San Diego Landscapes, Desert Art Center, Joshua Tree Classes, David Greene

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The Smoketree School is indebted to San Diego for the landscape painters who wandered through Ramona and Julian all the way to the desert country.  Two current exhibits at the San Diego History Center offer a chance to get acquainted with our shared heritage. In Landscapes Rediscovered: Depression-era San Diego Paintings, work unseen for 70 years is now on display. While in the collection of the San Diego Unified School District, the paintings had been dinged and exposed to the elements. With all their blemishes, works by artists such as Charles Reiffel and Maurice Braun (both painted the desert) are on view.

Charles Reiffel, Road in the Cuyamacas

A twin exhibit, Creating an Artistic Basis: Local Artist Groups from the Early 20th Century” includes 40 pieces by San Diego’s most famous painters. Braun and Reiffel are here, along with Belle Baranceanu, Edith White and more. Several distinct schools are highlighted including the Great Depression and WPA era and the Point Loma Theosophical School—significant to desert art fans because of Theosophy’s influence on artists such as Agnes Pelton.

Landscapes Rediscovered through November 30, 2012

Creating an Artistic Basis through October 31st, 2012

San Diego History Center

(619) 232-6203

Elaine Mathews, Summer Thunderstorm

In Palm Springs, the venerable Desert Art Center kicks off its season on October 5th, with a Meet the Artists Reception. Founded in 1950, the Center operates as an artists’ co-op and embodies the communal values of the early desert painters.

Desert Art Center Art Opening and Meet the Artists Reception

Friday, October 5, 2012, 6-8 pm

Desert Art Center Gallery

550 N. Palm Canyon Drive
Palm Springs, CA 92262


Esteemed local landscape artist Elaine Mathews again leads the Desert Art Center Paint-Outs for 2012-2013.  In the spirit of the early Smoketree painters, the paint-outs are egalitarian and non-competitive. You don’t even have to be a painter to join in.  Here’s the line-up:

October  4 ,  Lake Hemet

November 1,  Painted Canyon

December  6 , Whitewater Preserve

December 15, Snow Creek

January  3, 2013,   Mission Creek

January  26, Coachella Preserve

February  7,   Indian Canyons

February 23,  Indian Canyons

March 7,   Big Morongo

March 16,  Joshua Tree

March 30,  Sunnylands

April  4,   Living Desert

May  2,   Bogart Park

For information on Desert Art Center paints-outs: or

The Joshua Tree National Park Association continues to nurture new desert artists with its annual series of classes, including plein air painting with Diane McClary and drawing the desert with Diane Best.

For information and a complete listing see:

If you are heading toward 29 Palms and beyond, be sure to see David Greene’s latest efforts in his campaign to conquer the desert night.

Mojave Noir II

The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery

Wonder Valley

Through Sept. 30th

From 29 Palms, head east on Hwy. 62. Gallery is approximately 3.5 miles east from Utah Trail light on the right at Thunder Road.

Hours: Tues-Sunday 1-5 pm.

For more on the artist:

2 comments for “San Diego Landscapes, Desert Art Center, Joshua Tree Classes, David Greene

  1. HI Ann, Hope all is well. Are all of the first mentioned shows in the same place, Balboa Park?

  2. Hi Lou, Yes they are in Balboa Park. There’s also an exhibit on Charles Reiffel (desert painter and “The American Van Gogh”) opening November 10, 2012, at the San Diego Museum of Art–another reason to go to San Diego.


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