PAL Info Table in front of Studio Seven Arts

PAL members manned a PAL information table in front of Studio Seven Arts gallery from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm during Pleasanton’s First Weekends on Main.

  • Friday August 5 – Alka Vaidya and Emelie Rogers 
  • Saturday August  6 – Lorraine Wells and Wei Ting Chuang
  • Friday September 3 – John DeVilliers and Bill Potter
  • Saturday September 4 – Jessica Copeman and Emelie Rogers

PAL-John Muir Health 2022 Show “Healing Spaces!”

PAL’s first art exhibition at the John Muir Health Medical Center in Walnut Creek ran from May 23 to July 14, 2022. Show Chair John DeVilliers, show committee (Linda and George Garbarino, Lisa Rigge, Marion Huff and Lorraine Wells) and all the PAL members who submitted artworks combined together to make the show an amazing success.
Jody Mattison ( juried and judged the show. She announced the award-winners and commented about the winning pieces at a Virtual/Zoom Reception on Wednesday, June 8 at 7 pm.
The Winners
Best in show: 
Galina Volkova, “Radiant Red”
Merit awards: 
Linda Garbarino, “Nod to Vincent”
Ron Rigge,  “Vineyard and Truck”
Honorable mentions: 
Chandana Srinath,  “Family”
Amy Leung,  “Concentration for Perfection”
Usha Shukala,  “Achillea 02”
Claudette McDermott,  “Field of Dreams”
View Jody Mattison’s comments HERE. View the Winners Gallery and the complete Show Gallery HERE

PAL President’s Summer 2022 Message

PAL-John Muir Health Show judge Jody Mattison during the virtual reception on June 8 said, “What a beautiful show this has been with such varied artworks!”, and I can’t agree more! Thanks so much to all the amazing artists who entered their healing works of art in this debut show. From speaking to many artists, I gather that this show was an emotional experience and an opportunity to comfort self through art. Heartfelt thanks to our hard-working committee members and John Muir Auxiliary Board (all listed in John’s report) for all the help, guidance, and passion towards this project. I want to thank Show Chair John DeVilliers immensely for his dedication and time. This was John’s first time chairing a show, and he executed his role so diligently. His kind nature makes him extremely approachable and wonderful to work with. You are such a natural, John! Thanks so much for all that you and Charron (his wife) do. It’s not easy being Treasurer and Show Chair at the same time!

We were so happy that JMH Auxiliary Board’s Co-chair Rosemary Therkelsen was able to join us at the reception to share her journey with us. A big thank you to our webmaster Marion Huff for creating a beautiful virtual gallery and giving us a tour; click here to enjoy the gallery https://www.pal- We were glad to record the segment of the virtual reception in which Jody shares her comments about the winning pieces. It was like sitting in a classroom and listening intently to an instructor! Jody annotated the artworks on the screen and explained what appealed to her and what she learnt throughout the process. Her comments were truly educational and inspiring.

This segment with Judge’s comments has now been uploaded to YouTube. Click here and enjoy!

Special thanks to Linda Garbarino for promoting every artist in this show on PAL’s Instagram

Up next is PAL’s Plein Air event Paint Pleasanton 2022 in September followed by PAL’s Members’ Show at the Firehouse in October! Let’s gear up and get more brush mileage!

Best wishes, Meghana Mitragotri

Honor for Linda Garbarino

Pleasanton’s Mayor, Karla Brown, recently presented an award to Linda Garbarino for Community Service to the City of Pleasanton! Linda has been a member of several organizations for years and currently is the President of the Heritage Association, President of the Museum on Main, and of course a very busy member of the Board of the Pleasanton Art League. Congratulations Linda! It is so nice to have you recognized for the work you do!





PAL MOM 2022

“Missing You Already” by Rita Sklar (watercolor)

Rita Sklar was awarded “Best of Show” at the Alameda County Fair! Congratulations Rita! The painting, “Missing You Already” can be seen on






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 2022 PAL-John Muir Health Show “Healing Spaces”

By the time you read this our inaugural John Muir Hospital (JMH) show “Healing Spaces” will be wrapping up over at the Aspen Surgery Center in Walnut Creek, however, you can still enjoy the show until July 14th. You can also see the artwork HERE.

I feel confident in saying it was an unqualified success for everyone involved. We had 88 pieces by 33 artists entered into this Juried and Judged show and the final selections were a testament to the talent and expertise of our members.

I’d like to thank Rosemary and Peter Therkelsen, our John Muir contacts, for inviting us to participate in the ongoing efforts of the John Muir Health Medical Center Auxiliary to bring beautiful, healing, works of art into their Aspen Surgery Center. Everyday hundreds of patients, their families, and staff members can come to work and be greeted by a touch of beauty to start their often-challenging day. I also want to send a big shout out to our committee members; Linda and George Garbarino, Lisa Rigge, Marion Huff and Lorraine Wells. You all made me look like I knew what I was doing!

Our wonderful, patient Judge, Jody Mattison, picked out seven beautiful and varied pieces to represent the best our show had to offer. The choices were difficult for her, and she said that she could have easily given out another 4 or 5 awards, there were so many good pieces to choose from. She was also sorry she couldn’t have put more pieces into the show as there were many other excellent pieces entered.

Congratulations to all our winning artists and to all the PAL members who made this show such a success!

John DeVilliers, JMH Show Chair

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

Farewell to Beth & Peter Okurowski

In NewsThe PAL Board organized a little Farewell to PAL past president Beth Okurowski & PAL past treasurer Peter Okurowski who recently moved to Prescott, Arizona. We thank them immensely for their services and especially steering the ship so gracefully during the two years of the pandemic. Their contributions to the art community will always be trea- sured. Beth is our Parliamentarian and continues to provide guidance on various matters based on her tenure & experience. We will miss you Beth & Peter! Have a good life ahead and keep visiting!

PAL MOM Show, Imagination Expressed 2022

This year’s PAL MOM Show was held from January 12 to March 26, 2022 at  Museum on Main, 503 Main Street, Pleasanton. Local California artist, John Tullis, judged the show. Listen to his comments HERE. View this year’s winners below. Click on thumbnail to view in gallery mode.

Report on March 7 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

PAL Recognized at Pleasanton City Council Meeting!

It was an honor to represent the Pleasanton Art League and accept an Art Proclamation to recognize March 2022 as Art is Education Month and April 2022 as Art, Culture and Creativity Month at the Pleasanton City Council meeting with Mayor Karla Brown and City Council members on March 15. This was a first for PAL! Thank you so much to the PAL Board, members, volunteers, city staff, officials, local business, institutions and other nonprofit organizations for all the support. Heartfelt thanks to the Alameda County Art Commission for encouraging and initiating art advocacy at all City Levels. We’re so happy to share this Proclamation with the Pleasanton Cultural Arts Council (PCAC) and looking forward to our partnership. The virtual meeting was broadcast live on Channel 29 and at or

Hearty Congratulations to the Dublin Arts Collective for receiving this proclamation at Dublin’s City Council Meeting at the same time! – Meghana Mitragotri

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

New PAL President’s Message

Dear Members,

Bravo! What an incredible couple of years we’ve had! I am so proud of our achievements & innovations to engage with our members. It seemed an insurmountable task to come together when we were forced to distance and time stood still. Yet, we managed to keep art relevant as we persevered through joyful collaboration.

At PAL, it is a privilege to work with creative minds everyday, and a Board that always guides and encourages new ideas. With utmost gratitude to LAA and DAC, our partnerships have made us stronger, together!

I am truly honored to take on this new role and serve alongside brilliant officers, chairpersons, volunteers, and partners. Our unique skills will help us lead the way into exciting opportunities as we continue to build on existing processes focused on efficiency and inclusiveness. Our goal is to create an engaging environment across ages to establish artist connections by exchanging best practices. It is an honor to volunteer for an organization that has been catalytic in building my art career from a hobbyist to a professional. This can be a reality for other aspiring artists too!

I have very big shoes to fill! I am incredibly grateful to Beth Okurowski and her leadership team. Beth is an asset and has been a perfect mentor.

Thank you all for your continued support and participation. Kindly renew your memberships with PAL and invite fellow enthusiasts to join us. Let’s make scope for art abundant and accessible, irrespective of the times ahead!

My best wishes to you all for an exciting 2022

Meghana Mitragotri, 2022 President, Pleasanton Art League

PAL and LAA in the News

“Here’s a great article written by our Board Member Vanessa Thomas on Pleasanton Patch.
She has also posted announcements on Instagram and LinkedIn.
Thanks so much, Vanessa, for all the time and effort you’ve put into drafting & announcing new leaderships at PAL and LAA, and also promoting the January 10 General Meeting. Truly appreciate everything you do for the arts and your help in gaining visibility.”  Submitted by Meghana.

Retiring PAL President’s Message

It is my last month as PAL’s President, and I just want to say a heart-felt word of thanks. It really has been an enormous growing opportunity for me, and I want to thank you for entrusting me with taking a turn at the helm. Having a strong team at your side makes all the difference, and I’d like to thank the PAL board, Show Chairs, Committee Chairs, and all who have volunteered in large or small ways over the past three years. It really does take a village to make it all happen, and I am so proud of all that we’ve accomplished! I would also like to thank LAA and DAC leadership, who through cooperative efforts have made each organization stronger. New and valuable friendships have been forged, which has made my journey all the richer. Our world is changing quickly, and together we’ve managed to propel forward, thrive, and achieve milestones that I could not have imagined when I started. Stay healthy, nurture your creative and unique self, and I’ll see you all next year!

With Gratitude, Beth Okurowski

2022 PAL Executive Board Elections

The following Artists were elected to the PAL Executive Board at the November General Meeting on Monday, November 8, 2021. They will begin their terms on January 1, 2022. Meghana Mitragotri will serve as President, George Garbarino will serve as Vice-President, John DeVillers will serve as Treasurer, and Jan Loomis will serve as Secretary. Thank you to the PAL Nominating Committee: Lisa Rigge, Lorraine Wells, Linda Garbarino and George Garbarino.

PAL Twelfth Annual Members Show at the Firehouse

Theme Award “Above It All”:

  • Robin Leimer “Canyonlands”

Merit Awards:

  • Lynda Briggs “Beyond The Surface”
  • Wei-Ting Chuang  “A Peaceful Corner”
  • Annette Mack “The Park On Bluebell”
  • Ron Rigge “The Letter”
  • Alka Vaidya “Piled up Summer Shoes”

Honorable Mention:

  • Barbara Blissert “Venice Evening”
  • Glenyse Henschel “100% Wool”
  • Amy D. Leung “Bustling Downtown After Rain”
  • Meghana Mitragotri “Bavarian Country Side”
  • Bill Potter “Pre-COVID-Post Anxiety”
  • Nancy Roberts “Diablo Foothills, October”
  • Diane Rodriguez “Waiting For Hoppers”
  • Tejal Shah “A Bucket Full Of Memories”
  • Charlotte Severin “Conquering The Corona Virus “
  • Chandana Srinath “Mother”
  • Eugenia Zobel “Bountiful Harvest”

TVAST 2021 – Tri Valley Artists Studio Tour

The TVAST – Tri Valley Artists Studio Tour – was a successful and inspiring event for all the art associations and individual artists in the Tri Valley. Local people met and were introduced to local artists and art venues for the arts in our area, in some cases for the first time. Many people arrived on their bicycles via the art tour of venues created by Jennifer Huber. It was a successful art event that featured live demos by local artists, painting, sculpting and even creating gorgeous Henna art for free on visitors hands!

Many Artists displayed their work collectively at the Bothwell Art Center in Livermore, the Firehouse Art Center in Pleasanton and the Frame Company in Dublin. Several high school and college students exhibited at Art Process in Dublin. Many artists opened their own studios to show their work.

PAL TVAST Artists at the Firehouse: What an awesome weekend of the TVAST event! The team of nine PAL artists at the Firehouse Arts Center had a blast setting up and decorating studio spaces. They had constant traffic on both days with friends, family, patrons, art lovers, seniors and students visiting from and beyond the valley. We were excited to perform jewelry and painting demonstrations for people of all ages including a big group of Scouts that tried their hand on traditional watercolor and Asian brush painting techniques. Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support the event which resulted in a record number of sales too! At the end of the event, artists enjoyed exchanging art and souvenirs.

PAL artists at Firehouse were: Dave Peterson, Usha Shukla, Jan Loomis, Charlotte Severin, Deepti Saraswat, Marion Huff, Wei-Ting Chuang, Rhonda Chase and Meghana Mitragotri.

Thank you to the staff at the Firehouse and to Lynda Briggs for their incredible support and having PAL artwork up on the PAL Wall upstairs during the event and until December 18. Student volunteers from Foothill and Amador High Schools in Pleasanton, and Granada High School in Livermore did a flawless job at the register with credit card, cash and check payments. PAL will sign off volunteer/service hours for these students. Thanks to fellow artists from other venues who came to the Firehouse. Our sincere thanks to Dennis Baker and Anne Giancola for their vision and work on this project. A big thank you to PAL for all the help and support including getting us this incredible venue, supplying flats and sign boards and arranging the PAL Members’ Show reception to coincide with TVAST weekend. We would love to do this again next year!

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’s Paint Pleasanton 2021

Artists enjoyed the beautiful sunny weekend of September 25 and 26 painting in the Pleasanton Art League’s fourth annual plein air competition, “Paint Pleasanton”.  If you were in Pleasanton over that weekend you may have seen some of our many participants out painting Pleasanton’s historic landmarks, buildings and vineyards.  The event attracted widely recognized artists such as Carolyn Lord and Nancy Roberts.

Most artists arrived with the sun on Saturday morning and stayed until sunset to capture the charm of our local area.  After a day and a half of painting the painters returned to the Museum On Main, on Main Street to set up their easels for the entire community to enjoy.  It was an enjoyable and unique show of our valley and village through the artist’s eyes.

The Sunday afternoon show was enhanced by the generous donation of an impressive selection of mouthwatering cookies from our local Primrose Bakery.  Inklings Coffee & Tea, also an avid supporter of our community, donated our first time “Peoples Choice Award”, won by Leta Eydelberg.  Our “Best of Show” award was won by Nancy Roberts, a local resident known for her exciting depictions of our local hills, valleys, orchards and historic buildings.  Judge Jody Mattison also gave out Awards of Merit to Meghana Mitragothi and Leta Eydelberg and Honorable Mention awards went to Carolyn Lord, Jennifer Huber, Brian Fulmer and Srivani Ward.  It was a very enjoyable event, thanks to the Museum on Main’s generous loan of their frontage.

 Paint Pleasanton Winner’s Gallery – Click on thumbnail to view full size.
Paint Pleasanton 2021 in the news:

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!


PAL President Beth Okurowski’s 2021 Summer Message

Since there won’t be another Portfolio until September, here is a look ahead for PAL:

  • PAL members will be manning a PAL information table in front of Studio Seven Arts gallery in Pleasanton on Saturdays between 10:00 am and 1:00 pm during the summer months. If you are at the farmers market, stop by and say “hi”!
  • We have worked with the Museum on Main to nail down dates for Paint Pleasanton, PAL’s annual Plein Air event and show. It will be September 25 and 26. Please check Call for Artists on the PAL website for updates as the time approaches.
  • The first annual TVAST (Tri Valley Artist Studio Tour) will be on November 13th and 14th., with a Preview Show on November 11th (5:00 to 8:00 pm) at the Darcie Kent Wine Lounge. Spaces at the Bothwell Art Center, Alden Lane Nursery, and the Pleasanton Firehouse are filling up quickly. Artists are also gathering in collectives to show in the homes of artists. PAL is offering free rental space at the Firehouse to its members (over $100 value), but there are only two spaces left. Contact Usha Shukla ( if you are interested or want to learn more. Please visit for information about the tour.
  • The annual PAL members’ Show will be held November 6th through December 18th in the Harrington Gallery at the Firehouse Arts Center in Pleasanton. This year’s theme is Above It All. As a supplement to the show this year, the TVAST event will be happening in the upstairs classrooms in the Firehouse during the same time, which creates a great synergy! Visitors can view the show in the gallery then head upstairs to watch TVAST artists demo and show their work!
  • Communications volunteer needed – We are in need of someone to work with our publicity team to create and disseminate Constant Contact bulletins that go out to PAL, LAA, and DAC members. Some technical skills are required. Other similar email programs could be used instead of Constant Contact (like Mail Chimp). If you think you might be interested, please contact me at

Have a wonderful Summer! 

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

PAL’s Pals 2021 Virtual Show

PAL’s Pals High School and Middle School Virtual Show was found on this website from May 1 – May 31, 2021. A total of 52 entries were received (25 Middle School + 27 High School students) from 26 schools (13 Middle + 13 High Schools) in a variety of media including acrylic, oil, watercolor, alcoholic markers, colored pencils, mixed media, pencil drawing, charcoal, gouache and digital art.

View High School awards HERE. View Middle School awards HERE.

PAL’s Pals in the News

Vanessa Thomas wrote a wonderful article about PAL’s Pals for the Dublin Patch. Read it HERE.

Dolores Fox Ciadelli wrote a piece for the Pleasanton Weekly. Read it HERE.

An article also appears in The Independent. Read it HERE.

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.

Winners of PAL’s Thirteenth Museum on Main Show








Wednesday, January 13 – Saturday, March 6, 2021

David Wagner, an art instructor at Las Positas College, judged the show awarding ribbons and Gift Cards to Way Up Art and Frame

Chloe by Tejal Shah (acrylic)
Portrait of a Woman by John DeVilliers (pastel/colored pencil)
Serenity by Chandana Srinath (acrylic)
Waiting by Maria Grazia Romeo (oil)
Honorable Mentions:
The Admiralty by Helene Marie Roylance (watercolor)
Bristlecone Bark by Ron Rigge (photo)
The Gardeners by Marie Pascal (watercolor)
Heron at Morro Bay by Joanne Spurr (colored pencil)
Historic Napa Vineyard by David Gates (oil)
Mask with Flowers by Robert Nicolosi (mixed media)
Mid-Life, Bishop CA by Lisa Rigge (photo)
Nasturtiums by Meghana Mitragotri (watercolor)
Spring by Wei Ting Chuang (ink and watercolor)
Star in Sterling by Rhonda Chase (sterling silver, crystal and porcelain)

Winner’s Gallery – Click on thumbnail to view full size.

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,

New Group Being Formed

Optimizing Strategies for Social Media (Catchy Title TBD): Now that PAL, LAA and DAC have Facebook, Instagram, Zoom, and Youtube accounts, we would like to form a group to spearhead the effort toward optimizing the use of these powerful social media tools. We’ve seen the benefits of working together to bring our monthly members’ meetings into our homes via Zoom. Our next step is to use our combined brain power to develop coordinated strategies for promoting our shows and events. Topics that we will be digging into include: developing content, frequency of posting, boosting and leveraging, and other methods for getting maximum exposure. Also, establishing posting standards to achieve a cohesive approach, and security. We are seeking your ideas and may also bring in outside expertise. If you are interested in being a part of this exciting group, please send an email to Beth Okurowski with “social media” in the subject line.

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:

PAL President’s January 2021 Message  

“My friend, Irving Lavin, A Renaissance scholar at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, confessed that he had a horrible time writing because he never knew the beginning. Then he figured out that the paper’s beginning was not the same as beginning to write. So he just started writing about an important point in the paper and trusted that he’d find the beginning eventually. Chekhov, when asked by a nephew how he knew where to start, replied, ‘Take your blue book and tear it in half. Begin there.” There’s a difference between a work’s beginning and starting to work.

“I learned this with one of my earliest dances, The Fugue. Being a novice choreographer, I didn’t know how to begin. So I stood up in the center of the room, took a deep breath, stamped my foot, and shouted, “Begin!” Stamping the foot led me to think of the piece as tap dancing. The sound of my shoe against the floor gave me the idea of performing the piece in silence on an electronically amplified stage. To this day that’s how The Fugue starts out – with a stomp that rings in my mind “Begin!”

I guess that’s the real secret to creative preparation. If you’re at a dead end, take a deep breath, stamp your foot, and shout “Begin!” You never know where it will take you.”  (From “Begin!” (Quoted from Pg. 91, Chapter 10, The Creative Habit by Twyla Tharp)

With traveling curtailed, I find myself looking over some of my old paintings and wondering if they might be improved. Have I grown enough as a painter to see what went wrong in a piece from years ago? It is always satisfying to finally notice where the painting went ‘off the rails’. Sometimes, it is just an excuse to play with an image that I am not invested in. Other times, there is no saving it, and I sand it down for a new painting.

As Ms. Tharp queried, “Where to begin?” Looking at my painting through a mirror gives me a fresh look at its composition. Viewing the painting through a transparent, red plexiglass reveals where my values missed their target. Sometimes, it’s remixing the colors in a more harmonious way. Other times, cropping is the key. How do you ‘restart’ a work of art?

From Hacienda Pulse, the newsletter serving Hacienda Business Park. The Pleasanton Art League (PAL) is the only nonprofit group dedicated to the visual arts in Pleasanton. PAL’s mission is to make the visual arts an integral part of the fabric of life in the Tri-Valley by encouraging an environment that embraces creativity and its expression. Toward that end, PAL supports facilities, education programs, and events.

Beth Okurowski

Interested in leading an art interest group via Zoom?

The PAL/LAA/DAC Tech Group is reaching out to members who might have an interest in leading an art interest group via Zoom. It could be in any media, or any subject. The Tech Group is happy to help with any/all technical aspects. All you need to do is come up with the idea, set a schedule, and lead the group. Your group will be featured on all three websites and social media outlets. Let’s get a few groups going! For more information, please contact Lorraine Wells at

Looking for Demo Artists

The P AL/ LAA/DAC Tech Group is looking for demo artists to be featured in our monthly, joint- Members’ Meetings on Zoom. While experience in your subject is (of course) required, experience with creating on-line content is not. The Tech Group is ready to help you with video, sound, lighting, and take you through a practice Zoom demo. Please contact Meghana Mitragotri at


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.



The Winners of  PAL’s Eleventh Annual Members’ Show

Four Seasons Award (Theme)

  • Chandana Srinath—“RUTHU-Life Cycle In Seasons”

Merit Awards

  • Marie Pascal—“Rain For Christmas”
  • Lynda Briggs—“Wanderland”
  • Emelie Rogers—“California Poppies”
  • Vanessa Thomas—“Morning Revival”
  • Wei Ting Chuang—“The Words of West Wind”

Honorable Mention Awards

  • Mark Mertens—“Reflections of Diablo”
  • Robyn Leimer—“Winter’s Wonderland”
  • Ron Rigge—“Sunol Respite”
  • Susan Helmer—“Big Boy”
  • Eugenia Zobel—“Mr. & Mrs. Hot Chocolate Mugs”


Click MemberShowWinners for a Gallery view of the winning entries!

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



A Word About the Meeting Tech Team 

This team consists of Vanessa Thomas, Christine Watters, Lorraine Wells, Meghana Mitragotri and Joyce Moulden. It is currently focused on learning how to use Zoom and other online resources to host online events for our three organizations. Anyone wishing to join in the fun please contact Christine Watters at or any team member. The only qualification is the willingness to learn.

Zoom Meeting Information will be e-mailed prior to the meeting date. Zoom is being provided by DAC (sponsored by Keypoint Credit Union and the City of Dublin).

Usha Shukla, Leadership Award

Usha has been selected to receive a 2020 Alameda County Arts Leadership Award from the Alameda County Arts Commission to recognize individuals for their outstanding achievements and contributions impacting the arts community and the residents of Alameda County. Nominations were submitted by community members. The goal of the program is celebrate and highlight the important work of our arts community leaders throughout the whole County. Award recipients represent the five district areas of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors. Awards will be made on October 6.

A PAL Board member, Usha is a full-time professional artist who works out of her studio in Pleasanton. She creates vibrant, nature-inspired abstract paintings. Usha also serves as the Treasurer of the National League of American Pen Women, Diablo/Alameda Branch. For the last two years, she has served as a juror for the National Congressional High School Art Competition for Congressional District 15, represented by Eric Swalwell. In 2019, Usha started a new Pleasanton chapter of Dining For Women, a global charitable organization and is the Co-Chapter Leader. Her artwork has been featured in solo and group shows at various locations. Her work is collected nationally including at Sutter Hospital in San Francisco and at Boston Children’s Hospital, Boston, MA. She is a member of San Francisco Women Artists, and Global Art Project, an international art collaborative across sixteen countries. She was an invitational artist at the “East on West ” Art Exhibit at the Office of State Senator Scott Weiner, San Francisco.

PAL Contributes to Pleasanton School

Every year, Pleasanton Art League tries to make an effort to encourage and support art programs in various segments in our communities. Especially, at a time like this, when the pandemic has taken away so much from so many, PAL would like to support those who are most in need of art supplies. I am happy to share that PAL was able to contribute close to $350 to Valley View Elementary School, Pleasanton, towards glue sticks and crayons that will be used by 650 students as part of remote learning – a new way of life for us all! A big thank you to Lawrie and Leon (Beth’s Parents-in-law) for making a sizable donation towards PAL’s Scholarship funds; their contribution will make a difference to many budding artists! We truly appreciate the art teacher, Irma Grant, and her efforts in making sure that in no way are the students’ learning paths compromised, and art being an integral part of this important up-bringing.

Meghana Mitragotri PAL Scholarship Chairperson

PAL Receives 501(c)3 Status!

PAL is happy to report that we have received our long-awaited 501(c)3 status! It’s been a long and tricky road, and I want to thank Diana Hostetter, George and Linda Garbarino, and Peter Okurowski who have been instrumental in making this happen. The biggest benefit for PAL is that donations to PAL will now be tax deductible for donors. We have already changed the language on our membership forms to reflect this update.

Beth Okurowski