watercolor landscape

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.

Plein Air Fridays Session 5

Topic
Determining a Focal Point

Directions To Meeker Slough
Take 580 towards the San Rafael Bridge. Get off on Marina Bay Parkway. Cross Regatta Blvd and continue through the Marina Bay development. Turn left onto Bayside Dr. Our meeting location is the round end of Bayside Dr, where there are approximately ten parking spaces for visitors of the Marina Bay development. Park there, or if this small lot is full, park along Bayside. We will walk together to Meeker Slough.

Important Note
Please keep in mind that the address is for the house closest to the parking lot where we will meet and that GPS will take you elsewhere if you follow the GPS alone. Follow the written instructions once you get to Richmond, and you will find the parking lot very easily.

The closest bathrooms are located at Shimada Park, five minutes away via Bay Trail.

Plein Air Fridays

Photo of a female student in front of an easel.

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

This summer, spend Fridays painting au plein air at several beautiful great East Bay outdoor locations. Whether you are a beginner or a more advanced painting student, you will 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.

Summary
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.

Format
This class is taught on Friday afternoons, from 1-4 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
Please register at this site. This class is being taught by me and is not associated with any institution. You must register before the first day of class.

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

July 6, Session 1 at Blake Garden, Kensington
Get to know each other, review of materials, supplies and gear. Goals for the class. Aspect ratios. How to use a viewfinder.

July 13, Session 2 at Blake Garden, Kensington
How to begin a landscape painting part 1. Foreground, middle ground, background.

July 20, Session 3 at Miller Knox Regional Park
How to begin a landscape painting part 2. Editing elements out.

July 27, Session 4 at Miller Knox Regional Park
Selecting pigments for a Bay Area landscape. Limited palettes.

Aug 3, No Class

Aug 10, Session 5 Point Molate Beach Park, Richmond
Priorities, planning your time. The dangers of overpainting

Aug 17, Session 6 Point Molate Beach Park, Richmond
The role of values in a landscape.

Aug 24, Session 7 at Aquatic Park South, Emeryville
The cell phone as a tool of the landscape painter.

Aug 31, Session 8 at Aquatic Park South, Emeryville
Revising from photos. Making a personal plan for your continued learning.


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.

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