Monday, Aug 29

We will meet at Carquinez Strait Regional Park. 

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.  

Saturday, August 27

The top of Crest Ave has gorgeous 360 degree views of the bay, Pojnt Richmond, and the Miller Knox Regional Park. We will start walking to the top of this hill fifteen minutes after the meeting time.

Directions: From 80, take the Cutting exit all the way to Point Richmond if you are coming from El Sobrante or Pinole. If you are coming from Berkeley, take 580 to Cutting Ave, then follow signs to Point Richmond. Go up Washington Ave, then left on Crest Avenue all the way to the trailhead near the top of this hill. There are no bathrooms, and no water. Bring a cart or a backpack with your supplies, as well as a cell phone. Please RSVP if you are coming.

Monday, Aug 22

We will meet at Carquinez Strait Regional Park.
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.

El Cerrito Bay View

This painting was done from the el cerritio hill location we have been going to this summer. I was looking toward the bay with all the electrical wires and towers in the way.  Karen

Tormey in August

We have been painting in Tormey again. This one was done looking back at the town on a 20 by30 canvas. I was not sure about the dimensions of the canvas when I got it but I liked working on this size.  Karen

El Cerrito Hillside

Sharon Hind-Smith sent us this watercolor to post. She started painting with us a few weeks ago.  This painting depicts the view of the bay through the rooftops on the hillside location we are returning to tomorrow.

End of Fairview Dr., El Cerrito

Loads of gel were employed in this 16 x 20" acrylic. The incoming fog made it easy to manipulate the thick layers, as it took a long time for the them to dry, and this allowed me to try out things such as the right value for the sky.

I finished it in my studio from memory, and almost two weeks later, I believe it really gives a feeling for El Cerrito. I think of a dark poem by Melissa Hansen, The Suburbia of our Discontent:

..the view of houses
lonely and forgotten
for she is alone
in a group of
the same...


This was one of those times when I was in a rush, as I had to be at a child's birthday party afterwards. I was attracted by the towering Chevron tanks looming over the one-street town. I had brought a small canvas (11 x 14"), and sat down to work with acrylics on a very hot, dry day. The biting horse nearby kicked up clouds of dust and the sheep were curious. I tried to get the right values on canvas, but my chief difficulty was the speed with which acrylics dry up on breezy summer days. I finished at home from memory. Not one of my best, but hey, at least I showed up!


Monday, August 15

We are going back to Schmidt Lane in El Cerrtito.  There are a variety of views from the streets surrounding the Nature Area. 
We'll meet at the corner of Navellier Street and Schmidt Lane in El Cerrito. 

Directions: From 80 take the Central exit, make a left on San Pablo Ave, and a right on Moeser. Make a left on Navellier and a right on Schmidt Lane. On Schmidt Lane, there is a dirt road entering the Hillside Natural Area. This hill affords natural and urban views. Bring your own water and a cell phone. Please park on Schmidt Lane and wait for the others.

Monday, Aug 8

We will meet at Tamalpais and Fairview in El Cerrito . We found this place while painting on Friday evening.  There are views toward the Bay of El Cerrito and Albany and some closer views of the hills. From San Pablo Ave go up Cutting Blvd toward the hills and just one block before the Arlington turn right on Tamalpais and go until Fairview, where you will see an empty field where we will meet. If you are comming from Berkeley on the Arlingtong turn left at
Cutting and then a quick left on Tamalpais and continue as above.

Saturday, August 6

We will paint in Tormey. 
Directions: 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.  
Karen had found this very interesting website some time ago, which explains the origins of this town. Rebeca works with one of the family's descendants. 
Here's a map of Tormey:
View Larger Map

Friday, August 5

We will be painting late afternoon on Friday. We have been wanting to paint in the changing afternoon light, so we are going to try it for the first time at the end of this week. It is possible that it might be windy, so bring a hat and a scarf, your own water, and a cell phone.

Directions: Take the Potrero Ave exit off 80. Turn east in the direction of the hills (not to Richmond). Go up Potrero until you get to North Arlington Blvd and turn right. Park on North Arlington, along the golf course. We will meet on the side of North Arlington adjacent to the Mira Vista Club.

Please reply to the e-mail message if interested.