Blending Creativity With Fellowship, Philanthropy, Appreciation & Conservation

Since 1997, local artists have gathered to enjoy creative expression, friendship and fellowship, share appreciation of the beautiful natural surroundings and support conservation, thanks to the late Malibu resident and artist Pat Ryan, founder of Allied Artists of the Santa Monica Mountains & Seashore, Inc.  

With the official mission “to promote appreciation of our environment through art and to support conservation and maintenance of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area,” the organization comprises approximately 100 members and 21 active artists. Among the group’s activities are monthly en plein air “paint-outs” held the second Saturday of each month in a variety of spectacular locations.

“All of the paintings have to be representational art of the Santa Monica Mountains Recreation Area, which runs from Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades up to Point Mugu State Park in Oxnard,” says Allied Artists board member and artist Russell Hunziker. “It is truly a joy to go out and paint in these extraordinarily scenic areas. We also are supportive of each other and talk about each other’s work in a congenial manner.”

“We try to stay easygoing, but we take our work very seriously and the talent quotient is high,” agrees Allied Artists president, artist Robert Scopinich. “Each of us is trying to capture something magnificent in nature. We come together with this drive—that is what bonds us.”

In addition to the monthly paint-outs, Allied Artists holds member exhibits throughout the year, donating about 20% of sales to conservation organizations, such as the Mountains Restoration Trust, Santa Monica Interagency Visitors Center, California Native Plants Society, Will Rogers Foundation, Wildlife Federation for Wildlife Bridge and Malibu Nature Preserve. 

Several artists from this group will be displaying and selling their beautiful artwork at The Pacific Palisades Village Green Art Show on July 15, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The show will feature only original artwork—no prints or giclees— created by artists using oils, acrylics, watercolors and pastels. Most pieces will be reasonably priced from $100 to $600 and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to The Village Green, a privately funded park in the Palisades that relies on donations and volunteers. 

Thirteen Allied Artists members will also be exhibiting their work in an exhibition entitled, “From the Mountains to the Seashore,” at La Galeria Gitana (120 North Maclay Avenue, Suite E, in San Fernando; through July 27.

The Allied Artists encourage the public to participate in their free paint-outs. The July paint-out will be held on Saturday, July 14 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at Leo Carrillo State Beach in Malibu. The August event is scheduled for Saturday, August 11, at Point Dume Headlands/Westward Beach from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The paint-outs are held during the first half of the day so artists can capture the best light at every location. 

For additional information about Allied Artists events and membership, and to view members’ online artwork portfolios, visit

Membership fees are $40 for individuals; $50 for couples and families; $100 for patron memberships to support the group; and $40 for artists’ portfolios to be displayed on the website.