In This Issue:

  • Presidents Message

  • Maintaining our CAL connection via Social Media

  • Call for Instagram Guru

  • COVID 19 Update on Spring Exhibit from Ken Ronney, Exhibit Chair (reiteration of email announcement sent 3/17/2020)

  • Artist Feature


President's Message

Sharing Art During Tough Times

These are tough times. Staying at home and limiting errands to only “essential needs” is hard enough, let alone, the worry about many uncertainties we all face. Recently, I asked some folks if they thought it is within the realm to do plein air painting, (outdoors), within the boundaries/ guidelines of the CDC. Most said, yes, if you keep a six foot distance between you and anyone else. One said to stick to your back or front yard or your own street. Another, recommended painting anywhere, but to stay in your car while doing so. I guess it’s anyone’s choice to do what they wish. For now, I feel most responsible and safe, merely painting in my own yard or in my own studio space. My conscience is telling me to hang in there within the guidelines suggested to us; that’s safest, and doesn’t inspire anyone else to think it’s a good idea to go hang outside anywhere, for hours on end.

The good news is that we are artists and can create in a multitude of ways to help us through. I hope the very best for all of you. We will find our way through this.

I’ve been wondering how to reach out to the membership, to help us feel more connected. I am hoping to interview a member per month, at least. As well, if you happen to have work or news of your work being placed in shows here or there, please share anything that’s going on with you. I’d like to get us closer, more “known”, and more connected with one another.

Too, please access our site on Facebook. It’s a very convenient source for us to see work, comment, and post, and is exclusive site for our paid members.

We are also looking into opening up a dormant Instagram site to enable members to post their work. More on that down the line.

Thank you,

Nora Koerber, CAL President, 2020

Social Media CAL Connections:  Post, Share, Connect

CAL members, here are the links for CAL social media.  Please post, share and follow each other.  Remember to hashtag CaliforniaArtLeague when posting to instagram.  Also share your Facebook posts to our Facebook Group.

CAL Facebook Group:

You must be a paid CAL member to post.  Thereafter you can post up to once daily.  Please also respond and comment on posts from other artists in the group.  Please also follow and friend other members of the group as you prefer.

CAL on Instagram:

The official CAL instagram site is:

CAL is currently seeking a volunteer from our membership to run the CAL instagram account.


It's easy.  Whenever you make an art related post, #californiaartleague

Call for Instagram Guru

Members, do you know all about Instagram?  Tips and Tricks?  CAL needs your help!  We need a volunteer to do our CAL Instagram or at the very least to advise the member that does take it on.  Please contact our President, Nora Koerber at

Update on CAL Spring Exhibit, Change

**Reiteration of email announcement originally sent 3/17/2020**

by Ken Ronney, Exhibit Chair

                                CAL’s 2020 International Open Spring Exhibit

The board of directors of the California Art League has decided how we must respond to the Corona Virus outbreak.  We have based our decision on common sense and various edicts by local, state, and federal entities and organizations, and feel this is the best way to proceed.

We are going to postpone the upcoming “Change” exhibit, in which you have been selected to be an exhibiting artist.  The in-person take-in which was going to take place on Monday, March 30 has been cancelled.  No one will be at the gallery to accept any artwork. The exhibit will not be hung, and the reception in April will not take place.

The exhibit will be postponed till the fall, with the take-in on Tuesday, September 29, 2020, the reception on Saturday, October 3, and the end of show and take-down on Saturday, October 24, 2020.  We will be sending out a reminder with full details in early September.

If you were going to ship your work to me but haven’t done so yet, please wait till September when we give new instructions.

If you have already shipped your work, I’ll hold it till September, unless you want it returned before then.

The selection of pieces which will be on exhibit has been completed, and the show is posted on-line on the Online Juried Shows web site.  It is available for public viewing at  The page with the (above) link show thumbnails of the pieces.  Click on the thumbnail to get a high resolution image.

All pieces with an indicated price are for sale.  We will accept a non-refundable deposit on any identified piece of work.  However, the original artwork (with the possible exception of photographs) must remain available for hanging in the September-October exhibit.  At the end of the exhibit, the sale can be finalized and artwork transferred to the new owner.  Standard commission rates will hold:  70% to the artist, 30% to SFVACC gallery.

I hope you’ll all understand why we’re doing what we are and support our course of action.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me either by e-mail at or at my home phone, 818 996-1630.

Artist Feature, Marie Massey

Interview by Nora Koerber:  Please contact Nora if you would like to be a Featured Artist.

Briefly, what is your background in Art? Or, what got you interested in doing art? 

I have been interested in art since I can remember.  My grandmother was an amateur artist and she was a mentor and favorite person of mine.  She encouraged me to paint and draw.  Throughout my elementary and high school years, I won many awards for my artwork so it was always a place I could go to that generated positive feedback.  When I was 12 I won an award of classes at the California College of Arts and Crafts when I entered an art contest through the local boys and girls club.  Also my father would take my sister and I on long walks through natural areas like Golden Gate Park, Ocean Beach, Stinson Beach and Lands End in the San Francisco Bay Area.  He would appreciate the nature around us.  It was a bonding time. 

I then studied art in High School and fell in love with oil painting.  I took studio art at UCSB and UC Berkeley in my college years but was encouraged to major in business so that I would graduate with a degree that could earn me a job.  Then I spent about 12 years in marketing and business development jobs in Silicon Valley during which time I earned an MBA in Entrepreneurship from Golden Gate University.  Then I fell in love and got married to a man from Colorado.  Concurrently, the crash happened in 1999.  In Colorado I could find no work so I decided to go back to my first love of art.  I started doing course work at the Loveland Academy of Art where I studied with many well known and respected contemporary artists.  A few years in I found Barbara Marquardt.  Barbara (deceased now) was an undiscovered genius of the post war art scene.  She taught me the Painting In Layers method.  I studied with her for 8 years.  Before she died, I got her permission to teach her method of Painting In Layers.

For the past 20 years I have been painting professionally, selling and distributing my art through galleries, plein air painting events, Open Studios and online.  I have also been teaching the painting in layers method to adults working in oil and/or acrylic for 7 years for the Carmel Art Institute and now the City of Monterey, CA.  Teaching the Painting in Layers method has been one of the most fulfilling parts of my artistic life and I feel that it has elevated my own work.

What is your media and method of working?

Oil painting, sometimes acrylic.  I use a method of Painting in Layers.  I start with a small sketch in paper and pencil to work out composition, values and important relationships. Then I move to an acrylic sketch on canvas. I paint in layers: first two layers of underpainting in acrylic, using colors complementary to the final, true colors in oil. I use an open stroke throughout so that previous layers shine through and I go through my sketch lines which has the effect of integrating my subjects in the setting while also providing the opportunity for lost and found edges.

The Painting in Layers method combines the value, shadow and shape ideas of chiaroscuro with color ideas from the impressionist painters. This method creates color interest and harmony as well as a structural foundation for the final layers in oil. I continue to sketch and re-sketch, using a sensitive line so that the image achieves an organic quality with the impression of movement, depth and dimension as well as subtle light effects such as transparency of water and sky.

How long have you been working in this way? 20 years

Can you describe  one to three works of your art and tell us a little story about each one?  For instance, were you responding to a call for entries’ theme or  responding to a place, a memory, a concept or feeling you had inside?

I am highlighting my 3 most recent paintings.  All these paintings were done while in self quarantine during the Covid 19 outbreak.  They are all inspired by the Carmel Art Festival Plein Air Event that I was grateful to have been juried into last year and again this year.  This year’s event has been rescheduled from May to September due to the outbreak.  While doing these paintings, I am working on my seascape painting skills, studying the anatomy and actions of waves and exploring how to render them in paint.

The first painting is titled “Ever and Ever” and it is large scale at 30 by 40 inches.  It is based on several plein air paintings that I have done of Spanish Bay on 17 mile drive in Pebble Beach which is very close to Carmel.  During the Carmel Art Festival last year, I did a painting called “Carmel Splash” that sold during the event and this year I plan to do more.  The ocean at Spanish Bay is particularly opalescent.  It glitters in the sun or the fog. The sea life is active:  birds diving and flying, seals, etc. The sand is pebbly and pinkish, the waves roll in and crash against the rocky shore.

The second painting is called Carmel Beach Sunset, 36 by 24 inches.  This is done from my memories of a sunset I saw at Carmel Beach during last year’s Carmel Art Festival.  I did the underpainting in acrylic and then the entire oil painting with a palette knife application.  You can see some of the underpainting peaking through with pinks in the sky and water and greens in the sun and beach areas.  This painting has a more abstract quality to it.

The third painting is called “Believer”, 16 by 20 inches, oil on hardboard.  This is a fanciful seascape at sunset.  I am experimenting with color and cloud and wave concepts here.  This is of a Sunset near Point Lobos, south of Carmel.  I plan to do several more versions of this concept, focusing on a single wave at sunset.

What are your goals in your art? Are there new things you’d like to do? Any dreams? 

My goals are to continue to learn and grow as an painter, to further develop my seascape painting and figurative painting skills.  I love plein air painting and hope to continue to be juried into events.  I have made many breakthroughs by plein air painting.  It is worth all the trouble of toting your equipment and dealing with the elements to have the joy of working from life.  I also hope to continue to teach the Painting in Layers method and watch the artists I work with make leaps in their own abilities. 

I am currently in 6 galleries.  3 in California, 2 in Colorado and 1 in Wyoming.  A big dream of mine is to find gallery representation in Carmel, CA and in a major gallery in Southern California like Los Angeles, Santa Barbara or San Diego Ca.

What might you suggest to those who may want to work in your genre, in regards to subject matter, style, or medium?

If you are starting out, find a artist whose work you admire and study with them.  I was so lucky to be able to study with Barbara Marquardt for 8 years.  Take some workshops.  Join artist groups like CAL or plein air painting groups.  I run a plein air painting group organized on Facebook called the Central Coast Plein Air Painters.  Here is a link:   We number 416.  I put on 3 shows a year for our group and we also do plein air paint outs where a group of us will go paint at a certain location.  I have always found artists to be especially friendly, quirky and fun to be around.  Many are very supportive and helpful.   Once you achieve a level of competency, enter some shows or plein air painting events.  Have fun and enjoy.


Have you won awards?

Yes.  Here is a list:

1st Place Juror's Choice for "Artist's Choice Exhibition" at the San Francisco Women Artists Gallery, 2016

Peoples Choice Award: 2019, Los Gatos Plein Air

People's Choice Award: 2016 MBPAPA Healing Feast Exhibition

Santa Cruz County Assoc. of Realtors Special Award,Capitola Plein Air 2016

Best of Show: Greeley National Show 2006

2nd Place: Shorebird Sanctuary at Painted Journeys of Monterey County 2018

2nd Place: Stand by Me at the North Tahoe Arts 2017

2nd Place:  She Loves Him, Love, Spring, Pinot & Chocolate @Just for You Gallery in Healdsburg, CA,2012

2nd Place: Reflections of Venice, Sweet Art Show 2008

3rd Place: Wine and Lavender, Art, Love & Wine 2018

3rd Place: Feathered Frolic, Greeley National Show 2008

3rd Place: Fisherman's Wharf, Plein air at CCPAP Scenic Highways of Monterey County Exhibit, 2016

3rd Place: Wine and Roses, plein air at Carmel Valley's Paint the Village,2015

Home State Bank $1000 Purchase Award for Summer River at Paint the Poudre Plein Air 2014

Merchant Awards to 2 Paintings: 2015 California Art League, Short Stories

Honorable Mention at the Capitola Plein Air 2016

Honorable Mention: Carmel Valley, plein air at Carmel's Paint the Village, 2016

Honorable Mention, Blue Sky River, plein air Paint the Poudre Plein Air 2013

Honorable Mention to Summer River at SCAL's California Landscape Show 2015

If anyone is interested to see more of your work, where can they find you?





The San Francisco Women Artists Gallery,

Art of Santa Cruz,

620 Fine Art Gallery,

Deselms Fine Art,

Art Center of Estes Park Fine Art Gallery,

Independence Gallery,


Ever and Ever, 30" by 40", oil on canvas, by Marie Massey


Carmel Beach Sunset, 36" by 24", oil on canvas, palette knife application


Believer, 16" by 20", oil on hardboard

CALLING for Newsletter Contributions

If you would like to be featured in the Members Section of the Newsletter, please send text and images to Marie Massey at with CAL N L input in the subject line.  Thanks!!

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