“Plein Air” means “open air” and signifies outdoor painting that captures nature’s light. Plein Air painting became famous in France in the 19th century. The invention of paints in tubes enabled impressionist artists, such as Van Gogh and Monet, to paint outdoors, en plein air.

"Not until the late 1860s, with the work of Claude Monet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Camille Pissarro, the leaders of Impressionism, did painting en plein air become more popular. This change came about from 1881, when Monet, in his efforts to capture the true effects of light on the colour of landscape at any given moment, began to carry several canvases at once into the out-of-doors. On each he began a painting of the same subject at a different time of day; on subsequent days, he continued to work on each canvas in succession as the appropriate light appeared."

July 2019

Featured artist: Mary Lou Correia

Reception: TBA


December 2019

Featured artist: Sharon Hind Smith

Reception: TBA

January 2019

Featured artist: Rolando Barrero

Reception: January 19, 3-5

Benicia Plein Air Gallery

307 First Street

Benicia, CA. 94510

Phone number: 707-297-5903

October 2019

Featured artist: Judy Feins

Reception: TBA

November 2019

Featured Artist: JoAnn McMahon

Reception: TBA

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June 2019

Featured Artist Susan Johnson

Reception: TBA

September 2019

Featured Artist: Iris Sabre

Reception: TBA

Visitors since September 2017

March 2019

Featured artist: Joanne Gustilo

Reception: TBA

Samantha McNally

Paintings, Poetry and Prose

December 6 to January 6, 2019

Reception Saturday, December 15 3-5 featuring Ekphrastic Poetry and Prose readings

February 2019 

Featured artist: Catherine Fasciato

Reception: February 16, 3-5

April 2019

Featured Artist: Judith Kunzle

Reception: TBD

May 2019

Featured artist: Stephen Berry

Reception: TBD

August 2019

Featured Artist: Nancy Roberts

Reception TBA

The Benicia First Tuesday Poets and Benicia Literary Arts Authors will read ekphrastic poetry and prose during the reception on December 15, 3-5pm.

Ekphrasis or ecphrasis, comes from the Greek for the description of a work of art produced as a rhetorical exercise, often used in the adjectival form ekphrastic, is a vivid, often dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined. www.benicialiteraryarts.org

Samantha McNally has been painting in watercolor for about 25 years. She is active in the California Watercolor Association and has paintings in both the Benicia Plein Air Gallery and the Valley Art Gallery. Samantha’s favorite subjects are the ocean, sea lions, flowers and Benicia landmarks. During the month of December we have a Christmas Tree filled with original mini paintings for sale as ornaments for the art lovers of Benicia. Samantha will have lots of minis on the tree along with the other Benicia Plein Air Gallery artists’ minis.

November 23 to December 23 

Original mini painting ornaments for sale.

During the month of December, Benicia Plein Air Gallery presents "Winter Light" featuring small affordable paintings by each of the 13 artists. The works in various media interpret the cool quality of light and long shadows of the Season.

Group Exhibit

A year-round exhibit showcases the gallery's artists, refreshed monthly.