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GARDEN SURROUNDINGS: Plein Air Artists In The Garden

By Francesca Filanc, for Let’s Talk Plants! June 2024.

If you like to paint, you might think about painting in your garden, or inviting friends over to paint in your garden.

Plein Air Artists in the Garden

What is Plein Air Painting? | According to Artists Network - "Plein air painting is about leaving the four walls of your studio behind and experiencing painting and drawing in the landscape. The practice goes back for centuries but was truly made into an art form by the French Impressionists."
Francesca Filanc plein air painting in her own beautiful garden.

A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of hosting a group of plein air painters from the Rancho Santa Fe Art Guild to my garden.

Eight lovely women, all excellent artists, enjoyed painting in various parts of the garden. It was surprising to me the areas that they chose to paint. In some cases, because these artists are so good with composition, they chose spots I wouldn’t have thought to choose to paint.

One gal painted a beautiful painting of the entryway. Another gal painted part of the house and front of the garden. Another gal painted the initial stages of a painting at the bottom of my garden, looking up. Another lady set up her easel on the grass and painted looking towards the garden. I sat in front and painted flowers in the garden.

My neighbor thought this was so cool that she invited us to paint at her house on another day, and they all came back this week and painted in my neighbor’s front yard. 

What lovely days they were painting with these ladies.

Some of the women sketched their painting and finished it at home. Others finished their paintings in the garden. 

Our gardens can give so much joy and pleasure in so many ways. From eating meals by oneself or entertaining family and friends and communing with nature. A girlfriend was over the other day and showed me the bird app that she has on her phone.

It is so much fun to identify birds through his or her song and playing their calls back draws the birds closer. I was sitting on a swing in the garden the other day and the birds were flying back and forth through the hedges, trees, and shrubs to a fountain reacting to hearing their songs coming from the phone.

If you like to paint, you might think about painting in your garden, or inviting friends over to paint in your garden or do some other creative project with your children and grandchildren. Making lavender wands is one idea. One could sculpt and work with clay in the garden. There are so many wonderful ways to use our garden and it’s wonderful to listen to the birds as they move from shrubs to trees to flowers. Just sitting in the garden enjoying the beauty can give us such joy.

Happy Gardening,

~ Francesca

Whether she is painting indoors or out, the garden is endless inspiration for fine art painter Francesca Filanc.


Artist, author, photographer, fly-fisher woman, Francesca Filanc grew up in old Del Mar and these days lives, paints and gardens in historic Olivenhain with her two dogs.

Find her art and writings here:

She can be found on social media:

Have gardening questions or want to learn more about Francie’s art? Contact:


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