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Past General Meetings

May 13, 2024 General Meeting  

The General Meeting on May 13 was wonderful and unique! Guest Speaker Lucy Beck’s love for floral photography was truly evident.

Largely self-taught, Lucy shared her journey starting with taking many courses with Harold Davis. In her structured presentation, Lucy took us through her entire process of floral lightbox photography – from composition, design elements, how those related to her feelings, her lightbox set up, to the stunning capture using her Nikon D600 and D850 cameras, and “photographic painting” techniques using tools on Photoshop. She typically sets up flowers on a lightbox on the floor with the camera set up on a tripod right above. She shoots several images with different exposure settings, and imports them into Photoshop where she overlays images. She then thoughtfully unhides or reveals sections using a soft Photoshop brush until she is happy with the desired results. She describes the techniques as somewhat similar to painting with watercolors. 

Lucy encouraged several guests in composing designs using flowers on her lightbox and taking pictures on phones. It’s fascinating how she can transform subjects like flowers into stunning statement pieces with the most magical visual effects. Thank you Lucy for taking us into your world of Lightbox Photography!

Learn more about Lucy Beck at

Big thanks to George Garbarino and Christine Watters for sharing PAL and LAA updates, Tejal Shah for arranging refreshments, Lisa Rigge for set up and take down of the presentation and Pleasanton City Staff Ania Pawlak and Mike for all the help with setting up the venue.

Thanks so much to everyone who came including members from the Tracy Camera Club!

– Meghana Mitragotri, PAL Programs Chair

March 11, 2024 General Meeting

The General Meeting on March 11 was one of the most well attended with close to 70 participants! Thanks so much to the City of Pleasanton staff Ania Pawlak and Mike for all the help with the venue setup and extra seating.
Tony Molatore, owner of Berkeley Giclee, is clearly a master of all things Fine Art Printing!  He started by explaining the history of fine art prints and defined Giclee. It was fascinating to hear about the importance of color theory and the differences between the colors seen in an original artwork, the computer monitor, iPad screen, various file formats, and ultimately the printing processes. Tony also shared the process and equipment used to capture shots and scan artworks. He spoke about the quality of cotton archival watercolor papers used in printing, showed several samples of prints on paper and wood, and also demonstrated the right way of stretching a canvas.
Tony’s presentation and sound knowledge of this subject truly encouraged many artists to confidently consider reproducing artworks into exceptional quality archival prints. This is sure to boost anyone’s art business! More about Berkeley Giclee and prices at
Big thanks to George Garbarino and Christine Watters for sharing PAL and LAA updates. Thank you Emelie Rogers and Tejal Shah for the PAL promotional materials and snacks. Thanks so much to everyone who came! 

– Meghana Mitragotri, PAL Programs Chair

January 8, 2024 General Meeting

The first General Meeting of 2024 was truly successful with 52 participants in attendance. Big thanks to Alka Vaidya for handling chats and to all the speakers for sharing organizational updates. Please make sure to check the 2024 calendar of events on PAL and LAA websites. Congratulations to all the elected 2024 PAL Executive Officers: Vice president George Garbarino, Treasurer John DeVilliers and Secretary Alana Shoars

How often do we hear from artists about their life-long journey? Carolyn lord’s presentation on Art, as a skill and as a career was beyond inspirational. She hit all the essential topics, candidly shared her experiences (successes & roadblocks), and helped us look at perspectives often overlooked by artists. Carolyn shared the importance of art education & skill development, basic foundational tools that could be achieved both formally and informally. One thing Carolyn did, is that she never stopped learning!

Art is a serious business! In the second segment of her presentation, Carolyn covered important aspects of art business right from website to resume building. She was also generous in sharing excellent and credible resources, and professional services that have helped her. These include art consultants, legal advice, payment platforms, printing services and more. The part about building a career path was particularly fascinating. Creating goals, joining local art clubs, participating in competitions, choice of shows to exhibit and advancement towards gallery representation were very well explained. 

In the final segment, Carolyn shared her story about how art brought her and her husband Rob together and how they are a pillar of strength to each other for a well balanced quality of life.

No, it’s not a wish anymore; it can all come true for all of us! Thank you Carolyn for taking us through your world of art. It’s truly inspiring! Here’s the link to the e-newsletter about the commission Carolyn did: Here’s a link to an e-newsletter Carolyn wrote about juried shows: Here’s a link to Carolyn’s presentation slides  This was the perfect way to start 2024!

Watch & Listen to this wonderful presentation by Carolyn Lord on Art, as a skill and as a career. You can listen to it until January 25

– Meghana Mitragotri, PAL Programs Chair

November 13, 2023 General Meeting 

Our guest speaker, Stephen Bruce inspired a full audience at the meeting held at the Bothwell. He demonstrated how he created his Acid Paintings many have seen in Hollywood movies such as Matrix 4 and Iron Man as well as featured in many galleries. Before our eyes, we saw how the acid he uses (from hydrochloric acid to pickle juice) turns sheets of copper into colors from cyan to deep blue and ocean greens. Stephen is an inspirational artist who gives back to the community by working with students in art and science. His organization is called the Skidmore Project which is powered by donations. 

October 9, 2023 General Meeting

Did you know a professionally decorated cake can cost up to $10,000 or more?

Award-winning sugar artist Jan Loomis’ demonstration of creating sugar flowers during the PAL-LAA General Meeting on October 9 was nothing short of exquisite! We were thrilled to have community members in attendance who learnt about this unique demo from various media platforms. They said that they had never seen anything like it!

Jan’s presentation was very well organized. In the first segment, she took us through a beautiful slideshow in which she featured the works of those sugar artists who most inspired her in pursuing this edible art form.

In the next segment, she showed us how to create rose petals and leaves using gumpaste, powdered sugar, water and shortening.  With a variety of tools, including a roller, veining board, cutters, spoons, ball tools, veiners and scissors, she shapes the sugar paste.  Leaves were then threaded onto thin, paper covered wires and placed on crushed aluminum foil for drying.  Individual rose petals were cut and gracefully layered around a single bud.  

Due to lengthy drying times, Jan pre-made orchid segments, berries, roses, and stephanotis which allowed her to handle these fragile creations for their final touches and assembly.  With paint brushes in hand, she applied liquid food coloring and edible petal dusts to add details and depth. In assembling the orchid, each wire was covered in floral tape and attached to the central orchid throat, until the orchid was complete.

Finally, she put together the orchid, berries, roses, leaves and stephanotis to carefully create a gorgeous bouquet that is now ready to go on the cake for one lucky someone!

Thank you, Jan, for taking us to a world of Sugar Flowers! Big thanks to Alka Vaidya, Tejal Shah, Thomas See, Lisa Evans, Marty Loomis and Pleasanton City Staff Mike for all the help & support. – Meghana Mitragotri, PAL Programs Co-chair

September 11, 3023 PAL and LAA Annual Potluck

The Annual Potluck was organized by PAL & LAA on September 11th at Charles R. Winery. Thank you everyone for coming & bringing delicious sweet & savory delicacies. If you couldn’t make it , you surely missed the fun outdoor event. It was wonderful to meet so many new and existing members. Thanks everyone for bringing their paintings & sharing. Thanks to Bonnie Bartlette for opening the beautiful winery for us. Around 55-60 members attended the event.

We were happy to work together to organize this event.  Thank you Meghana Mitragotri, Joyce Moulden, Deborah Barone, Deepti Saraswat, Mike D’Amelio, John DeVilliers, Christine Watters, Swati Rastogi and Alka Vaidya for helping before and after the event.

Thank you,

Tejal Shah & Georgia Jacobs,
PAL & LAA Hospitality Chairs

June 12, 2023 General Meeting

LAA and PAL members received expert tips from Ali Hall, our guest speaker for the June meeting held at the Bothwell. Ali demonstrated how to set up an Art Booth Display to elevate and create a captivating showcase. From the pop-up tent to signage and banners, art booths can enhance the aesthetics of one’s booth and art while providing a comfortable experience for visitors.

Ali provided a checklist to easily acquire the necessary supplies needed for your art booth. Branding, strategic layout ideas, attracting customers, and magical marketing moments are highlighted in this talk by Ali and her husband/partner Joe. Both presented insights and practical tips for artists looking to enhance their presentation at art shows. Their understanding and knowledge of best business practices place them among highly qualified presenters. Ali has a decade of experience working in the art world with a background in fine art, graphic, and product design.

If you were unfortunate not to attend you can go to to purchase and download the Art Booth Supply List. As you explore Ali’s web page you will appreciate her well-thought-out approach to art and her love for the community of artists. She is fueled by a passion for teaching others and motivated by the idea that everyone should feel empowered to embrace their creativity.

Georgia Jacobs

May 8, 2023 General Meeting

After a super successful TVAST event on May 6 & 7, we truly appreciate those who made it to the PAL/LAA General Meeting in Pleasanton on May 8. Thanks to Dennis Baker and Christine Watters for sharing their TVAST experiences and LAA updates respectively.

East Asian Brush Painter, Wei-Ting Chuang’s presentation was delightful! She first presented a slide show that introduced the concept and origin of this beautiful artform. It was fascinating to learn about the importance of capturing the essence of the human spirit in the process of creating a masterpiece inspired by basic elements of nature.

In the second segment, Wei-Ting prepared a vignette of lilies and carnations, arranged in a vase, as reference to build her painting. She then demonstrated various techniques using ink and gouache. She showed how rice paper, and special brushes made of weasel and goat hair, are used for varied effects.

As a final treat, we learned about the art of creating a stamp, known as a “Chop” which identifies the artist. These beautiful pieces are carved from stone. It was fascinating!

Thank you, Wei-Ting, for taking us to your world of East Asian Brush Painting!

PAL is sponsoring a workshop by Wei-Ting on June 10. Workshop details and registration link available at

Wei-Ting Website: Instagram: @weiting_art

Big thanks to Thomas See, George & Linda Garbarino, Pat Smith and Tuan Karsevar for all the extra help at the meeting.

Jan Loomis and Meghana Mitragotri, PAL Programs Co-chairs

April 10, 2023 General Meeting Recap

Summary of General Meeting April 10, Sponsored by LAA at Bothwell Arts Center

The LAA/PAL General Meeting on April 10, was hosted by LAA. Thanks to Barbara Stanton, Georgia Jacobs for providing healthy refreshments, and everyone who helped with the setup.

Barbara Stanton demonstrated egg tempera painting. Egg tempera is an ancient medium used before oils were invented, indeed oils were invented to replace egg tempera. Barbara mentioned that it was recenly discovered that Leonardo da Vinci was using egg yolk mixed in his oils in some of his painting. Barbara demonstrated the process of making an emulsifier (using the yolk only mixed with distilled water and vinegar), combining with pigment powders and painting on one of her miniatures. She discussed the pros and cons of using egg tempera and why she likes it. It is an opaque medium that does not need varnishing. It is very fast drying, even faster than acrylics and the emulsion must be kept in the fridge. It was an engaging discussion with many questions asked about this little-known medium.

Chandana Srinath LAA Program Chair

March 13, 2023 General Meeting Recap

Mar132023GeneralMeetingArt comes in all shapes and sizes and at the March 13th LAA/PAL General meeting in Pleasanton, some of the most beautiful shapes and sizes were on display.  Peeta Tinay, an accomplished basket weaver, shared her exquisite work.  A brief slide show featured examples of her restoration process, as well as some unique baskets that are on exhibit in New York.  Peeta talked about the processes and techniques used in basketry as we were introduced to the world of bending, poking, twining and weaving. To end the evening, we were treated to her live demonstration of how a basket is start.

As an unexpected surprise, one of our audience members shared a very special, 100-year-old Native American basket made of grasses from our region. A very remarkable evening.

PAL will be sponsoring a workshop by Peeta so keep an eye out for further information.

We would like to thank Marty Loomis for helping PAL procure our brand new projector and screen, and for the camera set-up. Also thank you to Alka Vaidya for our lights, Tejal Shah for refreshments and Tuan Karsevar, Thomas See and Jill Vellinger for all the extra help.

Be sure and visit the PAL, LAA and DAC website for all the latest updates.

Jan Loomis and Meghana Mitragotri, PAL Programs Co-chairs

Report on February 13, 2023 General Meeting

It was a good interactive experience on February 13 with a turnout of about 30 participants for the General Meeting. Thanks to Christine Watters for helping with all the set up. Georgia Jacobs for providing the refreshments. Christine McCall gave us information about the LAA Spring Art show.

Our guest artist for the night was John Tullis. He gave us a demo of still life oil painting. His way of looking at the lighting and environment was very informative.

We came to know that he is a writer and his first novel is published. 




Report on January 9, 2023 General Meeting

Jan 2023 General MeetingWhat a great way to start 2023! A record number of attendees – 69 ! Thanks for your time & contribution – Alka Vaidya, Christine Watters, Vanessa Thomas, Christine Bourg and panelists Jan Loomis & Lynda Briggs. There’s so much to look forward to in the Tri-Valley! Make sure to visit DAC, LAA, AVA, PAL websites to get the latest.

Mitchell Albala‘s inspiring presentation took us to a world “beyond representation”. To illustrate the idea of transcendence through simplification and abstraction, he used his own striking works, as well as works by other artists.

We learned that to going beyond representation requires a focus on aesthetics, such as pattern, color, light, value, texture, movement, and so on. He also explained how abstraction could be heightened through simplification, expressive color, or expressive mark-making.

It was fascinating how Mitchell could find differences between paintings with subjects that were alike yet so different in aesthetics. It almost became addicting, and one couldn’t help but look beyond the obvious to describe a painting in a manner that allowed the subject to become secondary.

Mitchell made the presentation extra special using PAL Members Nancy Roberts, Rita Sklar and Usha Shukla’s works to enhance his points!

Will we ever look at our subjects the same way? No way!

Artist website: Instagram:
Facebook: YouTube:

– Meghana Mitragotri

Report on October 10, 2022 General Meeting

November 2022 PortfolioHosted by PAL, this was a fun and interactive General Meeting on October 10 with a great turnout of around 40 participants! Big thanks to Alka Vaidya for all her help in setting up, LAA for lending the projector and screen, and Ritu Ahluwalia for arranging the refreshments. Special thanks to Ken MacLennan, Curator of Pleasanton’s Museum on Main, for sharing information about the 2023 PAL-Museum on Main Show “Imagination Expressed”. Learn more about the Museum including membership

Our guest artist for the night was the very talented Yvette Head. Yvette is not only a great abstract botanical artist, but also a fantastic presenter! She was very organized with presenting samples of her works completed in various stages of her process. She first explained the different materials she uses. Click here to view an acrylic medium material list

Yvette began her art process by applying some modeling paste on her canvas with a sponge, to create a rugged texture. She then mixed a small amount of Golden acrylic paint with a gloss gel medium to create a dense “goop” like mixture in little vials with a fine applicator. Using this applicator, she drew the outline of her design on the textured canvas (freehand line drawing). Once slightly dry, she patted excess paint onto a paper towel revealing very interesting outlines. She would also occasionally use “white goop” to add variation in her composition and design. Next, she mixed paint with a satin or gloss glazing liquid and painted very carefully between each line work/shape. The design beautifully unfolded as she was applying a combination of fun earthy pigments. What a unique style with incredible results!

Thank you so much, Yvette, for taking us to your magical world of Abstract Botanical Art!

Learn more about Yvette Head: @autumnlanestudios

– Meghana Mitragotri

Report on 2022 PAL/LAA Potluck

Oct 2022 PortfolioThe annual LAA & PAL potluck held at Charles R Winery on September 12. Did you make the potluck? If not, you missed out on a very fun evening. Bonnie Bartlette opened up the Charles R Vineyard to us once again this year. The food was excellent, the wine was yummy, and the art show was great. Thanks to everyone who brought their art to share; this surely gave rise to some engaging conversations. Thirty-eight LAA & PAL members, both new and old, attended. It was encouraging to see so many new faces.

Georgia Jacobs, L A A Membership & Hospitality and Ritu Ahluwalia, PAL Hospitality, hosted the event. Unfortunately, Georgia was not able to make it at the last minute but we muddled through the setup thanks to her detailed preparations. Thanks to Craig Varden for taking photos (check out the album), Joyce Moulden, Meghana Mitragotri, and Ritu for coming early to set up, and for everyone who stayed behind and helped clean up. Christine Watters

Report on June 13, 2022 Meeting

June’s meeting was hosted by DAC at the Frame Company in Village Parkway, Dublin. Gina Gabrielle gave a fascinating presentation on how she creates her hyper-realistic dolls. These dolls are used as therapy dolls, film and television props and are collected by private collectors. If you’ve seen infants on TV shows, you have likely seen some of her work. The process is involved, with decisions made at every step depending on the intended use (therapy, prop, collection).

To be honest, I went expecting to be creeped out (baby dolls are not my thing) but came away impressed by both her talent and her creations. If you missed this presentation, you missed out on a wonderful and entertaining experience. (The snacks were good too.)

Check out her blog and her YouTube channel website: YouTube:

Christine Watters

Report on May 9, 2022, General Meeting

June 2022 PortfolioReport on May 9th General Meeting: May was the first in-person general meeting that LAA has hosted. Ap- proximately 30 people showed up to the Bothwell Arts Center on May 9th to hear a very entertaining and educational presentation by Jennifer Linder- man. She introduced us to the world of colored pencils, going over the types and attributes of different pencils along with a review of different papers and other tools.

Thanks to Jennifer for a great presentation, to Lorraine Wells and Joyce Moulden for showing up early and helping to set things up, to Georgia Jacobs for providing the refreshments, to Alka Vaidya for providing her stand, and to Meg Mitragotri for support with the recording (it didn’t work out but that doesn’t mean we didn’t try!). And to everyone else who participated for making it a fun evening. Jennifer’s website:, Instagram:@jenniferlindermanart.

To anyone technically inclined, we would love some help with doing the recordings.

Christine Watters

Report on April 11, 2022, General Meeting

The in-person General Meeting on April 11 was truly fun and lively! 

Show Chairs from PAL, LAA and DAC did a great job in sharing information about shows scheduled in the next couple of months. More information and opportunities can be found on the respective websites.

May PortfolioAward-winning artist Nancy Roberts was the guest speaker for the evening, and she did a marvelous job in keeping the audience engaged with her unique techniques and charming personality. She showed several samples of her beautiful works and explained her process of using unconventional styles that create drama in her composition. Nancy used gesso boards and acrylic paint mixed with water to create initial shapes using bold vertical and horizontal strokes of her brush, intentionally allowing paint to drip. She then created the most interesting textures as she developed a dynamic design, using her thumb, back of the brush, splattering and many other techniques that are also often used by watercolor artists. Nancy’s presentation was not only informative but also entertaining. She made us wonder, made us laugh and made the experience unforgettable with her “joyful brushwork.” Thank you, Nancy, for sharing your tips and tricks! You were wonderful!

Here’s a link to Nancy’s materials handout:  Learn more and see her work at

Report on March 7, 2022 General Meeting

The YouTube link attached is not from the actual Zoom meeting, but it was mentioned in the meeting and has the same content that was presented by Rachel Osajima, Director of Alameda County Arts Commission in recognition of Arts IS Education Month (March) and Arts Culture and Creativity Month (April).

Information presented can be found on YouTube: 2022 Arts Education Advocacy in Action

Reported by Vanessa Thomas

Report on February 14 General Meeting

It was a full and fun evening. Thanks again to the PAL and LAA meeting team of Lorraine Wells, Alka Vaidya and Meg Mitragotri for working behind the scenes to make it happen.

Georgia Jacobs introduced LAA’s new Art Space open house monthly series inspired by last November’s TVAST. Each month a different artist will open their workspace, whatever it may be, to visitors. The inaugural open house is in February at Georgia’s. Details

John Tullis, judge of P AL’s Expressed show at the Museum on Main in Pleasanton, shared his thoughts on the award winners. The artwork is beautiful and varied. Congratulations to the winners. If you haven’t made it to the show yet, it is up until March 26.

The main attraction for the evening was Kit Davey, a Redwood City book and paper artist who introduced us to book
arts. Kit began with introducing the definition of a book then proceeded to demonstrate the wide variety of ways it could be interpreted… many challenging the idea of what people traditionally think of as books. Her wide variety of imaginative and humorous books was inspiring. Even the simplest accordion book could be transformed from a simple strip of folded paper to a piece of complex art.


Kit’swebsite: Instagram:

The meeting was recorded and is posted HERE.

Report on January 10, 2022 General Meeting

This first meeting of 2022 was a huge success. Thanks to the collective publicity efforts of the PAL, LAA and DAC, this Zoom meeting was attended by 57 participants! This execution couldn’t have been possible without Online Tech Team members Christine Watters, Alka Vaidya and Lorraine Wells.

Lisa Rigge’s presentation about a historical view of cameras and the art of hand-colored photographs was beyond fascinating! Lisa began the first segment with where it all began. It was interesting to listen about materials right out of the kitchen, like table salt and albumen that were originally used along with various photographic techniques using paper negatives and glass plates. The partnership between Frenchmen Joseph Niepce’s innovations (the father of photography) and Louis Daguerre’s artistic knowledge together gave rise to daguerreotypes, one of the most widely used and revolutionary techniques.

It was interesting to learn about the various binders including gum arabic, fish glue, and sugar that were combined with oil and watercolor paints to create hand-colored daguerreotypes. Lisa also explained other techniques such as Calotypes (Salt Prints), Albumen prints, Japanese Salt Prints, the Wet Plate Collodion process, Ambrotypes, Tintypes, and Platinum Prints.  We learned about the different types of roll films and papers that were used to create photographs. 

In the second segment of her presentation, Lisa explained her process of hand-tinting digital images using pan pastels and other supplies. She begins by converting an image to black and white, mixing colors and then delicately adding colors to the image and adding final touches with colored pencils. It was fun to see a few other examples of her work. View a list of Lisa’s supplies HERE.

Thanks so much Lisa for sharing with us your love for this fascinating art form and showing us your technique! We loved it!

Artist Website:                        Artist Contact:

Report submitted by Meghana Mitragotri

Report on November’s General Meeting

The program was provided by David Savellano demonstrating travel journaling. David started by showing some of his gorgeous journals from past travels and went through the equipment he uses. He then demonstrated his process using a reference photo – La Bicyclette Restaurant in Carmel. David’s clear instructions broke down his process into manageable steps. Here’s some feedback from one of the attendees:

“That was very very enjoyable! David’s instruction was wonderful. His calm, relaxed demeanor makes you feel confident and capable!“ said Pricilla Walker. “I love the idea of capturing travels and events this way. I never thought of doing that as an actual journal.” (Pricilla’s paint-along version is to the right.)

For others who want to play along with his exercise, the video is now ready on the LAA YouTube channel – you can also find it on LAA’s webpage along with the reference image and his equipment list. Watch the video on the LAA Youtube channel: Find everything on LAA’s website – Click Here. Thanks to the meeting team – Meg Mitragotri, Alka Vaidya, Lorraine Wells – for your support. It takes a team to make it go so smoothly.

Christine Watters, LAA Programs



Report on October 11, 2021 General Meeting

This meeting was one-of-a-kind! We had a successful hybrid format of a meeting that was not only hosted in-person but also streamed live over Zoom with a total of over 40 participants across both formats! Thanks to the Online Tech Team for arranging all the equipment for a better audience experience.

LAA and PAL announced Nominations for the Executive Board positions; elections will take place during the November General Meeting.

PAL, LAA and DAC also announced upcoming events including PAL Members’ Show, LAA’s Workshop by Stephen.C.Wagner on “What Sells”, and DAC’s Art Boutique.

Our guest speaker and award-winning artist Karen Barry started her journey in printmaking when she was twelve. Karen talked about her fascination for all types of traditional printmaking, including drypoint etching, aquatint, stone lithography, woodcut, and linocut. She shared examples of prints created by famous artists like Pablo Picasso, Matisse, M.C. Escher, William Rice, Gail Brodholdt, and others. William Rice is Karen’s favorite printmaker and has inspired her linocut work. View works of printmakers who have inspired Karen’s work HERE.

Karen showed many of her beautiful linocut blocks and prints and talked about the beginning stages of developing an image, cutting tools, multi-color registration methods, inks, and other supplies she uses.

It was interesting to learn about her different cutting techniques. Her style tends to be tight and precise.

Karen demonstrated how to print by hand from an inked linocut block, using a brayer to roll on Akua ink, then using a flat wooden spoon to transfer the image onto some Japanese Kitakata paper.

Thank you, Karen, for sharing your wonderful art form with us!

Karen’s presentation is now available on YouTube

Meghana Mitragotri (PAL Board; Online Tech Team)

Report on PAL and LAA 2021 Potluck

Members gathered for the annual potluck at Charles R. Winery in Livermore. The potluck was organized by Georgia and Chandana, who did a wonderful job creating a welcoming an festive atmosphere. Participants wore nametags indicating the number of years of their membership, but nobody could beat Muriel and Phillip who have been members of LAA for 43 years. They also took the ‘prize’ for being married the longest; at over 50 years. We also learned other fun facts about each other: Who doesn’t like Mexican food, who drives a red car, who is afraid of clowns, and whose birthday is in July. These where all questions that were part of a game designed to spark fun conversation. There was also a spirited game of corn hole played on the lawn. The wine was delicious, the weather was perfect, the food was tasty, and new friends were made. Let’s do it all again next year!

Report on the June 14, 2021 General Meeting

An introduction was made of James Morehead, Dublin’s new Poet Laureate who read the poem “Tethered” from his debut book “Canvas.” Announcements were made by representatives of PAL, LAA and DAC; Tri-Valley Artists Studio Tour (TVAST); Patch Posting for Nonprofit Workshops; Instagram Training program for artists. Videos of the workshops are available on the DAC YouTube Channel.

Program by William Wilson, Cultural Arts Supervisor at the Grand Theater Center for the Arts in Tracy presented “The Grand – The Making & Development of a Successful Arts Center in the 21st Century” providing an insightful perspective of one of the few interdisciplinary arts facilities of its kind in the US. The talk included concepts in Creative Place-making and the opportunity for an arts center to celebrate humanity in large and small ways, foster congregation and social interaction and stimulating dialogue while engaging with the arts. Art is a living declaration and it takes practice to understand it. Managing the reciprocal relationship between fandom and patronage while considering the sphere of influence of a center and connecting to an ever-increasing diverse community were key concepts to consider.

Building an arts center is not enough but rather fostering engagement and connection while highlighting supporters and winning over detractors is a perpetual process and the approach should be kinetic and purposeful. Sustainability also depends on consistent funding and investment on a municipal and regional scale. The core question of “Who do you serve?” should be on the radar constantly allowing adaptation to community-at-large and artists needs. William Wilson – Cultural Arts Supervisor. Website:

 View William’s talk HERE.

Submitted by Dennis Baker

Report on May 10, 2021 General Meeting

Thanks to all who joined in on the General Meeting on May 10 via Zoom. We had a full agenda.

Survey Says! … Survey of LAA, PAL and DAC members points to people preferring some sort of Zoom and in-person combination of General Meetings in the fall. This is assuming in-person will be an option. If anyone has suggestions and leads on the types of programs they would like please let your organization know. Review the survey slides on this link:

Jen Huber presented the results of the PAL’s Pals Show. They had 52 students mainly from Pleasanton but also from other Tri-Valley and Bay Area schools and 2 from out of state. The show remains up until the end of May. Take a look at the great artwork HERE

Stephen C. Wagner from San Francisco Artist Network presented a very informative program “Create a Quality Body of Work” based on his many years of experience as an artist and gallerist as well as conversations with other art professionals. It touched on creating a signature style, generating a cohesive body of work, and presentation & quality. The Q&A was particularly good. View Stephen’s talk HERE

You can check out the resources on SFAN website, Christine Watters, LAA Program Chair

Report on April 12, 2021 General Meeting

Submitted by: Meghana Mitragotri (Member PAL Board & Online Tech Team)

Thanks to everyone for coming to the meeting; we had close to 45 attendees. PAL was happy to organize the program!

  • LAA President Clark Streeter announced volunteering opportunities and LAA Vice-president Christine Watters talked about a General Meeting Survey and her talk on “How to Design an Online Show with No Budget”.
  • DAC President Sawsan Wolski expressed heart-felt thanks to Summer Ellis (moving to Florida) for her contributions. While building DAC’s membership, Sawsan is also talking to the City of Dublin about art initiatives in collaboration with the Cultural Arts Council.
  • PAL President Beth Okurowski informed about a possible PAL Online Store, and invited volunteers to form an exploratory team. She also announced the possibility of an exciting partnership with the Firehouse Arts Center!
  • Jennifer Huber shared an overview of PAL’s Pals 2021.
  • Elaine Drew PresentationOur guest speaker, artist and author Elaine Drew gave us a superb presentation about Comics and Storyboards, and paired it up with fun exercises from her thoughtful handbook. She shared an overview about the different types of comics and interesting facts about their origins. She taught us tricks to draw characters and helped answer a million-dollar question -How to get ideas for comics! Elaine’s simple tips like drawing one’s day or dreams were excellent. The last segment of her presentation included concepts about Storyboarding. Did you know that filmmakers use this concept to draw frames of a film or a plot? Elaine explained the various steps and revealed a finished zine. Thank you, Elaine for introducing us to your world of comics – an art form we have all grown up adoring! Elaine’s presentation is available HERE.



Report on March 8, 2021 General Meeting (Zoom)

Thanks to all who attended the meeting of LAA, PAL and DAC. About 52 folks showed up and enjoyed the meeting hosted by DAC. All the association presidents spoke beginning with Clark Streeter, president of LAA. Clark raved about the New Dawn online show that Meghana Mitragotri, Christine Watters, Joyce Moulden and Craig Varden worked on so hard. See the show at the LAA website:

PAL president, Beth Okurowski spoke about their annual membership drive. If you haven’t already, make sure you go to the website and renew your membership. It’s that time of year when LAA and PAL refresh the membership rosters. If you don’t get the Portfolio next month it’s because you have not yet renewed your membership. Please get on that!

DAC president, Sawsan Wolski spoke about the first ever quarterly newsletter that DAC published with the tremendous help of Vanessa Thomas and May Giang. The annual St. Patrick’s Day celebration in Dublin was virtual only this year and DAC member, Gina Gabriel was kind enough to create a video for Dublin residents showing them how to make a paper leprechaun. An Irish friend of DAC made a wonderful video to surprise Gina to thank her for her hard work keeping the St. Patrick’s Day celebration alive.

The evening’s program was a discussion by Way Up Art and Frame owner, Shakeeb Rashidi. He spoke about best practices for preserving your artwork and tips and techniques for good methods of matting and framing your 2-D work for display. Thanks to Shakeeb for your time! Shakeeb has also offered to provide some new products to artists to try out and report back on their experience to the community. We ended the meeting with a short movie of a young Dublin woman performing an Irish dance. See you on April 12th when PAL will host the next combined general meeting.

Report on February 8, 2021 General Meeting (Zoom)


We had another strong showing for our February meeting – there were 52 of us in attendance.

Along with the updates by the PAL, LAA and DAC presidents, Meghana Mitragotri walked people through how to submit work to the New Dawn show and Dennis Baker introduced the open studio tour, TVAST, he and Anne Giancola are spearheading (Artist sign up deadline has been extended until March 3).

Dave Wagner gave an informative critique of the Merit and HM awards from the PAL MOM show, “Imagination Expressed”. He provided great insight into the strengths that he saw and areas where things might have been improved… and he covered all 10 works in his allotted time! 

Dennis Baker gave our first real Zoom demo. He discussed the Arches paper for oil, with an informative slideshow and real-time demo. Dennis went over the pros and cons of the paper, showed the different qualities and how to mount it. How many of you went out and bought some paper to give it a try?

Thanks to all that contributed to putting on the meeting. And a special thanks to Dave and Dennis. Videos of Dave’s and Dennis’ presentations will be available eventually. If anyone is able to give a few hours to edit meeting videos, let me know. Christine Watters, LAA Programs,

Report on January 11, 2021 General Meeting (Zoom)

Postproduction and Preparing Photos for Submission. OurThird successful Online General Meeting had 44 participants! Presidents of LAA, PAL and DAC shared some exciting updates about the LAA online store, online and in-person shows, community projects and developments.

After this, our speakers Jennifer Huber and George Garbarino were introduced with some fun facts!  Before knowing what to do with artwork pictures, it’s vital to know and understand photo digital terms, and Jen very effectively did just that! She explained each term and shared how to use free applications that are usually bundled with a Mac and a Windows computer. She also introduced the free, Linux based photo editing application, GIMP, and demonstrated essential editing features including crop, remove blemishes, resize and file saving formats. George’s impressive presentation included editing photographs using features like adjusting size, resolution, auto contrast, auto tone and auto color on a high powered imaging software – Photoshop. He also explained the important difference between editing an original photo vs. the photo of an original art. Both Jen and George emphasized the ethical aspect of editing an artwork, and that while submitting images of artwork for an online show, only minor edits need to be made to keep the photo looking as close to the original art as possible. Thank you Jen and George!

During the Q&A, it was encouraging and helpful to see members sharing useful links in the chat about photo editing. Thank you so much for your participation and also for sharing future meeting topics – that gives us a direction! Thanks to all the members who shared kind comments about our speakers; surely made them feel extra special! We received great feedback about the program presented by the Pleasanton Art League. Thank you! Please write to us at with your comments and suggestions to keep the momentum going.

Here’s a list of important information and links as a result of the January 2021 meeting: Jennifer Huber:, Resizing images on the Mac using Preview: More detailed video on using Preview (Mac) to edit photos. GIMP website–Download directly from them: George Garbarino:

Report on December 2020 General Zoom Meeting

Photographing Your Artwork – Shooting for Success: The December meeting was another success. The program ended up being larger than expected but that didn’t appear to diminish the enthusiasm. After a brief update from LAA, PAL and DAC presidents, part one of the program started with Paul Kratter presenting the award-winning artwork from the PAL Member show, providing interesting insights into what resonated with him with each piece. 

Though a video by Mike’s Cameras in Dublin didn’t work out due to network stability problems (it is available on Shop Talk), we moved to part two of photographing your artwork. Helene Roylance, Geoff Faulkner and Rita Szollos shared great tips on how to photograph 2D and 3D art, lighting, angles, and how to counter shine and reflections (polaroid filter btw). Rita gave an intro on using instagram.

We had a full “room” with 52 participants, half of which stayed to the very end, nearly two hours! Thank you all! And thank you for the kind feedback. It helps us with future meetings, and makes our effort feel worthwhile.


Report on November 2020 General Zoom Meeting

The November General Meeting, hosted by the LAA, PAL and DAC Meeting Tech Group, was the first held since the world went upside down in March. 52 (!) people from the three organizations joined us for updates from the presidents, and an entertaining slide show of Paint Pleasanton artwork, narrated by Lorraine Wells. 

We were fortunate to get an update from Rachel Osajima, Director of the Art Commission for Alameda County and Anne Giancola from the Bankhead/Bothwell.

Rachael Osajima, Alameda County Arts

Rachel Osajima, invited us to sign up for the Alameda County Arts Commission newsletter on their website, on the “contact us” page. 

Anne Giancola ( shared some Artist Opportunities (See Call for Artists for information).

Meghana Mitragotri demonstrated her innovative overhead camera setup. Great job, Meg! Learn about Meg’s method in Shop Talk.

PAL Members Show: See Exhibits and Events

Submitted by Christine Watters, LAA Program Chair