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Five San Diego Impressionist Artists You Need to Know

San Diego is a hotbed for impressionist artists. If you’re looking to add some new and interesting artwork to your home, look no further than these five talented San Diegans who specialize in oil on canvas or wood engravings! With works that range from landscapes of the Southern California desert landscape all the way up to the Big Sur coastline–you’ll be sure to find something perfect among these five artists.

1. Jeff Yeomans

Wind and Sea by impressionist artist Jeff Yeomans
Wind and Sea – Jeff Yeomans

Southern California has a unique vibe all its own. L.A. is distinctly auto dynamic, cutting edge, hurried and sophisticated.  Orange County refines this scene as urban hillsides descend into polished landscapes and coastal settings. By the time you find yourself south of Camp Pendleton, the emotional experience of beach town Americana becomes evident and relaxed. Jeff Yeomans captures this feel perfectly in his impressionist paintings.  Although his work is often categorized as San Diego-centric, Yeomans’ talent for capturing light and atmosphere elevates his pieces beyond simple genre labeling. His scenes of San Diego are colorful representations of the iconic landmarks and landscapes that make this corner of America so special.

Whether you’re a longtime local or just visiting, these paintings are sure to evoke memories of your time spent in SoCal. If you’re interested in purchasing one of Jeff Yeoman’s pieces, be sure to visit his website or gallery showings. You won’t be disappointed!

2. Claudia Verciani

Big Sur by impressionist artist Claudia Verciani
Big Sur – Claudia Verciani

Do you love the exquisiteness of impressionist paintings? If so, you’ll enjoy the work of Claudia Verciani. This San Diego artist by way of Brazil is heavily inspired by the great impressionists like Monet and Renoir, and her paintings reflect that influence. Verciani’s use of light and color will transport you to different worlds with each piece she creates. Her style is soft. She uses paint to describe the beauty of life. While Jeff Yeomans finds joy in human behavior and nostalgia, Claudia Verciani finds inspiration in daily observations of the world around her. If you’re lucky enough to live in the area, be sure to check out her latest works at La Playa Gallery.

3. Mac Hillenbrand

Torrey Pines by impressionist artist Mac Hillenbrand
Torrey Pines – Mac Hillenbrand

Mac Hillenbrand is a San Diego original. Mac uses the ancient art of marquetry to set impressionistic ocean settings. He carves out layers of wood to create beautiful beach landscapes and scenes. His work is intricate and detailed, and it’s easy to get lost in the beauty of his pieces. Mac’s art is inspired by San Diego creatures and beach scenes. He strives to capture the essence of his subjects in each piece by way of inlay. If you’re looking for something that is truly a unique impressionist work of art, be sure to check out Mac’s work! You won’t be disappointed. Mac’s style is the result of years of study at the American School of French Marquetry.

4. Cathy Carey

The Golden Suns of Treasure Island by impressionist artist Cathy Carey
The Golden Suns of Treasure Island – Cathy Carey

Cathy Carey is a well-known and much-loved San Diego area impressionist painter. She is known for her beautiful, colorful paintings of landscapes, seascapes, and still life. Her work is enjoyed by art collectors around the world as Cathy takes impressionism to a heightened level by using bright colors to portray realistic movement. In this way, she captures the heart and character of the subject. Her love of color and light comes through in every painting she creates.

If you’re lucky enough to live near San Diego, you can see her work firsthand at La Playa Gallery in La Jolla Shores, which carries original Cathy Carey paintings. If not, look online – her paintings are sure to brighten up your day!  If you’re a fan of San Diego area art and are looking for something new and different to add the joy of color to your interior settings you should look at Cathy Carey’s impressionist paintings.

5. Kay Kaplan

Palm Springs by impressionist artist Kay Kaplan
Palm Springs – Kay Kaplan

Are you an art buyer in the San Diego area? If so, you’ll want to check out the work of Kay Kaplan. Kay’s paintings are the result of 15 years of in-depth study and exploration of different painting techniques. She began selling her paintings in coffee shops and small galleries.  Her motivation to improve her style and subject matter is truly impressive as her newest paintings are stunning. She has pivoted away from the beach and now captures fine desert scenes.  You should see these paintings firsthand. Kay has studied under several of San Diego’s finest art teachers and it shows. She captures the quiet night sky desert, the heat of the day desert, and the hill scape desert eloquently.

Don’t miss the two-women show entitled “Grasping the Moment” featuring Kay Kaplan and Claudia Verciani now through the end of August at La Playa Gallery in La Jolla Shores.    


Impressionist painters represent a relatively short-lived movement between 1869-1900 that sought to move away from the traditional subject matter. It’s worth noting that impressionism had an enormous influence on later movements like post-impressionism, fauvism, and cubism. In other words, without these groundbreaking painters, the world of art would look very different today. So next time you’re admiring a beautiful painting, remember that it’s thanks in part to impressionist artists who use their time and talent to capture moments of fleeting beauty that give rise to our opportunities to add inspiration to our lives.

La Playa Gallery is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays and by appointment on weekends. Go to www.laplayagallery.com to learn more. La Playa Gallery is located at 2226 Avenida De La Playa, La Jolla, CA 92037. Phone 858-454-6903. Commissioned works and all purchase decisions can be arranged through Nicole. Local delivery is available.

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