Plein air painting at Lime Ridge

concord art association plein air painting
Annegret van Gemeren

It was a lovely day for a group of artists to make a short trek to the perfect spot for plein air painting. After much-needed rainfall here in Northern California, Lime Ridge Open Space was simply gorgeous. Coyote pups were frolicking, raccoons and squirrels were scampering, birds were singing and wildflowers were blooming. Every leaf on every tree was shining in the breeze after having all the dust and debris washed away in the weekend storm. The sky couldn't have been more blue; the hills couldn't have been more green. 

Mary Frances Crabtree

We go to beautiful places like this all over the Bay Area each month, from March to October. If you have a day job, it's totally worth taking a vacation day (or a sick day, shhhh...we won't tell) to join us. And even if you're not sure whether plein air painting is for you, bring your camera and a journal and come anyway. It's relaxing and peaceful - nothing better than a day spent being inspired by nature. Visit us on Facebook to see more pictures and video!

June Vega

Cathy McNutt and her model man

Even in the shade, Carol Husslein's palette is bright and colorful

concord art association plein air painting
Everyone made great progress on their paintings in just a couple hours


All about working with rice paper and Chinese ink

concord art association barbara bornet stumph

Last week at our general member meeting, guest artist Barbara Stumph shared loads of great tips and product recommendations for the art of Chinese brush painting on rice paper, and she also showed us lots of beautiful samples. If you missed the meeting, you can click here to download a PDF of her talking points.

chinese brush painting barbara bornet stumph

Barbara opened the meeting with a very sweet "blessings" song. She is both knowledgeable and passionate about the traditions and techniques of Chinese art.

She demonstrated brush techniques for painting Chinese numbers and we all went home with a lovely packet of rice paper samples, both plain and painted.

After her talk and demo, members spent time painting on rocks and exploring the treasured books and paintings she brought.

Kim Lawson tries her hand at rock painting with a Chinese brush and inks

Many thanks to Barbara for sharing her wit and wisdom with us! Be sure to come to the April meeting when we'll learn more about painting on handmade soap with mica flakes. Our general meetings at the Concord Library are always free and open to the public - come be inspired!


March Mini Member Art Show

concord art association Member Art Show

We had a record turn-out for our member mini art show at the March meeting! We love it when members share their latest work - inspiring!

concord art association lupe jimeno
1st Place:  Old House by Lupe Jimeno - watercolor
concord art association mary frances crabtree
2nd Place:  Louisiana Bayou by Mary Frances Crabtree
Pen and ink (cropped)
concord art association bev haggerty
3rd Place (tie): Diablo Hills in Spring by Bev Haggerty - watercolor

3rd Place (tie): Liberty Plaza I by Annegret van Gemeren - watercolor

concord art association member mini art show
The Other Side of Mt. Diablo by June Vega - watercolor

concord art association member mini art show
On the Shore by Jeslyn Cantrell - acrylic

concord art association member mini art show
Patio Pot by Bobbe Anderson - acrylic

concord art association member mini art show
Merida Palms by Marie Tapia - mixed media

concord art association member mini art show
Autumn Reflections by Cathy McNutt - acrylic

concord art association member mini art show
What's For Dinner? by Betty McBride - dry watercolor

concord art association member mini art show
Flowers of Spring by Claudia Bubeck - acrylic

concord art association member mini art show
The Missing Six by Dora Acosta - watercolor


We sketched our cake and ate it, too!

Marie sketched her fruit tart in triplicate

Our first Sketch Night was lots of fun - we met at Bonjour Bakery to sketch (and eat) some delectable pastries and desserts.

Clockwise from left - Uni, Marie, Cathy, Bob, Mary Frances, Lynn, Paul

There was plenty of space and the bakery was happy to have us. Lisa took this picture of the group...her brother Paul joined us too, but he was more interested in watching his iPad than drawing. :-)

Cathy's chocolate bonbons and bear claw draw

Mary Frances used a cool white on black technique

Lynn's cake slice is berry, berry nice

Uni went the charcoal route for cappuccino and tiramisu

Marie was kind enough to wait to eat her fruit tart so Uni could sketch a burst of it


Guest artist for March - Barbara Bornet Stumph

Barbara in Kona, Hawaii
Barbara Bornet Stumph will share her insights into Chinese ink painting on rice paper at our next meeting on Tuesday, March 8th from 1-3pm at the Concord Library.

The public is welcome - and you can bring a sketch book to learn how to draw a Chinese character for your next art project.

Barbara's recent trips to China shed new light on the unique characteristics of rice paper.

She used Chinese ink on rice paper to create her landscape below. This scene is a traditional subject of art which incorporates the words for mountains and water in the Chinese characters.

Her calligraphy shown below is a couplet (classical poem) from a text created by a Chinese emperor who planned for his Imperial tutor to teach his only daughter how to write classical Chinese calligraphy. Strong, balanced, and harmonious handwriting in China is a sign of moral character. This couplet talks about the beginning of the earth by contrasting opposites - dark and light, shadows and sunlight.