All Creatures Great and Small

It's a zoo in here! Enjoy this sneak peek of our January show, featuring animal-themed artwork from 20+ local artists. We've got paintings, sculpture, photography, cute softies and more. You'll see frogs and dogs, cats and rats - plus foxes, birds and tigers, oh my!

Photos are courtesy of Lori Rutledge-Caughey.

Landing by Renaye Johnson

Clockwise from top left:  Toby Tuesdays by Lori Rutledge; Kitty by Kara Tirsky; Cookie by Hailey Nunes; Watcher by Deena Sheranko; Cattitude by Deena Sheranko; Kitty & Flowers by Karolyn Dreyer

Morning Egret by Thea Jue

Praying Mantis by Alexis Carlson

Updraft (top) and Hagi (Hanafuda Series) by John Nakanishi

How's your eye?

Take a photography class to hone your camera and composition skills, stage better shots for painting and create more beautiful memories for you and your family. Click here for details and registration.

Since 1997, San Francisco Bay Area photography instructors, Roc DeWilde, Emeritus, and his wife, Margaret, have been the creators and directors of the ORION Youth Workshops. The Developing Your Eye Photography Workshop is one of six programs offered there, open to youth and the young at heart that want to focus on artistic design, hence applying photographic art fundamentals to create beautiful and powerful pictures.

Roc’s media assignments have included five US Presidents, with cover photographs and campaigns for editorial, fashion and advertising in TimeLifePeopleTeen Vogue, Seventeen, WWD, Redbook and many other national and international publications.

Roc DeWilde's professionalism and artistic work has been honored by Graphis Magazine International with the Art Director's Club of Zurich, Switzerland giving him several awards, including first place - Best Usage of a Photograph in an Advertisement. 

Europe's Der Spiegel Magazine described him as "…an American extraordinary photographer who shoots with drama..." Mary Dunn, Picture Editor with People Magazine said "...Roc directs his subjects masterfully that they look 'alive'...each picture has an anecdotal quality; they express moments."

Click here to view sample photo-art images from Roc's Quixotica exhibit.

'Tis the time for holiday shopping!

Come shop our 11th Annual Holiday Boutique, featuring over 20 local artists and crafters. 

We have something for everyone - paintings, jewelry, crochet, stuffed toys, painted rocks and much, much more!

Walter Crew

Robert O'Relli Bradley

Julie Van Wyk

Jim Isham

Jeff DeSalles

Jane Russell

Elaine Coyne

An interview with Tom Quinlavin

The Places I've Been

"I continue to explore the power of color, to create an emotional and visual experience by limiting my palate, pushing the color, a removal technique and using additives that create a different sensation for the eye and mind."  — Tom Quinlavin

Tom's one-man show, Quinlavin - Color 2022 runs November 9 - December 3. Don't miss this huge explosion of color! Join us for the Artist Reception on Saturday, November 19th, 2-4pm.


Tell us about the art featured in your show, Quinlavin - Color 2022.

This is a collection of work from 2020-22. Most of it was an exploration of the range of the pigment yellow and my removal process.

How would you describe the nature of your work?

I work predominantly in the abstract. I like working with a larger size that allows you to feel like part of the painting.

What kind of response do you hope your work elicits from viewers? 

I'm hoping you have some emotional experience from my work - what that feels like is up to the viewer.

What does being an artist mean to you?

I am what I am...I couldn't being anything else.


Tell us something about your creative process.

It starts with a thought that can come from anything - something I've seen or heard or felt. Then that thought incubates in my mind until I'm physically ready to attack it.

Do you ever get in a creative rut?

No, I'm never in a rut. Some things just take time.

Do you listen to music while you paint? 

No, never - it would be disruptive and interfere with my process. 

How long have you been painting?

I started painting in high school when I was given the opportunity to take art instead of gym class. I jumped on board, as I was already the best runner in my high school's history. In 1982, I received a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting from Long Island University, CW Post Campus. I then spent the next 10 years in New York as part of the East Village Art Scene.


mARTinez Creates!

Featured art:  Aloe by Renaye Johnson

In each of our shows this year, we have been delighted to shine a light on local arts groups - Lamorinda Arts Alliance, California Watercolor Association, Concord Art Association, Contra Costa Plein Air and now Martinez Arts Association

All of these groups not only provide support for artists in the area, but they also benefit the entire community by hosting special events and building stronger awareness for the arts.

Come by soon to check out the latest work from MAA members!

Shenandoah by Dorrie Langley

Memories by Peggy O'Farrell

New cuties in our gift shop!


Painted rocks by Jeff DeSalles

So many great reasons to visit the aRt Cottage - we have a great show featuring artwork from the members of Contra Costa Plein Air Group, plus we have lots of new handmade items in the gift shop! You're sure to find something special for yourself, your sweetie's birthday, a hostess gift or just because.

Crocheted hats by Julie Van Wyk

Crocheted bikinis by Julie Van Wyk

Felted Frog by Kelly Williams

Felted Owl by Kelly Williams

Bringing the outdoors in

Black Diamond Mine by MJ Lazarski

For July and August, our gallery celebrates the joy of the outdoors with art from members of the Contra Costa Plein Air Group, curated by the group's founder, Nancy Roberts.

"To experience the beauty and joy of our existence here on earth is the path to achieve great happiness. My intention as an artist is to share some of this beauty from my perspective. My paintings attempt to explore the nuance of nature, inspired by working outside, en plein air. When not painting on location, I enjoy returning to my studio to work on commissions and in-depth studies. Primarily self-taught, I have followed a non-traditional path to my professional art career from a thorough study of the masters and contemporaries alike. Developing my composition, color harmony, tone, light, perspective, and brushwork skills help me portray paintings that are simultaneously engaging and inviting." MJ Lazarski

Sakura by Nancy Roberts

Don't miss this summer show - you'll enjoy looking at many beautiful locales and familiar scenes, as interpreted by 20+ local artists:

  • Dan Kennedy
  • Dreher Warren
  • Dwight Shackelford
  • Gail Jones
  • Hamil Ma
  • Janet Mardirosian
  • Kathleen Gadway
  • Kathy Brokaw
  • Linda Geniesse
  • Lorraine Wells 
  • Mary Frazier
  • Mary M. Young
  • Meghana Mitragotri
  • MJ Lazarski
  • Nancy Roberts
  • Nathaniel J. Bice
  • Patrice D. Newell 
  • Peter McNeill
  • Rebecca Davies
  • Renaye Johnson
  • Roswitha M. Kress
  • Sharon Cohune

Martinez Marsh by Roswitha Kress