April plein air painting day

Not rain, nor hail, nor sleet, nor closed for construction will stop us from getting in some quality plein air painting time!

On Tuesday April 15, we arrived at the John Muir Historical site in Martinez, ready to hike in and find our perfect view among the fruit trees and wild flowers.

But we were surprised to discover they were closed that day to handle a little construction. So we set up camp in the parking lot, where we had a fine, albeit distant, view of John Muir's home.

Here are some of our paintings in progress, from left to right, by Carol Husslein, Cathy McNutt and June Vega.


Exploring the craftier side of mixed media art with Lisa Fulmer

I'm delighted to be the guest speaker for our May 13th meeting - and we're going to have some fun!

Texture medium background with printed, heat-carved non-woven polyester

In exploring the craftier side of mixed media art, I'll demonstrate and show samples of a variety of materials, tools and techniques that add unique texture and dimension to mixed media art, cardmaking and art journaling. 

Acetate marbleized with alcohol ink

I'll be sharing information and inspiration for working with texture mediums, glazes, resists, fibers, alcohol inks, acetate, embossing powders, mica flakes, specialty papers, fabrics, foils and more.

Watercolor pencils and embossing powder
The Concord Art Association general meetings are held the second Tuesday of each month* from 1-3pm in the main conference room at the Concord Library, 2900 Salvio Street. 

Meetings are always free and open to non-members. We generally have a little business to discuss in the first half-hour, then we enjoy an inspiring presentation from a guest artist.

We also hold a book raffle where you have a chance to win some new (or gently-used) art and craft books for just a buck or two! All proceeds support CAA's events and programs (we are nonprofit).

Click here for membership information

*no meetings in July or August


Scoping out the space for the Concord Art & Wine Walk

This morning we went to Salvio Pacheco Square in downtown Concord to look at the space and decide where our artists will be demonstrating and plein air painting for the 2nd Annual Concord Art & Wine Walk on May 10th.

The Concord chapter of the American Association of University Women is organizing this event and they invited our CAA members to provide the art to go with the wine...and beer too! Carlyn Obringer from AAUW (right) and Carol Husslein, our CAA President are pictured above.

Salvio Pacheco Square

Some of the participating wineries and artists will have tables inside the square and others will be stationed in and around Todos Santos Plaza. The City of Concord is also hosting their annual Mom Day in the Plaza and All Area Music Festival at the same time - there will be several performances from Bay Area music students on the main stage.

Both the square and the plaza were nice and quiet this morning, but we're expecting lots and lots of people to fill these beautiful spaces for these events. Click here for details and registration for the Art & Wine Walk, and click here for details about Mom Day in the Plaza. See you there!

Todos Santos Plaza

Photos ©2014 Lisa Fulmer


April meeting - Georgia O'Keeffe lecture

This month, our guest speaker was Marsha Holm, a docent for the San Francisco Fine Arts Museums. She gave a fascinating presentation about Georgia O’Keeffe, whose work is currently featured in an exhibit at the DeYoung Museum through May 11th.  


We learned many interesting details about O'Keeffe's personal life - she was pithy in her communications, a woman of few words who wore a lot of black and kept a reserved manner. She was a radical thinker who rarely bent to the will of others and was ambivalent about the idea of marriage, yet she loved doing household chores - probably due to being raised on a farm where chores were integral to daily life.

"Colors and shapes make a more definitive statement than words.”
— Georgia O'Keeffe

Her mother made sure she and her siblings were educated early in the "genteel arts," such as needlework and drawing. O'Keeffe became enchanted with making art by the age of 12. Then after years of skillfully, yet grudgingly, painting whatever her teachers told her to paint, she stopped making art altogether for a while, until she could figure out what her own personal style would be. She loved nature, filling her days with long walks and sensory explorations of every flower and leaf along the way. While she rarely acknowledged who or what influenced her work, she always knew she'd never want to create "pretty parlor" art. Instead she wanted to fill space in a creative way...which led to her notable portraits of flora.

Red Canna

She said she painted flowers not as she saw them, but how she felt them. She loved painting them in very large formats, zooming in close on the petals and stems. Sometimes she would take one of her flower motifs and simplify it in stages, translating it down to very basic shapes until the image was completely abstracted and unrecognizable as having once been a flower.  At the end, the simple lines and colors conveyed what she felt was most interesting and appealing about the flower.

“There’s nothing less realistic than realism...good art is not based on a motif.”
—Georgia O'Keeffe

Georgia O'Keefe - circa 1920
O'Keeffe's critics saw much more eroticism in her work than she ever did – most likely because her husband Alfred Stieglitz’s photographs of her in the nude were introduced to the public well before her own work was. She had already been pegged as a sensual artist by her first exhibit, so her modern take on flower portraits became overly-sexualized and associated with body parts. 

Over time, she became sensitive about everyone’s assumption that her work was intentionally erotic. She once told a passerby that she hated flowers, after he had merely complimented a bouquet she was holding. She then said that she only painted flowers because they didn’t move, and she stormed off. O'Keeffe never wanted other people’s psychological interpretations hung upon her work, she didn’t believe that was the right way to appreciate good art.

A fascinating artist indeed!