Sunday, September 18, 2022

Welcome to Contra Costa Plein Air

                    


Contra Costa Plein Air is a friendly group of artists who get together to paint at scenic locations all around the Bay Area and beyond. Our paint-out schedule is random, usually weekdays, with dates and locations inspired by the weather. New artists are always welcome! There is no fee to participate.

Upcoming paint-outs will be posted here on this blog. You can also visit Contra Costa Plein Air on Facebook to see upcoming paint-out events as well as photos of past paint-outs and helpful posts from members about plein air opportunities and topics of interest.

If you'd like to receive paint-out announcements by e-mail contact Nancy Roberts, nancyrobertsstudio@gmail.com, to join the group. We look forward to painting with you sometime soon!



New!  Now you can order all kinds of fun and functional products sporting the Contra Costa Plein Air logo.  Click here to browse the collection.

Paint-Out Oct 1, Hagemann Ranch




Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Saturday, October 1, 10 am - 3 pm
Hagemann Ranch
455 Olivina Ave., Livermore CA 94551


Let's go back to the historic Hagemann Ranch in Livermore! The Livermore Heritage Guild is hosting this artists' day especially for us. There may also be a handful of horse-riders and gardeners but not the general public, so there will be plenty of space for us to spread out and paint, sketch and photograph.

Drive through the gate to park on-site, or if the lot is full you can park on Olivina Avenue. Then walk on in to explore and find your spot. The gardens, buildings and displays will be open. There are some shady areas and benches. Bring your own water. The portable restroom is open.

Admission is free but donations are appreciated -- I suggest putting $5 in the Donation Boot. Rain cancels, but if it's just cloudy and cool we'll go ahead and paint. I hope to see you there!






Thursday, September 15, 2022

Paint-Out Oct 13, Lafayette Reservoir



Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Thursday, October 13, 10 am - 2 pm
Lafayette Reservoir
3849 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette CA 94549

Let's paint at the beautiful Lafayette Reservoir! For this paint-out I’m suggesting we all set up in the area around the Visitor Center. From here you can find great views of the water and shoreline, wooded hills, the iconic water tower, colorful boats, people fishing and hiking.

Enter the park at the main entrance on Mt. Diablo Blvd. and drive up to the main parking lot. In the middle of the parking lot there’s a ticket machine where you’ll need to purchase a One Day Parking Permit for $7. The machine takes cash or cards. From there turn right and drive uphill toward the Visitor Center. Parking at the Visitor Center is a loading zone only, but there’s an all-day parking lot just up the hill that’s convenient. I suggest popping into the loading zone to drop off your gear, then driving up the hill to park. From there you can walk down a series of steps to the Visitor Center area. Do the same in reverse when you’re ready to leave. We can all help each other keep an eye on our stuff.

There are also great views from the other side of the reservoir. If you’d rather paint there you can just park in the main lot and head to the left. I'm posting a map below to help you find our paint-out spot at the Visitor Center.

Day use fee is $7, restrooms are open, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!





Thursday, September 8, 2022

Paint-Out Sept 25, East Contra Costa Historical Museum



Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Sunday, September 25, 10 am - 3 pm
East Contra Costa Historical Museum
3890 Sellers Ave., Brentwood CA 94513


Here's something very special! We've been invited to have a paint-out at the East Contra Costa Historical Museum in Brentwood on Sunday, September 25th, 10 am - 3 pm. Volunteers are opening the grounds just for us, so we'll have the place all to ourselves. Painters, sketchers, photographers -- you're going to love it!

The entire museum has been refurbished and all areas are open, including the interiors of the historic Byer Nail house, the Eden Plain Schoolhouse and Homer's Tool Shed. Outdoor exhibits include a great collection of vintage tractors, trucks, farm equipment, windmills and a caboose. There's also a rose garden and views of the surrounding farmland and Mt. Diablo.

Admission is free, donations are encouraged (I suggest $5). Restrooms are open, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!







Saturday, August 27, 2022

Paint-Out Sept 11, Walnut Creek


Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Sunday, September 11, 10 am - 2 pm
Diablo view across the street from Northgate High School
425 Castle Rock Rd., Walnut Creek CA 94598

Let's paint the spectacular Diablo view from the open space across from Northgate High School! Park on the street, then head out on the trail to find your spot. Please note that the gravel edge of the trail is an active bridle path so let’s not block it with our set-ups. Horses are afraid of umbrellas! It’s also a popular walking path for humans. The trail is pretty wide, though, so there’s enough room for all of us.

There are no restrooms at this location, so plan ahead. Bring your own water and sun protection, and as always in these backcountry grasslands be sure to wear insect repellant (ticks) and keep an eye out for snakes. I think you’ll find that the view is worth a few minor discomforts!

Admission is free, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!

Paint-Out Sept 3, Big Break Regional Shoreline



Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Saturday, September 3, 10 am - 2 pm
Big Break Regional Shoreline
69 Big Break Rd., Oakley CA 94561

Let's go back to the beautiful Big Break Regional Shoreline!  Park in the lot, then walk out the paved trail to find nice views of the San Joaquin River, the observation pier, shoreline foliage, waterbirds and a pretty little kayak launching cove. I'm attaching a map here to help you find the best area to set up.

Admission is free, restrooms are open, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!




Friday, August 26, 2022

Paint-Out Sept 1 in Crockett (again)



Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Thursday, September 1, 10 am - 2 pm
Town of Crockett
Host: Milano Gallery, 706 2nd Ave., Crockett CA 94525

Crockett was so awesome yesterday -- let's go back! Plan to park on the street and maybe do a bit of uphill/downhill walking to find your ideal spot. Instead of meeting at one particular place I'm attaching a map with a suggested area for you to explore, and stars marking some of my favorite spots. Yesterday several of us found a perfect, shady spot across the street from Toot's bar, corner of Ceres Street and 2nd Avenue.

Once again our fellow artist Alastair Bolton has generously offered to let us use the restroom in his gallery, the Milano Gallery at 706 2nd Avenue. He'll be painting across the street if you want to check in with him.

Please note that I won't get there until around 11 am, but you'll see other artists around town earlier. So many great spots!

Admission is free, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!





Sunday, August 21, 2022

Paint-Out Aug 25 in Crockett




Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Thursday, August 25, 10 am - 2 pm
Town of Crockett
Host: Milano Gallery, 706 2nd Ave., Crockett CA 94525

Let's paint in beautiful old town Crockett! Great urban streetscapes, classic houses and dramatic views up toward the Carquinez Bridge. Plan to park on the street and maybe do a bit of uphill/downhill walking to find your ideal spot. Instead of meeting at one particular place I'm attaching a map with a suggested area for you to explore, and stars marking some of my favorite spots.

Our fellow artist Alastair Bolton has generously offered to let us use the restroom in his gallery, the Milano Gallery at 706 2nd Avenue. And if you're looking for a good place for lunch Alastair recommends Lucia's Craft Sandwiches at 611 2nd Ave., right across the street from the gallery. There's also a great bakery next door to Lucia's.

I haven't decided where I'll set up yet, so if you'd like to find me just give me a call when you get to Crockett.

Admission is free, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!



Friday, August 12, 2022

Paint-Out Aug 19, Benicia Clock Tower



Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Friday, August 19, 10 am - 2 pm
Benicia Clock Tower
1189 Washington St., Benicia CA 94510

Let's paint at the area around the Benicia Clock Tower. From this hilltop vantage point you can see historic buildings, port industry and views of the Carquinez Strait, Martinez and Mt. Diablo. This is also the location of the beautiful Commanding Officers' Quarters which is now the home of Arts Benicia's gallery.

There's a large parking lot with great views within steps of your car. There are no public restrooms, but Arts Benicia opens at 1:00 pm and they will probably allow our artists to use their restroom. This is a good chance to see their current exhibit, too. Arts Benicia's website is https://artsbenicia.org/

Admission is free, rain cancels. Hope to see you there!







Thursday, August 4, 2022

Paint-Out August 11, Blake Garden


Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Thursday, August 11, 10 am - 2 pm
Blake Garden
70 Rincon Rd., Kensington CA 94707

Let's paint at beautiful Blake Garden in the Berkeley hills! This is always a cool, refreshing destination when it’s hot inland. The address is 70 Rincon Rd. in Kensington. Enter the parking lot through a stone gate, park in the lot, then walk into the garden through the pedestrian gate and start exploring. It’s a gently sloping hillside terrain with gravel pathways.

There’s beauty everywhere, with colorful formal and informal gardens, the historic house, a tree-lined reflecting pool, fountains, ponds, redwoods, quiet nooks and a spectacular bay view. I’m posting a garden map below to give you some ideas.

Admission is free, restrooms are open. The park is open 8 am to 4:30 pm. Rain cancels. I hope to see you there!






Thursday, July 28, 2022

Paint-Out August 4, Turnbull Park, Benicia



Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Thursday, August 4, 10 am - 2 pm
Turnbull Park
Foot of East 5th Street, Benicia CA 94510

Let's paint at Turnbull Park at the foot of East 5th Street in Benicia. This shoreline spot has a great view of Diablo with a vintage pier and ferry building in the foreground, along with good views of the hills across the strait. There's also a marina if you'd like to try your hand at some boats.

This is a public park and has a restroom, but I can't guarantee it will be open. It's a short drive to other public restrooms in town. Ask me if you want help finding them.

Admission is free, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 21, 2022

Paint-Out July 28, Glen Cove Waterfront Park (again)



Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Thursday, July 28, 10 am - 2 pm
Glen Cove Waterfront Park
End of Whitesides Drive, Vallejo CA 94591

Glen Cove Waterfront Park was so awesome this week -- let's go back! It's always a little windy out there, so just be prepared. There are some big trees that provide a little wind shelter, and also some concrete picnic tables that make a good "base camp."

The park is at the end of Whitesides Drive in Vallejo. Park in the small lot or on the street. Be aware that there are no restrooms at this park, but there are restrooms a short drive away at Glen Cove School Park on Glen Cove Parkway next to the tennis courts.

Admission is free, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!

Thursday, July 14, 2022

Paint-Out July 20, Glen Cove Waterfront Park



Contra Costa Plein Air Paint-Out
Wednesday, July 20, 10 am - 3 pm
Glen Cove Waterfront Park
End of Whitesides Dr., Vallejo CA 94591

Let's go back to scenic and refreshing Glen Cove Waterfront Park! This spot has great views of the Glen Cove shoreline and a sweeping panorama across the Carquinez Strait. Windy weather is always possible in this shoreline area so be prepared.

The park is at the end of Whitesides Drive in Vallejo. Park in the small lot or on the street. Restrooms are a short drive away at Glen Cove School Park on Glen Cove Parkway next to the tennis courts.

Admission is free, rain cancels. I hope to see you there!