east bay art classes

Plein Air Fridays Session 3

Topic  How to begin a landscape painting, part 2. Directions to Crest Ave From Berkeley, take 580 towards Marin and get off at Gerrard. Get off on Castro St exit and make a left on Castro Street. Go under the freeway and you will end up on Tewksbury Ave. Make a left on Tewksbury and continue along the freeway until you hit Washington Ave. Make a right on Washington and go to the small plaza with a statue. The road forks. Stay on your right continue up the hill on Washington. Pass Scenic St. and make a left on Crest Ave. Park at a small lot near the end of Crest Ave, by the trailhead. Please park parallel and close to other cars to leave parking space for everyone. From elsewhere, just take Richmond Parkway west all the way past the dump, and get off toward the end, on Castro St. North. Fol...Read More

Plein Air Fridays Session 2

Topics How to begin a landscape painting part 1. Safer painting practices. Directions If coming from highway 80, go up Solano to Arlington Blvd and turn left. Or take the Central Ave exit, go up Central and turn left on Ashbury until you hit Moeser, then go up the scary hill and turn right on Arlington Ave. If you are coming from El Sobrante, Richmond or El Cerrito, just take Arlington Blvd and turn right at Rincon Road. From Berkeley, take Arlington Blvd from Marin and turn left on Rincon. Watch carefully for the inconspicuous entrance and sign on Rincon Rd. park in their parking lot, which is next to a convent, then find your way to the reflecting pool, where we will spend the first hour. If you want, arrive early to scout painting spots. 

A Fragrant Still Life

Several new students came to my studio on a Saturday morning to try their their hand at painting a still life with a beautiful flower arrangement. This was our first Free Painting Workshop of the year, a way for adult students who have never taken a class with me to check out my teaching and learn some painting basics. Some students were beginners and others experienced, but they all wanted to spend two hours making art in a relaxed mood. I was hoping to open one end of the studio so we could enjoy the sunshine, but we had fog instead. So we stayed inside, sitting a little closer than I would have expected, but having a lot of fun along the way. The flowers came from the garden of my student Margo Hackett. She gave me enough foxgloves, hydrangeas, nasturtiums, roses and sage flowers for fo...Read More

Plein Air Fridays Session 1

Topics Get to know each other, review of materials, supplies and gear. Goals for the class. Aspect ratios. How to use a viewfinder. Directions If coming from highway 80, go up Solano to Arlington Blvd and turn left. Or take the Central Ave exit, go up Central and turn left on Ashbury until you hit Moeser, then go up the scary hill and turn right on Arlington Ave. If you are coming from El Sobrante, Richmond or El Cerrito, just take Arlington Blvd and turn right at Rincon Road. From Berkeley, take Arlington Blvd from Marin and turn left on Rincon. Watch carefully for the inconspicuous entrance and sign on Rincon Rd. park in their parking lot, which is next to a convent, then find your way to the reflecting pool, where we will spend the first hour. If you want, arrive early to scout painting...Read More

Blake Garden Delights

For our first visit to the Blake Garden, I thought I should talk about its enduring appeal to east bay painters. While the garden “contains a large diversity of plant materials that grow in our Mediterranean type climate” as well as “new and historic garden design and structures” I’ve long suspected this is not why artists flock to this enclosed space. It is more because, unlike other (and perhaps more) popular gardens in the area, this one packs a lot into a relatively small and it seems to have been designed with the plein air painter in mind. No, there aren’t a lot of benches, but there is plenty of shade near its most popular attractions, and a high number of secluded nooks and crannies where one may paint undisturbed. If to this you add that it lies...Read More