Guest artist for January 2016 - Julia Linsteadt

Courageously Taking Root
Come to our first member meeting for the New Year on Tuesday, January 12th at 1-3pm in the main meeting room of the Concord Library.

Our guest artist is Julia Linsteadt - she will welcomes us into her world of paper cutting, and into the pages of her personal art diary that inspired her latest project of positive daily intentions cut from paper.

Julia will share how she uses her art and writing to dig herself out of the occasional creative funk and find the positivity and the inspiration to move forward.  She will reveal her 7 top tips for sparking your creativity and welcoming positivity into your daily life, and she'll share why she is drawn to the art of paper cutting.

We'll have an interactive paper-cutting demo so we can all give it a try - bring your own pair of scissors and a few sheets of copy paper.

Our meetings are open to the public - we support all artists, from students to hobbyists to working professionals. Hope to see you!


December Mini Art Show

concord art association nagri
1st place:  Tranquility by Farhana Naqri  (oil)

concord art association mahboob
Tie for 2nd place:  Portrait by Seema Mahboob  (charcoal)
concord art association lupe
Tie for 2nd place:  St. Mary's by Jimeno Lupe  (watercolor)
concord art association anderson
3rd place:  Hidden Entry by Bobbe Anderson  (acrylic)

concord art association mcnutt
Neighbors by Cathy McNutt   (acrylic)

concord art association lily pads
Reflections on Lily Pond by Carol Husslein  (acrylic)

concord art association mcbride
The Sound of Silence by Betty McBride  (watercolor)


Artist demo: Casey Rasmussen White

Casey Rasmussen White shared her tips and techniques for working with watercolors at our December meeting. Using one of her favorite subjects - the pear - she painted several in small scale to show us how she creates interesting backgrounds, then adds layers of more color and texture. The final magic of the finished image could happen at any time - after 2, 3 or even 4 layers of working.

It's all about lots of water and bold, deep colors. She does not wet her watercolor paper first (her favorite is Arches Cold Press) but keeps her brush super wet. After getting a few strokes of color on the sheet, she loves to flip it up, roll it around and get the water moving the color around. She also uses a mister spray bottle to work more water into the image before it dries.

Sometimes she brushes gesso on the paper first, which allows her to create a more uniquely textured surface for unexpected results! The colors and water blend and move around in different ways on top of gesso.

concord art association casey rasmussen white watercolor on gesso
Watercolor on gessoed paper

Sometimes when you add more water, the color moves around so much you might want to scream "make it stop!" But Casey encourages her students to keep it loose..."no, let it go!"

concord art association casey rasmussen white pears
Demo samples

She uses table salt for cool background effects - Morton's is a favorite because the size of the grains is consistent. She gently sprinkle just a few grains on to the wet painted surface, where the salt grains absorb color and pull it off the paper in unpredictable ways. Once it's dry, shake off any excess and marvel at whatever you get!

concord art association casey rasmussen white salt watercolor
Testing salt on watercolor

Other types of salt work too, and rice also does a nice job. The most important things to remember for the salt to work is that the paper must be shiny wet (but not drippy) and you'll get the most prominent effect on bolder colors.  Keep in mind that salt is corrosive, so over the course of many years, you may see small holes appear in your work.

concord art association casey rasmussen white palette
Casey has used the same plastic plate as a palette for her tubes of watercolors for years. She thinks it's best to find the colors you love to use the most (she refers to her colors as her "voice that she sings") and then limit yourself to that palette. Blend when you need a unique shade, and when in doubt about what colors to use, work with the color wheel.

She recommends an "oldie but a goodie" book for help with choosing colors -  The Watercolor Painter's Pocket Palette by Moria Clinch.

She likes to make color strips before starting a new work. She showed us how to brush stripes of color down on a card with varying amounts of water, from dark to light. Then she tilts the card to allow the drips to blend so she can see what to expect once she starts painting. Sometimes she'll paint a small warm-up piece to practice with different color blending or texturizing techniques.

concord art association casey rasmussen white color strips
Color strips and warm-up painting

She does not use white paint, instead she uses bright white paper and leaves unpainted areas as needed, or uses a resist for the whitest whites. Leaving a thin white line between colors helps an image look more electric!

For adding textured dots and splotches, she showed us how to drip 91% rubbing alcohol with the tip of a paint brush handle to push color away. She scratches in fine lines with a metal turkey trussing needle or toothpick, splatters water or color with a toothbrush, or layers on more opaque lines with watercolor pencils. Once all her wet layering and blending is done and the paper is bone dry, then she paints any final touches that need hard lines.

concord art association casey rasmussen white watercolor
Watercolor greeting cards

Casey is currently teaching at Civic Arts in Walnut Creek and at the Pleasant Hill Senior Center.

"Creating is my meditation. Creating is my drug. Whether cutting up my dad’s old atlas and mainlining Mod Podge for a collage or feverishly squeezing watercolor tubes, the work makes me happy! Teaching is an even higher high - a 6 year-old boy has no fear. “Gimme that pencil!” he says. Of course he can draw! The 86 year-old grandma stopped painting when her children were born. Her paints dried up, but she saved her brushes. These are my students. It is my joy to share what I know about art making. The more I learn, the better teacher I become. Teaching someone how to make art is like teaching them to fly."


Drawing and painting a mini-book

Here is a great way that one of our members, Carol, used the mini folding book she made in last month's meeting with artist Jeka Lambert. Carol painted and drew across the whole page and turned the mini book into a unique, handmade birthday card for her daughter. Cheers to artists trying new things and expressing their creativity in new ways!

mini book concord art association


November Mini Art Show Winners

Fall by Claudette Haisley concord art association
1st place:  Fall by Claudette Haisley - watercolor

Harbor Master, Benicia by Carol Husslein concord art association
2nd place (tie):  Harbor Master, Benicia by Carol Husslein - watercolor

Leaves by Cathy McNutt concord art association
2nd place (tie):  Leaves by Cathy McNutt - watercolor

Clean-up Time at Giverny by Betty McBride concord art association
2nd place (tie):  Clean-up Time at Giverny by Betty McBride - watercolor

Japanese Head by Dorothy Wood concord art association
3rd place:  Japanese Head by Dorothy Wood - colored pencil


Artist Demo with Jeka Lambert

mandala mini book jeka lambert

At this month's meeting, we got to be kids again! There was paper folding, paper cutting...and glue was involved. And lots of laughter along the way.

Artist Jeka Lambert shared her collection of creative mini books with us, some of which are shown here, and she led our group through the process of creating our own tiny blank origami-style books, upon which we can paint, draw or even collage.

stencil cut mini book jeka lambert

Jeka is entering some of her mini books into the 2016 Traveling Tiny Book Exhibit. Their call for entries is happening now (click the link for details) - the deadline to submit your own mini books is 12/1/15.


Jeka has been teaching art journaling and other creative classes at Walnut Creek Civic Arts, Pleasant Hill Parks & Recreation, and the Concord Library. Her beaded jewelry work has been included in international juried shows, books and magazines. She majored in costume design for theater at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, and holds a certificate in Interior Architecture from UC Berkeley Extension.


Member Art Reception on November 5th

CAA member Julie Limberg's lovely work will be on display at the Ygnacio Valley Library in Walnut Creek during November and December. Be sure to attend the opening reception on Thursday evening, November 5th.


October plein air painting day

At Cornerstone Sonoma, the sun was shining, the air warm and inviting, and we were ready to paint!

We walked around scoping out areas to set up our easels. There was so much to take in. We all gravitated to the water lily pond and started painting. All too soon, it was time to pack up and head home, but we plan to go back again. It was a day well-spent with wonderful paintings started.


Artist Demo with Roger Renn

Roger Renn - Self-Portrait
This is the first word that comes to mind about Roger Renn. He was extremely enthusiastic about his sketching process while traveling and he brought his collection of portable plein air painting tools and products to show us.

So many fabulous ideas! Roger had great tips and tricks to share - not the least of which was using the sectioned bottom of a laundry detergent bottle for a traveling or disposable watercolor palette.

Roger put us all at ease during his presentation. His friendly demeanor encouraged everyone to ask him questions. He was patient and thorough with his answers.

Roger obviously uses every item he showed us and explained how and where he would use various tools.

Roger brought a number of his small plein air works for us to see. They were wonderful!

October Mini Art Show Winners

1st place:  Somebody Gave Me a Bum Steer by Betty McBride (watercolor)

2nd place: Mendocino Coast - #3 Sunrise by Carol Husslein (watercolor)

3rd place: Old San Juan by Lupe Jimeno (oil)


Want to be more active in your local arts community?

We need you! There are several open volunteer positions with the CAA Board of Directors for 2016.

Click here to review the job descriptions. Nominate yourself or another artist by emailing CAA at ConcordArtAssociation@yahoo.com.

  • President  (elected by membership vote from nominees)
  • Vice-President  (elected by membership vote from nominees)
  • Newsletter Editor 
  • Publicity Chair


Farewell to a friend

John and Mary Frances painting en plein air together
We are so sad to report that CAA member John Crabtree passed away at the age of 85 on October 7, 2015.

John served as a radio operator in combat during the Korean War. He was a resident of Concord and is survived by his wife, fellow CAA member Mary Frances.

Click here to read his obituary and express your condolences to his family.

Memorial donations in John's honor can be made to The Cradle Adoption Agency, 2049 Ridge Avenue, Evanston Illinois, 60201.


Artist Demo with Judy Gittelsohn

Today at the Concord Library, CAA hosted a free artist demo in conjunction with the AC5 Arts Café series.

Bay Area artist Judy Gittelsohn demonstrated how to use the Golden brand of acrylic paints and mediums to more than 30 Concord-area artists.

Judy did a wonderfully thorough job of answering all our questions as she walked us through all the features of this line. Each attendee received some paints and mediums to play with at home, too.

Our thanks go out to Judy and Golden for providing a very informative and inspiring demo!

Judy's most recent series of acrylic paintings, called Oh the Ocean, will be on display from October 1-11 at the Live Worms Gallery in San Francisco. The artist reception is on October 2 from 5:30 to 8:00pm.



Guest Artist - Seema Mahboob

Deserted Boat  - acrylic and collage

Seema Mahboob held us spellbound at our August meeting, as she demonstrated several printing and collage techniques she uses in her mixed media work.

She shared how she transfers a portrait to archival tissue paper, then adheres it to canvas paper. For the background, she uses real autumn leaves that she has collected as stamps - the leaf is rolled with paint, then pressed on archival tissue to add to the painting.

Below you can see Seema has dropped additional color to the background to further tie the portrait together.

September Mini Art Show Winners

1st place:  Cathy McNutt - Reading at the Beach, acrylic

2nd place:  Carol Husslein - Mural Sacramento and Grant Chinatown, watercolor

3rd place:  Bobbe Anderson - View from the Table, acrylic


Summer Art Show & Sale

Our first annual Summer Art Show & Sale at the Concord Library this weekend has been a rousing success! So many people came through to enjoy some of our members' work - 12 artists participated. Several people purchased art and cards and books to take home to enjoy forever - we are so very grateful to everyone who supports our local artists!

From left:  Cathy, Kristine, Deborah, Carol

We'd especially like to thank a friend of the arts, Tony Benedetti with the Concord Elks Lodge - he and his band donated their time and talents to provide music for our show.

A portion of the proceeds are being donated to the Concord Library - we are so grateful to Lynne Noone, Adult Program Director, for being such an awesome, collaborative force in our local arts community. If you missed this Summer Show, be sure to check out our rotating galleries in town all year long.


The Ygnacio Valley Library has been added to our gallery rotation

CAA is happy to announce the addition of the Ygnacio Valley Library to our rotating galleries.
A collection of 20 paintings from Carol Husslein is currently on exhibit through September 30, 2015. 

Most of the paintings in our rotating galleries are for sale by the artist directly. Depending on the venue, the paintings are either individually marked with prices or a price list is available. The artist's contact information is with each exhibit - let the artist know if you'd like to purchase their art and bring it home! 

Click here for the full list of venues - each month the featured artist rotates through the list.

Spring 2015 Social

CAA held its annual spring social in June, which included a white elephant raffle (but with good stuff!), a member art show and lots of sweet treats! Everyone enjoyed seeing each other's work and getting to win new or gently used art supplies donated by fellow members.