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

Journeys - Exploring my mind and the world

 

Jim Isham

Our show for May and June features beautiful work from members of the Concord Art Association:

  • Anamilena Ayala
  • Annette Batchelor
  • Colin Hall
  • Deanna Merrigan
  • Deena Sheranko
  • Irene Bee Kain
  • John Nakanishi
  • Kees van Prooijen
  • Laurie Mansur
  • Lori Rutledge
  • Marjorie Graham
  • Nancy Roberts
  • Pat Calabro
  • Pat Viera
  • Renaye Johnson
  • Saira Grube
  • Sharon Petersen
  • Tom Quinlavin
  • Yumiko Nishizawa


CAA members will be guest docents here in the gallery each day during the show - be sure to come by and say hello! We're open Wednesday through Saturday, 11am-5pm.

Everyone is welcome to join us for the Artist Reception on Saturday, May 21st, 2-4pm. 

Renaye Johnson

Poem: Cyanaen Rocks

 

Rocks by Lorraine Wells

Cyanaen Rocks


How could water move    

Euripides Ignatius and Plato 

Do not have no way around it 


Dancing rocks bright red corals 

The wind blows high this very day 

day passed night on its way 


Bright blue sky 

Dancing rocks 

Jason sea Odyssey 


Sea is so calm here 

rocks more as soft boulders 

How could they move 

a little in two centuries 


Could the water move 

we through it 

could we move along the Water 

rock stone boulder 

dance in the sea 


We will kiss the lizard king and she

And be well in home


Yes home.


Thomas Stanton
© 2022

••••••••••

The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. 

Poem: Settled

 

Settled - Barbara Tapp

Settled

two buildings

one in decay

the other a beautiful house


located in close proximity 


each with a history

one more recent than the other


both inhabited


the building in decay

lives bats, spiders and other creatures

the beautiful house

people dwell


both places create a home

comfort from weather,

place to raise young,


have food,

realms of safety,

and most important thrive


both buildings life has settled

settled in

settled


Thomas Garry
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. 

Poem: Day Trippers

 

Day Trippers by Ruth Miller


Day Trippers

Beach bicycles navigate
Rough cobbled paths
Beams of light ignite
Kaleidoscope colors 
Sun filtered emotions  
Delight spirits to dance
Gusts of ocean air
Tangle hair in disarray
Laughter follows behind

Sand-covered lovers
Inhale fragrant breaths
Warmed by exertion
Seagulls squawk overhead
Race to the water
Boats bump the dock
Hearts beat in rhythm  
Seaside shops lure  
Travelers to their repast

Aromas of brewed coffee
Mated with baked croissants
Encourage seasoned riders’
Reflection upon years
Tasty morsels savored
Tender moments shared
Memories created to last
For when they cannot ride
Bicycles to the shore

Sandra Simmer
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. 

Poem: Ninety-Nine

 

Oldie But Goodie - Leslie Wilson


Ninety-Nine

On her 99th birthday
She asked me, “How ya doin’?”
   “Really,” I said, 
   “If anyone but you asked me that,
    “I’d have said, ‘Gettin’ old, and feelin’ it.”

We laughed.

By phone, we bridged the continent
   and the 50 years past.
We reminisced a bit,
But more than that –
   More than the weather –
   Or the rust and brokenness of age…
We renewed our shared sentiment
   For peace in a world at war
   For clean air, justice and good government.

On her 99th birthday
When we rang off our phone
We gave thanks.
She’s an oldie,
   But God, is she a goodie.


Roger Straw
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. 

Poem: Campfire Stories

Campfire Stories - Fiona Hughes


Campfire Stories 

There is a painting of a blazing fire 
We gather around it to bond
as human animals in the dark mysterious night
enchanted by the voice of the storyteller
as many have done before us
Watching the sparks that protect us from the dark
where the great unknown and unseen awaits
These flame warm me
as do the close bodies of the others in the circle
and protect me from the final alone-ness I must one day face
but at this campsite so close to all of you
I am safe
I am safe and secure.


Nina Serrano
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!

Poem: Sea Spectator

Sea Spectator - Cynthia Slyker

 

Sea Spectator


Do you see it all

from your perch above the churning waters  

humans carelessly degrading the environment

the floating fields of jetsam

ensnaring the legs of your brethren

the coatings of oil fouling your feathers?


Does it make you angry

that people so foolishly flout 

the interconnectedness of our species

the precariousness of nature’s balance

the fragility of our joint health?


Do you wonder

when you must fly farther through overfished waters

when your ancestral foods now taste of toxins

when your thin eggshells crack so quickly…….

what kind of world your offspring will inherit…….

As I do?


Katrina Monroe
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!

Poem for a Cloud

Cloud Shadows - Ruth Beeve


Poem for a Cloud 


Lovely, luscious cloud,
let me dream awhile
in your soft, goddess hair, 
   
float over hills and trees
as you flirt with the sun— 
the green valleys below 
marbled with light and shadow.

When you race other clouds
across the sky,
you are a wild mare
dappled with grey,
long mane streaming
behind you.
Let’s fly on the wind,
chase shadows all afternoon.

Johanna Ely
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!

Poem: White Rose in Winter

White Roses - Iretta Hunter

White Rose in Winter

CafĂ© courtyard.  Cold afternoon.  

Shivering.  Tepid tea. 

I did not know she watched me.

The pen in my hand dropped…

as I picked it up, 

her gaze pierced mine.  

Translucent porcelain white petals, 

blooming amidst barren stumps 

and thorns sleeping until

the wine of springtime.  

Who knew a confetti of detours 

and loss tossed by pandemic 

into the universe of upheaval

would bring us together.  


Me, waiting for grey clouds 

to rain a poem; a white rose 

holding onto an untimely gift 

of life not unlike mine,

a transient chance to begin again.


Georgette Howington
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!




Poem: The Emerald Pool

The Emerald Pool - Linda Sutton


The Emerald Pool

It pools so slowly
reaching upward toward earth's sky

A deep source
underneath, needing a place to fly

Consider please
this water, with a so nascent eye,

in its own space,
precious, save it, conscious of why.


Carole Dwinell
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!

Poem: Vacaville

Cows in the Shade - Samantha McNally

 

Vacaville

Cow candy on slippery slopes
bending and waving with the wind
growing grand in glades and valleys
Black bovine indulging in
abundant amethyst
such
plentiful hors d’oeuvres
such
plentiful hors d’oeuvres
slow cows with proud heads
basking in the morning sun
with
long, lazy tongues
that lick and linger
over
lavender lollipops and
lilac snacks
savoring the bon bons
between
blades of grass
udderly delicious


Genea Brice
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!

Poem: Early Fall

Through the Persimmon Leaves - Stephen Berry

 

Early Fall

The persimmons are harvested.
Ruddle leaves mingle with myrtle hue.
Mount Diablo huddles distant,
encircled in jade and blue.

This enchanted portal,
dozy warm delicious,
brings to mind honeyed birdsong,
amidst pollen-laden bombilation in
rosemary and sage.

Below, discordant rage
of highway hum.
The cacophony
we humans stage,
I choose to ignore.


Becky Bishop White
©2022 

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!


Poem: Signs

Brittany Patterns - Juanita Hagberg

Signs

Water finds its own path, snaking through soil and reeds
to pattern land with runnels and shift the shore
with ebb and flow, fresh and salt meeting in marshes,
those intertidal habitats that crucible life.

The world shows water where to flow, gravity, moon,
and centrifugal force its guideposts. Rain falls, a brook
ripples round rocks or tumbles down steep scarps
in a roar. Misty plumes rise like hot-air balloons.

Oceans rise and fall, high tide, low tide, neap tide,
slack water, currents swirling where they will.
Water tunes to the world, follows the path
that serves it best.

I follow arrows on the trail, hiking up the hill as the creek
tumbles down, seeking the crest and the source
of the water. When I reach a fork with no arrow,
I listen to the water and know which to take.


Aline Soules
©2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!

Poem: From the Shadow of my Lover

Dreaming of a Jaguar - Bonnie Fry

From the Shadow of My Lover

When I sleep, my lover’s shadow reveals his power. 
With hundreds of eyes he sees what danger lurks.    
When I sleep, his protection covers like a blanket.      
He slips silently through city or country jungle
To drink from the emerging fresh fountain of magic water.
From his underworld kingdom he carries dreams of riches.  
No one else sees such a treasure hidden or suspects it.

When I sleep, he shows me riches, how to claim them,
Make them visible, tangible, audible, and spendable,
Make them palpable in the waking world we share.


Aikya Param
© 2022

••••••••••
The Benicia First Tuesday Poets’ Group and members of Benicia Literary Arts have written ekphrastic poems about paintings from our show, Watercolor - A Happy Medium.

Ekphrastic poems are vivid verbal descriptions of a work of art. Fifteen different poets each came to the aRt Cottage to pick one pieces from each of the 15 artists in the show. We'll be sharing the poetry here on the blog over the next several days - enjoy!

A gallery filled with watercolor!

 


Our show for March and April features stunning watercolor work from these fifteen talented artists:

  • Ruth Beeve
  • Stephen Berry
  • Bonnie Fry
  • Juanita Hagberg
  • Fiona M. Hughes
  • Iretta Hunter
  • Samantha McNally
  • Ruth Miller
  • Craig Moline
  • Cindy Skyker
  • Linda Sutton
  • Barbara Tapp
  • Sal Valencia
  • Lorraine Wells
  • Leslie Wilson
Juanita Hagberg

Leslie Wilson

Ruth Miller


Visit Samantha McNally's website (show curator) to see more. 

Visit soon to enjoy the show and cast your vote in our People's Choice Award!

Got gifts?

 


Our little gift shop in the tiny house behind the gallery is filled with wonderful art and fabulous handmade items - you're sure to find the perfect gift for any occasion. 

So many unique and affordable ideas from local artists! Skip the department store and bring home something truly one-of-a-kind, made with love and creative passion - like a painting, a journal, a ceramic vase, a cute critter, sparkly earrings and so much more.