President's Message

Welcome to 2020, CAL members! I’m your new President, nominated by Ken Ronney and voted in at our board meeting at end of last year. I know I won’t be able to fill his shoes in many ways, but know that he’s right behind me and is my advisor.

Several ideas for CAL were brought up at our first year’s board meeting. We wish to infuse the group with some new events which can allow members social opportunities that will further connections. Some of these are: Paint-outs, Paint-ins, (all media inclusive, from paint to drawing materials, to sculpture and photography), Small exhibits, Gallery/ Museum visits, and last but not least, parties.

I am hoping to start paint outs as early as February. Watch for alerts from CAL on email as well as posts on the CAL Facebook page for when/ where. Events should occur at least every two months, and you will be informed at least two weeks in advance. I expect to arrange the first Paint-Out at Balboa Lake, at the end of February.

Most paint outs will be in the valley, while some will be a bit farther out, such as Descanso Gardens. Some of the paint outs may become work that exists or inspires new artwork for small exhibits relevant to that area.

Our two main exhibits will be forthcoming, the first of which themed, “Change”,  is already up for submission at the Online Juried Shows website.

This is our Spring exhibit at the fantastic SFVCAC space, which got some extra-special lighting last year, due to our own Ken Ronney, who is Exhibit Chair, you’ll be glad to know.

Our Gold Medal show’s theme will be “Wild World”, and will be commencing in early Fall, so watch for that in September.

I am honored to have this position and wish to bring new events to foster networking, learning, and connection between members and those who view our art. Here’s to a successful new year and I look forward to meeting you!

Nora Koerber, President, CAL, 2020


Your CAL membership runs from January 1 through December 31.  After December 31, there is a 2-month grace period before you will be taken off the active member list.  The days are going by so RENEW TODAY if you have not already.

You must renew your membership for 2020 to be able to enter our first exhibit of 2020, which will have entries being accepted NOW. 

Renewal for all adult members is $55 for the 2020 calendar year.  Students and spouse/partners are $25 for the year.  If you joined CAL by entering one of our open exhibits and paid the $25 new member surcharge, that was a ONE TIME ONLY offer to increase CAL membership.  If your membership has expired you cannot use the discount rate in conjunction with an exhibit entry fee to renew your membership.  No way to avoid the $55 renewal.

You can renew your membership either on-line through the CAL web site or by postal mail.

If you want to renew on line, go to the web site, and log in.  If you’ve never logged into the web site, you’ll need to set up a password.  After putting in your e-mail, click “forgot password”.  You will be prompted how to set up a password.  Once that is done, go to your member profile (click “member profile” just under your e-mail log in name).  You can review your profile and make entries and/or updates as you wish.  As you scroll down the page, you’ll find a box that says “RENEW Through January 1, 2020”.  If you click that, you will get prompts how to renew using your credit card.

If you wish to renew by postal mail, send your renewal check, made out to CAL, to me, Ken Ronney, 7357 Hesperia Ave, Reseda CA  91335.  I’ll get it to the membership chair, Dana Xedos.

Ken Ronney, Vice President, Exhibit Chair



                                CAL’s 2020 International Open Spring Exhibit




Tuesday April 2 - Saturday April 27


JUROR - Preston Craig

Preston, who is a published artist, writer, educator and voice over actor, earned an M.F.A. in Illustration from the Academy of Art in San Francisco and a B.A. in Applied Arts from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Involved with social issues and an avid artist rights advocate, he has been recognized by the Los Angeles City Council for his volunteer work and contribution to the growth of the arts in L.A. In 2013 and 2014, respectively, one of his paintings was published in North Light Books’ - Acrylic Works: Best of Acrylic Competition and Acrylic Artist magazine and one of his portraits was selected for inclusion in the International Society of Acrylic Painters Best of Acrylic International Competition.


His illustration work got an award from the Adobe Design Achievement Awards in 2011 and he received an award of recognition from the Phi Kappa Phi Honors Society and the National Scholars Honors Society in 2007. In addition, he was honored twice with the Artistic Director Award for Set Design/Scenic Art from the Valley Theatre League for productions of the Road Theater Co. and he was an Artist-in-Residence for the A.I.E.A.C. His mural work can be seen in projects on Hollywood Blvd. and at CBS Studios. Some of his scenic work can be seen at Venus Fort in Tokyo, the Paris Casino in Las Vegas and additional venues around L.A.

He has found success as an artist creating book and magazine illustrations, digital graphics (DTP), fine art (portraits, landscapes, fantasy) and scenic art/murals. He has traveled extensively, living & working at times in Norway, England, Italy and Japan. 


Acceptance into the exhibit and awards for “Change” will be juried by Preston Craig.  If his schedule allows, he will select the awards in person after artwork has been delivered.



Awards and prizes will be presented at the reception:

BEST OF SHOW            $300

First Place                      $200

Second Place                $100

Third Place  $50

Various Merchandise Awards

Various Awards of Distinction



Prospectus release and open for entries:  December 31, 2019

Entry Deadline:  March 1, 2020, midnight

Artists notified if accepted:  March 9, 2020

Take In:  Monday, March 30, 2019, 10:00 AM to noon.  Hanging follows from noon to 3:00 PM.

Artist’s Reception:  Saturday, April 4, 2020, 5:00 to 7:00

Take down:  Saturday, April 25, 2020, 5:00 to 7:00

CALL FOR ENTRIES – OPENS December 31, 2019

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION: Midnight, March 1, 2020

The Abstract and the Real

by Nora Koerber

I do abstract painting and collage, alongside my tight stuff. What’s the reason? Well, the abstract

work goes much more quickly; it’s quite freeing and expressive, and I can explore textures and wild, weird things

by doing abstracts that give me a break in my more realistic work. As well, it can inform how I do realism.

My abstract work begins by a base of color… A stream of consciousness quickly unfolds as gestural marks by brush, hands, palette knife, dabbed or lifted off paint via paper towel, scraping by a stick, revealing the white gesso beneath or the base color, all become means by which I activate the surface. Or, I may use the back of the brush and scrawl into wet paint and set up a pattern. A sequencing of scrapes, strokes, lift-offs, smudges, banged brush staccatos or flicked-toothbrush spray; it’s all game. Oftentimes, I listen to music that encourages the flow of exploration. 

Once this madness is laid down, I then seek to INTEGRATE. This is where some formal aspects of art enter into the picture, but in reality, that reasoning is informing each gestural stroke. I just know it; or I believe it. I think one important aspect of a painting turning out well is merely that you believe in yourself. About half the time, I’m right. Sometimes, however, the next day I wake to find I’ve made a bit of an incoherent mess. What I thought was veddy cool was, well, not. Formal analysis really helps bring a painting, whether representational or abstract, into shape in such a way as to be somehow… either aesthetically “balanced”, or cleverly “unbalanced”, yet it just feels like the message gets to you on some intrinsic level. Whatever one might coin this state of a painting’s progress to finish,  it seems that there is often a consensus of artists who will like the piece. And then there are times when…they won’t. But I think a mastery of a work usually is evident and apparent.

Our legacy of the history of fine art is such that just about any mark-making or painting thereof, can be justified as a work of art. In this day and age, we are so visually literate as to what’s been done before, that we’re all much more familiarized with how a visual should, well, “feel”. 

I teach a small painting class in Alhambra. I start my students with acrylic paint, doing abstracts. A simple way of starting is: Do a field of color; it may transition to another color. Just apply it any way you want to. Then “turn” your color by using the next color on the color wheel. (I suggest using 3 “Analogous” colors w/ the compliment of one of those colors for an accent, sparingly used for color contrast). Create gestural marks, freeing yourself to play with how you manipulate that brush in as many ways as you can. Patterns that are almost meditative when you lay them down may collectively set up a visual rhythm and movement. Collaged elements, to me, represent a sense of “order”, as they are obviously artifacts of our collective, identifiable world. This is in fact, a form of “reality”. What I then enjoy doing, is to color-match in paint, a portion of that collaged element, and transition its existence into the field of abstract color. This painted portion integrates the collaged element into the whole by means of a form of “fooling the eye”; essentially, a mini “trope l’ceil”. 

It’s an assignment that was borne of my own internal searching not only for my students, but for my own expression. It’s representative of our human state, which, while conscious and awake, is a combination of observing our external, empirical world, while coexisting with our interpretation of that world and the beings who inhabit it. The mind and its machinations is abstract; the external world, “representational”. 

I love working an abstract within this framework because it lends a grounding sense, or a reification, of the mystery of just being. This is getting a bit esoteric, but it’s not really off the course in terms of discussing any type of art, as art arises from our interior and manifests into that exterior, empirical world that can be measured and observed by others.

How does this play into my representational art, or, “Impressionistic Realism” that I do? Well, the skills I find by exploring different ways of making gestural marks in my abstracts serve to expand my ‘toolbox’ of how to lend a sense of reality in paint. Watercolorists do this all the time. Oil painters? Not as much- but it’s entirely possible.

The term, “Impressionism”, alone, sets us up to know that a painting is done a bit more loosely, such that there are indications of things, rather than rendered out detail. 

I’ve been criticized by some who paint their representational imagery more loosely than my work is too tight. My work isn’t “loose enough”. Well, this is in the eye of the beholder. I love to get my anatomical proportions correct, or signs on a building, let alone, the architecture, correctly in perspective, true. However, look closely, and you will see gestural strokes, marks, textures… lost edges, patterns set up by flicks of the brush to indicate a bush or a mountainside comprised of trees, rocks, shrubs… they’re just perhaps a bit smaller in scale than how other contemporary impressionists might do. But the paint is laid in gestural strokes that employ texture and are intrinsically, abstract. 

All this is to relay that we can wear more than one hat. A different way ofpainting, such as moving from abstract to doing more representational work or vice versa, can enhance the different mode’s work. I am still in process of “finding” myself in painting. I have technical skills from having been a professional illustrator my whole life that still form the foundation of my main “public” work. But for fun and expression, I like to cut loose and play through abstract work. I do not feel I have to adhere to anyone’s dictum as to whether I should only work in one mode or another; it’s my work, my world, my choice. I belong to too many art organizations, as part and parcel of finding who I am by opportunities to show my work. I’m learning what some organizations insist upon seeing, and how fluid and open others are. One thing I enjoy about California Art League is the vast diversity of artistic expression I see at their shows! A wide range from emerging to more experienced artists may show their work together. My work is usually much tighter than the rest of the work I see in shows, but I have won awards by doing it, so this tells me I can’t be all that wrong by doing it… but as well, I’ll keep exploring my abstract work. I’ve gotten both abstract and realistic work simultaneously in CAL shows and that’s a testament to the organization’s open mindedness.

So I leave you with encouragement to find your voice, or voices, however numerous they may be. Just know that you have a great support network by California Art League to find who you might be by exhibiting in the shows… and see a myriad of stylistic varieties in others’ art pieces. Try working in an entirely different way when you might find yourself stuck one day… which is often for us creative types. You just might learn something new that becomes the very thing that turns the crank on your next work of art. It’s all a mystery as we make art. But we can always keep growing, learning new ways of putting that image together. 


CAL Member Happenings

CAL Member Artist, Ruth Peterson Shorer

In her own words:  An exhibit of my line work was installed at the Oakland Chamber of Commerce today. You can see it as you walk up the stairs from the 12th Street BART station if you know to look in the window.

January 6- Feb. 29 or later
1333 Broadway Suite P100, Oakland, CA 94612

Islands,oil on plexiglass, 24 x 32, is currently exhibited in Beneath The Surface at 

Marin Museum of Contemporary Art, 500 Palm Dr, Novato, CA 94949 

January 11, 2020 - February 23, 2020

Look for a new website in 2020! Working on it....


Ruth Petersen Shorer

CAL Member Artist,  Rosina Maize

Rosina Maize is offering an oil painting class beginning in January:

Paint with Oils,  Instructor: Rosina Maize 

Learn to Paint Still Life. New Class Begins on Tuesday, January 7, 2020,

Tuesdays from,  9am – 12pm

$20 One-time registration fee

$20 per class, no contract required

$15 per uninstructed session



BMAI Studio

2228 Florencita Dr

Montrose, CA 91020

Email Rosina to get more information and to register for this class.

CAL Member Artist, Marie Massey

Marie is thrilled to be part of the San Francisco Women Artists Exhibition at the Ameriprise Financial Buiding in San Jose, California.  There are 8 artists paricipating and 43 pieces of original art on exhibit.  Here are a few of Marie's paintings that are included:

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!!

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software