Welcome to the Pleasanton Art League!
Next PAL & LAA General Meeting
January 9, 2017, 7:30 pm, at the
Demo by John (Jack) Muir Laws
Naturalist, educator and artist John (Jack) Muir Laws is in love with the natural world and has lived his life sharing this passion with others. He is trained as a wildlife biologist and is a Research Associate of the California Academy of Sciences. Jack has taught nature education teacher since 1984 in California, Wyoming, and Alaska. He teaches the tools to help people develop as naturalists and stewards including, ways to improve your observation, memory and curiosity, conservation biology, natural history, scientific illustration, and field sketching all while having fun and falling more deeply in love with the world.
In 2009, he received the Terwilliger Environmental Award for outstanding service in Environmental Education. He is a 2010 TogetherGreen Conservation Leadership Fellow with the National Audubon Society. He was the 2011 artist for International Migratory Bird Day. Laws has written and illustrated books about art and natural history including The Laws Guide to Nature Drawing and Journaling (2016),The Laws Guide to Drawing Birds (2012), Sierra Birds: a Hiker’s Guide (2004),The Laws Guide to the Sierra Nevada (2007), and The Laws Pocket Guide Set to the San Francisco Bay Area (2009).
He is a regular contributor to Bay Nature magazine with his “Naturalists Notebook” column. He is the primary author and editor of the curriculum: “Opening the World through Nature Journaling”. This free teaching guide is kid tested and teacher approved and integrates science, language arts, and visual arts through keeping a nature journal. He is the founder Club, monthly free nature sketching workshops, field trips and events, connecting with people with nature through art.
Bothwell Arts Center
2466 8th Street
Cultural Arts Building
4455 Black Avenue, Pleasanton
Message from the PAL President:
I want to end the term of my 3-year PAL presidency by saying, once again, many thanks to all of you who continue to bring energy, ideas and innovation to our art league. I must also say my greatest regret is not knowing nor ever having been able to meet all of our 221 members, some so quiet we never hear them. These would include members on the Circuit, members volunteering at our shows, members doing the Portfolio mailings, members who process the piles of paperwork, and members who don’t have time to be active, but support us by becoming members. Thank-you to all.
We are fortunate to continue to have a full Board next year. At the November General Meeting, we voted on our new officers. They bring lots of expertise and energy to us. They will be: President, George Garbarino; Vice President, Diana Hostetter; Treasurer, Rahul Prasad; and Secretary, Nancy Meyer. I have confidence PAL is in good hands to continue to serve the artists and the arts in our community.
Our slate of Chairpersons is almost full. We need a Programs Chair (the last General Meeting in Livermore had almost 40 attendees!), we need a helper for Pat Smith for our Adobe Alviso Show and our Member’s Firehouse Show (if you ever wanted to help with putting a show on, now is your chance!), we need help with our Hostess responsibilities at our shows (in other words, be in charge of the food for one or two nights a year!), we will need a helper for John Trimingham and the Circuit Chair as he will be retiring these duties at the end of next year; and finally we need a Chairperson for the Artist Flea Market (where you can sell your old frames, books, and discounted art!) which needs to plan a date with the City in January. This is a one-time commitment per year for PAL. Other PAL members step up to support ALL of these positions – you are not in the volunteer chair alone!
Our other Chairpersons have committed to retain their posts next year: Lorraine Wells graciously and recently took on the duty of Publicity Chair; Beth Okurowski, Scholarships; Lynda Briggs, the Nancy Thompson Memorial (PAL) Wall; Ritu Ahluwalia, Chamber of Commerce Rep; Hospitality at our General Meetings, Dorothy Maestas; PCAC Rep, Rekha Joshi; Website, Melinda Lentz; Workshops, Linda Garbarino; Constant Contact, Gene Gracey; our dual Membership Chair, Diane Rodriguez; Portfolio Editor, Norma Webb; and the Mailing Committee Gail Ruvalcaba, Annette Mack, Carol Hart, Maclyn Pons and Diana Hostetter. Thanks to you all!
But I can’t close off this message without letting you know that my intentions are to stay on the Board as Parliamentarian. If I haven’t done my job properly at this point, then I have a chance to get better at it. I find being president similar to creating art. We pour our hearts and minds into creating something that has never been created (or that we haven’t done) before. Sometimes a first, second or third try doesn’t put you over the finish line (not all positions are filled, or the artwork just doesn’t come together into a coherent whole). Some things do “take a lifetime to master”. But some things are never mastered, only continually improved (better perspective drawing, better communication with others).
But, if I were to have written one thing I hope you will remember: Let go of all judgements about your art. Each time we are negatively judgmental about our art attempts, we take away something from our souls. Each time you make a line, write a letter, play a note, or dance a step, and can take joy in your movements, your art is improving. Learn to say “Wow, that’s great!”, or “Cool, isn’t this a needed mistake – I’ll use it more.” Learn to engage with joy as you create, for our art brings much needed joy into this world of ours.