Saturday, January 1, 2011

Because of the imminent storm which promises to drench us further, and because New Year is a day that most of us spend with family, we will be canceling this session. Enjoy the new year! May it bring you more time to paint, reflect, and share your work with others.

The East Bay Landscape Painters

Rumrill Road

Finally got myself sufficiently organized to share these recent paintings, mostly of the Rumrill Road and Market intersection. I've somehow grown attached to the place, have encountered many appreciative people and had some interesting chats. Color is what fascinates me at the moment, and especially the impact that different light has, so it's been really great to keep returning to the same place under different conditions, and to keep looking and noticing and looking some more. These are still in progress and quite close to finished paintings but I'm still learning when to stop, and when to go on. I really want to paint the area near the tracks and maybe a freight train if I can do it, and also to put more people in - maybe when the weather improves a bit there will be more people out and about.

Oil on canvas 16 x 24 inches



San Pablo Bells

I have seen these bells for years. The homeless guys who were on the bench just off the picture to the left said that they now have a recording rather than real ringing bells. The fountain in front is not working either. If I had known what the fountain looked like while working, I would have been tempted to try to paint it there. I learned a few other things from them too.

Larry Hatfield
10.5 x 14.5 Watercolor

Tacos, San Pablo

Only Larry and I made it out this day. It started raining about half way through so we needed to pack up early. I finished up with photo scrap. The taco truck is very beautiful well painted and well kept. The mural on the back of the truck with it's blues and greens was a wonderful foil for the orange truck.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11"

marilynhill.com

Quarter Pounder, San Pablo

In this version of the same building, I decided to eliminate the building altogether except for the strip at the top, and just paint the signage. It's also a larger painting which made the rendering of the signs a litte easier. I've been experimenting with textures for some time and decided to have the sky speak to the sign by splattering the upper right corner. It does make the painting a bit more expressionistic and abstract. I like it a lot more.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
22 X 15

marilynhill.com

Giant Burger, San Pablo

It's been cold and rainy, and I usually photograph in the sun — so now a big pile of paintings. I couldn't wait to paint the big Giant Burger sign on Market and Rumrill. The sign seemed to lift out of the tree foliage although it had a post of its own. In this version I put a lot of foreground in the painting as a kind of lead up to the restaurant. Afterward I realized the sign would take on a bit more flight if I put more sky in, so in the next version that's what I did.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11

marilynhill.com

Sopitos Restaurant


We were near Market on 23rd Ave. today. Marilyn and I saw this restaurant. She was close up and I was across the street. It was cold and foggy for about an hour or so, then the sun came out with blue sky. I had already done the sky, so I left it as a foggy day. Some of the buildings on 23rd are unusual in design and decoration. This one has a medallion and interesting tile work.

Larry Hatfield
10x14 Watercolor

Monday Dec 27

We will meet at the Food Mart parking lot on Rumrill but we may go over to Market and 23 rd to paint. So if you come late and we are not there check over there.  It is a little harder finding good loctions for urban locations because of the need for some place to set up the easels that is not in the way or not in a space that attracts so many onlookers that it is hard to concentrate.  Often we need to ask permission to use parking lots. Or as Larry found out recently setting up right at the roadside means a lot of car and bus exhaust.

We liked the Rumrill location because there were so many choices as well as the more often we came the less of a novelty we became.

We return to the parking lot of Food Mart (1835 Rumrill Blvd), at the corner of Rumrill and Market. There is a salvage business full of wonderful junk (This and That), colorful markets and businesses, and an industrial feel to the area many will appreciate. Last Saturday was a great session. There were respectful onlookers who even offered to buy us food and drinks!

Directions: From 80, take the El Portal in the west direction (don't go to El Sobrante). Go under the freeway and into the city of San Pablo. Continue along the El Portal. Drive all the way past Contra Costa College to your left. Make a right on San Pablo Ave, and almost immediately, at the very next intersection, make a left on Rumrill. Pass Broadway, 19th and 20th Streets, Brookside Dr, Folsom, Dover and Mission Aves. Immediately after Mission, look to the right side of the road to find the Food Mart. Park anywhere inside their parking lot. Meet us near the taco truck if it is there (it usually is). Bathrooms and water at the Food Mart.

Market Street Tracks


Marilyn and I braved the weather, but got raindrops on our watercolor paintings. Marilyn took photographs for me, and I finished it at home. The sky was pretty interesting. I thought the green building and the red RR crossing lights would be a contrast interest.

Larry Hatfield
10.5 x 14.5 Watercolor

Our Story

East Bay Landscape Artists is one of three groups under the Reemerging Artists grassroots organization. For the benefit of people new to these groups, and in celebration of our three year anniversary on November 28, here's our story:

Susan Brand, Susan Newman, Karen Zullo Sherr, Barbara Maricle, Mike Warner and Rebeca Garcia-Gonzalez met at the figure drawing class that the Richmond Art Center then offered. Their first session was inspired by an invitation from Mike Warner to continue drawing and painting during the Richmond Art Center's winter break. He offered his shop in El Sobrante as our first location. Rebeca created the listserv, a Google group then called West Contra Costa Figure Drawing, on November 15, 2007. It was meant to keep everyone in the loop as they figured out how to keep the sessions going.

Back then, the group was primarily interested in painting the figure, so on November 28, 2007, they met to draw each other - they had no model! The second session took place at Rebeca's studio, and the third, at Karen's. The group hired amateurs until it was able to secure an account with the Bay Area Models' Guild. But the guild booking person at the time thought that sending models to rotating locations would be confusing, so Rebeca offered her studio as the primary location until the start of RAC classes. Soon after, Karen and Rebeca decided a three hour pose was not such a bad idea, so they began scheduling models with this in mind (as opposed to the 20 min poses at the RAC). 

After a few weeks of this, they began discussing ways to make the volunteer-run environment welcoming and supportive, and settled for a few principles that are still part of both groups: Membership involved neither fees nor a portfolio review, just a commitment to painting, because they wanted members to have diverse approaches and levels of experience. Through a non-teaching environment, they wanted to encourage and support the development of members’ individual styles, believing this diversity contributes to a developing critical dialogue. And they encouraged members to share their knowledge of online communication, digital image processing, and the art market through free member workshops and joint projects.

At the same time, Karen and Rebeca began painting outdoors together. Their first session took place in 2007 on a very cold Tuesday. On January 8, 2008 they went to Inspiration Point in Berkeley, and they almost froze! They returned there the following week, but did not develop a steady routine until later. For a few months, it was mostly just them and a schedule that moved between Tuesdays and Mondays. From the beginning, they thought about painting on weekends but a busy family schedule made this difficult. Ever so slowly, they began meeting painters who had these days available, and who were very committed to painting outdoors. Mike found Larry Hatfield painting near his house in El Sobrante, and Karen brought Vicki Salzman. They were added to the proto-listserv, which was then open to anyone who wanted to join and held the names of those interested in figure or outdoor painting.

On February 2009 (fourteen months after its start)the listserv was vandalized for the second time and Rebeca was forced to close it, delete it, and start a new one with a new name: East Bay Plein Air. This list continued to include people from both groups until August 2009. 

The first blog was devoted to plein air painting, and made its debut in May 4, 2009. Rebeca wanted to have a public space in which to announce locations, since the listserv was no longer open to the public. She also envisioned it as a collaborative space where members could post work done during the group's painting sessions. It quickly gained a big readership because it is updated frequently with members' work. The group also began advertising on Craigslist and on Facebook. Because of this, the group and its listserv have grown. The group now meets twice a week and sends updates to 77 local artists. 


After their 2009 proposal got rejected by a local arts organization, the East Bay Landscape Painters booked their first group exhibit at the San Pablo Gallery. The group changed its name once more in the Spring of 2010 because another, older group with no web presence had held the name for a while and we didn't want to steal their identity. 

For more than a year since its beginning, the figure drawing group continued meeting in Rebeca's small studio, which held a maximum of five painters. Karen and Rebeca shared the booking and coordination, and quickly discovered that a small group of drop-ins cannot always afford the model's fees, so they decided to seek a more spacious location in the spring of 2009. This was the Richmond Art Center at first, but because the center was undergoing a renovation, it was very difficult to stay. 


This prompted Karen to broker an arrangement with the members of what was then the Berkeley Firehouse Collective during that summer. Along the way, she came up with a new name. By August, Rebeca introduced a blog and a separate listserv for this group, and Karen took over the booking and coordination. The group, now named East Bay Figure Painting, began advertising almost immediately on Craiglist and other venues, to ensure they could cover the model's fees in the new location. The Berkeley location attracts a steady group of 5-9 painters, and they have achieved a supportive environment respectful of diversity in artistic approaches. In 2010 the East Bay Figure Painters put together their first show at the Firehouse Gallery. It was a smashing success. 


After the figure painting exhibit, Karen organized a support group for reemerging artists that was very well-attended, and a volunteer offered to coordinate it. This group is different in that artists get together not to paint or draw, but to discuss their lives and work. This group now has its won blog and listserv.

The three groups exist together as a collaborative network, Re-Emerging Artists. Its mission is to facilitate the re-entry of artists into the art world. It has been three years full of accomplishments! 


All comments are welcome...
Rebeca and Karen

The session for Dec 20 has been cancelled due to weather

This session is cancelled
 We will meet at the Rumrill location on Monday if it is not raining.  Fran is coordinating the session. Please RSVP so we know how many people plan to come.

We return to the parking lot of Food Mart (1835 Rumrill Blvd), at the corner of Rumrill and Market. There is a salvage business full of wonderful junk (This and That), colorful markets and businesses, and an industrial feel to the area many will appreciate. Last Saturday was a great session. There were respectful onlookers who even offered to buy us food and drinks!

Directions: From 80, take the El Portal in the west direction (don't go to El Sobrante). Go under the freeway and into the city of San Pablo. Continue along the El Portal. Drive all the way past Contra Costa College to your left. Make a right on San Pablo Ave, and almost immediately, at the very next intersection, make a left on Rumrill. Pass Broadway, 19th and 20th Streets, Brookside Dr, Folsom, Dover and Mission Aves. Immediately after Mission, look to the right side of the road to find the Food Mart. Park anywhere inside their parking lot. Meet us near the taco truck if it is there (it usually is). Bathrooms and water at the Food Mart.

Saturday, December 16

Today's session has been cancelled.  We will try next week at the city parking lot across the street from the Richmond Art Center. Please note this is not the parking lot adjacent to the RAC building, but the much bigger lot located between Barrett Ave and Nevin St. (24th and 25th streets). Please don't park in the RAC lot. From the parking lot, we will branch out into either Nicholls Park, or adjacent streets which have a Richmond feel. 

Directions: from 80, take the San Pablo exit if coming from Berkeley. Make a right on San Pablo Ave, and another right on Barrett Ave. Turn left on 25th. The big brick building is the RAC. As you enter 25th be sure to park in the bigger lot to your right, outside of the smaller RAC parking lot adjacent to the brick building. If coming from El Sobrante, take the San Pablo Barrett exit and turn right at Barrett. Follow tge same instructions to get to the RAC.

Paolo's Thrift Shop


After sitting by the bus stop for 2 hours, I had to get up and leave, the exhaust was getting to me, my throat was starting to feel gritty. But as gloomy as the day was, I was interested in all the buildings painted yellow and orange. One lonely palm behind Paolo's Thrift store brought some organic life to the buildings and surroundings for me. There were a lot of cars that I chose to ignore. They were very much a part of the scene, but I didn't think they added anything to the painting.

Larry Hatfield
10.5 x 14.5 Watercolor

Monday, December 13

We are returning to the urban location in San Pablo.  For the next month we will be trying to do as many of these locations as possible. A number of the people in the group are in a show in February that focuses on immigrant neighborhoods in San Pablo and Richmond.  So please join us if you can. It is a lot of fun and we have been meeting interesting and encouraging people along the way.

We return to the parking lot of Food Mart (1835 Rumrill Blvd), at the corner of Rumrill and Market. There is a salvage business full of wonderful junk (This and That), colorful markets and businesses, and an industrial feel to the area many will appreciate. Last Saturday was a great session. There were respectful onlookers who even offered to buy us food and drinks!

Directions: From 80, take the El Portal in the west direction (don't go to El Sobrante). Go under the freeway and into the city of San Pablo. Continue along the El Portal. Drive all the way past Contra Costa College to your left. Make a right on San Pablo Ave, and almost immediately, at the very next intersection, make a left on Rumrill. Pass Broadway, 19th and 20th Streets, Brookside Dr, Folsom, Dover and Mission Aves. Immediately after Mission, look to the right side of the road to find the Food Mart. Park anywhere inside their parking lot. Meet us near the taco truck if it is there (it usually is). Bathrooms and water at the Food Mart.

Saturday, December 11

We return to the parking lot of Food Mart (1835 Rumrill Blvd), at the corner of Rumrill and Market. There is a salvage business full of wonderful junk (This and That), colorful markets and businesses, and an industrial feel to the area many will appreciate. Last Saturday was a great session. There were respectful onlookers who even offered to buy us food and drinks!

Directions: From 80, take the El Portal in the west direction (don't go to El Sobrante). Go under the freeway and into the city of San Pablo. Continue along the El Portal. Drive all the way past Contra Costa College to your left. Make a right on San Pablo Ave, and almost immediately, at the very next intersection, make a left on Rumrill. Pass Broadway, 19th and 20th Streets, Brookside Dr, Folsom, Dover and Mission Aves. Immediately after Mission, look to the right side of the road to find the Food Mart. Park anywhere inside their parking lot. Meet us near the taco truck if it is there (it usually is). Bathrooms and water at the Food Mart. Bring a cell phone in case you get lost. Here's a map of the area:

View Larger Map

Monday, December 6

If it is not raining Monday we will meet again at Urban Ore in Berkeley. Check the posting below for last week to see the directions.

Saturday, December 4

We have changed the location of our painting session because the Richmond Art center is holding their Winter Arts Festival there this Saturday. We will now meet at the parking lot of Food Mart (1835 Rumrill Blvd), at the corner of Rumrill and Market. There is a salvage business full of wonderful junk (This and That), colorful markets and businesses, and an industrial feel to the area many will appreciate.

Directions: From 80, take the El Portal in the west direction (don't go to El Sobrante). Go under the freeway and into the city of San Pablo. Continue along the El Portal. Drive all the way past Contra Costa College to your left. Make a right on San Pablo Ave, and almost immediately, at the very next intersection, make a left on Rumrill. Pass Broadway, 19th and 20th Streets, Brookside Dr, Folsom, Dover and Mission Aves. Immediately after Mission, look to the right side of the road to find the Food Mart. Park anywhere inside their parking lot. Meet us near the taco truck if it is there (it usually is). Bathrooms and water at the Food Mart. Bring a cell phone in case you get lost. Here's a map of the area:

View Larger Map

Urban Ore, Berkeley

I loved painting here—the rhythms and patterns abound. The day was beautiful. Karen and I were the only ones showing up for this feast of objects. People were very entertained that we were painting there.

The trick and the difficulty was dealing with that very plentitude of stuff. I think the very nature of the place inspired humor in the approach. As a result the painting came out a little cartoony, but for me that was ok because it accurately represented the place.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11

marilynhill.com

Meeker Slough, Richmond

The weather was very dramatic this day, so the sky and the reflection of the sky was the number 1 focal point of the painting. The little houses were cute too. We left when it started to rain. I think I only appreciated the painting after I got it back to the studio and started distressing the surface with rain drops.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
11 X 15

marilynhill.com

Saturday, November 27

Cancelled due to rain. We´ll try again next week.
We will meet at the city parking lot across the street from the Richmond Art Center. Please note this is not the parking lot adjacent to the RAC building, but the much bigger lot flanked by Barrett Ave and 25th Street. We do not want to use the RAC lot, as there are classes going on on Saturday and they need those spaces. There are bathrooms at the RAC, and water too. From the parking lot, we will branch out into either Nicholls Park, or adjacent streets which have a Richmond feel.

Directions: from 80, take the San Pablo exit if coming from Berkeley. Make a right on San Pablo Ave, and another right on Barrett Ave. Turn left on 25th. The big brick building is the RAC. As you enter 25th be sure to park in the bigger lot to your right, outside of the smaller RAC parking lot adjacent to the brick building. If coming from El Sobrante, take the San Pablo Barrett exit and turn right at Barrett. Follow tge same instructions to get to the RAC.

Please consult our listserv for the time if you are new to the group. For safety reasons, we do not publish meeting times on this blog. Rain cancellations are always published on this space at least an hour prior to the outing, so please check this space.

Monday, November 29

URBAN ORE, BERKELEY, Come paint recycled treasures!

Description: Urban Landscape - There is lots of stuff to paint. If you don't want to paint people or junk you can paint the redwood bears across the street or down the street. Restrooms and Parking.





Directions: We try our best, but we recommend you check the Google Maps before you come. From 80 in either direction, Exit on Ashby Ave. Travel east about 1 block to 7th. You will see the Urban Ore Sign to the right. Turn right on 7th then a very quick left onto Murray (this is a little tricky). We will meet in the parking lot. (If you miss Murray go to next street and make a left around the block.)

Dress warmly and bring your cell phone.

Monday, Nov 22

The sky is looking pretty dark. But I am going to chance it and see if it holds off for a few hours. If you decide to come put on warm clothes.

Monday, November 22

Last year we went to Meeker Slough in late October and early November.  If we see some sun on Monday we will return there.


Meeker Slough is where Meeker Creek meets the bay. There is a marsh, a beach, benches and a bridge crossing the creek. The place is actually quite peaceful. We will meet at the parking lot of Shimada Friendship Park, which has plenty of spaces, bathrooms and water, and walk about ten minutes along the Bay Trail to the Meeker Slough. Those of you who don't want to paint a marsh will find the nearby marina tempting.

Directions from North of Berkeley: From 80, take the Cutting exit and go west towards the water and through Richmond. On Cutting, make a left on Marina Way and a right on Regatta Dr. Make a right on Marina Bay Parkway and at the very end you will see Shimada Friendship Park and the bay.

Directions from South of Berkeley: Get on highway 580 and take the Erlandson St/Syndicate Ave Exit (10B), Make a right off the ramp, and the Erlandson/Syndicate will take you over 580 and will turn into Regatta Blvd. Continue on Regatta/Syndicate. This avenue will turn left. You'll soon see a fork that hits Marina Bay Parkway. Make a left on Marina Bay Parkway. You will see a park in front of you, but that's not Shimada. Go all the way to the end of Marina Bay Parkway and at the very end you will see Shimada Friendship Park and the bay.

On the Top of McBryde

I have done a painting of the bottom of McBryde where it reaches San Pablo and when we went to Alvarado Park I decidedto do a painting from the park entrance of the top of McBryde even though it was in the full sun.  It is an 18 by 24 canvas.  Karen

Trailer Park

This one was done outside St. Joseph Cemetary in San Pablo of the trailer park across the street.  I put in the man with his dog from memory later.   I am still not happy with the composition and I am thinking of cropping it and restretching where I think it works best. But I like the impact of the painting,

It is acrylic on 24 by 30 canvas.

Karen

Saturday, November 20

This is another way to get to the same trailhead: From 80, take the San Pablo Dam Exit. At the light, continue forward to San Pablo Dam Rd, and DO NOT TURN RIGHT or you will end up on Amador St.

San Pablo Dam Rd takes you through the El Sobrante main drag. Pass Morrow Dr and Barranca St to your right on your way to Hillcrest Rd. Make a right on Hillcrest Rd. and go up. Pass Bridgeway Circle and Quail Hill Ct. to your left. When you think you can't go any higher, you will find Bonita Rd to your left. Make a left on Bonita and go past several streets in a development. Make a left on Monte Cresta Ave and park at the end of the street. No bathrooms and no water. Bring your cell phone.

Monday Nov 15

We will be meeting at the the entrance to Alvarado Park in Richmond on Monday. Alvarado Park was built in 1907 and much of the stonework in the park was created by WPA Italian Americans between the 30's and 40's. There is a wonderful stone bridge over running Wildcat creek. Directions:

 From Berkeley
80 North to Solano Exit, turn left on Amador (frontage road to 80), go a few blocks to McBryde, turn right. Go East up McBryde. Where McBryde splits (Park left, McBryde right) you will see 2 stone piers indicating the entrance to the Park. You can park on Park street and walk back to the entrance where we will meet (at the piers). You can also come along the Arlington to the end and it washes into McBryde.

 From Martinez
80 South to McBryde Exit, go left across freeway, East up McBryde. Where McBryde splits (Park left, McBryde right) you will see 2 stone piers indicating the entrance to the Park. You can park on Park streetand walk back to the entrance where we will meet (at the piers).

Please RSVP if  you are coming. Thanks

Saturday, Nov 13

We will meet at the top of Alvarado Park. From 80, take the San Pablo Dam Rd exit. Turn right on Amador, left on Alpine Rd. At the t intersection, STAY LEFT and do not take North Arlington Rd. Turn right on Bonita and left on Crest Ave (or something similarly named). At the end of "Crest Ave" there is a trailhead. We will meet at the trailhead and walk along the gravel fire road for twenty minutes, to a hill with sweeping views of Richmond and 360 degree pastoral views. Bring a backpack or a cart with big wheels, lightweight gear, water, and a cell phone.

Alvarado Park, Richmond


This bridge came out a little dark. But I still like it, and the shadows were very dark so this is about as accurate to color as I ever get. I'd like to give it another go and make this more of a color piece. I think I will also put this piece in the Marin Arts Show.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11

marilynhill.com

Indian Rock, Berkeley


I was inspired by a Japanese Print Collection in Bodega Bay and this Indian Rock scene was a perfect opportunity to try an idea of splitting the canvas and adding some abstract texture to one part of the canvas. I liked it so well I think I will enter it in the Marin Arts exhibit.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11

marilynhill.com

Monday, November 8

Alvarado Park, Richmond

We will be meeting at the the entrance to Alvarado Park in Richmond on Monday at 10am (don't forget time change). Alvarado Park was built in 1907, and much of the stonework in the park was created by WPA Italian American stone masons during the 30's and 40's. There is a wonderful stone bridge over a running Wildcat creek.

Directions:
FROM BERKELEY
80 North to Solano Exit, turn left on Amador (frontage road to 80), go a few blocks to McBryde, turn right. Go East up McBryde. Where McBryde splits (Park left, McBryde right) you will see 2 stone piers indicating the entrance to the Park. You can park on Park street and walk back to the entrance where we will meet (at the piers). You can also come along the Arlington to the end and it washes into McBryde.

FROM MARTINEZ
80 South to McBryde Exit, go left across freeway, East up McBryde. Where McBryde splits (Park left, McBryde right) you will see 2 stone piers indicating the entrance to the Park. You can park on Park street and walk back to the entrance where we will meet (at the piers)

Rain Cancels
Please RSVP if you are coming. Thanks

Saturday, November 6

This session has been cancelled. Please refer to the listserv message for details. We will meet again next Saturday.

Warning on the Tracks


Saturday we returned to one of my favorite places to paint – the railroad tracks by Page and 2nd in Berkeley. The abstraction, yet not abstraction fascinates me. I love the combination of the very common public warning sign with the very personal grafitti. The painting is roughly rendered to capture the spirit of place.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11
marilynhill.com

Indian Rock Park

I found a little shade and liked the view of the
rocks. There were a lot of shadows to start with from some trees to the left. I tried to get the glowing edge of the rock from the sun light and some bounced light into shadows.

Larry Hatfield
10.5 x 14.5" Watercolor

Monday, November 1

We will meet at Indian Rock Park in Berkeley.  If you pack light to sketch or work in watercolors you can climb the rocks and get stunning views.  There are also place to set up an easel. The rocks themselves are pretty dramatic.

From 80 take the Albany exit and follow Buchanan across San Pablo where it becomes Marin. Take Marin all the way to the Circle.  Go around the Circle and bear right on Indian Rock.  The park is on the left.

You can also come from San Pablo or Richmond on the Arlington. Go all the way to the Circle and go around an bear right onto Indian Rock.           There are no bathrooms.

Saturday, October 30

There are showers forecast for this session, therefore it has been cancelled. We'll try again next week.

Two Members of East Bay Landscape Painters Win Awards

Larry Hatfield
Marilyn Hill

Marilyn Hill and Larry Hatfield have in the last month both won awards for one of their paintings. Larry's watercolor Mt. Shasta from the North was shown in the El Cerrito Art Association Show and won both Honorable Mention and a Glen Gallery Merchant's Award.  Marilyn Hill won a Third Place Ribbon in the Valona Paint Out  for her watercolor Albany Dragon done at the Albany bulb just a little over a week ago.  You can still see her painting as the show continues at the Epperson Gallery at 1400 Pomona Street in Crockett until Sunday, November 7.  The gallery is open Thursday thru Sunday from 11 to 5.  Congratulations to both of you.

View From Albany Bulb

I thought I was alone but Marilyn was at the bulb also that day. I took a position at the front of the park with a view of Albany hill. I had a black lab and a long haired  dachshund as models.  Karen

Painting for Monday, October 25

If it is dry tomorrow we will meet in Berkeley at 2nd and Virginia below San Pablo and find a place to paint in the mixed industrial and residential flat area.   Check in the morning to see if rain has cancelled the session.

Saturday, October 23

We will return to the Saint Joseph's cemetery in San Pablo. From 80, take the El Portal exit towards an Pablo. Go under the overpass, and continue along El Portal. Soon after you pass Fordham, you will see Church Lane to your left. Turn left on Church Lane and look to the left side of the road, and you will soon see the cemetery's entrance. We will meet in the parking lot immediately after the entrance, to the right. No facilities, or water. Rain cancels this outing, and a cancellation notice will be posted on this blog at least an hour before the outing.

Albany Dragon, Waterfront Park


Valona Paintout, Epperson Gallery, Crockett
Reception: Saturday, 10/23/10, 5:00-7:00


Larry, Leslie, maybe Geri and I are painting in the Valona Paint-Out this week in Crockett. This year we were able to paint places other than Crockett if we chose; so I took our Monday morning painting session as an opportunity to paint the dragon in Albany Waterfront Park,--something I've wanted to do for a long time. I ended up coming early and so naturally didn't see anyone.
Anyway, come join us for the reception.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11"

marilynhill.com

Farmead Park in San Pablo

Farmead Park is above single family homes in San Pablo and affords a view of suburban life.  I painted a scene of this family getting ready for a Saturday outing.  It is acrylic on 18 by 24 canvas.
Karen

Monday, October 18

We will meet at the Albany Bulb.


Directions: On highway 80, take the Buchanan exit if coming from Berkeley, Emeryville or Oakland. Go toward the water and under the freeway. Continue west.  Take the Albany exit if you're coming from El Cerrito, El Sobrante, Martinez or Richmond. Proceed along the frontage road, go under the freeway and make a left on any of the streets leading to Albany, then a right at the first opportunity. Turn right on Buchanan and go under the freeway. You will see the racetrack parking lot to your left and some marsh to your right. park at the end of the road, by the trailhead if possible so we can see each other.

Painting for Saturday, October 16

We will meet at St Joseph Cemetary, 2560 Church Lane in San Pablo.  Take the El Portal exit from 80 and  go under the freeway staying on El Portal.  Continue past Fordham one block  amd go left at Rollingwood.  Rollingwood becomes Church Lane and you should see the Cemetary.

FairmeadPark


I walked into the Park and I knew this heavily accessed telephone pole was definitely the next subject. After I painted everything I noticed the tree looked like a big wooky, caressing -- or -- stalking; the pink splats in the sky -- communications from above. Anyway, it was great fun trying to figure out which wires went where.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11

marilynhill.com

Lake Anza

It was a grey day at the lake. When the sun broke thru the water had lots of depth and then the sky changed and the water was flat and grey. I painted back and forth until I was worn out. It is an acrylic on 18 by 24 canvas.  Karen

The Painting session for Monday, October 11 is cancelled

The trip to Mt Diablo has been canceled.  Monday is a a holiday and we have not recieved any RSVP for the painting session.  

Saturday, October 9

We return to Fairmead Park. From 80, take the El Portal exit and turn left at the light at the end of the ramp. continue as if you were going to San Pablo. Turn right on Fordham, right on Moyers, and left on Joan. Park at the end of the trailhead. No water or facilities.

Eucalyptus at Fairmead Park

Fairmead Park is a smallish urban park in Richmond, CA. I had intended to paint some view of San Pablo, but when I saw this tree, I knew that is what I wanted to paint. After I painted the main tree, I realized that I needed another background tree. So I painted the tree on the left. I wasn't sure it was going to work to paint the background tree after the main tree. I usually would have painted the bg first.

Larry Hatfield
10.25 x 14.5"
Watercolor

Albany Paintings Posted on Albany Website

The editor of the Albany Patch news website has posted our paintings on the website. They look good and it is a nice way to reach people in Albany and share our work.  It is a well done website and I have joined to get their weekly newsletter.

Karen

Monday, October 4

We will return to Lake Anza.   You can get directions at the Website. See the post from last week below.

Saturday, Oct 2

We will paint at Fairmead Park, atop a hill overlooking El Portal, and situated behind Highland Elementary school. From 80, take the El Portal exit and go west, under the freeway and away from El Sobrante. Continue on El Portal Dr as if you were going to San Pablo, but turn right on Fordham. Start going up the hill on Fordham, then make a left on Moyers Rd. At the fork go right on Canterbury Dr, and make a right on Holly Path. We'll meet at the end of Holly Path.

Angel of Tires, Port Costa


I attended the Port Costa Art Show this last weekend where Larry and I had some paintings. This was about a week after I painted the "Angel of Tires". I hung the paintings I had done of Port Costa. It was a charming small town event hosted by people who have lived in Port Costa for years and knew everyone in town. I found out the "ATE Theatre" painting I sold was actually of a sign from the State Theatre brought over from Benicia by a Bill Rich.

The Story of the Angel
Over ten years ago a man and his wife lived on the third floor along with their daughter. The baby had some kind of abnormality and she died while they lived here. The father asked Bill Rich if he could paint a tribute to the baby.

The inscription above the Angel, appears to be:

Rayla Marie
9/14/93. 1/21/95



Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11"

marilynhill.com

Waggs & Whiskers, Appian Way & Santa Rita Rd


I was painting in a very active Saturday afternoon parking space in front of Waggs & Whiskers - people delivering and picking up dogs to be groomed. I like this little shopping area on Appian Way. The local residents are very loyal to the Central Market and Waggs & Whiskers. I think they have worked hard to keep a local market in that location. And the taco truck is always busy.

Especial Lunch, San Pablo & Andrade



What I liked about this site is the way the stop sign leaned into the TAQU, the hand lettered street numbers and the way the flags invited you in. The Stop sign really was leaning; I didn't just paint it that way. Also the side walk and the road had a lot to say--it's own story to tell.

Monday, September 20

We will return to Tormey.  From 80 East take the Cummings Skyway extit (26). Go left on Cummings Skyway and left on San Pablo and you will see a row of houses on the left on Old County Road. We will meet at the end of the block.

Yellow Car Corner of Santa Rita and Appian Way

Today we painted in El Sobrante. It was a busy little shopping center just at the end of lunch hour.  There were a few groups of men hanging out drinking near the church and at first it seemed like not a good place to set up. But after awhile the crowd left and I put up my easel at the corner with a view of the church and a closed auto repair shop.  This large yellow car sped by.  It is an 18 by 24 acrylic. Karen

Saturday, September 18

We will meet Marilyn at her dog groomer's business: 4344 Appian Way, "Waggs and Whiskers," a tiny shopping area on the corner of Santa Rita Rd. She says it is interesting.

Directions: from 80 take the San Pablo Dam Exit. Proceed through the town of El Sobrante. Turn left on Appian Way at stop light. Go 2 long blocks to Santa Rita Rd. Parking may be tight and it may be busier than today (so more cars and people)????? So better park on the street to leave parking for patrons. I've talked to Waggs and Whiskers about painting there. Restroom at El Sobrante library on corner of Appian Way and San Pablo Dam Rd.---maybe across street

Glad to be here

Here I am with Rebeca. At the Berkeley Peets, learning to post!

Painting for Monday September 13

We will meet at the Carquinez Regional Shorline Park and decide whether to go into Port Costa or above. From 80 E take the Pomona Street Exit and follow it through Crockett and as it winds above town and becomes Carquinez Scenic Drive. The park is on top on the left.

Corner of Andrade and San Pablo Ave

Acrylic is a most convenient medium when you need to work in a large format (24 x 36) and fast enough to capture fleeting images, in this case, traffic. The day was still warm enough to cause my paints to dry fast, but I just kept adding gel, which provided me more control over the opacity. I arrived early and spent 20 minutes scouting a good location. I finally went inside the fish and chips business across Andrade and asked Mr. James, the owner, permission to set up shop right by his entrance, to which he agreed. Many passersby stopped to comment. People think the process of making art is mysterious (since a lot of artists work in their studios), when the opposite is very often true. Conceptual art has always put together the solemn and mundane. Just the other day I read about NYC artist Dan Colen, who has assistants chewing wads of bubble gum he then attaches to  a canvas. Why should representational art be any different? One woman said, "I want to know what is it about this intersection that is so special, it's not like these buildings are historical." She was genuinely puzzled. To her I would say: there is nothing inherently special about this intersection. That's why it is so interesting to paint, because no one seems to think it's worth painting. Painting in the street is equal parts performance and visual art. The act of painting something no one feels is worth painting is a performance, and this performance is also art.

McBryde and Mclaughlin

It was so great to be back painting after all the work putting up our figurative show.  But the figure was on my mind an I managed to get one into my painting of this corner on McBryde just half a block up from San Pablo. It is an 18 by 24 acrylic.  Karen

Tormey

This is from a couple of weeks ago in Tormey. It was a beautiful day.  I choose a view that showed the road curving above with the trucks near the roofs of the houses.  I found some shade to paint in.  It is such an unusual place and very peaceful for painting.   It is 18 by 24.

Karen

Saturday, September 11

We return to the corner of McBryde and San Pablo Ave. From Berkeley take 80, then take the Solano Ave exit. Turn left on McBryde, cross over the freeway, and stop at San Pablo. Park at any free spot. We will meet in front of Kragen Auto Parts. Bring your own water and a cell phone.

McBryde & San Pablo, Richmond.



I had to play catch-up on this site, because I couldn't make it last week. I got the whole painting almost done and realized I spelled Taqueria wrong. The sign was not spelled wrong. Oh well. I think my interest was coming from the natural abstraction the signs, flags and buildings were making

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
22 X 15"
marilynhill.com

Tormey Window


I'm late getting this up. I had to leave early so I painted this little detail of the building I painted earlier. The challenge was creating the layers of flowers + screen + window glass + shadow in watercolor. I'm not pleased with the composition but I like the painting.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
15 X 11"
marilynhill.com

Jana and Gerry Near Port Costa

I walked around for half an hour looking for a nice view of the twisty roads on this extremely hot day. We were on top of a hill and so I was already overheated when I sat down to paint Jana, who had a reflective umbrella and had brought water. Gerry was even smarter and hid behind a small tree. They weren't so close together. Just looking at Gerry required moving my whole setup about 15 yards up the hill, but I wanted to do something different. Towards the end the heat was too much and I had to leave. I was glad I brought oils and not acrylics, and I was happy with my new cadmium red light, which produced such great, glowing oranges.

Pupuseria on San Pablo Ave

This was one of those paintings I was convinced  I was ruining. I have always loved the brightly colored pupuserias, meat markets and taquerias of Richmond and San Pablo. To be specific, I love the irregular signage and of course, the colors. At first I struggled with the cadmium yellow of the building, then decided I could not capture it with the pigments I had. The other struggle was the Kragen Auto Parts sign, which I had at first done with a palette knife and then continued with a brush. My final challenge was the changing light. I edited out some details from this 18 x 18" oil when I revised it at home, not thinking they were necessary for the overall feel.
A pupuseria is a Salvadoran restaurant serving pupusas, a  handmade corn tortilla stuffed with cheese and eaten with pickled cabbage.

Above Port Costa


I was frustrated by the heat and fast drying time for the watercolor paint. I took it home and did some reworking on the trees in the middle and a few other places added shadows.

Above Port Costa
This is about 10x14 Watercolor




The second painting was of the hills above the Carquinez Scenic Drive. I was so frustrated with the first painting I tried a second one with a huge brush that I just bought. I did it in about 20 m in. But then did some more work on it at home.

10x14 Watercolor

Larry Hatfield


Painting above Port Costa for Monday, September 6

Meet at the entrance to Carquinez Strait Regional Shoreline Park at  
the top near Carquinez Scenic Drive. To get there from Berkeley, take  
80, to the Pomona Exit into Crocket. Continue on Pomona which becomes  
Carquinez Scenic Drive. Go to the Park entrance at top. After we meet  
we will continue together from there past the turnoff to Port Costa  
which is Canyon Lake Dr. to another part of the park which overlooks  
the town of Port Costa and above the Carquinez bridge. There is also a  
view of the Ports of Martinez.

La Loma Market, San Pablo, CA


La Loma Market was a challenge to paint sitting in the median with cars whizzing past. Urban scenes are a challenge for me. They are not what I would naturally choose. So doing this one was a chance to push my comfort zone. I was going to crop it on the right, but I think I might just leave it. The light was actually behind the building, so it was a little confusing at times as to how to do shadows. I would like to see it in the morning light.

Larry Hatfield
10 x 14" Watercolor

Saturday, June 4

We will meet on San Pablo and McBryde. Many thanks to Marilyn who scouted this and other locations! She reports "there are several colorful produce stands, an Ace Hardware, and a colorful restaurant." Also she says there is a parking lot in back of La Loma the produce stand off of Wilson, and restrooms at a 76 gas station across San Pablo. To get there from Berkeley, take 80 north, get off at Solano, turn left on Amador, turn (next stop sign) left on McBryde, and cross over the freeway to one street past San Pablo Ave (Wilson). There is plenty of parking all around. We will meet in front of the La Loma produce stand.

Calf Squeeze Chute at Tormey (updated)


Thanks to Betsy who asked a local man what this is. Its a device to hold calves while they are tagged, inoculated and turned into steer-calves. It was in the middle of the turn-around at the end of the road at Tormey. There was some other farm equipment there too and a goofy statue and sign that went along with the other quirky things in town like the mannequin buried upside-down and the cardboard man in the window.

Larry Hatfield

10x14" watercolor

Monday, Aug 30

We will return to Tormey.  From 80 East take the Cummings Skyway extit (26). Go left on Cummings Skyway and left on San Pablo and you will see a row of houses on the left on Old County Road. We will meet at the end of the block.  

I found some interesting material about Tormey



The Rise and Fall of Tormey, California


by Michael Tormey, May 7, 2006
(Note: Readers may find it helpful to first read the narrative, A History of Rodeo, California and the Role Patrick Tormey Played in its Early Development.)

Lost to the annals of history is the small town of Tormey that once existed in the upper northwest corner of Contra Costa County, California, near both San Pablo Bay and the Carquinez Strait, barely two miles from the town of Rodeo and 28 miles from downtown San Francisco. While the name Tormey still appears on maps of the San Francisco Bay Area, today it is for the most part long abandoned, vacant land. It was at one time, however, a cozy company town that was home to hundreds of families over the course of nearly a century. Read More


Karen

Crockett Barn overlooking the Carquinez Strait


On a very hot day, I decided to stay in the shade and paint this barn that I tried painting last year from a slightly different angle. I was relatively cool until the last 45 min. I was next to a tree that had an ant nest and I had to straddle their trails so I wouldn't disturb them. I was surprised at how dark brown the distant hill was. But it worked well to contrast the roof. I am still not totally happy with the trees on the right. I might want to put some shadows to connect the barn and the foreground. The shadow on the left of the bard is a little too straight since the roof line is bowed and not straight.

Larry Hatfield
10 x 14 Watercolor

2nd & Page, Berkeley


Fran, Tani and I met to once again paint industrial Berkeley that seems to have endless possibilities. I think it was the color that captured my attention for this painting. Again I added my own graffiti or calligraphy to this Painting after it was painted. Went back to a smaller size for this since time was limited.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
14 X 11

www.marilynhill.com

Tormey


A wonderful end-of-road painting spot. A tattery little house with out buildings and animals and a tattery faded American flag. There was cardboard man standing in the left window and some plastic flowers in the right. I've started looking for insignificant details that say a lot about the place being painted, like barbed wire or the aerial on top of the house, the lettering on the fence post etc.

Marilyn Hill
Watercolor
14 X 11"

www.marilynhill.com

Carquinez Regional Shoreline

I couldn't find any shade to paint in but set up anyway. Larry had an painting umbrella he offered to me but I couldn't get it attached to my easel. I was also using a large canvas 24 by 36 inches. So I worked until I couldn't stand any more sun.  Karen

John Hubert Davis Park, San Pablo

Karen and I parked on Brookside, the street narrowly flanked by Wildcat and San Pablo creeks, then walked to J. H. Davis using a pedestrian passageway between two houses. Wildcat was almost dry, while the previous week we had seen the still flowing waters of San Pablo. As we walked into the higher ground next to an impossibly green baseball field, I saw a group of boys ages 6-13 playing soccer, which I decided I would paint. I set my easel far enough to hope I would stay unnoticed, bu it wasn't the case. They stopped their game minutes later and walked over. They had great manners! Later, I found out none attended the public elementary school by the park. Some went as far as Berkekey to get their parochial education. They had very good questions ("If you're painting a car and it drives away, how do you deal with that?") and even helped Karen when the wind blew her whole setup. I decided to continue painting the empty field, as lately I am into "emptiness."

Painting on Monday, Aug 23

We will meet at Carquinez Regional shoreline. We have been there once before.  It is very close to the other destination we had in mind, Crockett Hills and we will probably go there the following week.  To get to the park from 80 east take the Pomona Street exit. Folow Pomona Atreet through Crockett. It will become Carquinez Scenic Drive and wind around for awhile.  You will see the Bull Valley Staging area on your left and we will meet in the parking lot.

Saturday, August 21

We return to San Pablo. We'll meet at the parking lot of Grocery Outlet, at the end of 23rd St (with San Pablo). Directions: On 80, take the El Portal exit, make a left at the light, go under the freeway towards San Pablo. The road curves south. Continue on this frontage road until you hit another light. Pass Fordham and Rollingwood streets to your right, and pass the Contra Costa Community College. When you get to San Pablo Ave, make a left. You will soon see Brookside Ave to your right. Pass Brookside, you will see the Grocery Outlet across Brookside. Bring your own water and a cell phone.

San Pablo Ave at Brookside

The brook was a creek, and in it there was an egret, fishing, and an old plastic chair that had been tossed over the bridge that was San Pablo Avenue. In this location we met numerous Latino and African American families, all very friendly and interested in art. There were other characters as well, all disarmed by the sight of middle-aged women painting what seemed so ordinary.