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Meet Our Members

Lynda Briggs

Lynda Briggs is a PAL Board member and coordinates the PAL Wall upstairs at the Firehouse where PAL members show on the Nancy Thompson Memorial Wall.

If you are lucky enough to be a Friend of Lynda’s on facebook, you saw this great photo of her.

Here are some of Lynda’s thoughts: “Inspiration is everywhere! As an avid hiker, I’m constantly finding myself surrounded by it on the trail. My paintings are soulful interpretations of the wild and mysterious beauty that I wander upon in the natural world. Being a small part of this vast living world is an internal story I yearn to tell. Big or small, more often than not, those instances take my breath away. Practicing mindfulness, being present or aware of what is around me, recognizing a connection to these surroundings and how they affect me and you and how we all grow from this constant evolving forward momentum. How exciting it is, to feel a deep connection to our living world. I am grateful for those experiences that make my heart beat faster. I’m compelled to share this part of me, that makes me feel alive, through my art / life with the utmost intention to inspire others to do the same—notice more, listen more, do what you love and be kind to others.”

Charlotte Severin

Charlotte Severin

Charlotte Severin is an award winning Bay Area Plein Air artist whose works are displayed in public and private collections in the United States and many foreign countries, including Japan, Guatemala, France, Germany and Mexico, as well as the foreign Consulates and Embassies in San Francisco. Some corporations have acquired as many as twenty-five of her works in permanent collection and she has completed commissions for international corporations as well.

She began painting in oils at the age of twelve and studied with a German and an Italian artist as well as at the California College of Arts and Crafts. Later she continued her studies at Stanford University where she graduated with honors, and in Wurzburg, Germany.

Charlotte enjoys working in all media, but at present is painting mostly in watercolors. She prefers this medium because of its flexibility for on location painting and the freshness it inspires.

She has studied with such well known watercolorists as Jade Fon, Jane Burnham, Millard Sheets, George Post, Rex Brandt, Morris Shubin and others. Traveling around the world, Charlotte paints with a passion for color and likes the soft impressionistic effect achieved by a wet in wet approach. The warm joyous feeling Charlotte has about life is reflected in her work.

Having been honored with more than thirty One Person Shows, she is a Signature member of the California Watercolor Association, Founding President of the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council and Founder of the PCAC “Arts In The Schools Program.”

Charlotte has been featured in a 30-minute video focusing on her watercolors and philosophical approach to art over bay area public access television on several occasions, and she is listed in Who’s Who of American Women.

An inspired teacher, she has taught classical watercolor, Oriental brush painting and drawing in San Francisco Bay Area Schools, both public and private, for over thirty years. Also serving as “Artist in Residence” in many schools, she has enjoyed lighting the spark of creativity in thousands of children (and adults). Currently she is in her 27th year of teaching advanced/intermediate watercolor in a class called “Art Made Easy” at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton and part of Pleasanton’s Civic Arts Program, enhancing student’ “awareness” and creating a new vision for all of life.

Enthusiastic to share her joy of Painting, Charlotte is often a speaker and demonstrator for State Conventions and Conferences, teaching “Art Made Easy” and “Art For Relaxation and Stress Management.” She calls it “Refilling Your Cup.”

George Kanakis

George Kanakis, a well-known local artist, has been a Pleasanton resident since 1987. George was born in Greece on the island of Crete where he started to paint as a child under the direction of Boti Thalassinos, a renowned Greek artist who was himself taught by Salvador Dali. Thalassinos’ encouragement had a significant influence on George. As a young teenager he moved to Athens and continued to pursue his passion for Art by taking private lessons and learning varied media including oils, watercolor, Indian ink, acrylics, and sculpture.

Before immigrating to the United States, George spent his early adulthood as a naval engineer which gave him the opportunity to enjoy artwork in Japan, China and Australia. Eventually, George combined his love for the creation of his own art and the art of others by opening a custom picture framing shop and gallery in Berkeley. His artistic ability made him a master framer who en- sured that his customers’ work was treated with care and respect. Now retired, he is able to devote himself daily to his passion of oil painting in his art studio. George has had a number of exhibits in various locations in the Bay Area including San Francisco, Oakland, Hayward, Berkeley, San Leandro, and Pleasanton. His body of work includes Greek themes as well as landscapes of California such as Yosemite, Monterey, the Presidio, and Lake Del Valle. George is happy to know that his paintings are enjoyed in a number of homes throughout the United States and abroad.

Linda Hopwood

Artist Statement: Born and raised in S.F., I’ve been living in the Tri Valley for over 30 years. After 25 years, I retired from my career in the mechanical engineering field. Now as an older adult, I have the opportunity to rekindle my first love – art. Art has given me a new direction in life – a new community of friends and colleagues. I have found this to be mentally stimulating and socially gratifying, sharing my paintings and my outlook on life with others. I have pursued art through formal education at LPC (AA in Painting) and by attending workshops and seminars. I’ve had the opportunity to participate in local exhibits, and well as organize them, giving me more exposure to and involvement in the art community.

I am an artist who works with oil, watercolor, acrylic, pastels, colored pencil and charcoal. Most of my images are composed and painted in my studio, my largest artwork being 36” x 48”. My subject matter is usually a still life, painted in a realistic style, though I have dabbled with abstracts. My paintings are usually created from my photographs and my nude images are created from live models.

Several of my paintings are in private collections in California, Oregon and Arizona. I have been in group exhibits around the Tri-Valley and have been honored with several awards, including Best Watercolor at the 2010 Spring Art Festival. I am currently a member of the PAL art circuit and chair for the PAL Alviso Adobe Art Show.

Its been a challenge to merge both my loves – to paint images well and with imagination, and bring them a hint of logic and ingenuity. I hope I continue this struggle for a long time.

Sandra Myers

Watermedia and Oils

Sights, Sounds, Color, Music, and the human element are a permanent inspiration for Sandra’s multiple manifestations in
Art. She has explored a myriad of art forms including: music, theater, film, writing, and her passion since she was only 9 years old, Painting. “Everyday I see shapes that transform and merge into fascinating and inspiring subjects. I try my best to practice drawing them everyday”.

Sandra has been fortunate to have traveled to amazing countries around the world, working with film crews such as Ocean’s 12. But nothing compares to enjoying traveling with her family. The array of colorful landscapes, sounds, aromas, music, folklore, and peoples of exotic places have imprinted images that bring daily inspiration, and sometimes nostalgia.

Sandra’s preferences: figure paintings & colorful subjects. She loves watercolor painting and oils. She particularly loves the old town of La Coruña, Spain and Avignon in France. And of course, she loves the ultramarine and turquoise waters of the Caribbean!

She is honored to be part of Pleasanton Art League, the Livermore Art Association, and to have shown some of her artwork in prestigious places such as the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton, Museum of Main, Livermore Library, and other locations.

Sandra has been very lucky to have had a wonderful film career, being a runner up at Sundance 2004 Film Festival for her Screenplay Lament. She edited a couple of episodes in TV shows such as Monk, and CSI Special Victims Unit, and directed some of the American Heart Association televised fundraisers for NBC 11. She was awarded the Princess Grace of Monaco Film Award. “I am humble and grateful to live in such amazing place during incredible times.”

Sandra is currently working at Valley Montessori as a digital arts educator and painting commissioned Portraits. Her work is hanging on the PAL Wall, upstairs in the Firehouse Arts Center until December 15, 2018. or 925 699-7102. 

John Trimingham

“I was born in Livermore California, did my K – 12 years in San Leandro, and graduated with Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography and Economics from the University of Nevada at Reno.

“My working career included employment with the US Marine Corp, AT&T, Nevada Bell, BC Analytical, Holy Names University, Chabot College, and the University of California Berkeley.

“I am not a trained artist. I currently belong to the Pleasanton Art League and the Livermore and Alameda Art Associations. I work with acrylic on canvas but on occasions I use acrylic with plaster on burlap. My work is always on display at the Alameda Art Association gallery in Alameda California.


“Most of my work is contemporary abstract and mid century (atomic art as it might be called in Palm Springs). I don’t paint because Ihope to inspire people or provide them with a religious or out of body experience. I just like to paint.”

Note: For several years, John was the PAL Circuit Chair. He has recently handed that job over to Usha Shukla, but he continues to volunteer for miscellaneous chores for our art Associations.



Carol Faber-Peake

Carol grew up in the Midwest where art, english, history and sports were some of her favorite subjects. Her mother was a self-taught watercolorist, pianist and vocalist and shared her love of the arts. The encouragement Carol was given as a young girl motivated her to not only pass on her love of art to her five children and eight grandchildren, but to pursue additional education. She attended Las Positas College to study fine arts, and then received her BFA at CSU East Bay with a focus in painting, and finally achieving her Masters in Transformation Arts at John F. Kennedy University in Berkeley.

Carol is dedicated to the creative art process and passionate about pursuing both personal vision and a desire to nurture her craft. Painting and creating mixed media mask sculptures on canvas are her current mediums. She holds mask making techniques classes on an individual basis. Carol’s contemporary body of work incorporates elements of representation and abstraction.

Carol is a member of PAL, LAA, and the LAA Gallery and enjoys her wonderful studio space at the Bothwell Arts Center on 8th Street in Livermore. She states: “To ultimately have my art touch viewers’ lives on a deeper level is my motivation.” Each new experience is connecting her to an ever growing community and a desire to reach out to others.

Stop by the LAA Gallery to see Carol’s work.

Diana Hostetter

I have been a member of PAL since 2015 and a resident of Pleasanton for 20 years. I made the decision to join PAL upon retiring from 40 + years in the Biotech industry. I have a BS in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree. I enjoy traveling with my husband and trusty dog companion whenever possible.

I am a self-described art lover/collector and “artist wannabe”. For most of my adult life, I have worked with textiles and enjoyed textile art and its expression. Most recently, I decided to pursue a lifelong interest in watercolor. I am taking classes, starting with the basics and hopefully will someday advance to more senior level watercolor instruction. My first attempts at watercolor painting have been enormously enjoyable… a chance to let go of my left brain and engage my right brain’s hopefully more creative side. In the future, I hope to advance my skill in watercolor to the point in which I am able to show my efforts competitively.

I joined PAL for one primary reason. I have always enjoyed the respective art communities of the places in which I have lived (New York, Washington D.C. and now the SF Bay Area). Summertime fine arts festivals have long been one of my favorite activities. Upon joining PAL, I made a commitment to do whatever I can to help advance our community’s awareness of the visual arts and the wonderful artists who make up our membership.

Lorraine Wells

Lorraine Wells was born in the San Joaquin Valley and raised in Salinas.

My career started with a box of Crayola crayons and advanced to painting 4×8 sheets of plywood and cleaning brushes for my sign maker step-father. I learned the art & craft of brush lettering, gold leafing and silk screening at his side, then earned a BFA in design from California College of Arts and Crafts (now CCA) in Oakland.

My career has included most Graphic Arts, Advertising, Marketing, Logo Design & more. I lived on Donner Summit and Truckee for 18 years where I operated my own sign and graphic design business. Due to the influence of the mountain environment I made many hand carved redwood signs, some of which remain to this very day. I designed logos and marketing materials for the local ski resorts and businesses.

I left the mountains following a personal tragedy and worked for a company that provided marketing materials for local community builders designing everything from logos & collateral materials, to the custom furniture and interior design required for their sales offices.

My fine art career has included oil & acrylic painting, watercolor, pen & ink & pencil drawing. I have spent more than 50 years in art and design and have occasionally won awards. While I don’t remember ever not making art or having it in my life, it took awhile to restart my creative life after the death of my daughter and then my mother, who was in my care. I finally connected with our several local art groups and artists, who have inspired me to restart my fine art career. I have a lifelong love for our constantly changing California landscape, which I try to capture in the fluidity and transparency of watercolor. Wherever possible, I like to include elements that offer local character to my paintings and there is always an element of my designer background present.

Sandra Berkson

Sandra was born in Oakland, California and lived in Pleasanton for 26 years with her family. During this time she worked part time as a Registered Nurse and did artwork as time permitted.

Since childhood, and always having a passion for drawing and painting, Sandra became serious about her artistic interests when attending Chabot College. Jack Ward was a strong influence in her artistic development. She transferred to Hayward State, then to California College of Arts and completed her bachelor of arts. To further her studies she completed her Masters of Fine Art at Academy Art University San Francisco, graduating with highest honors.

Sandra is now retired and devotes her time to making art and volunteering for the Lions Club. She enjoys blues music and travel. Sandra currently lives in Brentwood.

Her artwork is an unconscious narrative and dialogue drawn from life experiences, past and present. Through a visual language using paint, pencils, collage, passion and emotion she transforms the canvas into a new beginning and story