In this issue:

  • President’s Message, Nora Koerber

  • Calendar Updates, Ken Ronney

  • Staying CAL Connected

    • Instagram and Facebook

  • Artist Feature, Marian Fortunati

  • Call for Member Newletter Contributions

President’s Message, May 2020, Nora Koerber

Rolling into May, there is one common denominator, and that is dealing with the circumstances that this pandemic has imposed. Some of us are full-time employed artists, some are retired, some have jobs of which may be either gone or in flux. It’s a pretty tough time. I share with many of you the concern of where or when I may get my next freelance gig; when or if it’s safe to teach. Personally, I’ve been teaching adults; many of them older, who do not have computers to enable remote teaching. That’s the least of worries when so many are facing far worse conditions.

For many, we’ve got to rethink how we work, where we work, and if we might need different work. In the meantime, I’ve found resources online, which may be accessed, as you all may be aware, just by googling “financial relief for artists”. (CAL is not responsible for content or lack of funding available or any other negative turn of events by any site listed here). Suffice to say, this one site seems informative, but read all fine print with anything you investigate.

The Arts is a broad term, so sift through things until you find what you may need. This one site is a start:

There are at least a good handful of other opportunities for artists’ aid/ grants, but this one just came through my news feed and thought it should be shared.

We’re in this with the world, but at the very least, we have our art that can provide an outlet for stress. That is no small gift to have. Also, stay in touch with your CAL connections. Our friends who do what we do may be our most important allies in getting through this…and we Shall!

Speaking of which, we’d like to emphasize our online presence where you can at least remotely, stay connected. That would be our California Art League Facebook page, and a new Instagram page, which you can follow at: #CalArtLeague. Hashtag the artwork that you’ve been creating during the stay at home guidelines and get a chance to be featured. A big welcome to our newest board member, Eric Renard, who has stepped up to get our Instagram account active and available.

As you know, we’ve pushed back our Spring Exhibit, entitled “Change.” Our Exhibit Chair, Ken Ronney, will discuss what we’re dealing with.

Please check out this month’s interview with Marian Fortunati, who does fabulous landscape plein air work.

In the meantime, stay safe, stay connected, and keep creating!

Nora Koerber, CAL President


Calendar Updates, Ken Ronney, Exhibits Chair

CAL Exhibits Update

Our decision to postpone the “Change” exhibit from Spring, 2020 to the Fall of this year still holds, unless the CORVUS situation dictates a further postponement.  Presently, all entries into “Change” have been examined by our Juror, Preston Craig, and all selections for pieces going to be on exhibit have been made. Notices of “accept” or “declined” have been sent out by e-mail (months ago). All of the pieces that are in the “accepted” group will remain in the exhibit, and the take in is scheduled now for 1:00 to 3:00, Tuesday, September 29. The hanging will follow immediately after. All artists are invited to participate in the hanging. It’s a fun community activity where you get a chance to meet and interact with your fellow CAL members. The selection of award winners will take place after the hanging. The reception will be on Sunday, October 4, 2020, from 3:00 to 5:00.

The CAL board discussed several possible scenarios for upcoming exhibits at our boardmeeting on Monday, April 27, and we are poised to act as soon as we are confident we can proceed with something without putting anyone’s health at risk.

We will continue to keep you updated and apprised immediately of any changes if they do arise.

Ken Ronney, Exhibits Chair


Staying CAL Connected

Share images of your latest work on the California Art League Facebook page:

AND a big welcome to our newest board member, Eric Renard, who has stepped up to get our Instagram account up and running. Here is a link:  .    You can follow at: #CalArtLeague. Hashtag the artwork that you’ve been creating during the stay at home guidelines and get a chance to be featured!

You can check out Eric’s Photo Art at:  


Artist Feature, Marian Fortunati

If you would like to be featured, Please Contact Nora Koerber at 

Despite having no previous experience in art, I began studying drawing and painting in the late 90s in a weekly evening class with John Paul Thornton, who was a past president of CAL.  We studied in a variety of media, but my favorite has always been oils.  I was working full time as a Principal but knew that I would want something interesting to do when I would retire. 

John Paul encouraged me to join CAL and other local art groups.  There I met many people who have become good friends over the years.  I was able to show my work, talk with fellow artists and learn through these art groups.  They are invaluable.

Eventually in 2007 I retired and began painting much more often.  I enjoyed exploring my world in ways I never had before.  I painted outdoors and soon found I love the challenge of painting outdoors and bringing my memories inside to paint in the studio.  Many local areas have become favorites such as Leo Carrillo which I’ve painted many, many times.


2010 was the first of four years I traveled to the Channel Islands aboard a 50 foot dive boat with master painter David Gallup and 20 or so other painters.  These island adventures hooked me on extreme outdoor painting.  From then on I have studied regularly with David at his studio.

I’ve also taken many workshops from artists such as Ray Roberts, Dan Pinkham, Matt Smith, Karl Dempwolf and Jill Carver.

In 2013 I signed up for a painting and river rafting adventure with Kevin Macphersen.  We rafted and camped and painted for 10 days traveling over 200 miles down the Colorado River through the magnificent Grand Canyon. 


In 2014 a group of friends (Sharon Weaver, Laura Wambsgans, Nita Harper, Linda Brown and Debra Holladay) enjoyed another painting adventure to beautiful Canyon de Chelly in northeastern Arizona.  The inner canyon is part of the Navajo Nation so a native guide accompanied us on our explorations.  That resulted in several group shows of our work in local galleries.  We had such a great time we decided we need to band together to continue these painting adventures.  We called ourselves the PAC6.  (Painting Across the Country… and there are 6 of us.)

In 2015 our PAC6 group packed in on horses and mules into the back country of the Sierras and camped for a week near Ediza Lake.  We painted and hiked and had the time of our lives.  From that experience we had several gallery shows and a wonderfully well-accepted museum show at the Santa Paula Museum of Art in 2017.


Since 2017 our group has traveled to Nevada and to several spots in California to gather painting material and ideas for another museum show coming up in 2021.

It is always wonderful to have my work recognized with awards and it’s extra special when collectors buy my work, but that is always muted when my work is declined to some show I’m trying to enter.  However, despite these feelings, this is an important part of artist growth.  If we don’t put our work out there and keep trying to do new things and to improve, we stagnate.  My goals continually evolve.  I will never get to a point where I feel I have “made it”.  I paint almost every day and continually struggle to develop my skills.  I study the work of master artists and although I never expect to be just like any of them, there are aspects of their work I’d love to make my own.  All I can advise is to keep painting.  Keep trying new things.  Study the work of artists you love.  Take classes and workshops. 


Keep on painting…. Keep exploring new spaces and new ideas.

My website is .   I’d love to hear from you.  Feel free to sign up for my newsletter to learn about events and to find out more.   


Call for Member Newletter Contributions

Please email Marie Massey, Newsletter Editor, at if you would like to contribute something to the newsletter.  If you have won awards or gotten a big commission or been juried into a show or event.  Other great contributions would be local art news, Museum reviews, etc.


Marie Massey

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