June Vega's art reception

CAA member June Vega recently hosted a reception for her art exhibit, which is on display through the end of June at the Ygnacio Valley Library in Walnut Creek.

This venue is part of our rotating gallery program - our members' artwork hangs above the books all year long!

We love artist receptions - and not just for the food and drink! It's a great time to get together with fellow artists and friends, and it's a wonderful opportunity to talk with the hosting artist about her work.

Many thanks to Annegret van Gemeren for sharing some photos of the reception!


Plein air painting at St. Mary's College

It was a lovely day for capturing the iconic mission-style chapel on canvas with a visit to the St. Mary's College campus.

Members get together monthly to visit beautiful paint-worthy spots all over the Bay Area. Even if you've never tried plein air painting before, our trips are the perfect way to give it a try. Paint, sketch or photograph an inspiring vista, outdoors in the fresh air - you'll love it!

plein air painting St Marys college

plein air painting Concord Art Assn

plein air painting Concord Art


Printing with linocuts

concord art association linocuts

At our May meeting, we learned how to print with linocuts - loading the brayer with ink, inking the linocut (hand-carved linoleum), then pressing a sheet of paper on top to transfer the ink with a wood spoon or Japanese baren.

printing linocuts concord art association
Linocut on left, print(s) on right
concord art association printing linocuts
A tracing of a photo is transferred to linoleum for carving

printing linocuts concord art


May sketch night

CAA sketch night

Our monthly sketch nights are a great way to unwind from the stress of the day, meet up with fellow artists, try out your new pencils or pens, and spend some quality time in search of artistic inspiration. In May, we hung out in the International Garden at the Markham Arboreteum - it was serene and gorgeous!

sketch night markham arboretum
Carol J.

sketch night

sketch night concord art
Sharon P.
sketch night concord art association
Catherine H.


Spring Art Show recap!

If you missed our Spring Art Show & Sale at the Concord Library last weekend, you might just be kicking yourself! But fret not, you can still see some of our member's work in our rotating galleries around town and come back to shop our Summer Art show at the end of August.

Your talented local artists had much to offer - beautiful paintings, prints, cards and more - a gift of original art or a handmade craft is so thoughtful. We loved helping people shop for Mother's Day, birthdays and even early Christmas gifts.

We gave away cute little handmade soaps to the women who visited, and we listened to delightful steel drum music by Benjamin Glasgow on the patio.

Email us at concordartassociation@yahoo.com for help connecting with any of our members to see or purchase their work.

Check out the slideshow below to see more!


May meeting - printmaking with lino cuts

Join us at our next member meeting to learn more about printmaking from Pat Calabro and Roger Renn - Tuesday, May 10th at 1-3pm at the Concord Library. Our meetings are also open to the public.

After sharing some information about the history and different methods of printmaking, we'll get to see how to create a lino cut, which is a form of relief printing using cut linoleum - it's like creating a rubber stamp.

Pat Calabro discovered her artistic skills later in life, after taking an oil painting class. 

In addition to painting, she enjoys Japanese inking techniques and creating digital media.

Roger Renn shared his art and plein air painting tips with us last year. He is the Executive Director for the Contra Costa County Arts & Culture Commission


New mixed media workshop with Fatima Rizvi

On the Autumn Day by Fatima Rizvi - acrylic with gel monoprinting

If you've never created monoprints with a gel plate for mixed media and collage, now's the time to try - you are in for a treat! 

Fatima Rizvi is teaching our newest workshop, "Painting and Printing with a Gel Plate" on Saturday, May 14th. Click here to register via PayPal and download the supply list.

We interviewed Fatima to learn more about her artistry and creative process.

What are your favorite mediums and styles of art to create?

My art is a form of communication for me, an articulation of thoughts, experiences and emotions translated through the medium. My art provides viewers with a space to reflect, introspect and share their own stories with the world. I wish to promote social reform through raising social awareness and greater connectivity, and I aspire to create art that is relevant of its time and people. My work is large scale. I work predominantly in oils, acrylics, pastels and digital photography in a realistic manner. I’m inspired by the works of David Kassan and Max Ginsburg, social realist painters who aspire to raise human consciousness and social reform. I hope to be a full-time art teacher, currently I’m working only part time.

What or who inspired you to become an artist? 

Since childhood I’ve only had one dream, to be a successful artist. Growing up in Middle East, I would spend countless hours copying old master’s paintings and drawings from art books. I experimented with different mediums, drew and painted from life, developed a keen eye and a curious mind. My mother, who is a very accomplished painter herself, was an early inspiration for me and has guided me in my later years as well. I began to gather much support from clients, friends, and family to commit myself entirely to art making as a career. After moving to the U.S., I had the opportunity to work with an independent movie company, be interviewed on a radio talk show, have a solo exhibition and participate in various art group exhibits. Currently I’m a student at San Jose State University, pursuing my BA in Studio Art.

Untitled by Fatima Rizvi - mixed media collage

What's most important to you when it comes to your creative space?
I think it’s necessary for an artist to create an environment that facilitates creative thinking and that’s one of the reasons why my house has paintings and drawings on every wall. I don’t run a studio currently. I enjoy working from home as well. I’ve set up some space where I can engage and be productive. I always keep plenty of images of drawings and paintings close by that could inspire me. It’s critical to draw from the creative energies of our predecessors and contemporary masters. I haven’t lost my childhood habits and I continue to make detailed studies of old masters.

What's your best advice for an aspiring artist?
My advice to aspiring artists would be that if you are determined to reach your goals, you will eventually get there, despite the obstacles. You have to invest hundreds, if not thousands of hours, to gain mastery of your craft and it doesn’t all happen overnight. Work hard and don’t give up on your dreams!


Stenciling and painting on raw canvas

Sue C.
Our Stencil Art workshop taught by Lisa Fulmer was really fun! Each student got a huge piece of thick, untreated (raw) canvas fabric to play with. We had tons of stencils and acrylic inks and paints at the ready, too.

The gist of this project is to create a layered piece of abstract art in three stages - wet, dry, wet.

First we created a background wash of colors by dampening the canvas with water, then brushing and spritzing it with acrylic inks blended with water, and then we let that dry.

Stage two is a dry process of adding designs or patterns with acrylic paint, using a cosmetic sponge to pounce the color through masks and stencils. After that dried, we finished our layering in stage three by getting the canvas wet again with more water and ink.

The dried paint acts mostly like a resist, so you can deepen the color in and around the negative spaces of the stencil design with a more concentrated ink wash.

Sue V.
This wet/dry/wet technique can yield some stunning and unpredictable results, which is what makes it really fun! The finished canvas is permanent and colorfast when dry - you can trim it and hang it as is, use it as a background for mixed media or art quilting, or create a panel for your journal or a tote bag.

Lots of possibilities - and there are so many gorgeous stencils available at your local art/craft store, or you can cut your own from template plastic.


Plein air painting at Heather Farm

The Gardens at Heather Farm in Walnut Creek is a beautiful setting for a picnic, wedding, photo session...and plein air painting, of course!

Annegret van Gemeren

Betsy Trtek

Mary Frances Crabtree

Cathy McNutt

Carol Husslein


Painting artisan soaps with mica powders

At our April meeting, Deena Sheranko from Deena & Donna Artisan Soaps treated us to a fun afternoon painting her handmade, all-natural soaps with colorful, skin-safe mica powders.

She had lots of different molded designs ready for us to paint by blending a few drops of alcohol with the mica.


Intro to drawing and watercolor

Mary Frances Crabtree taught an introductory watercolor and drawing workshop that covered some of the basics of color, shading, shape and perspective. She was so generous with the supplies - each student received a full pad of watercolor paper, two sets of beginner watercolor paints, brushes, and instructions.

In addition to practicing with this tree-lined mountain path scene, students got to experiment with painting a still life composition of fruits and vases. Good work!


Free Mother's Day gift + family fun at our Spring Art Show & Sale!

Come to our Spring Art Show & Sale on Saturday, April 30 at the Concord Library (10am - 4:30pm)!

  • Free gift to the first 50 women in the door - a handmade artisan soap 
  • Free kid's crafting activity
  • Free steel drum performance on the patio (11am - 1pm)

This is the place to shop for one-of-a-kind handmade gifts and original art from talented local artists!

Click here to print our flyer - or click here to invite your Facebook friends. See you there!


April Sketch Night - Roses and Tequila


We met at La Pinata for dinner and margaritas - we brought roses and other blooms for inspiration - but the restaurant provided plenty of sketch-worthy options from the bottles and food to the murals on the walls - even the contours of the glassware is great practice.

What's really great about sketching in public is making art more interesting and accessible for people. Several of our neighboring diners showed interest and asked us about CAA. Brochures were ready for them!

Join us on May 3rd for our first outdoor sketch night of the year at the Markham Arboretum - watch your email for more details!

Around the table from left:  Mary Frances, Julie, Catherine, Bill, Linda, Sandy (Lisa took the pic)



Mary Frances