. It's a balance, and one that the communities in and around The Lost Coast strike very well. There are welcoming events, like the springtime Tour of the Unknown Coast, and an early fall plein air happening, which invites painters to set up their easels in some of the sweetest empty stretches of the state. But such every-now-and-then events enhance the protective relationship between humans and place. Take Plein Air at the Lost Coast, which rolls out over the first five days in October. Artists will use brush and oil (or acrylic or watercolor) to capture the softness that is this wild space, and, fingers crossed, those paintings will spread out to spread the Lost Coast love. Are you handy with a canvas and love you some remote spectacularness? Head up 'round Southern Humboldt for a...

    PLEIN AIR HAPPENING: The Shelter Cove Arts and Recreation Foundation oversees the affair, which will include workshops if painters need a touch-up on their talents and nature walks and a free concert and a Quick Draw contest at the Historic Benbow Inn. And, indeed, lots and lots of outdoor painting, and the participants' subjects? The sky, the water, the shoreline, and all of that pristine wonder that makes up the section of California that pretty much, hands down, rules in the romantic name department. We mean, if you were to tell your pals back home that you spent several days painting the Lost Coast, they'll think you stepped from the pages of a novel. Whether you want to wear a puffy-shouldered poet's shirt, or rhapsodize on the state of man and nature while you paint, is up to you.