Youth Art Classes at Centre Concord

CAA member Mary Frances Crabtree teaches a weekly class each fall and summer for the Concord Parks and Recreation Department. Drawing and Watercolor Painting is for art students ages 8 to 13.

"I've been teaching this class for about five years. The subject matter is basic in art - drawing and painting landscapes, simple figure drawing, still life with flowers, fruit and cookies (which we eat at class end, of course!), one point perspective, etc. Especially important to the students is how to work with watercolor. I show them how to handle brushwork for a wash, how to do simple color blending, shading, small details with a fine brush." Mary reminds students to remember what they learned in kindergarten...stay inside the lines!

Because the class size is limited to just ten students, Mary can offer individualized tutoring. "It never ceases to amaze me the inherent talent, definitely not learned, just waiting to be brought out - and the motivation a child has to produce a watercolor painting in about an hour! They are so proud of their work and the parents are so delighted with the class and for the opportunity their children have to "do art" that they so want to do. Art class often isn't part of the school curriculum for elementary and middle school students."

Mary also gets a lot of home-schooled students in her classes whose parents say "I can teach my kids most everything in the school curriculum, but not ART!! Thank you, Miss Mary!"

Jeslyn Kate - Illustrator and Woodcut Artist

jeslyn kate cantrell

At our October meeting, we were delighted to have Jeslyn Kate Cantrell, a Concord resident artist and illustrator, give us an exciting demonstration of the woodcut printing process. She works with a reductive technique - which requires her to visualize her drawings in reverse - and it also allows her to use just one sheet of wood per illustration.

woodblock printing tools

After designing her illustration on paper, she transfers it to a wood block and uses carving tools to gouge away the surface around her design in stages. Starting with the lightest color first, she creates the raised areas she needs and prints that color on to a few sheets of paper. Then she has to carve away the first area in order to create the next color relief - that's what makes it a reductive technique. By the time she carves and prints the final color, her wood block is essentially ruined - which means her woodcut prints are always created as limited releases.

woodblock printing reductive technique

Since the carving between stages takes time, for the purposes of this demo, she had pre-carved three separate pieces of wood to show how to lay down the inks in this order - green, gray and black - to achieve the final print. For each stage, she has to keep the paper carefully aligned on the wood block so the colors register together properly.

Jeslyn will be back to see us again in January - she'll be demonstrating book binding techniques for art journals. Click here to visit her website and shop for her handmade prints.

CAA meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month (1-3pm) at the Concord Library and the public is always welcome!

October Mini-Art Show

Members are encouraged to bring their latest work to our monthly meetings for a mini art show. Everyone at the meeting votes for the two works they like the best and ribbons are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.

Bobbe Anderson - Secluded Entry  (acrylic)

Cathy McNutt - Outside the Lavender Cottage  (acrylic)

Carolyn Young - Swans  (watercolor)

Carol Husslein - Solo Hydrangea (watercolor)

October plein air painting at Port Costa

port costa california

Port Costa was founded in 1879 as a railroad landing. It's a tiny community (pop. 250) with a historic downtown area, surrounded by 1300 acres of parkland and rolling hills along the Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline. A very scenic spot for painting and sketching - lots of great work has begun!

Concord Art Association Annual Celebration

Every spring, we celebrate our members with cake and a white elephant swap! Everyone donates some new or gently used art supplies, and then we draw names to take turns picking our favorite item to bring back home. Here are just a few of our talented member artists.

From the left:
Front row:  Dorothy, Mariette, Carol, Bobbe, Gloria
Middle row:  Claudette, June, Roxi, Carolyn, Julia, Pat
Back row:  Kathy, Mary Frances, Liz, Pat, Betty, Cathy, Bob, Al, Lisa

Plein air painting at Heather Farms Park

Betsy Trtek 
Bob McNutt

Carol Husslein

Cathy McNutt

June Vega

Loreta Landucci

Sara Tancredy