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Plein Air painting
Why hike? Just collect plein air paintings like this one by Kevin Yuen.

As you may remember from that college art history class, plein air painting--aka painting outdoors--has long been a Cali tradition. (Recall the artistic stylings of William Wendt, anyone?)

While you can spend thousands on long-dead masters, today?s plein air painters sell their art inexpensively online. Works are available for a few hundred bucks--and if you search around, some sell for much less. Many artists even sell them pre-framed, ready to class up your gallery wall. 

Vibrant vistas Have a white, modern room that needs a pop of color? Jose Trujillo?s bright slashes of robin's-egg skyline and electric-green hills are energizing. Smaller paintings go for as little as $40. 

Classic coastline Traditional decor calls for a dusky piece to add gravitas. Painter Kevin Yuen?s soft tones please many tastes (that means yours as well as your mother-in-law?s). Priced $20 and up according to size, these pre-framed paintings would be great to commemorate a trip to the coast or Joshua Tree.

Surrealist sunrises  Kevin Inman specializes in miniatures; his vivid color-blocked 4 x 6 paintings ($75) of Laguna?s sparkling coastline and the San Diego hills would look striking on a tabletop easel.

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