Concord Art Association is a California 501c3 non-profit organization
April 2022
Volume 22  •  Issue 4
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John Nakanishi
As I turn in my resignation as president of CAA and reflect back on my short term, all I can say is… APRIL FOOLS! Sorry about that. As you pick yourself up off the floor and calm back down, I want you to think about this odd month. A month that starts out by pranking each other. What’s up with that? Maybe by April, we are all getting silly because we’ve been so busy trying to start the year out better than the previous year. CAA has been super busy at the start of this year, so maybe it’s time
to get a little goofy, prank a little, and regroup.

You know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers?” This is the month for flower seeds to get rained on and prepare to sprout and grow. For CAA, this is the month to get showered with inspirational or motivational rain and prepare for next month’s shows. Check out the two active calls for art. First, a CAA members show at the aRt Cottage with the theme, “Journeys: Exploring My Mind and the World.” Then there is “The Colors of Spring” which is actually three shows rolled into one! There is a gallery show, an art and craft sale, and a plein air paint out. I hate to admit it, but sometimes those submission deadlines are the only things that shower me with enough motivation to get me out of my procrastinations!
I am also hoping to get showered with volunteers this month. That Colors of Spring show next month will require a lot of volunteers! We need people to take in art and set up the gallery show. We need people to set up and take down tables and signs for the art and craft sale. The plein air paint-out will need volunteers. There are many jobs to fill. Please let us know if you are available to help on any of the show days starting Thursday, May 12 through Monday the 16th. Sign up HERE.
Finally, I want to give everyone a heads up on a fun group painting activity for CAA members. Creative Concord has invited CAA to participate in their Painting “JAM” in the Park event. This is a 2-day mural painting “jam” in Todos Santos Plaza on June 11th and 12th, 2022. Artists will be provided with an 8 foot by 8 foot wooden structure and a budget for supplies. Completed murals will be donated to charities and organizations in Concord. Please let us know if you would be interested in participating in this volunteer event. If we get enough painters, we could apply for two murals to paint. Sounds like a great member’s event, doesn’t it? If you want to participate, please send an email to
April Guest Artist:
Colleen Gianatiempo

Join us to Paint Your Pet!
Please join us on Tuesday, April 12 at 6:00pm for a mini-workshop with award-winning artist Colleen Gianatiempo.

Paint Your Pet in Expressive Watercolor
Join Colleen and other CAA members for a fun paint-a-long -- expressive watercolor painting of your favorite pet. You will learn how to bring your painting into focus.  You will learn techniques for creating the essence of fur, whiskers, hair and more! It will warm your heart and spark your creativity! No prior experience necessary!

Please visit Colleen's website, to learn more about her art practice and read her artist statement.

You may download a helpful handout in advance of the meeting by clicking HERE.

This meeting will be held via Zoom, and a link will be sent to members a few days before the meeting. If you're not yet a member of CAA and wish to join, click the link below:
Join CAA
Call for Volunteers!

We are busy planning the three day event, May 13th through 15th, Colors of Spring. Concord Art Association will host three art events at the Concord Museum Event Center in conjunction with the Concord Historical Society's Spring Tea. CAA Members will be able to participate in a Fine Art Gallery Show, an Art and Craft Sale, and a Plein Air Paint Out.
This is a huge event, and needs many volunteers to make it a success! If you would like to help with any of the following tasks (or other tasks as needed) please sign up HERE.

Thursday, May 12
  • Fine Art Show: grid setup
  • Fine Art Show: checking in artists
  • Fine Art Show: hanging art
  • General Assistance
Friday, May 13
  • Plein Air Paintout: checking in and stamping substrates
  • All Events: help with sign placement
  • Art and Craft Sale: check in and direct vendors
  • General Assistance
Saturday, May 14
  • Setting up signage
  • Assist vendors
  • Assist with receiving plein air artwork
  • General Assistance
Sunday, May 15
  • Assist vendors
  • Remove signage
  • Fine Art Show: Assist with artist retrieval of art
  • General Assistance
COVID protocols will be followed at all events.
Don't Miss the Opportunity to
Show and Sell Your Work!

Sign Up Now for These CAA Shows:

Click the title link to sign up

Journeys: Exploring My Mind and the World
aRt Cottage, May and June
Deadline to Enter is April 20

Colors of Spring Events - Must Sign Up for Each Event
Deadline to Enter all events is April 22:
Fine Art Show and Sale, May 13-15
Plein Air Paintout, May 13
Art and Craft Sale, May 13-15
Slow Progress on Phase III of the
Utility Box Art Project

by Catherine Hensiek
Due to worldwide supply chain issues, the city schedule for receiving and installing the new traffic control boxes has been revised. CAA postponed issuing the Call for Artists until the city determines when they can install the traffic control boxes we selected for the project. So eager would-be utility box artists, please be patient. We'll release the Call for Artists out as soon as possible. Stay tuned for the announcement in your inbox!
"Recycled" by John Nakanishi, acrylic on canvas

It’s All About the Process
by John Nakanishi
Catherine Hensiek provided us with a very cool demonstration on neurographic drawing during the last virtual CAA Art Chat. It was a fun exercise, and I found neurographic drawing to be very relaxing, almost meditative. I find myself in a similar state when I draw zentangles or when I doodle in my sketchbooks. We talked about how freeing such activities are.
During that virtual art chat, I shared a recent painting as an example of a freeing process for me. I called it “Recycled” because 90% of the painting is from recycled acrylic paint. I hate wasting paint, so rather than letting extra paint dry on the palette after I’ve finished painting, I always keep at least one canvas where I can use up this leftover paint. Not only does this appease my penny-pinching tendencies, but I’ve found that these side paintings often turn out better than the “serious” paintings I’ve been focusing on. So now, I’ve started to use this “recycled-paint process” to create new serious paintings … and it works great!
When I start on a new canvas, solely for the purpose of using up my leftover paint, I never worry about composition, except that I try to separate colors that might clash if placed close to each other. My only thought is to experiment and explore my mark-making. Because I am using up leftovers, I have no choice on color. Also, I keep the same mark-making tool that I was just using. When the focus is simply experimenting with mark-making, I’ve discovered interesting techniques that I never would have tried if I were being serious.
As the canvas fills up, there comes a point where the painting starts talking to me, and I become more deliberate in what I’m doing. I start looking more critically at the composition. I tweak it here and there. I love this part of the process because the painting slowly starts coming together. It’s as if the painting has a life of its own and is leading the process. As the artist, I have to go with the flow.
Then, almost miraculously, a vision of the finished product becomes clear. At this point, I begin using fresh paint and no longer rely on leftovers. I also choose what marking tools to use. By this time, I would say my painting is about 90% done. The last 10% is a slow and deliberate process, cleaning up the composition, adjusting tones and shades, and doing all the final touchups as you would normally do when completing a composition.
Creativity is sometimes stifled by pressures to create a “masterpiece.” I have run into this mindset in my art-making—the fear of messing up. Commissioned pieces especially can cause great anxiety. I know I’m not the only one who has stared down a blank canvas with fear, paralyzed with inaction. (I’m not going to get into strategies to help push through the fear, maybe another time.) But I love a freeing artistic process, such as my recycled-paint process, as it’s a journey of discovery. I think this process works well for abstract art, but maybe it works also for other forms of art as well. When you change your mindset and go freestyle, the creative juices begin to flow!
It’s Your Time To Volunteer!
The CAA Treasurer position will open at the end of the year.

CAA is seeking a member to volunteer a couple of hours weekly to take over as Treasurer starting January 1, 2023. Full training available!

Must be detail oriented, willing to serve on the CAA Executive Board, attend Board meetings and regular meetings, somewhat familiar with Excel (although current Treasurer was taught on the job), familiar and comfortable with email and a word processing program, either on a PC or Mac.

This is a highly rewarding position, one where you’ll make good friends while contributing to the direction CAA takes in the future!  

Contact: concordartassociation@
April 2022 Plein Air
with Nancy Roberts
Contra Costa Plein Air has scheduled a lovely plein air paintout in the historic town of Locke on April 16. There's plenty of great stuff to paint along the fascinating Main Street, or you may prefer the adjacent residential area with houses, gardens and farm buildings. It's all a short walk from the Public Parking Lot on Locke Road.
Martha Esch, artist and owner of the Lockeport Grill and Fountain will be our host and will be allowing us to use her restroom. She'll also have lunch combos available for purchase. For all of the details and info on how to order lunch visit the CAA blog HERE, or the Contra Costa Plein Air website HERE.

On April 9, plan to attend Arts Day at the John Marsh House in Brentwood, a special artists' access event sponsored by the John Marsh Historic Trust in partnership with Delta Gallery and Contra Costa Plein Air.
The park is not normally open to the public, so this is a nice opportunity to get up close to the historic stone house and explore the grounds. Please note: Space is limited, and REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED to attend this paint-out. To register e-mail Delta Gallery director Robert Ashin at
Learn more about the historic John Marsh House at
Happy Painting!
CAA Plein Air Committee
CAA Member Gallery

One of the great benefits of membership is the opportunity to be included in the member gallery on the CAA website. If you have not yet submitted your work to the gallery, please make it a point to do so this month! Each member receives an artist listing and link to up to 6 images. All members are encouraged to submit their work! It's easy, just click on the button below.
Join the CAA Member Gallery
The Slopes of Diablo 2022

The subject is the artist’s perspective and interpretation of the awe-inspiring East Bay landmark Mount Diablo. Submission deadline: April 8
Juror: Randall Sexton


Local artist and jewelry maker Raquel Amaral Designs will host a pop-up show and sale at her Concord home at 4709 Tobi Drive, Concord, on April 2 from 11-3pm. 
A lovely way to spend a Saturday!

In Case You Missed It
Visit our blog for quick recaps of past meetings. Full replays are for members only. Video links are posted on the CAA website or can be made available via email upon request.

What we learned from Dierdre Shibano
What we learned from Micah Goguen
What we learned from Nikki Basch Davis
What we learned from Connie Milholland
What we learned from David Austin
What we learned from Kara Bonsteel

What we learned from Neno Villamor
What we learned from Toru Sugita


Save the dates!
Zoom links are emailed to members the day before each meeting, and are also listed in the Events section of the  CAA Member Group  on Facebook. If you are having any trouble accessing Zoom, please email us for assistance.
2022 Meeting Dates and Times Are Subject to Change Pending Member Survey Results - Stay Tuned!
Tuesday, April 12 at 6pm: Member Meeting with Colleen Gianatempo
Saturday, April 23 at 11am: Art Chat via Zoom
Tuesday, May 10 at 6pm: Member Meeting with Guest Artist
Saturday, May 28 at 11am: Art Chat via Zoom
Tuesday, June 14 at 6pm: Member Meeting with Guest Artist
Saturday, June 25 at 11am: Art Chat via Zoom

Visit the  Meetings calendar on our website to see more.
Concord Art Association Mission Statement
As a 501c3 non-profit organization, CAA works to cultivate and enrich the creative lives of local artists and Concord area residents through exhibits, education, public art and community giving. Founded in 1963, CAA is the oldest art association in Contra Costa County. Members include artists, crafters, makers, enthusiasts and supporters of the arts.
Copyright © 2022 Concord Art Association, All rights reserved.

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