Plein Air Art Competition

Welcome Artists!

A Cabin in Big Bear Lake; Artist Diane McClary
Reminiscent of Big Bear’s Maltby Cabin

Celebrating Big Bear’s Cabin Lodging Tradition

Diane McClary - Bio


  • Bachelor of Arts Degree, University of Washington, Seattle, Major: Art Ed., 1966
  • Studied with Ron Lukas, Sergei Bongart, Del Gish, Sonny Apinchapong, Ovanes Berberian


  • Instructor and Demonstrator, Martha Lake Gallery and Studio, and numerous art associations in WA and CA, 1995 to present
  • Instructor: Palm Springs Art Museum
  • Instructor: Frye Art Museum, Seattle 1995
  • Instructor: Puget Sound Art League, City University, Bellevue, WA, 6 years
  • Public school elementary teacher, Bothell, WA. All subjects, art emphasis. 10 years


  • 2012 Exhibition at the LaQuinta Museum, LaQuinta, CA titled "Creativity in the Cove" - painting chosen for poster
    2012 Participated in Plein Air Painting Competition at Lake Arrowhead, CA - Awarded Honorable Mention
    2012 Plein Air Paint El Paseo, by invitation
    2012 Paintings Joshua Tree in Blook and Canterbury Bells commissioned for the Joshua Tree Natioanl Forest Desert catalog
    2012 Painting Palo Verde in Bloom was juried for the Poster to represent the Coachella Wild Flower Festival
    2012 Desertscapes, A Sense of the Place, invitational show of plein air paintings at the College of the Desert, Palm Desert
    2011 Palm Springs Art Museum Artist Council Exhibition
    2011 Desert Activity Guide, "God's Creation" selected for cover
    2011 Art in Bloom at the Palm Springs Art Museum - painted and donated a 24x30 painting of fresh flowers -
    2011 La Quinta Arts Foundation selected Diane's paintings for a benefit art show at Chico's dress shop
    2011 Palm Springs Art museum - painting demonstration and donation of large floral painting to museum
    2011 La Quinta Arts Festival exhibitor - juried into show in the original paintings category
    2011 Selected artist to model and exhibit work, La Quinta Arts Foundation benefit at Chico's, La Quinta
    2010 Wildflower Festival Invitational Exhibit, San Jacinto National Monument Visitor Center
    2010 Borrego Springs Invitational Plein Air Painting & Exhibition, Borrego Springs, CA
    2010 Art Under the Umbrellas, La Quinta, CA
    2010 Southwest Arts Festival, Indio, CA
    2009 Rancho Mirage Art Festival, Rancho Mirage, CA
    2009 Southwest Arts Festival, Indio, CA
    2009 Art Under the Umbrellas, La Quinta, CA
    2009 "Earth, Water, Sky", group exhibition, Borrego Springs, CA
    2009 Wildflower Festival, San Jacinto National Monument visitors Center
    2009 First Place Award, Quick draw Competition, Tukwila, WA, Invitational Plein Air Event
    2008 Commissioner's Choice Award, Federal Way City Hall Competition, Federal Way, WA
    2008 Plein Air Exhibit, La Quinta Art Museum, La Quinta, CA
    2008 Plein Air Exhibition Invitational, Palm Desert Visitor Center
    2008 People's Choice Award, Women Painters of Washington Exhibit, Columbia Center, Seattle, WA
    2007 Blue Heron One-Person Exhibit, Vashon Island, WA - 2007
    2007 Plein Air Artists Exhibition, Mountain Trail Gallery, Palm Desert, CA
    2005 Group Exhibition, Desert Art Collection, Palm Desert, CA
    2004 Paintings from France, Evergreen Fine Art Gallery, Evergreen CO
    2001 Oil Painters of America, Juried Exhibit and Membership, Zantman Galleries, Palm Desert, CA.
    2001 Carpenter Museum, Cle Elum, WA., Individual Exhibit
    2001 Clymer Art Museum, Ellensburg, WA., Individual Exhibit -
    2000 Washington State Convention Center, Seattle; Juried Exhibit
    2000 Millennium Exhibit, Sea-Tac Airport; Juried Exhibit
    2000 Mockingbird Gallery, Bend, OR., Individual Exhibit
    2000 La Quinta (CA) Invitational Plein Air Festival


  • 2009 Demonstrated for art groups at Ironwood Country Club and Marrakech Country Club, Palm Desert, CA
    2009 Demonstrated painting at the Art Center, Palm Springs, CA
    2009 Taught "Drawing with Confidence" at the Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
    2009 Invited to demonstrate for 'Artist in Action', Palm Springs Art Museum, Palm Springs, CA
    August 2009: Plein Air Invitational, Cle Elum, WA.
    June 2009: 1st Place Award, Quick Draw Portrait Painting Competition.
    April 2008: Taught a Still Life and Outdoor Painting workshop in Panama City, FL.
    March 2008: Began a 4-month class, Meet the Masters, for parents and children at 29 Palms Marine Base.
    February 2008: Taught a 1-week Still Life Painting workshop at the Palm Springs Art Museum.
    February 2008: Taught a 2-day plein air painting workshop in La Quinta, CA.
    January 2008: Taught a 2-day plein air painting workshop in La Quinta, CA.
    November 2008: Taught a 2-day Basic Drawing workshop at the Palm Springs Art Museum.
    November 2008: Demonstrated for the United Artists Group in Seattle, WA.
    October 2007: Taught a 3-day workshop on plein air painting for the Plein Air Painters of Washington.
    July 2007: Taught a plein air workshop in Cle Elum, WA.
    July 2005: Taught a plein air painting workshop in Provence, France.
    March 2004: Taught a 3-day workshop at College of the Desert, Palm Desert, CA.
    June 2004: Completed several commissioned works for Sunrise design center, Toscana Homes.
    February 2003: Taught a 1-week painting workshop at the Palm Springs Art Museum.
  • Three trips to France, specifically to visit and paint in Provence and at Monet's gardens at Giverny to further the artist’s experiences in plein air painting.
  • Jan-Apr, 2001: Invited by the following artist groups to lecture and demonstrate at their premises: Mercer Island Art League, Sky Valley Artists Guild, Artists United, and the Seattle League of Arts.
  • Jan-Mar, 2001: At the Clymer Art Museum (Ellensburg, WA) along with her solo exhibition of oil paintings, the artist presented lectures on the French, Russian, and world-wide Impressionist painting movement, with an emphasis on how these artists had influenced her work. She also did an outdoor painting demonstration on painting snow scenes and indoor demonstrations on color harmony.


  • Oil Painters of America (OPA)
  • Women Painters of Washington(WPW)
  • Plein Air Painters of Washington
  • The California Art Club

The Arts Council of Big Bear Valley, in partnership with Visit Big Bear, the City of Big Bear Lake and the Big Bear Theatre Project, presents Big Bear’s Inaugural Plein Air Art Competition. We invite artists to experience the quiet of a Big Bear September with the grace of time to explore and create. Visit Big Bear any time during the entire month of September 2024. Visit once and submit your final Big Bear landscape or return as you wish. We're excited for artists to share their landscape of choice "en plein air Big Bear”


Festival Schedule

September: Create! Artists have the entire month to paint and submit their chosen landscape of Big Bear.
October 10-12:
Show! Submitted artwork is displayed at the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center located at 39707 Big Bear Blvd.
October 13:
Celebrate! Awards Ceremony at 11 AM at the Big Bear Lake Performing Arts Center. Two Comp Tickets per artist

For additional information please contact or call 909-375-1805.


1st Prize - $2000
2nd Prize - $1500
3rd Prize - $500

Plus one artist will receive the Diane McClary People's Choice Award; $2000

Read Full Rules & Release of Liability

Subsidized Lodging for Artists

Out-of-town contestants can take advantage of lodging subsidies to make traveling to Big Bear an affordable opportunity to explore, create and submit your artwork.

Subsidized Lodging