oil classes

Plein Air Sundays

Photo of students painting at Meeker Slough.

The wind blows through our gear as we get ready to start painting.

This fall, spend Sundays painting au plein air at several beautiful great East Bay outdoor locations. Because of our weather, my next plein air class will not take place until late April 2018. $200 for six, 3 hr sessions.

Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painting student, you’ll enjoy discovering beginner-friendly painting spots, and improving your technique in the company of new friends. You’ll receive support through the difficulties of painting outdoors.

Format
Learn how to paint the sights you love with as much or as little feedback as you desire. Use the media of your choice. I can help you with acrylic, oil, watercolor, gouache or pastel. We’ll spend two weeks at each painting location so that students can either begin a new painting or complete the one begun in the previous session.

This class is taught on Sunday afternoons, from 12-3 pm. Each class consists of a rotating 30 min introduction to painting concepts that may be a demo or a discussion with examples, followed by 2+ hours of painting. Locations are announced well in advance of the first day of class. You will receive accurate driving instructions and Rebeca’s phone in case you get lost.

Registration
If you are planning to travel this fall, you can buy a package of six classes, which you can take on any of these dates: 9/10, 9/17, 9/24, 10/1, 10/8, 10/15, 10/22, 11/5, and 11/12. No proration or registration after Sept 30 can be accepted.

This is a rough outline of the class, subject to revisions:

Sept 10, Session 1 at Miller Knox Park
Get to know each other, review of materials, supplies and gear. Goals for the class. Aspect ratios. How to use a viewfinder and begin a painting.

Sept 17, Session 2 at Miller Knox Park
How to begin a landscape painting part 2. Safer painting practices.

Sept 24, Session 3 at Hoffman Marsh
How to begin a landscape painting part 2.

Oct 8, Session 4 at Tilden Botanical Garden
Selecting pigments for a Bay Area landscape. Limited palettes.

Oct 15, Session 5 at Rebeca’s Studio
Determining a focal point.

Oct 22, Session 6 at Tilden Botanical Garden
The role of values in a landscape.

Oct 29, Session 7 at Lake Anza
Foreground, middle ground, background. Aerial perspective.

Nov 5, Session 8 at Lake Anza
The cell phone as a tool of the landscape painter. Revising from photos.

Nov 12, Session 9 at Location TBD
Avoiding the dangers of overpainting

Bad Weather
Please note that in the unlikely event of bad weather, the session will be canceled. Bad weather is defined as double-digit wind speeds, rain, temperatures in the fifties, all-day fog, or a heat wave. All students will be notified via phone and class will be extended an additional week.

Cancellations

Registration fees can only be refunded in full if canceled up to three days (72 hrs) before class. With less than 72 hrs but more than 24 hrs notice, you receive 75% of your registration. If you give less than 24 hrs notice and do not attend the first class, you’ll receive 50% of the registration fee. No refund will be given to students who attend the first class but decide not to continue.

A Different Place Entirely

“A different place entirely” is how a painter friend described Meeker Slough in a blog entry. One of the locations I chose for our Plein Air Fridays class, the slough in my opinion deserves five stars as an East Bay painting spot. It is mostly accessible through the part of Richmond’s Bay Trail that borders the Marina Way development and perhaps because of that it feels far, far away.

Photo of students painting at Meeker Slough.

The wind blows through our gear as we get ready to start painting.

“An old mudflat channel along the Richmond Southeast Shoreline that became constrained from over 100 years of urban development starting in the late 1800s,” the slough used to be considered one of one of the ten most toxic spots in the Bay Area. Thanks to the cleaning efforts of UC Berkeley, it is possible to pass through without being significantly exposed to PCBs, arsenic, lead and mercury. It is a Clapper Rail habitat and
Photo of a female student in front of an easel.

Working in perspective to capture the vast expanse that is the Slough.

home to numerous other species. This is apparent on any visit as the birds don’t seem to mind the warning signs posted on the fence bordering the slough.

Despite this history, Meeker Slough has become a painting destination in the East Bay, perhaps because of the beauty of Richmond’s Inner Harbor, or because of how distant it is from the freeway noise. In October, the grasses turn orange, and during winter our mild weather makes it possible to paint in less windy conditions. Of Meeker Slough, painter Karen Zullo Sherr said,

Every time we are there people want to go back again. It is actually a very modest place on the Bay trail so close to the condos on the bay in Richmond. But the more you look at the place the more you see to paint. Last time we were there it was high tide and it was completeley different. A different place entirely.

Maybe it is this variation what makes us return. I do know I have sold each and every one of my Slough paintings. And while summertime tends to come with the winds that bring down our foggy skies, that part of Richmond tends to be sunny and warmer than other East Bay spots. To see some artistic interpretations of Meeker Slough by the East Bay Landscape Painters, please visit this link.

Classes

Cal Create Program
CREATE (Creative Residencies for Emerging Artists Teaching Empowerment) is a student-led group that promotes arts-based services. Through CREATE, Berkeley undergraduates teach classes in visual arts, theater, dance, and/or creative writing to meet the enrichment needs of local schools and community organizations. I am proud to be the visual arts mentor who advises them on curriculum design and age-appropriate activities. Access my CREATE portal with resources here.

Landscape Plein Air at the Richmond Art Center
Spend time painting au plein air at several beautiful great East Bay outdoor locations. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painting student, you’ll enjoy discovering beginner-friendly painting spots, and improving your technique in the company of new friends. You’ll receive support through the difficulties of painting outdoors. This summer, you will be able to choose one of two days for your plein air class starting June 17. Click here for more info.

Fundamental Drawing Class at the Richmond Art Center
Introduces drawing beginners to concepts and techniques artists use to draw realistically. Gain confidence in your art-making by sharpening your drawing skills with charcoal, graphite or ink. Learn various approaches to drawing and expand your strategy repertoire. Whether you are a stark beginner or a person returning to art after a few years doing something else, this class is sure to leave you excited about drawing, more confident and with a repertoire of strategies to help you tackle difficult subjects. Every Thursday night, beginning June 20 from 6:00-8:00 pm. Register here.

Painting for Total Beginners at the Richmond Art Center
Geared at adults who have taken little or no previous instruction in painting, this 8 week class will allow you to use the media of your choice to explore self-expression in a nurturing environment. Even if you haven’t done much drawing, plenty of short demos and individual assistance during the two hours you’ll be painting will ensure you get the most out of each class. Get more out of the paintings you see in galleries and museums. Gain confidence and a new awareness of your voice as a painter. Begins the first week of September, from 1-4 pm. Check the Richmond Art Center’s website over the summer for exact dates.

Gel Printing Addiction Workshop at the Richmond Art Center
 It’s so much fun you won’t be able to stop! No previous printing knowledge is necessary to print multiple gorgeous, multi-hued textures for your collages, sketchbooks, and greeting cards. Use household objects and supplies found in your pantry. After a ten min demo, spend  the rest of your time experimenting with colors, techniques and layering. Learn how to create and reuse your own durable gel plates. Leave with a treasure trove of resources. Taught on Saturdays. Taught on April 7, from 9-12 pm. Register here.

Portraiture Basics Workshop at the Richmond Art Center
Set yourself up for success in portraiture, using the media of your choice. Learn how to analyze and “block” the structure of a skull to get a likeness, mix flesh tones, observe and paint facial features, and maintain key value relationships as you complete your portrait. We’ll spend 10-12 reviewing key concepts with demonstrations, and after a lunch break begin the guided painting of a live model until 4 pm. No fume-producing substances can be used. $75, plus a small amount for the model’s fee payable at the workshop. Taught on Sunday, April 28, from 10-4 pm.

Landscape Plein Air at the Richmond Art Center
Spend time painting au plein air at several beautiful great East Bay outdoor locations. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painting student, you’ll enjoy discovering beginner-friendly painting spots, and improving your technique in the company of new friends. You’ll receive support through the difficulties of painting outdoors. At various East Bay locations starting June 2019.