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CAC 2nd Winter Symposium Inspires and Illuminates

2nd Biennial Winter Art Symposium

Founded in 1909, the California Art Club was built on the foundation of promoting and supporting contemporary-traditional fine art. No better example of this can be illustrated than this past weekend's 2nd Biennial Winter Art Symposium held at the Ft. Mason Conference Center in San Francisco.  


Three years ago, with the blessings of Elaine and Peter Adams, the driving force behind the resurection of the CAC in 1993, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the CAC established the Symposium as one of the premier showcase events of the club. Having achieved the goals set for the Symposium of providing education and inspiration for the Northern California members... it immediately became apparent that it should become a club signature event by opening it up to a larger audience. 



Planning began for this years 2nd Symposium with keynote speaker/demonstrator and CAC signature artist Kevin Macpherson agreeing to be the headliner.  Soon after, the full agenda of artists and speakers were lined-up and fine-tuned.  Kevin also agreed to conduct four private six person critique sessions during the event... something not previously attempted. It was received so well that it will most likely be adopted for future Symposiums. Kevin's humor, talent and spirit was a treat.  Kevin's talk and slide presentation was about his personal travels and history... that lead him on a path to follow his dreams.



Peter Adams, CAC president, followed with a short slide show of his work, history and the etherial side of painting.


Josh Rose (editor of American Art Collector Magazine) and Beverly Chang (public relations director for the CAC) gave a talk on "Packaging Yourself for the Press".  Candid and insightful, these two professionals spoke directly to an eager crowd.  Information was shared that most artists never get exposed to.  


Three simultaneous painting demonstrations were held in the afternoon session of Day 1 with Jesse Powell painting a Carmel Beach dunes scene in warm tones.  Jean LeGassick painted a Sierra mountainscape with precision and presence.  Craig Nelson, director of painting at the Academy of Art University in San Francisco did two seated portraits in oil. 





Day 2 began with Kevin Macpherson demonstrating a distant mountain scene illustrating the use of his three grey underpainting to block in the light and shadow areas of a painting before beginning to add color.  Being present to view his unique approach was special.



Up next was a talk and powerpoint presentation by artist Bill Cone who is also an Artistic Director at Pixar.  Mixed with humor and vision, his talk centered on the effects of "Elements of Natural Light and Color" in our world and our paintings. Explanations of changing light and shadow results produced by nature were eye popping.  Slides of paintings and his work at Pixar also illustrated the way he studies and explained light in nature. Given a standing ovation at the end of his time slot, the crowd began shouting more.. more.. more and he did.




The final demonstration of the day was by Craig Nelson once again who gave the audience a full drawing demonstration of a jacketed male model on the main stage.  He talked while drawing about approaches and methods throughout and the final drawing was a stunning likeness of the model.  What a talented artist and gifted teacher.



For the final closing of our Symposium... we brought up five artists, each giving a different perspective on thier "Pathways to Success".  Ed Terpening talked about Social media options, Carolyn Lord about the benefits of being part of clubs and organizations both local and national, Paul Kratter spoke about his experiences with Plein Air events, Jesse Powell discussed relationships with Galleries and Richard Lindenberg rounded out the discussion with the pathway of recognition through Local Events.  Elaine Adams also added her perspective as a gallery owner.


The CAC provided a program this past weekend that was well designed to provide further information to all levels of artist and inspire to progress with any artists chosen path.  We hope you all can continue to take advantage of the programs that the CAC, as well as other national organizations put forward with a noble goal to help expand and enrich traditional art.


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5th Annual CAC Retreat at Marconi Conference Center

Tomales Bay from Antenna Hill at Marconi

Our Fifth Annual CAC Retreat at Marconi Confererence Center on Oct. 25-27, 2013 brought together Eighty Six artists from near and far to experience the extraordinarily beautiful Tomales Bay in West Marin. No competition, No pressure, organic food and incredible scenes to paint... sounds perfect huh?  Here's a photo of approximately half of the participants... 



As the Co-Chair of the San Francisco Bay area... it's has been my great pleasure to have founded this event and continue it annually for all members to enjoy.  As a special treat this year... CAC Signature artist Ken Auster and his lovely wife Paulette joined our group. On Friday night Ken painted a memorable large demo for everyone.  It was certainly a highlight of the weekend.






Saturday during the day, we all went our own ways and painted along the coast.  Marshall Boatyard seemed to be a favorite spot with its colorful old drydocked boats.  It started getting chili as the late afternoon weather rolled in.  We braved it and painted a landscape further up Hwy. 1.  After a very enjoyable dinner, we all went down to Buck Hall our meeting room and we set up two model stations for everyone to paint portraits.  It's a tradition to do this on Saturday nights.





We always end our weekend with a group display of weekend paintings.  More than 100 paintings were set out along the edges of Buck Hall and everyone checked out the work.  We even had a Mock-Turn (nocturn during the day) challenge before lunch.  Then lunch and goodbyes as people dispersed to paint more or drive home.  It was definitely a jam-packed weekend of painting and socializing.  We're making reservations for next year.  See you then.




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CAC Quarterly Paint-Out for Bay Area Chapter is Largest Turnout Ever

Doug Morgan, Bryan Mark Taylor, Kim Lordier

This past Saturday March 23, 2013, the San Francisco Bay Area Chapter of the California Art Club held it's spring quarterly paint-out off Old Lakeville Highway #3 in Sonoma.  Approximately 50 painters attended which is the largest local paint-out we have ever held. It was great to start the Spring painting season with so many people. This event was hosted by Karen Leoni along with special guest CAC signature artist Doug Morgan.




The morning began with a people gathering with coffee, bagels and doughnuts which is unique to quarterly events.  After, everyone spread out along the 2 mile road with ample pull-offs all along the way.  Barns, ranches, sheep, miniature horses, eucalyptus groves, white fencelines and spectacular views of the valley below.  We also had 70 degree spring weather.  It was great to see so many CAC members out together as we rarely get to see each other.  


Some noteable artists from our Chapter that were also in attendance were Paul Kratter, Bryan Mark Taylor, Kim Lordier, Christin Coy, Kay Carlson.  There were no demos, but lots of laughs and comraderie.  I think the highlight of the day was when the little horses came over to the wire boundry fence and began scratching their bunns in unison to help shed their long and shaggy winter coats. 




Here are a couple of wonderful pastel paintings that Bill Cone posted on Facebook yesterday.




And a couple of my paintings too.



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4th Annual CAC Fall Retreat at Marconi Conference Center

CAC Fall Marconi Retreat Group

This past weekend Oct. 26-28, 2012, eighty-five CAC artists from around California experienced painting in spectacular Tomales Bay, West Marin with 70 degree coastal days and no fog. Historic Marconi Conference Center provided us with great food (in fact too much of it), fantastic vistas from the hills above, a spacious meeting hall and easy access to Highway 1 and all that the area provides... oysters, old boatyards, cottages on stilts in the bay, colorful fishing boats and kyacks, views of Point Reyes across the bay and ranchland with the iconic rolling Marin hills dotted by cattle and sheep. Does that about sum up a perfect weekend?



Friday was arrival day. As Christin and I drove up the highway in the morning, we saw painters scattered all over the area in small groups or as individuals diligently working.  Check-in wasn't until 3pm, but since I was the facilitator of the group, I had a brief meeting with the director and they gave us our room a bit early so we could go out and paint for the remainder of the day.  We chose to stay right on the grounds and paint from the hills above the bay.  I kept saying to Christin how gorgeous it was.  Soon we were joined by others checking out the grounds.  



At 6pm we all converged on the charming little restaurant they provided on the grounds and were delighted to find large round tables with tablecloths and candles.  The chef came out and introduced himself to us all and we proceeded to chow-down on a delicious multi-course meal.  After dinner we decended on Buck Hall, a large conference room with comfy rolling chairs dispersed around the room. We chatted for a while before I took to the podium with some announcements and on to raffle-time.  Savoir Faire, the U.S. importers of Sennelier, Fabriano, Isabey, Cretacolor and Raphael artist materials graciously provided us with an abundance of paint, brushes and drawing supplies for our give-a-way.  Since I was a previous product manager for them, I talked a bit about the history and properties of their wonderful products.  We were also provided with multiple sets of Raymar Art painting panels and a wet-panel carrier so that the painters who won them could go out the next day and experience painting with their prizes.  




On Saturday... we had a great catered breakfast with box lunches provided for the days outing.  Once again temperatures reached a perfect 70 degrees with almost no wind until late in the afternoon.  Everyone went their seperate ways but we requested that they come paint on the hilltop at 3pm so I could take some photos.  




After a relaxed dinner, we headed down to Buck Hall again for an evening of painting.  Two different model stations and one still life tabletop were set up. More than half of the attendees painted.  I was the dj for the evening and played an eclectic mix of music for the crowd.  So much fun.




Sunday morning... more food... then down to Buck Hall again where we set-out most of the paintings that people worked on over the weekend.  Some people even sold and/or traded their paintings with other attendees.  Reluctantly, we checked out and people went out to paint again or take the drive home early.  We all liked the facility and area so much that we have already booked the site once again for October 2013 at the same time. Since many asked us to make the weekend longer, we will extend it to three nights/4 days next year.


Kay Young and I are so proud to represent the California Art Club here in Northern California as Co-Chairs. We think the vision of Elaine and Peter Adams and support of the CAC organization staff headed by managing director Lisa Cavelier, do such a great job of helping make our chapter become a thriving artist community in the north.  Without the Pasadena headquarters contributions and chapter member attendance at our planned activities, none of these events would be possible.  Thank you to everyone!  


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WhiskeyTown National Recreation Area Artist in Residence

Sandy Bottom Point at Whiskeytown Lake

Earlier this year I researched Artist in Residence programs that are offered at several National Parks and Recreation areas.  Only 3 hours from my home was the program at Whiskeytown Lake Nat. Rec. Area, just outside of Redding, CA and very close to Mt. Shasta, Lassen National Park and the Trinity Alps.  I applied and was granted the residency.  I chose the first two weeks of July as my time because of other commitments.  My plan was to experiment working with larger canvas sizes plein air and returning the following day at the same time if needed to complete the work.



Whiskeytown Lake is a reservoir that features a 36-mile shoreline. Most people come to Whiskeytown for the cool water in its reservoir, shaded corridors and year-round creeks that offer a refreshing break from summer’s heat.  President John F. Kennedy dedicated the Dam in 1963 and set it aside as a National Recreation Area.


Upon my arrival, I was greeted by Sean Denniston… Chief, Division of Interpretation and Resources Management for the area. Sean was very personable and made me feel right at home quickly.  He drove me down to my 2-bedroom cabin that was on a service road near Brandy Creek Beach.  It was private and had all the things needed to make my stay comfortable.  Jim Milestone, Superintendent of the park stopped by the cabin one morning to introduce himself and we chatted about the park.  My friend Paul Kratter came up for a couple of days and they invited Paul and me to their annual NPS district pancake breakfast with all the employees and regional heads of other parks.  Jim impressed me with passing of  knowledge to the group that the National Park Service was actually created with the help of some very early painters who came to the areas and made visual records of the spectacular west while then honoring us as carrying on the tradition.




Unfortunately, the weather reached temperatures than topped 100 degrees for most of my stay there… so I had to abandon my plans to paint large… the heat was just too debilitating.  Working in the middle of the day was unimaginable… so I drove to Redding and took in some movies.  Paul and I headed up to Lassen and Mt. Shasta to beat the heat.  For the most part we did and were able to paint some nice little pieces. One day there was a major fire in the Redding area that didn’t threaten Whiskeytown, but did create a large smoke filled sky and an eerie orange glow to go along with the heat.




It was all quite beautiful in that part of California, but I cut short my residency due to the high temperatures… one day I even had a touch of heat stroke.   I ended up painting about 10 paintings during the visit and would love to return when the weather is cooler to explore.  I would certainly recommend an artist in residency program to those of you who want to clear your mind of daily living and retreat to some fabulous and peaceful locations.







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NOCTURNE - A Workshop with Kevin Courter

Delta Nocturne - 10x11 - by Kevin Courter

This past weekend Christin and I were fortunate to be part of a three day workshop atl'Atelier aux Couleurs: The Art Academy in Petaluma with the gifted artist Kevin Courter.  The workshop was titled “NOCTURNES” because he often paints with this low-light theme in mind.  While most people would consider his approach tonal… he thinks his nocturnes are far less muted than most tonal painters because he uses more intense colors in the backgrounds and skies.


His approach is quite unique and begins with a monochromatic under-painting by mixing dark transparent colors to create the foundation of the painting. Using Q-Tips, he pulls of delicate amounts of paint from the masses to indicate the highlights and shape of the trees, marshes, etc. He spends quite a long amount of time on this process and considers it crucial to be successful at this stage or the painting will often not work out.  It’s almost as if he was using a scratch-board process.  He begins applying color. He mixes in a large puddle and pulls all of his colors from here using very subtle shifts.  It’s crucial to have a compressed palette in nocturnes because the night light flattens the color temperature.


I don’t take many workshops, but I believe that by occasionally exposing myself to the techniques, methods and thought processes great painters… these things will absorb into my knowledge base and merge into my process however it should.  It is tempting to try and copy his paintings and style… but I consider this counter-productive.  Simply watching and absorbing his demos was a treat.  He is a very generous painter/teacher and I have a newfound appreciation for his work (which I always liked anyway).  There were many other wonderful artists in attendance and the paintings that were created were put up on the holding shelves during the three days… in the end, there were so many fantastic creations that it was even difficult to pick out the original Courters’.  


Here are the three paintings I created at the workshop.  I'm pleased with all of them.

Refuge Moon - 12x12 oil - by Richard Lindenberg


Moonlit Cypress - 12x9 oil - by Richard Lindenberg


Bodega Bay Moon - 8x16 oil - by Richard Lindenberg

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A Day in Paradise Near the Sonoma Coast

Down To The Sea - 9 x 12" Plein Air Oil on Panel

It has been an unseasonably warm winter here in Northern California with very little rain.  Although this isn't good for the ranchers or our water supply... it's been great for me as a plein air landscape painter.  I've been out a lot in the last couple of months and have many new paintings created in a time when normally I'm locked in my studio painting larger pieces.


Yesterday, I started the day visiting Graton Gallery outside Sebastapol, CA where they are holding their annual invitational show.  I was invited this year and submitted two paintings but had not seen the show yet.  While there, I asked for a local place to paint and they steered me to Coleman Valley Rd., just outside Occidental, CA.  It meanders through a valley where I discovered a classic whitewashed old ranch house that lit up in the morning sun.  I couldn't resist it and pulled over to paint.  Beautiful light.


Morning Sun by Richard Lindenberg Oil ~ 9


After eating a bit of lunch... I continued on and the road moved up and out of the valley to the ridgeline that meandered out to the Sea. Along the way I was stopped by the CHP to wait for a film crew that was making a commercial with a bicyclist riding along the road.  After they let me pass, I found a spot on the hilltop overlooking an enormous valley that went down to the ocean.  The late light was just starting to turn colors, so I did my block in and continued to add color and light while the sun dropped lower in the sky.  Loved the spot and the painting.


Reflecting on this magnificent day, I felt a deep connection with painting and the land... I felt alive and blessed and wanted to share this.

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2011 CAC Limantour Retreat

Limantour Estero Canal




This past September 23-25 the Bay Area Chapter of the California Art Club hosted the third annual Limantour Retreat… an event that is eagerly anticipated and unanimously appreciated.




Friday morning the earlybirds converged on Limantour Beach for the first day of painting. After a light morning fog burned off we were treated to one of those perfect fall days. Christin painted from the hillside overlooking the Estero and I painted from the edge of the parking lot looking south toward a distant tree line and the cliffs beyond. I then joined her above the estero for another. We both came away with a few gems. The tide moves quite quickly there so the meandering channels through the pickle weed marsh alter while you paint.  I’ve learned over the years of painting there that you need to put down your water at the beginning so you don’t have to keep chasing the changing patterns.  At 4pm we went back to the Hostel for check-in. Cars were lined up waiting to be admitted so that those who needed a lower bunk for various reasons could get first shot at them.  I don’t think it has ever been a problem, but people seem to be quite determined to claim them since we don’t reserve spots in advance.  Everyone brought an enormous amount of food for Friday’s pot-luck dinner and we all sat around the comfy living room getting to know each other better. Debbie Gualco brought a DVD of Morgan Weistling painting a portrait… and this kept a whole bunch of people enthralled.




Saturday morning was socked in with fog. We all shared a yummy Bagel and salmon breakfast and then trooped out to Drake’s Beach where we had a planned paint-out.  Many stayed and some went to other areas of Point Reyes in search of some sun… but I’m not sure they found any.  Those who stayed, spread out on the beach and hills to paint the surf and dramatic cliffs. At 4pm about 30 of us gathered and set out our paintings on the café picnic tables. It was impressive… such good work.  Kay Young was awarded the artist’s choice award and received a set of Sennelier oils for her little square painting of the surf painted on a silver-leaf panel.  Will Maller captured second with another loosely interpreted surf painting.  Back at the Hostel, after a dinner of leftovers and such, some of us took a walk in the dark down the trail toward the beach. Later some of us went up to the upper dorm and we held an impromptu portrait session.  Christin sat with a guitar for the nine painters and we had lots of laughs. 




Sunday morning we were greeted by unseasonable rain… so instead of laying out all of our weekends paints on the patio, we went to the upper dorm again and set everything there. Pretty amazing how many paintings were created and such good work. 


It’s not often that painters can gather for fun.  It’s usually for a high-pressure event or workshop educational gathering… but at the Limantour retreat, we simply paint and get to know other painters better.  It sure is fun and I look forward to next year!





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2011 DOOR COUNTY PLEIN AIR FESTIVAL - How To Stage a Perfect Event

Gala Artwork Hung at the Guenzel Gallery

Having participated in many Plein Air events, it's easy to see why the Door County Plein Air Festival organizers at the Peninsula School of Art in Fish Creek, WI have become one of the top events in the nation. The highly dedicated women who facilitate this event seem to clearly see what makes it all work and the 2011 festival produced enormous results. At the time of this posting, sales increased by 44% over 2010 with 207 paintings sold in the first two days. 




Several years ago, Christin had received an invitation from Cinnamon Rossman (the event director) but had declined to attend due to the distance and lack of knowledge of the area or event. Last year our friends Carole Gray-Weihman and Al Tofanelli described thier incredible experience to us, so we contacted Cinnamon and we were invited to participate in the 2011 event. 
Clearly the Door County Plein Air Festival has developed huge support from the local community and from around the Midwest metropolitan areas who vacation there each year and take advantage of the summer recreational opportunities this unique Lake Michigan spot offers.  Building support of the community is one of the main ingredients for success in any event.  Building the knowledge base about creating and collecting fine art is crucial.  In addition to the schools schedule of classes and website offerings, they provide weeklong opportunities for the "Palette Pass" holders (who are invited to all of the weeks events) to be involved.  There was a meet the artists night dinner held lakeside on Monday, A sunset paint-out in Sister Bay on the waterfront with catered food and drinks, the Gala for collectors was held on Friday night, a quick draw on the waterfront on Saturday morning and a public opening reception on Saturday night.  In addition, throughout the week, artists were asked to sign up for specific locations so that the public could come and watch the painters work.  Everyone was so excited to see the weeklong results from the artists, that paintings were simply flying off the walls at the Gala and this energy continued into the next day.



Another major component for the success of this event was the selection of hi-caliber talent.  Although I work for Plein Air Magazine and am familiar with many of the nationally acclaimed plein air artists, there were many artists here that have not reached a national stage, yet were exceptional talents.  Tom Nachreiner, Mat Barber Kennedy, Frank Gardner, Mark Boedges, Stuart Fullerton, Jim Hempel, Brian Sindler, John Stuart Pryce and William Suys were among those who I admired but had not known and they joined some of my favorites who have achieved a larger audience like Marc Hanson, Colin Page, Joshua Been, Jim Markle, Shelby Keefe, Debra Joy Groesser, Kim Casebeer, Mary Garrish and Ulrich Gleiter.  Other artists who haven't been mentioned here also worked hard and deserve mention, but then I would just be listing everyone.




Door County is a gem.  The beauty of this peninsula that juts out into the enormous Lake Michigan provides a wealth of painting subjects. We were thrilled to be part of this event and took away lasting memories.  Here are some more photos of the area.









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2nd Annual California Art Club Painting Retreat at Limantour Beach

Paint-Out Group at Pierce Ranch
Once again, our annual artists outing was a big success. This year's 2nd Annual CAC Northern California Chapter Painting Retreat at Limantour Beach was held Oct. 8-10 on the Point Reyes National Seashore. Thirty Six artists gathered at the Limantour Hostel for two nights and three days of painting, eating and conversation. At check-in, Laife (hostel staff member) handed out sets of Sennelier Artist Oils to each participant. They were generously donated with our gratitude by Savior Faire... the U.S. importer of the French artist materials manufacturer. After four months of preparation, some people drove in from L.A., Monterrey and Lake Tahoe, but most people were from around the Bay Area.


We had spectacular fall weather all weekend with totally sunny skies during the days and a small amount of shore fog in the mornings. Absolutely glorious! After a day of painting at Limantour on Friday with many of the participants, Christin and I checked in and gathered for a pot-luck dinner with the others. Everyone provided an enormous amount of food. We drank (moderately) and engaged in group conversations with stories, laughter and warm smiles all around. It was great to meet some new people and learn more about the lives of other artists. This year there were many more women attending, so we had two dorms dedicated for the women, one for the men and one co-ed dorm. Naturally, everyone wanted a lower bunk, but it all seemed to work out.

In the morning we didn't hear any horror stories of loud snoring like the previous year. Saturday morning began with a Bagel, Salmon and cream cheese breakfast. We added a new twist to the Saturday of painting this year by holding a group paint-out at the Historic Pierce Ranch on Tomales Point which dates back to around 1850. It was a large dairy ranch that produced prized butter, milk and cheese products due to the near ideal cool climate which was perfect for grazing cows. Although the ranch is not a working ranch any longer, the cluster of old whitewashed buildings with surrounding cypress tree windbreaks are now preserved by the Pt. Reyes National Seashore and allowed us to all spread out and paint a similar theme. At 3pm we gathered at the main barn for a viewing of one painting from each artist. Christin Coy's painting was selected as the winner of the Artist's Choice award and received a nice gift from the CAC. Returning home later, we shared a Barbeque dinner and left-overs with more socializing. Another beautiful day in paradise.


Sunday morning we ate breakfast and then we all set out our paintings on the outdoor picnic tables so we could experience the various styles and techniques. It brought us closer once again to see each others work. Michele de Braganca won a random drawing from the hat prize from the CAC. We cleaned up a bit and checked out at 10am and said our goodbyes. Local artists scattered about and painted in the region on Sunday too. I dont know how everyone felt about the paintings they produced over the weekend, but I do know that such events hold a special place in each of our heats and will be a memory that lasts in our history as artists. We're already planning our 3rd annual retreat for next year.



Note: This event came about as a result of the combined efforts to bring more CAC events to the Northern part of our state. Our local chapter, co-chaired by Kay Young and myself, has been working closely with the CAC Executive Director Elain Adams, Managing Director Lisa Cavelier, CAC administrator Barbara Chung along with our chapter volunteer steering committee. I was very happy to have administered this event on their behalf. If you're not already a CAC member, you too can join...  CAC Membership Info
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