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“Just Add Water”

Clock-wise from top left: “Dallidet Adobe” by Chuck Crotser, “Do I Know You?” by Leslie Parsons, “Estuary Morning” by Sarah Delong, “Overcast Light, Estero Bay” by Pamela Haste, “Botanical Garden” by Larry Kappen, and “Yard Guard” by Shirley Horacek

Though subject and style vary, this exhibition celebrates six accomplished local watercolorists and their devotion to this time-honored tradition. Come and experience the ethereal qualities of this immersive medium in our upcoming show… “Just Add Water”!

Exhibit runs October 7th through November 28th, with an artist reception on Saturday, October 29th from 2-4pm.

Happy Inktober!

There’s something about Autumn… the crisp air, crunchy leaves, mulled cider… and INK!

Ever since primitive man spied the squid, he was gripped with envy and devoted much of his resources to imitating the murky power of the cephalopod. With breakthroughs in acrylic polymers and synthetic pigments, we have more ink to draw on than ever before (pun intended), and we thought it a good occasion to take stock of where we started and where we are, ink-wise.

Ink has undergone many changes since its arrival and now exists in a myriad of forms, from fast-flowing dye inks to thick, oily printmaking inks. Inks were independently developed by many cultures, as far back as the Neolithic period. Ink can be rather simple in its composition, consisting of colorant (originally earth pigments or blackened plant soot) and water. This concoction is commonly called “India Ink”. Though variations abound, this formula has remained fairly consistent over time.

Some of the largest strides in ink technology have been made in application tools. Traditional scribe tools, like brushes and dip pens, still retain devout followings. Modern advances in the form of nylon and fiber tips provide the inker with even more options to create stunning, lasting results.

Here are some of our favorites:

Dip pen: The tried and true classic, descended from sticks and feathers. Elegant in its simplicity, and able to deliver a variety of lines. Beloved by artists, calligraphers, and cartoonists.

The brush: A time-honored tool for mark-making. Soft natural hairs on a bamboo handle in the Asiatic tradition, and a wealth of snappy modern synthetic fibers keep brushes an omnipresent tool in the inking arsenal.

Fountain pens: In the 950s an Egyptian Caliph demanded a pen be produced that would help avoid messy stains on his clothes and hands. A pen with a reservoir for ink was made for him, arguably the first fountain pen. Centuries later we have sophisticated instruments with steel nibs and cartridge or converter-refill options for writing and drawing alike.

Ballpoint pens: We imagine the invention of the ballpoint was shortly followed by comparisons to sliced bread. A most versatile and accessible implement, the ballpoint pen requires little maintenance and ease of use.

Fiber tips: Though still in production, the needle-tipped technical pen has been largely been replaced by fiber-tipped pens, which provide precise consistency of line while being much less susceptible to clogs. Fiber tips come in a variety of other shapes as well, such as bullets, chisels, and brush-like cones.

Brushpens: Combining the expressiveness of a brush with the convenience of a pen, brushpens exist with nylon fiber and plastic tips, with disposable and refillable options.

Fude pens: A subset of fiber tip pens, emulating the line characteristics of traditional Japanese calligraphy. Fude tips come in various sizes and flexibilities.

Parallel pens: The Pilot Parallel Pen is an innovative ink delivery system. Utilizing two parallel plates as its “tines,” this refillable pen delivers free-flowing broad and thin strokes.

Open Studio Tours – SLO County Arts

The San Luis Obispo County Open Studios Art Tour, a program of SLO County Arts Council, takes place over two weekends in October each year.

The weekends this year are October 8th/9th and the 15th/16th.

Free to the public, fine artists and crafters open their studios to showcase their art and share their processes. Visitors create their own self-guided tour using the catalog. Stop by Art Central to pick up a catalog!

Upcoming Workshops and Classes

Please remember that we have a small parking lot. If you are attending one of our demonstrations or workshops, and it is not a physical hardship for you, please park on one of the nearby side streets. We appreciate your consideration.

For more info on each class, click on the class title which will take you to our calendar!

Homeschool Art Sessions with ArtSocial805

Know anyone that homeschools? Help us spread the word about these awesome classes offered in our studio by ArtSocial805!

Segment 1 is currently underway while Segment 2 starts October 17th!

Fun Frames with the Family, Halloween! with Spencer Collins

When: Sunday, October 30th

Ages: 5-11

Journey into Making Journals with Ardella Swanberg

When: Saturday, November 5th

Ages: 16+

Recurring Classes

Intro to Printmaking with Tricia Reichert

When: 6 sessions – Tuesdays afternoons started Sept 13th
Dates: September 13th, 20th, 27th & October 4th, 11th, 18th

Ages: 16-100

Beyond the Basics Watercolor with Virginia Mack

When: Wednesdays

Ages: 16-100

Watercolor Without Fear with Virginia Mack

When: Wednesdays


Intro to Oil Painting with Spencer Collins

When: Thursdays

Ages: 16+

Local Art News

Cambria Center for the Arts

Cambria’s Center for the Arts is ripe with programs and exhibits to discover! Their current exhibit is John Seed’s “Paintings from Then and Now”, which runs until October 30th. Check out their website for more events!

Art Bazaar Rummage Sale – Art Center Morro Bay

Please join the Art Center on October 1st & 2nd for live music, cocktails, mocktails, beer + wine, an art supply rummage sale, shopping, raffle, kids craft corner, and MORE!

The proceeds from this fun event will go towards giving the gallery and workshop space at the Art Center Morro Bay a more “contemporary facelift”.

How to Draw Animals and Write Haiku with George Asdel – Art Center Morro Bay

George will be basing Haiku poetry on the drawings made during this event, artwork on exhibit or other images! This is referred to as ekphrastic or poetry based on another art form.

Occurs October 10th, 3-5pm

Winter Faire and Crafts – Call for Artists – Art Center Morro Bay

This special holiday event is open to all artists, providing an opportunity to exhibit paintings, photography, sculpture, and fine crafts.

This fine art exhibit is designed for customers who are holiday shopping and looking for special gift ideas!

Take-In:  November 8th, 10:00am – 2:00pm

If you have a show/exhibit coming up, let us know & we’ll help advertise!

Rack for paper or pads (up to 19×24″) – FREE