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For twelve years, I worked alone in my studio. Being a woman, I was afraid to paint outdoors by myself. The few times I did meet other plein-aire painters, their painting schedules conflicted with my work schedule, or they were located too far from Berkeley.

I can now paint outdoors in a group residing in the east bay. This is a dream come true! Rebeca and Karen have added a new direction and heightened dimension to this ever-expanding adventure called art.   

Vicki Salzman

Carquinez Barn

This barn was the first thing that I saw from the upper parking area of the Carquinez Strait Regional Park. The green hills are rapidly becoming the golden hills.

I have been wanting to find another barn to paint. I think they represent a rapidly fading life style of a family working together for a common objective in a community of such families that support each other. I have to think of my wife's home town, and the Old Order River Brethren and other Brethren farming families there. They really know what community is.

June 1st

We return to the Carquinez Strait Regional Park (not Crockett Hills). Some of us went on Memorial Day and met another fellow painter!

From 80 take the Pomona Street exit to Crockett and bear left to Pomona street. Stay on Pomona as it passes the residential area. The curvy road continues ascending but be patient. The park will be on the left. You will be able to see its parking lot from your car. Wait for us there.

Another View of the Blake Garden

This is another painting of the garden, this time the southern area, where flowers are grown in tidy beds. It was a very warm day and I got sunburned doing this small oil. I am trying to paint colors as I perceive them and not as they "should be," hence the interesting sky and trees.

Cows at Carquinez

It was sunny at Carquinez today but the wind was strong on the ridge overlooking the strait. I gave it a try anyway because of the cows. My easel is great. I had no problems. The cows were only vaguely interested in me and they left before I was finished with them. I may do some more work on this but I like the overall feeling.

Karen Zullo Sherr

May 25

It will be Memorial Day and hopefully we will get some of the folks who work on Monday.

We will return to Carquinez Strait Regional Park. From 80 take the Pomona Street exit to Crockett and bear left to Pomona street. Stay on Pomona as it winds above Crockett and the park will be on the left. There are water and hill views as well as a pier and areas closer to the water.

We are on Facebook, under "East Bay Plein Air."

Carquinez Regional Park

Today we went to Crockett. Originally we were going to paint at the Crockett Hills Regional Park but instead we went higher up to Carquinez Regional Park where there is  view of the strait and the hills. It was warm and windy, making painting with acrylic difficult.  The hills are very dry and soon I was painting them with  dry, thickening paint. 

Karen Zullo Sherr

May 18

We'll be at Crocket Hills Regional Park

To Reach The Park:
From I-80 in San Francisco, take I-80 east toward Oakland. Exit #27 toward Port Costa/Crockett. Turn left on Pomona Street. Turn right onto Crockett Blvd. and right again into staging area. From I-80 in Sacramento, take I-80 west toward San Francisco. Take the Pomona Street exit at Crockett. Turn right onto Crockett Blvd. and right again into staging area. From Hwy. 4 west, take the Vallejo/Crockett exit onto Cummings Skyway. Turn right on Crockett Blvd and left into the staging area.

Early Spring at Point Pinole

My name is Karen Zullo Sherr and I have been part of the East Bay Plein Air group since its start. After painting all winter it was a joy to go out in good weather and enjoy the spring sun at Point Pinole. This is done in acrylic on canvas and is 16" by 20".

Posting Your Art On A Blog

After a couple of very basic courses in Photoshop and a tutorial by my best friend Carmen I was able to come up with a crude method to manipulate RGB color into something resembling my original paintings:

I. Taking Pictures of Artwork
I don't use artificial light because I'm lazy, so I wait until the morning or afternoon of a sunny day and rely on the light reflected from a sunny area to take photos with a good digital camera (they distort less than the pocket-sized ones).

I makes sure to keep the artwork perfectly level. This will facilitate cropping later.

II. Photoshop
I create three files for each painting
a. A 300 dpi, cropped "original" from which photos for paper and high-quality reproduction will be created.
b. A 72 dpi, with adjusted color, large file (4-5" across), for the web.
c. A 72 dpi, with adjusted color, small file (.75 inch across), for the web.

I open the original picture I took and crop it. It is a 300 dpi file. I save this as blakegarden_or, and it will be the file I will later manipulate to meet the requirements of paper media and gliceƩ printing.

Then I click on "View/Actual Size" to see the actual dimensions of the photo. I go to "Image/size" to adjust the size to something that can be seen on a computer screen in its entirety. Then, I click on "Image/Adjustments/Contrast-Brightness" and play with those controls until I see something that better resembles my painting. Then I go to "File/Save for the web" and hit "Save." I always save my work in a USB for safety. The "Save for the web" button will change the image from 300 dpi to 72 dpi. It will look smaller. I use this image to publish on the web.

To make an even smaller picture of my painting, I return to "Image/size" and play with the dimensions, then I go to "File/Save for the web" once more. I save it with a suffix to differentiate it from the others: blakegarden_sm, and use it as an icon on which people can click to access a larger image.

Color Profiles

Any ideas on what kind of color profiles might be best to publish painting files on the blog?

Marilyn Hill
Blake Garden, May (large detail)
Watercolor with white highlights
140 lb Arches Watercolor Paper

Blake Gardens in Berkeley on a Spring Day always has the same effect on me — a blast of flowers all wanting to be painted. As a result, I try to represent as many as possible—oh well!

The Blake Garden

Rebeca painted this watercolor on a hot pressed 140 lb. Lanaquarelle block on the group's first visit to the Blake Garden.

May 11

We'll go to the Blake Garden again!
The Blake Garden is at 70 Rincon Road in Kensington. If you are coming from San Pablo or El Sobrante you take North Arlington and turn right at Rincon Road. From Berkeley it is a left from North Arlington.

If you have GPS: 70 Rincon Rd, Kensington, CA 94707

Their phone is (510) 524-2449 

Welcome to our blog!

We have decided to post information on this format because of its accessibility and relative ease of use. Everyone is welcome to post items related to plein air painting in our area. Just send your item to Rebeca.

Some artists who are part of East Bay Plein Air also meet Tuesdays to paint the figure. The model is dressed, in a long-pose that lasts two three-hour sessions. The fee is $20 for each session, and sessions and a six-week cycle will start on June 9, from 10 am to 1 pm. Currently the Firehouse Collective is hosting this long pose lab. They are located in Berkeley. Oils are welcome for as long as the painter abides by our Safe Use Guidelines.