President's Message

Surprise, everyone.  CAL once again has a newsletter Editor, Marie Massey, and I’m tasked with preparing a president’s message….for the first time in several years.

Let me introduce Marie to you.  She has been a CAL member since 2014.  She is one of our “long distance” members, living in the central coastal California community of La Selva Beach.  (You’ve never heard of it?  Look it up.)  She is a prolific oil painter, specializing in plein air works.

She participates in practically all CAL exhibits, sending her works several hundred miles down to Los Angeles via Fed Ex for exhibit.   You can learn more about her from the CAL web site,  From the tab that says ROSTER, click it, then scroll down to Marie Massey’s name.  Then you can see her bio and some of her paintings in her albums.

Our web site offers all current members a free web site of their own…you can include your photo, bio, contact information, and you can upload up to 200 images in any of 5 albums.  You can include titles and captions on the photos, too.

If you haven’t recently explored our web site, as a reminder, start on our home page by entering your e-mail.  Then your password, or if you don’t have one or have forgotten it, click the “Forgot password”, and follow the prompts to set up a new password.  Save it.  Write it down., and exit.  Then log in with the new password.  Now, you can make entries and updates to your profile page.

Unfortunately, CAL hasn’t had any general membership/demonstration meetings in about a year.  We used to have them on a monthly basis, nine months a year, but attendance was getting smaller and smaller.  The last two years we averaged 15 or 20 members per meeting.  The revenues were usually less than $100.  Expenses for the speaker, meeting hall rental, and refreshments usually were in the order of $300 to $400.  The board of directors struggled with this problem, and finally decided it just didn’t make sense to continue our demo meetings with each one loosing over $200.

 Other local art clubs still have their monthly demo meetings, and they welcome guests and visitors, so you still have the opportunities to keep up your ongoing art education.

I look forward to seeing all of you at the reception of our upcoming Gold Medal exhibit, which will be on Saturday, October 5, 2019, from 3:00 pm to 5:00 pm.  Our juror, Laura Wambsgans is selecting the award winners in person the day after the hanging.  Laura is a past member of CAL and is an excellent sculptor and painter.  She will be speaking to us at the reception.

Ken Ronney


California Art League


In the fall of each year, the California Art League(formerly named Valley Artists Guild, or VAG) has a special exhibit, our GoldMedal Exhibit.  The winner, the best inshow, receives an engraved gold (plated) medal with their name and the yearengraved on it.

This is the highest award CAL can present to a showwinner. 

The medal was originally designed by VAG’s founder, HenryVon Wolf. Henry was a well-known sculptor, and I believe he really enjoyedmaking this piece.   He created a one-footdiameter wood carving, with full detail. Then, that original was reduced to a coin-sized piece, about 1-1/2” indiameter.  From the reduced copy,duplicates were made.  Cast in bronze andgold plated.

The last of the duplicates ran out last in 2015.  I needed to save one as a master to get moremade.  But where do you get gold medalsmade?

Fortunately, about this time, when we were still exhibitingat the Blinn House in Pasadena, I met a woman at a Blinn House non-profit’sdisplay event, (I believe she was working at the Daughters of the AmericanRevolution table), where all the non-profit members of the Women’s City Club ofPasadena got to introduce themselves to the other groups.  Chatting with the woman, she mentioned herhusband ran a very high quality trophy shop. I asked if they did castings, and she said yes.

Shortly after, I visited the business, Decco Trophies inPasadena, and after some discussion with the owner, David, decided this wouldbe a good company to make up more of the trophies.

Making them is an involved process.  First, the last remaining medal is reworkedto remove all manufacturing blemishes. Then a rubber mold is made from it. Molten wax is poured into the mold and removed.  Multiple wax copies are made, and attachedtogether to form what is called a “tree”. This is coated with a special ceramic that can withstand hightemperatures.  The whole thing is bakedtill the wax melts out…the famous “lost wax process”.  Then the tree is inverted and filled withmolten bronze and voila! 10 newbronze copies.

The bronze copies are given a little cleaning to removecasting marks and residue, gold plated, and the engraving finishes thejob.  Here are photos of the front sideof one of the older medals, and the back side of what the 2016 medal lookedlike.  We are keeping the Valley ArtistsGuild name on the front for historic purposes, but put CAL on the back toreflect the new name.

Last year I was notified that Decco Trophies went out ofbusiness.  The owner retired.  They shipped the molds back to me, so inanother 7 years or so we’ll have to find another trophy shop to make moremedals.  (As a brief aside, there aredozens of trophy shops who would happily make permanent molds and stamp outthousands of those medals for a few dollars apiece, or less.  The problem is getting just a few made forless than $100 each.)

The winner of this year’s Gold Medal hasn’t been selectedyet.  Our juror for this year’s GoldMedal exhibit, Laura Wambsgans, will be selecting the winner in person afterall the pieces have been hung.  So,everyone will be waiting till our reception to find out who this year’s winneris.

Ken Ronney

President, CAL

more on MOTION

Show Dates: 10/2 - 10/26, Artist Reception 10/5 3 to 5pm at the San Fernando Valley Arts & Cultural Center

View the Show Online

Juried in Artists with as many website links as I (Marie Massey, newsletter editor) could find ......

Beverly Barris      Norm Beal       Karol Blumenthal       Clark Branson       Martha Chapin

Joanne Chase-Mattillo       Ray Chavez       Elizabeth Covington       Candace Doub

Laura Ebersold       Mary Faustine       James Fink     

Susan Gesundheit       Cheryl Goettemoeller       Judy Heimlich       Theodore Herman

Debra Hintz       Tricia Hoye       Jackie Johnston       Pat Kelbaugh       Nicholas Kennedy

Ken Kochakji       Nora Koerber       Dottie Korn-Davis       Renate Lichter      

Rosina Maize       Brandon Manrow       Marie Massey       Kara Mayfield      

Margie Murray       Zahra Pezeshk       Michael John Pittas       Gregory Radionov

Terry Romero Paul       Dia Roraback       Margie Russomanno       Ruth Petersen Shorer

Natalie Smythe       Randy Sprout       Andria Sullivan       Barbara Tabachnick

Jane Thorpe       Brenda Welsh       Nancy Whitlock       Michael Wicks       Larry Wolf

Richard Wynne       Setsuko Yoshida       Debby Zurzolo    

Laura Wambsgans, Juror Profile

Native Californian, Laura Wambsgans began landscape oil painting sixteen years ago, after working as the managing director of a major recording studio and then as a sculptor for two decades.  Between studying intensely with Scott Christensen, among other well-respected landscape painters, painting daily, Wambsgans strives to capture the effect of light on the land, though color and paint quality.  Since 1986, Wambsgans' work has been exhibited nationally in solo and group gallery shows, plein air events and several museum exhibitions.   

"I attempt to capture the scene in such a way that the viewer can feel the sunlight, wind and emotion, I was experiencing on location, though the brushwork and color palette.   That sense of honesty in describing the time and place in oil paint is a welcome challenge every time I set up my easel.  

My process is traditional, working lean transparent paint to thick opaque paint, large brushes to small brushes on oil primed linen.  Usually I can see the finished painting in my head before I even start to work and dive right in, keeping an open mind to new ideas as the piece develops.  

I am drawn to painting locations that are unique, from the Big Sur coastline to the Adirondack's.  Once there, I look for the way the sunlight plays on the landscape, adding the drama to the scene.  Often my paintings are described by collectors as windows to the outside, peaceful and places they would like to be."  Laura Wambsgans, 2017



CAL Member Artist, Ruth Shorer

“Motion” Gold Medal Juried Exhibit 

Exhibit at Piedmont Gardens is up until October 12
110 41st St, Oakland, CA 94611

Honorable Mention for "Transcend" at Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, 300 Palm Drive, Novato, is up until Sept. 15, 2019

In November:
Hiller Highland Country Club (solo exhibit
November 1 - December 31

110 Hiller Dr, Oakland, CA 94618

CAL Member Artist, Michael Wicks

2019 Peninsula Art League (WA)  Sept 6 - Nov 1, Harbor History Museum   

Rejoice in Art! For the Beauty of the Earth  October 12-27
Reception/Awards  October 13, 3-5 p.m., Riviera UMC, Sunset Patio 375 Palos Verdes Blvd., Redondo Beach, CA  90277

North Tahoe Arts’ Flora & Fauna exhibit   Sept 27th - Nov 10th
Artist Reception Oct 12th 5-7PM  380 North Lake Blvd. Tahoe City, CA

CAL Member Artist, Barbara Tabachnick

I will be participating in All Creatures Large and Small, an exhibit at La Galeria Gitana in San Fernando.  The show runs from October 26 to November 22, with an opening reception on Saturday, October 26, 6-9 pm.


Here are images of my two pieces in the show.

Open Africa, Mixed Media, 12’x12’

Rhino on a Ski Slope, Digital Art, 8” x 10

CAL Member Artist, Tricia Kaman

Tricia Kaman will be having a solo exhibition, From Life, at the Solon Center for the Arts at 6315 SOM, Solon, Ohio.  Show Dates are October 4th to November 1st with an Artist Reception from 4 to 8.  This show is a comprehensive group of paintings which are all done  “From Life”. Featured are a variety of works including still life, en plein air and my favorite subject matter, people.Each reflects a direct response to working from a living subject verses working from a photographic reference.This show is a comprehensive group of paintings which are all done  “From Life”. Featured are a variety of works including still life, en plein air and my favorite subject matter, people.Each reflects a direct response to working from a living subject verses working from a photographic reference.


Study of Riki

Hydranga Symphony

CAL Member Artist, Marie Massey

Marie will be doing the Steamboat Plein Air again this year.  It is a wonderful event, taking place from September 20th to the 27th.  At the end of the painting period they have an Exhibit in their beautiful Steamboat Art Museum.

Here is Aspen Glow, 12" x 24", oil on canvas. This painting was also subsequently juried into the California Art Club's Autumn Impression show:

Marie has been juried into the 5th Annual Capitola Plein Air  Here is a painting from last years event, On The Water, plein air 20" x 30",  which was subsequently juried into MBPAPA's annual exhibition at the Natividad Medical Center:

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