Mid-January 2024 Announcements

You can access our new website by clicking: https://santaritaart.org/

The Santa Rita Art League Board of Directors

The Board of Directors meet periodically to address issues that are necessary to keep the entire organization running. Some of the many activities the Board oversees include making arrangements for professional artists to demo at each monthly meeting; keeping the Art 101 classes scheduled with knowledgeable instructors; planning the various art shows so all members have an opportunity to display their artwork; encouraging activities for each special interest group as well as inviting the formation of additional SIGs; and being responsible for the studio, art library, lockers, art equipment, as well as making sure every member has a chance at displaying their art projects and improving their skills as an artist.

Of course, we can't forget to thank the numerous volunteers who make these various activities run smoothly. As a team, we make a great organization when everyone pitches in to help.

Members at January's SRAL Board of Directors meeting.

Seated: Liz Wolf, Susan Ettl, Lisa Schmidt, & Deanna Brooks.

Standing: Jeani Gustafson & Arlene Szypulski. On assignment was Debra Nealy.

Kath Macaulay Will Be Our February

Demo Artist

February 8th From 1:00 - 3:00 pm

Pocket Sketching

Kath Macaulay is a nationally-known artist based in Tucson, Arizona. She is the inventor of Pocket Sketching, a quick-draw technique that allows anyone to "journal" wherever they are in the world using only a 4" x 6" art pad, a pen, a small paint set, a brush, and a film canister of water -- all neatly stashed in a portable kit, pocket , or purse.

"Ann Arbor Fleetwood Diner"

by Kath Macaulay

"The Old Adobe"

by Kath Macaulay

More information can be found on the Monthly Demo page of SRAL’s website by clicking here. (https://santaritaart.org/monthly-demos/)

Fun for Everyone:

"Mix 'n' Mingle"

On Thursday, February 1st from 3:00-5:00 pm, come to the Art League's Main Studio. The theme is: "Bring Artwork using RED." Members may also bring a snack and/or an adult beverage to share. The "Mix 'n' Mingle" is a great way to chat, meet, and reconnect with other SRAL members in a casual, fun atmosphere. We hope to see you.

Quotes for you to enjoy:

"Art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life." -- Pablo Picasso

"Art is my soul singing visually." -- Bonnie Gore

We have so many creative members that we would love to publish your own thoughts about art. This is for everyone's enjoyment. We would love to print your inspirational quote. Please send your quote to us for our Eblast. Click Here

Highlighting our

Special Interest Groups (SIGs)

Periodically, we plan to visit each Interest Group to see what's happening and learn more about them. Each Interest Group has its devoted volunteers who vigorously work to provide meaningful sessions for its members.

Knowing more about each group may lead you to finding another interest to pursue and that may be a good thing.

Portrait Group

The Portrait Group meets from December to April on Tuesday afternoon from 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm in the Main Studio.

The Group draws and paints from live models, focusing on facial features during short and long poses. All media are welcome except for oil paints. Water mixable oils are acceptable for the main studio. ​Critiques and demonstrations may be available based on the group's wishes.

This group includes both beginning artists along with seasoned veterans. However, the lovely thing is that everyone helps each other. It's a very congenial group and welcomes all members who wish to explore portraiture.

Current Art League Shows

2024 Eva Briggs Retrospective Show

"Blue Harvest"

by Jeani Gustafson

"Border Lines"

by Colleen Eichenberger

The Abstract Brigade is exhibiting a number of art pieces that were first displayed in past Eva Briggs Show competitions. Each piece is absolutely magnificent. Plan to stop at each painting and daydream. This writer was amazed at the quality and depth of artistic design as well as how a viewer is pulled into each piece. This fabulous show will be at the GVR Las Campanas Center the entire month of January. Don't miss it!

"Sun Splashed"

by Sue McKelvy

"Les Planetes""

by Suzy Webber

Permanent Show

This show will run from January until March 2024 at the GVR Desert Hills Social Center. The director of this exhibit is Jan Harnish and she has organized one of the best, fine art shows this season.

Members of the Art League are displaying their finest pieces that completely cover the far wall in the auditorium. So if you are interested in exceptional art, drop everything and sprint over to Desert Hills.

"Three Birds" by Jan Harnish

"Sonoran Sunset" by Sonya Edwards

"Birthing Awareness"

by Paula Richards

"Home of the Ancient Ones"

by Pat Doughty

"Canyon Ridge"

by Rich Metcalf

Oil Painting and Pastels Group Show

The Special Interest Group that focuses on creating art using oil paints or pastels is displaying some of their very best pieces in the Main Studio of SRAL. The show will be available to members for the month of January.

Their art pieces are extraordinary, so make sure you allot time to enjoy them.


by Susan Canniff


by Kathy Nagel


by Tracy Sear

"The Lone Ranger"

by Debra Nealy

Art 101: Workshops in January 2024

Are you a beginning artist and want to learn the basics about different mediums, design, and color? Are you an artist that has wanted to learn a different medium? Then Art 101 is perfect for you. The Art 101 classes offered this fall and winter will be presented by SRAL members volunteering to share their time and expertise. 

  • Most classes will be held in the SRAL studio, from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM. A few may have a different time slot. 
  • Materials for classes will be provided by SRAL and include paints, paper or canvas, and an appropriate paint brush. 
  • Participants will need to bring a water container, paper towels, an apron, or any appropriate working clothes.
  • The class size is determined by the instructor; generally, 12 - 18 people. We encourage members to sign up for only one media class per month to enable everyone to participate. This will ensure participants a fuller mastery of the new medium and allow us to accommodate more members.
  • Registration for each class will be on Art 101 webpage.  A small material fee of $10.00 is required to complete and validate your registration. Each class list is compiled on a first come first serve basis. You will receive notification after you have registered. You will then be notified about how and when the material fee is to be paid.


"Art Basics for Success"

Instructor: Rich Metcalf

"Capturing shadow & light in a composition"

Date: Sundays, January 7, 14, 21, 28, 2024

(A series that builds on each other.)

Time: 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM

Maximum Number of Participants: 18 ............. Class is FULL

"The Challenge is a Still Life of Fruit"

"Images in Mist"

using Watercolor

Instructor: Darilyn Ronn

Date: Saturday, January 13th

Professional Artist and Art Instructor, Darilyn Ronn helped her class create a watercolor landscape that included images in fog or mist.

Darilyn touched on several techniques including, wet on dry, wet on wet, lifting paint, layering color, proper use of masking fluid, and several others.

This was a very active workshop.


Lockers and slots renewals for 2024 are now due. Rentals not paid by the February general meeting on 2/8/24 may result in losing the locker/slot, as there are artists on a waiting list. Fees can be paid by filling out a rental application (available in the studio or on the website by clicking here) to include with your cash or check payment; both should be left with the studio monitor. Or contact Valerie to make other payment arrangements. Fees are still $20 for lockers, and $15 for slots

If you would like a locker and/or slot and none are available, your name will be put on a waiting list for the next available. 

For more information, or if you no longer want your locker or slot for 2024, PLEASE contact Valerie at ValerieSM@SantaRitaArt.org.

SRAL Art Shows to Prepare For:

The SRAL Masters' Show

"Bouquet de Fleurs"

by Marc Chagall

"Breakfast in Bed"

by Mary Cassatt

"Woman, Gold Tears"

by Gustav Klint

Recreating a Master painting is a time-honored tradition for developing artistic skills. It is a good way to try out a new technique, improve on your own style, and have some fun!  


For 2024 there will be a special section featuring Women Artists. We have posted a list of names on the bulletin board as a suggestion, or you can choose another woman artist. Of course, this is not a requirement, and you may choose any artist that you consider to be a Master, male or female. We have a good library for ideas.


     ++++Now for the Rules!!!++++


Due to United States copyright law, the artist must be deceased for AT LEAST 70 YEARS. So any artist who died in 1954 or before is allowed. ANY ARTIST DECEASED FROM 1955 AND ON WILL BE DISQUALIFIED FROM THE SHOW. Please check your artist info.


Two entries are allowed and there is no entry fee. Five ribbons will be awarded, judged by the artists who are entered into the show. Judging should be based on how close to the original artwork you have come. No size limit. You do not have to paint in the original medium, as most were oil. Watercolor, pastel, acrylic, etc, is fine. 


The 2024 show will be held at the East Center for the months of March and April. Delivery date is Friday, March 1, 10am - 11am. Pickup is Tuesday, April 30, 10am - 11am.

Email for more info: CherylS@SantaRitaArt.org 

Entry forms are available online at our website or in the studio on the wall next to the key pad. Entries must be postmarked before Feb 15th, 2024. 

Learning Opportunities at

Tubac School of Fine Art

The Tubac School of Fine Art is offering workshops from a variety of artists. Please click below for information.

Phone: 520-398-2589

Email: workshops@tubacschooloffineart.org

"Paint Bodacious Blooms"

Instructor: Dianna Fritzler

January 19 - 21, 2024

Additional Workshops at the Tubac School of Fine Arts

Keiko Tanabe: "Capturing the Essence in Watercolor," January 26-28, 2024

Jessica Garrett Lawrence: "Understanding Color," February 2-4, 2024

For More information Click Here

Art Exhibit at

The Community Performance & Art Center

"Icons of the West"

Featuring Works by Arizona Artists

In the Harry & Ann Paxton Gallery and Theater Lobby

January 2 - February 1, 2024

The winners have been selected and are the following:

1st Place:

"Sleepy Jake"

by Margery Baker

2nd Place:

"Simon at Acoma Pueblo"

by Nanci Sheppard

3rd Place:


by Bonnie Gore

Honorable Mention:

"Bison Bison"

by Maureen Kirk-Detberner

Honorable Mention:

"Mending Fences"

by Sharon Wirth

Note to Everyone: All five award winners are members of the Santa Rita Art League. Congratulations to Margery, Nanci, Bonnie, Maureen, & Sharon.

Learning Opportunities at CPAC


"Southwestern Inspired Mixed Media"

Instructor: Suzanne Villella

February 27 – 28, 2024

Create colorful mixed media pieces inspired by the beautiful southwestern landscape. Learn the supplies and materials, including paper, acrylic paint, matte medium, and varnish and their applications on a wood panel to create a unique and dynamic piece of artwork. On day 1, you will work on several small format landscapes to get an understanding of the materials. On day 2 of the workshop, you will create a larger format piece while using your new mixed media knowledge and skills. Click here for more information.


"Exploring Paint Portraiture"

Instructor: Ana Rincon

March 11 – 12, 2024

This workshop will encompass a series of activities, which will culminate in the completion of an oil painting of an animal portrait. Students can bring their own photo or use one of the instructors. Click here for more information.


Southwest Arizona Watercolor Guild

January 2024

"Lasting Impressions" Exhibit

Two of Sonya Edwards' watercolor paintings have been juried into the "Lasting Impressions" show, which runs from January 3 - February 3, 2024.

The SAWG gallery is located at:

The Plaza at Williams Centre

5420 E. Broadway Blvd, Ste #240

Tucson, AZ 85711-3725

"Boston Buddy"

by Sonya Edwards

"Roo Dog"

by Sonya Edwards

NEWS UPDATE: Sonya Edwards won the Award of Excellence for her outstanding watercolor of "Boston Buddy." Congratulations, Sonya.

Solo Art Exhibition by

John D. Vandebrooke

West Center Lobby

January 3rd -- 31st.

John Vandebrooke brings quite a number of very professional paintings to the West Center Lobby. His style is unique as he gently bridges abstract, to realism, to expressionism. Each piece is a joy to contemplate. This writer spent quite a deal of time at each piece just enjoying the composition, choice of colors, sweeping brush strokes, and most of all the imagination that John exhibits.


by John Vandebrooke


by John Vandebrooke


by John Vandebrooke


There are 10 Special Interest Groups and all of them are open to the members of the Art League.


On the SRAL website there is a complete description for each SIG.

If you wish to learn more about any of the SIGs, Click Here

Below is additional INFO not on the SRAL webpage.


There are no special skills required to join in with this friendly group. Meeting attendees always find artist support, often with live demos, workshops, and critiques. Come and see what it’s all about.


Next meeting Monday, February 12, 2024 in the studio at 10:00am. The Monthy Challenge is to paint what you like.


The Assemblage Group’s January challenge is:

The Five Element Challenge and the Cigar Tube Challenge.

The purpose of The Five Element Challenge is to provide an opportunity for

the artist to reflect on the personal meaning of each object as it relates to the

intention or concept of their piece. We are challenged to limit ourselves by

using a maximum of five objects to convey the concept of the piece.

The Cigar Tube Challenge will incorporate some recently found vintage metal

cigar tubes into a unique work of art.


The next Figure Drawing session will be held on Saturday, February 3rd, 9 AM to noon. We will have a professional model pose for us.  Each participating artist is asked to pay $5.00 to defer the cost of hiring the model. 


During January 2024, the walls of the SRAL Studio will be adorned with Oil Paintings & Pastels. Let the SIG leader know if you have any work you would like to be included in this month-long exhibit. 


We will meet on Thursday mornings and try to form carpools. Our destinations are special places around Southern Arizona. Meet times will vary depending on the weather. If you are interested, contact Nanci: Click Here

Plein Air Schedule for January

  • Jan 18. Tubac Fountain Area. Meet at the Springs upper lot off Heroe at 12:30pm. We will form carpools and leave at 12:45pm. The Fountain is located on a small street just under the arch on Plaza Rd. in Tubac. Turn left at the first place you can turn left and follow the road that parallels the frontage road. You will see the fountain and can park anywhere. Restrooms available.
  • Jan 25. Pena Blanca Lake. Meet at the Springs a bit early, 11:45am to form carpools. It is an hour's drive south. We will leave at noon. Pena Blanca is a small reservoir with rocky cliffs, rolling hills, and a lovely lake to paint. Outhouses are available. It is located on Hwy 289, off of I-19, near Rio Rico. 

Dress accordingly.


In January, we will meet on Wednesday, the 24th at 9:30 am in Room A. Activity TBA. All are welcome. Bring acrylics or thin water-soluble inks and a Gelli plate if you have one.

Click here for the list of SIG chairpersons and their e-mail addresses.