Art Center Morro Bay

To champion art as essential to life and give our community
a creative voice

From the President’s Desk

When I reminisce about my own journey as an artist, I often think of fellow artist and fine art photographer, Ralph Wessel.  
It’s always such an honor to be an invited, featured artist, in any capacity.  I recall the excitement and nervous feelings of having been afforded that privilege as a painter at Art Center Morro Bay.  It was 2003 and the name of the exhibit was "Double Take".  Ralph Wessel was invited as a photographer to share in this honor.   
Remembering the feelings of uncertainty, I wondered where to begin preparation for such an exhibit.  I was reassured that Ralph would help guide me in the design of an exhibit invitation.  Ralph confidently took control of the postcard design and before I knew it, I had my first art reception invitations in hand.  I was in charge of the food!  That’s an understatement for anyone who attended our reception!  Whenever I think of a great party, food, is always a high priority.  Ralph’s wife brought flowers, hostesses took control of the large crowd and we prepared to greet guests.  
Attendees marveled at the beautiful sunsets, captured in Ralph’s photography and how the colors were vividly similar between his photos and my paintings.  It was such a great experience and the beginning of a wonderful friendship.  
Sadly, Ralph Wessel has recently passed away after contracting Covid-19.  I am one of the fortunate people to have known Ralph and touched by his very kind and generous spirit.  My heart goes out to his family and all those who knew and loved him.  I'll miss you my friend.

Patricia Newton


Alice Issac has been a member of Morro Bay Art Association since January of 2009, when she and her husband, Menno, moved to Morro Bay. Alice described her experiences as a member and service as Vice President on the MBAA Board of Directors.  "I knew that after a lifetime of music teaching in elementary school, college, church choirs, voice instructor, and choral directing mainly in the Kingsburg, Selma and Fresno area, having earned my MA in Music Performance (FSU), I now wanted to indulge my desire to learn watercolor painting. Actually my first painting experience occurred in Cali, Colombia, SA, where my husband Menno and I taught in the American School -- Colegio Bolivar. I found an artist who taught me drawing, perspective, and oil painting. My first large oil painting was of a Quechua Indian from Ecuador". 

Alice talked about her journey by saying, "When we moved to Morro Bay in January of 2009, I began by checking out books from the library, reading, and painting from their examples. What fun! Then I joined the watercolor class taught by Kathy Miller and saw a “pro” in real life. Kathy helped me learn to be free, to use more water, that “it’s just paper”, and how to correct or enhance a mediocre painting into something you feel proud to frame. Through her classes, and a few MBAA workshops with Jeanne Vodden, Page Graber, Shirley Horacek, Rosemary Greenville, Jan French, Ardella Swanberg and Virginia Mack, I learned so much and grew in my own style and in a measure of confidence". 

Alice described her service on the MBAA Board of Directors,  "During this time I served four years on the MBAA Board and enjoyed the in-depth education of what this Association is all about. These were some difficult years, when Art in the Park was needing a change, when membership was in decline, and the Board President position changed each of those four years!! But after signing on with Steve Powers for four years of Art in the Park leadership, and signing Bob Azevedo on as Treasurer, and finally with our very capable President, Patricia Newton, the membership grew, our finances were stable and new and exciting things have been happening". 

During those four years, Alice worked triple duty!  She describes her workload which has been split into 3 people these days!  "I was tasked with planning children’s Summer Art classes, monthly Demonstrations with 11 different artists each year, arranging for annual Workshops, assisting with Art in the Park, and finally putting on the Holiday Dinner and Installation of Officers in early December. This was hard work, but enjoyable and educational. I would highly recommend being a part of the MBAA Board for at least 2 or 3 years, to learn to appreciate all the aspects of our Association".  Children's art classes thrived under Alice's direction.  Holiday Dinners were held at Cellia's Garden Cafe. The Restaurant closed it's doors to the public for these special Holiday Party events and offered a great dinner!  Alice lead everyone in Christmas carols and the place was packed!  In fact, we all enjoyed it so much, MBAA outgrew Cellia's and had to move to a larger venue in recent years for the annual Holiday Party and Board Installations.

"It has been great to be able to show my work, to grow as an artist, to learn from each other, and even to have the experience of selling my paintings. I have sold some at the monthly shows, and at Art in the Park, and also through the Business Hangings which I’ve been part of for most of my time with MBAA". 

"I am privileged to have the strong support and love of my husband, Menno. We have three grown children, Bryan & Sue, Mark & Laurie, and Karen & David. We all have earned advanced degrees and are employed as University Professors, a Pastor/Teacher, and Musicians. We are blessed to have 10 grandchildren and 2 great-grandchildren. In our retirement years; we were part of Servants On Wheels -- volunteering at camps and schools, we delivered Meals on Wheels in various communities, and we are active in a local church".

Alice has continued to serve as a docent while Menno graciously helped, by working with Phillip Lopez to install a second kiosk in front of the gallery and a security fence at the rear of the building. Alice has been instrumental in organizing "Watercolor Wet and Wild" a weekly watercolor class that offered a varied class instruction for beginners too advanced, from teachers within the local art community. We hope this class may be able to resume when we get back to normal!

There are likely so many more things these two wonderful people have done for MBAA! What a privilege!  Thank you both for everything you have, and continue to do, for Art Center Morro Bay and its members. 

 Gallery Director's Report


Flower Power

Image: The Sun Will Come Out© Acrylic painting courtesy of Larry Kappen.

February 11 – April 5 
Art exchange, will take place on
Tuesday,  February 9   10am - 2pm

During art exchange, please help us keep each other safe. Here's what you can do to help things run smoothly:
  1. Print out forms and wire tags. Fill out paperwork ahead of time. If you do not have a printer, we have forms available for you. Wire Tags & Wall Hung Art Forms & 3D, Note Cards or Flower Entry Forms
  2. Enter through the patio gate. Please stay 6 feet apart while you wait for a volunteer to help process your art.
  3. Have your check/cash ready.
  4. Check membership status ahead of time.
  5. Update memberships online when possible.
  6. Stack artwork inside facing the wall.
  7. Exit through front door with art to be picked up. 
  8. It will not be necessary to sign out at this time, due to social distancing.

During take-in (exchange), artists are asked to line up outside the patio gate and practice social distancing. Thank you all for wearing a mask.   

Please address questions about art entries to Barbara Sitar, Gallery Director at or call 617-320-2956

Mixed Media Art Journaling for Beginners
with Lisa Agaran
5 Mondays beginning February 22
1:00pm - 2:15pm
Via Zoom

Mixed Media Art Journaling can be a transformative tool to utilize during life’s transitions, when you want to gain clarity on a major decision, explore your creativity or just need to process your thoughts in a visual way.

In this online class you not only learn the basics, you will also learn a variety of fun and easy mixed media techniques to fill your Journal with lots of creativity.

Lisa Agaran is a professional Mixed Media Artist. Her work has been shown in both solo and group exhibits throughout Los Angeles and New Mexico. Lisa’s work has been published in Incite, Dreams Realized: The Best of Mixed Media and Incite 3: The Art of Storytelling. Lisa earned a BFA from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and a Masters in Psychology. Prior to her art career, she worked as a Licensed Therapist (Inactive), Creativity Coach and Graphic Designer. Lisa also taught one of the core certification courses at the Creativity Coaching Association.  Learn more here

Cost: $80.00 MBAA Members or $90.00 Non-Members.  Register  here



A Life Well Lived.....

Ralph Wessel has been described as one who excelled at any endeavor he chose to pursue.  A kind person and patient man, who offered to help others whenever possible.
Ralph lived in Cayucos and worked on the Cayucos Land Conservancy.   He was a member of the Lions Club, where he served for a number of years.  The Lions Club is an organization created to promote the principles of good government, citizenship and actively support civic, cultural, social and moral welfare within the community.
Ralph was a photographer (Brown Pelican© by Ralph Wessel below) and wood turner in his spare time.  He was a member of Cayucos Art Association, Morro Bay Art Association and Central Coast Woodturners for over twenty years. 
Following the loss of their spouses, Ralph and Ann Brown became very close, having enjoyed each other's company.  Ralph held a private pilot’s license and flew a glider in June of 2009, marking off yet another lifelong wish from his “bucket list”.
Our hearts go out to Ann and Ralph's family.  Ralph will be dearly missed by all of us who knew him.  Due to Covid-19, Ralph’s family has decided against having a celebration of life at this time.  




Patricia Newton  
Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time.” - Thomas Merton
Bob Azevedo
“People will forget what you said, people will even forget what you did, people will never forget how you made them feel. – Maya Angelou 

Janet Hillson
"Life has been your art. You have set yourself to music. Your days are your sonnets." - Oscar Wilde




Barbara Sitar
Daydream and imagine :) That is everything with the power to fulfill us. Magic moves by the laws of nature, it happens when we play. Lets play to create, lets create to play and to share.

Shannon Larson
"In art there are no mistakes, only opportunities for creativity."

Kimberly Hempel
Thank you for letting me serve this artistic community.

Joy Chambers
"Photographers look for the light, and on rainy days they watch for rainbows."


Sue Allemand

Introducing Sue Allemand.  Originally from WI, Sue is self-taught and has been a working artist for almost 30 years. 
Sue has worked in a wide range of art media, owned her own shop, published books and magazine articles, manufactured her own products and licensing.  She sells her originals and prints internationally through exhibits and online.  
Sue moved to CA in 2009 for her daughter to attend college and is in LOVE with the ocean and the coastal landscapes, which inform a lot of her current abstract & expressionist pieces. 
From a sales perspective, Sue has discovered effective ways to market her art through exposure on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.  Now, Sue is willing to volunteer some of her time and experience with Morro Bay Art Association and its members to help find better ways to market events and art through these online platforms! 
 "I'm so excited for this opportunity to help expand the Art Association social media reach and look forward to meeting all of you!"
If you’re an active MBAA Member, you may share your personal artist reception event (No groups please) or Art Center Morro Bay related workshops/classes, or personal art images with a website URL and links to your social media.  You may send press release info with clear, cropped photos to Sue Allemand, (262) 496-2681 (call or text) or email:
See how you may become more effective in your own art marketing!  

Let's begin by announcing a long awaited improvement to Art Center Morro Bay.  Fully funded by a local grant, we will soon begin the installation of new lighting in the Activity Room.  This update will allow future instructors and students to work under LEDs, capable of mimicking cool tones of steady light in the absence of windows.  This improvement enhances the lighting needed by artists and, since this lighting is adjustable, may be modified for use during future receptions and other functions.
Also this year, with the help of the Rena Doud Art Scholarship Fund and other donations, MBAA will provide financial assistance to local students wishing to pursue a career in art.
We are all experiencing extraordinary times as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Local businesses are struggling to remain open and our economy is suffering.  Subsequently, Morro Bay Art Association has been faced with financial and operational challenges as well.
The MBAA Board of Directors continue to manage through the pandemic with money saving measures, modifying art programs, marketing, days of operation and successfully seeking outside funding.  Recently, the Morro Bay Chamber of Commerce presented MBAA with the Business Spotlight Award, for outstanding leadership.
Without raising commissions, take-in fees or annual dues Art Center Morro Bay has continued operating during 2020 because we have the support of our members and volunteers.  We depend on your membership renewal, now, more than ever!  Your annual membership dues provide support for the continued daily operations of the gallery.
At the core of MBAA’s foundation are its members and volunteers.  As a non-profit, your participation is essential for our organization’s success.  Many of the necessary volunteer tasks can be performed from the safety of home.  Your contributions make a difference!  Please consider volunteering and take a moment to renew your membership today.
You may support MBAA and renew your membership by going online to

“Eventually all things fall into place. Until then, laugh at the confusion, live for the moments, and know everything happens for a reason.” – Albert Schweitzer

Thank you for your membership and ongoing support of
the Morro Bay Art Association!
Architecture of Light

with Thomas W. Schaller

April 16, 17 & 18  -  9am - 4pm


Following a 20-year career in New York City as an architect and architectural artist, Thomas Schaller is now based in Los Angeles where he devotes himself full-time to fine art in watercolor.

Mr. Schaller feels that a final painting begins long before an artist ever touches brush to paper!

The focus of this workshop will be less about technical expertise and more about intent, inspiration, observation and finding your unique artist voice. Enjoy daily demonstrations and discussions. You'll learn everything you need to know about atmospheric expression in watercolor, including depictions of sky, water, and fog. Then take your art to the next level by exploring the tension, resolution, and connections between complements, including warm and cool, vertical and horizontal, man-made and natural. You'll discover how to make sure all the parts of your painting work in unison to tell a powerfully communicative story! Students may bring their own photo reference – something that resonates with them personally.  

Mr. Schaller will provide personal guidance via zoom. Take a great watercolor workshop from the safety of your home.  This workshop is appropriate for advanced beginners to advanced.  Beginners are welcome.

Hear Tom, in his own voice, talk about how he has evolved as an artist, from his roots growing up on a farm in Ohio, to working as an architectural artist and watercolorist. He also reveals his inspirations, why bridges show up in so many of his works, and how every painting tells a story.


WHAT: “Architecture of Light” workshop
WHEN: April, 16, 17 & 18, 2021 9am – 4pm
COST: $310. Non MBAA Members or $250. MBAA Members
WHERE: Art Center Morro Bay, 835 Main Street, Morro Bay, CA 93442

Pre-register HERE

Jason Mayr

Visual Principles of Painting
Landscape, Animal and Still Life Painting 

Starts February 1
Do you enjoy painting? Do you get stuck and are not sure how to take your work to the next level? Are you struggling to finish your work?

Be a part of a supportive and fun group of artists striving to improve their skills and work. Bring more enjoyment, camaraderie and better results to your art. Join us from the comfort of your own home or anywhere around the world with an internet connection. I will provide clear instruction, encouragement and feedback as we work through a painting project each month.

To produce a good painting you need three things. One, the ability to see the finish before you begin. Two, the ability to execute your intention and three, the ability to recognize fine relationships. The strengthening of each of these abilities is the focus of my program. Learn to get the appropriate visibility, depth and movement in your paintings for finer works of art.

During the first two weeks of the monthly program  we will prepare to execute a painting. We use compositional and color studies to work out our problems and visualize the finished painting before we even get started. Then the following two weeks will be spent executing the painting.

This class meets on Zoom six times a month. Allowing plenty of time and opportunity for instruction and feedback both in general as well as specifically for your particular piece. Each session of classes meet 6 times via Zoom
(2 Mondays and 4 Fridays) all at 9am
The cost is $65 a month

To sign up you can go directly to Jason’s website:

MayrStudio Jason, Cindy & Izzy - YouTube
Monday & Wednesday evenings at 7pm Jason has a show called Master Works where Jason looks at Master Artists and some of their pieces, investigating the tools they used and how they did what they did with their paint.
Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday mornings at 8am Jason has a show called Morning Jump Start where Jason takes student's works and helps offer suggestions on how to move their work forward to get to the next level.
Subscribe to Jason's You Tube channel to participate in Live Chat 
during the shows and know when Jason has posted a 
new video and/or is LIVE.

Find us on Facebook -
Find us on Instagram -
Find us on YouTube -

Sketch Club Live

Sunday, Tuesday, Thursday  6:55pm

Free to everyone and all levels welcome

Next Jason has our Mayr Studio Sketch Club LIVE every Sunday, Tuesday & Thursday evenings starting at 6:55pm for introduction and we get going at 7pm for about 20 minutes.

Sundays Jason has four 5 minute sketches, Tuesdays he works on two 10 minute sketches and then on Thursday he takes one of the sketches further and works on one sketch for 20 minutes.  This happens on our Mayr Studio Facebook page and is FREE.



Preregistration required at or
contact 805-286-5993

Mosaics for Beginners

March 13    1:00pm - 2:00pm

Create in the comfort and safety of your home guided by a how-to video. Date and time listed are for curbside kit pickup.

​​Choose from several projects to make your heart sing while learning mosaic basics to complete your project. NEW!!! Mosaic Necklaces.

Kits include everything you need to complete your project at home, except for wheeled nippers, which are sold separately for $10 with kit purchase.

Sea Glass Jewelry

March 14    10:00am - 11:00am

Create in the comfort and safety of your home with a kit featuring local sea glass and a how-to video to guide you to a successful, fun project.

Choose from wire wrapping or hammered sea glass jewelry.

All materials are provided including local sea glass, jewelry findings except for basic jewelry tools (wire cutters, round nose pliers and flat nose pliers) available for purchase.

Choose from brown, green or white genuine local sea glass (Joan will contact you about your color selection after purchase.)

Morro Bay Harbor Patrol

The Morro Bay Harbor Patrol needs our help!

Recently, Ardella Swanberg donated one of her paintings to the Morro Bay Harbor Patrol in an effort to raise much needed funding, to purchase a new patrol boat.  Her painting was auctioned online, raising $9500.  It was such a success, the Harbor Patrol would very much like to do this again with your help!

If you're interested in donating an ocean related painting of the harbor or Morro Rock for this great cause, please contact Bill Luffee, (805) 550-9250 or email:
Your very generous donations to Morro Bay Art Association helps to support the gallery and scholarships for local art students.  


Rena Doud was an award winning artist who loved being part of the local art community throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Her creations reflected inner thoughts, feelings, and occasionally a reflection of society.  However, her continued inspiration is said to have come from the support of the local art community that granted her placements into shows and galleries countywide as well as countrywide.

In response, the Doud family, would like to give something in return, to the community that supported Rena and her love of art.


Emerging© watercolor on paper & Stealth© Acrylic on canvas, by Rena Doud.

These and other original paintings by Rena Doud are being offered by the Doud family at reduced prices.  Some are framed.  Sixty percent of art sales will be donated to SLO County Arts, Art Center Morro Bay and SLOMA.

If you are interested in adding one of these beautiful artworks to your personal collection, or may be interested in seeing available works, please visit
or contact: Forrest Doud:
Michael Doud:

Currently, Art Center Morro Bay has collected $1,970. in donations that have been added to a special scholarship fund in Rena's memory.  Scholarships will be awarded to deserving students this Spring. If you would like to donate to this special scholarship fund in her name, please add Rena's name in the comment box when making a direct donation to MBAA.   

We thank each and every donor for your continued support!



Susan Atencio, Cambria
Laura Lee Best, Bakersfield
MeLisa Dicus, Los Osos
Carolyn Eicher, San Luis Obispo
Christine Esler, Morro Bay
Shannon Larson, San Luis Obispo
Deborah Pepin, Sanger
Janine Stillman, Arroyo Grande
Next Board Meeting is February 16, 2021 12:00 - 3:00pm  
Copyright © Morro Bay Art Association, All rights reserved.
May, 2017 Newsletter
Our contact information is:
835 Main Street, Morro Bay, California 93442
Tel: (805) 772-2504

We thank you for your support!

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Morro Bay Art Association · 835 Main Street · Morro Bay, CA 93442 · USA

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