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





April MIni Art Show

1st place:  Lemony Treats by Betty McBride - watercolor

2nd place:  Daisy Field by Kim Lawson - photography

3rd place:  Rooster by MJ Coleman - Litho/monotype

Lily by Bev Haggerty - watercolor

At Seventy by Cathy McNutt - acrylic

Dreamland by Claudia Bubeck - mixed media

Jungle Magic by Marie Tapia - watercolor/ink

Rusty Gravel by Pat Calabro - mixed media


Deena & Donna - Artisan Soap Makers

About five years ago, Deena and her sister Donna made some soaps for gifts. Then shortly after that, they held a school program where kids chose their favorite colors and fragrances to make liquid soap.

From there, a new passion and a new business was born. Deena & Donna makes a full array of lovingly handcrafted artisan-quality bath and body products.

As our guest artist at the April meeting, Deena will show us how to paint molded soaps with skin-safe mica powders. She will provide a free handmade glycerin soap to each of us and we get to paint our own. Choose from a variety of soap sizes, designs and colors, in either scented or unscented.

Bring your own small round brush (#3 or #4) to the meeting, as well as a liner brush for detailing. 

A small selection of soaps and lotions will also be available for sale, and we'll be raffling off a nice gift basket. Join us on Tuesday, April 12th for some fresh, clean fun - let's enjoy learning something new about the art of soapmaking!


Take (or teach) one of our new art workshops!

We are so happy to announce our new partnership with The Artist's Den on Salvio Street in downtown Concord. We will be renting their classroom/gallery space on nights and weekends for our new workshops - click here for all the details and register online with PayPal.

We are offering two very affordable workshops this month, taught by CAA members - mixed media stenciling techniques with acrylic inks and paints on raw canvas (all skill levels), and an introduction to drawing and watercolor for beginners (limited to 10 students).

Sign up yourself, bring a friend and let's have some fun! Everyone is welcome, and CAA members get discounted rates.

We have many more workshops with local art and craft teachers in the works - stay tuned for a variety of topics - including charcoal portraits, watercolor, monoprinting with gel plates, bookbinding, Chinese brush painting and more!

If you have a creative technique to share, earn extra money teaching a CAA workshop. Email us at concordartassociation@yahoo.com to propose your topic and we'll send you all the details.