Tuesday, February 18, 2014

CAC 2nd Winter Art Symposium Inspires and Illuminates

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.

Monday, March 25, 2013

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

Discussing paintings with Bryan Mark Taylor, Doug Morgan and 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 camaraderie  I think the highlight of the day was when the little horses came over to the wire boundary 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.


Monday, October 29, 2012

4th Annual CAC Retreat at Marconi Conference Center

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 Cavalier, 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!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

WhiskeyTown National Recreation Area – Artist in Residence

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.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

NOCTURNE - A Kevin Courter Workshop

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

Thursday, February 9, 2012

A Day in Paradise Near the Sonoma Coast

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.

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.