Public Art Project - Downtown Utility Boxes

From left:  Patti St. Denis and Renaye Johnson (CAA Board), Lynn Koellermeier (Signature d-Sign), Justin Ezell (City of Concord), Susan Pace-Koch (CAA Board)

We're so proud and excited to formally announce a new community collaboration between CAA and the City of Concord - we're painting and vinyl-wrapping eleven utility boxes around Todos Santos Plaza with local artists' work. Visit our Call for Artists page for all the details.

Artists who are planning to submit their work tour the Plaza to look at the utility boxes

We recently hosted an Artist Orientation at the Plaza to take a walking tour to see the boxes and familiarize interested artists with the project's criteria. We had a great turnout and we're looking forward to seeing everyone's submissions!

The artist registration period will be April 20, 2019 through May 10, 2019. Visit our Call for Artists page to review all the details.


Our trip to Old Borges Ranch

It was a gorgeous day for our first plein air outing at Old Borges Ranch! We had a great time basking in the beautiful sunshine and painting the beauty around us.

We were welcomed by an assortment of barnyard animals, deer roaming the lush green hills and historic subjects to photograph, paint and enjoy. 

Our next outing will be on Friday, April 12 at Heather Farms in Walnut Creek. Meet us at the gazebo at 10am.

Click here to download our 2019 Plein Air Schedule.

March Mini Art Show

1st place - Sirens & Sardines by Michele Brown

2nd place - Light House by Renaye Johnson

3rd place - Lower Falls, Yosemite by Julie Limberg

Honorable Mention - Napping in the Den by Cathy McNutt

Rain by Barbara Nebeker

Plein Air Painting Check List

The Gardens at Heather Farm

It can be easy to get carried away with shopping when trying something new like plein air painting. Below you will find a very basic list of art supplies that will help you get through your first outing without dragging you down. Remember...less is more!
  • Easel with small canvas or a sketchbook (depending on the medium)
  • 4-8 paint brushes
  • Paints
  • Small palette box (for watercolor)
  • Palette knife (for oil/acrylic)
  • Solvent or mediums (for oil/ acrylic)
  • Paper towels or wet wipes
  • Cloth rag for cleaning off brushes
  • Container of water 
  • Pencils and eraser 

Don't forget these essentials as well:
  • Hat and sunglasses 
  • Bug spray & sunscreen 
  • Trash bag
  • Tote bag to carry everything
  • Layered clothing
  • Snacks and beverage 
  • Folding chair 
  • Cell phone with camera

Differences in lighting due to time and weather can make or break a painting, whether you're inside or outside. Make sure you're aware of your light source to get the best possible outcome for your plein air paintings. 

Consider whether you are in direct sunlight, or is it overcast, is it night time with street lights? How fast is the light changing or moving, what direction is it coming from?  

We look forward to seeing you at an upcoming plein air adventure! 
Click here to download our 2019 schedule.


Artist orientation meeting for public art project

Concord Art Association and the City of Concord are kicking off an art competition for the design and painting/wrapping of eleven utility boxes around the Todos Santos Plaza area.

Meet us at the clock tower in the plaza for an artist orientation on Saturday, April 6th at 9am.

Any artists residing in Contra Costa County who are interested in learning how to apply should join us for this walk-about orientation where we'll share critical information about the project. Because the eleven boxes are all very different, it is important to know the technical requirements for each one.

This is a juried competition and selected artists will receive a cash award. Look for the official Call for Artists application form in early April here on the CAA blog.

The theme for this first (of hopefully many!) public art project is “Music and Market” in celebration of the many years in which the City of Concord has hosted farmer’s markets and concerts in the heart of downtown.

We are looking for bold, colorful work that captures the experience of attending these events. The goal is to create an outdoor gallery of the best of local artists’ work.

Both CAA and City of Concord believe in the value of public art for our local economy, community pride and quality of life. Funding for this project is a joint effort between CAA, City of Concord and private donors.


February Valentines and Name Tags

This month we took a little field trip and got a bit crafty! Instead of meeting at our usual meeting spot at the Concord Library, members got together at the aRt Cottage to see the Inspiration Surrounds Us show and do some little make-n-takes.


CAA Board President, Catherine Hensiek

Lisa Fulmer, an Artist Educator for Marabu Creative, shared a few techniques for working with Art Crayons on watercolor paper as part of a cardmaking project for Valentine's Day. She also provided a selection of Aqua Pens to make custom name tags.

Congrats to Julie who won the Board vote for best name tag

Congrats to Michele, winner of our door prize - Marabu Art Crayons!

All creativity is good creativity! We love when we can sit down and play with new art supplies.


February Mini Art Show

1st place:  Pronghorn by Julie Limberg  (watercolor)

2nd place:  Breaktime by Janice Davis  (acrylic)
3rd place:  Barely by Michele Browne  (mixed media)

Treasure on Pleasant Hill Road by Pat McDermont  (watercolor)

Sound of Silence by Betty McBride  (watercolor)

Be My Valentine by Barbara Nebeker  (watercolor)

Plein air outing at Old Borges Ranch

Our first plein air destination of the year is on Friday, March 15th at 10am at Old Borges Ranch in Walnut Creek. Click here for details and a map. Everyone is welcome - painters, sketchers, photographers, wanderers!

Old Borges Ranch is listed on the National Register of Historical Places and also serves as a ranger station. The original Borges family home, built in 1899, houses a visitor center with historical displays of the turn of the century.

Click here to download or print our schedule for the rest of the year - these dates will also be listed on our Events calendar. We meet from 10am -1pm for all dates. Hope to see you soon!

Friday, April 12:  Heather Farms
Saturday, May 11:  Old Town Isleton
Tuesday, June 11:  Ruth Bancroft Gardens
Tuesday, July 9:  Todos Santos Plaza
Tuesday, August 13:  Martinez Shoreline
Saturday, September 14:  Mare Island
Friday, October 18th:  Clayton Valley Pumpkin Farm


Inspiration Surrounds Us - CAA Member Show

Sharon Petersen

CAA is taking over the aRt Cottage for the month of February with our first juried member show of the year - Inspiration Surrounds Us.

Join us for our Artist Reception
Saturday, February 9th, 1-3pm
Shopping, socializing, snacking and sipping!

Anamilena Ayala


January Mini Art Show

Buddies by Janet Brown - First Place

Sangria by Janice Davis - Second Place
Abstract Flower by Mary Frances Crabtree

Abstract Flower by Mary Frances Crabtree
Journey South by Catherine Hensiek
Thank You Ruth Bancroft by Betty McBride
Dancers in the Plaza by Barbara Paul


Call for 2019 artists!

Our next juried art show for CAA members is scheduled for March 2019 at the aRt Cottage in Concord.

Register online via EntryThingy for consideration. DEADLINE TO REGISTER IS 2/11/19.

Landscapes of the Mind - March 1-29, 2019

  • Entries accepted through February 11, 2019
  • Notification of Acceptance: February 15, 2019
  • Load in artwork: Wednesday February 27, 10:00am - 2:00pm
    aRt Cottage - 2238 Mt Diablo St, Concord CA 94520
  • Hang the Show: Thursday, February 28, 11:00am - 5:00pm
  • Show Opens: Friday, March 1, 2019, 11:00am

Artists Reception: Saturday, March 2, 2019, 1:00pm - 3:00pm. 
Artists - please bring an appetizer or snack to share at the reception. Wine will be provided.

Show Removal: Saturday, March 30, 2019, 11:00am - 2:00pm. 
If you cannot pick up your art you must make alternate arrangements for someone to do so. Any unclaimed art will be subject to a $10 per day/per piece storage fee and you will be responsible for making arrangements to pick it up from its keeper.


Plein air painting at Cline Cellars

The day could not have been more perfect for four of our member artists to sit outside and paint on the grounds of the beautiful Cline Cellars Winery in Sonoma.

Members Carol Husslein, Mary Frances Crabtree, Renaye Johnson and Cathy McNutt painted, chatted, took photos and ate lunch at this wonderful winery.