The California Art League (CAL) is a wonderful group of individual artists that host art exhibitions, ongoing education and creative interaction to empower artists to fulfill their highest potential.

CAL, California Art League

CAL California Art League

The main reasons I joined CAL was to connect with local professional artists, attend gallery exhibits of members’ works and most importantly, to gain access to educational demonstrations and workshops by award winning artists, in a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere. I can then share the knowledge and insights with my watercolor students at their art lessons at Pastimes For A Lifetime.


CAL’s annual Winter Brunch and demonstration is one of my favorite events. This year, club members and guests enjoyed a delicious brunch hosted by the Historic Blinn House of Pasadena, California, followed by an informative demonstration by the renowned watercolor artist, architect, author, and instructor, Thomas W. Schaller,

CAL Brunch 2014

2014 California Art League Brunch, The Historic Blinn House

Many thanks to club president, Kenneth Ronney and the volunteers who helped create today’s wonderful event.


The Historic Blinn House was designed in 1905 for lumber industry magnate Edmund Blinn and his family, by popular Chicago architect, George Washington Maher, in the Midwestern Prairie School Style. The rich, warm tones of mahogany and oak embellished with a repeated theme of trailing wisteria vines, and real wisteria vines covering the pergola and trellises along the front side of the house, created the perfect inspiring atmosphere for today’s artistic event.

CAL Members and Guests

CAL Members and Guests

After brunch, Ken Ronney introduced the guest watercolor demonstrator, Thomas Schaller. Tips, techniques and product recommendations were graciously shared.


Tom begins with a very soft lead pencil sketch layout on a separate paper, to determine tonal areas. He then uses the same pencil to sketch his final drawing on 140 lb. watercolor paper.


Thomas W. Schaller

Thomas W. Schaller Tone Sketch

Holbein® and Daniel Smith® watercolors are his preference. Today’s palette was dominated by Cobalt Blue and Burnt Sienna. Brushes made of squirrel hair are preferred over expensive sable brushes. Tom advised he does not use masking fluids, preferring to simply leave the white areas alone.

Thomas W. Schaller

Thomas W. Schaller, first wash in Cobalt Blue.

Thomas W. Schaller

Thomas W. Schaller, final washes.

Having been an architect and architectural artist in New York City for 20-years, architecture is a major them in Tom’s collection of fine art watercolors. His deft use of complementary colors and soft edges result in beautiful luminous work.


For more information on Thomas W. Schaller and his work, please visit his website and Facebook page.


More information about the California Art League, its shows and events and membership can be found on their website and Facebook page.

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