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                            EMERITUS COLLEGE -  SPRING SEMESTER, 2006


     #9724 - 9a-11:50a    Wed.   ITINERARY - Plein Aire Watercolor class - Susan Weinberg

This spring semester we will be using sites in the Marina, primarily along Admiralty Way, and then going  around Via Marina, in and out of the side streets, and possibly down Pacific Ave.  While I would like to say that this itinerary is written in stone, in fact, it is easily changeable.  I am going for sites that you have never used, and then some that you are familiar with.  We will begin with the Warehouse Restaurant. 

I did some fabric for the owner many years ago, and although the restaurant has changed hands, they are anxious for us to come.  In fact, there is a possibility that they will hang and/or buy paintings done on their site.  It is an unusual restaurant, and I would invite you to check it out, even before we meet there.  I would like to go back time and time again.

The site consists of a rustic, island type restaurant with bridges, waterways, fish, tropical plantings, and it is right on the water where the boats are.  I know you will love it.


The second site that interests me very much is in and around Mother's Beach.  Most of you have never heard of this site, and the truth is that very soon there will be hotels built on the site.   Right now we have access through the Jamaica Bay Inn which has free parking for us.  The site contains an inland beach, the boats, skiff storage, restaurants, a covered patio and walkway and barbeque area.  It is near the Marina Fitness Center which I used to go to, and I remember that at times the water would be filled with floating jellyfish.  It is a beautiful site, and again, I know that you will love it.  It is near the Cheesecake Factory, Benihanas  and major hotels.


The third site is in and around Burton Chase Park, including the Catalina Yacht Anchorage (which has yachts out of the water),  the Marina del Rey Hotel, and possibly the new shopping center called the Waterside which now has a fountain in the middle of a patio area surrounding Starbucks, Chico's, a great ice cream place, and near California Pizza Kitchen.


We will have a critique at 9:00 every session, and I encourage  you to bring the work done the previous week,whether finished or in process.  The critique will last from 9:00 to 9:45 only., and then you are free to paint from 9:45 to 11:30.  This method should work very well, and it will be exciting to see the paintings done at these sites.  I encourage you to be on time for the most enjoyment of this group.

Looking forward to this Spring Semester.


                                                                             Susan Weinberg


I have spoken to everyone concerning what they want in a site.  I have gone for free parking, bathrooms, something interesting to paint, all within the beach area.  I am not going to go to the sites away from the beach, because that is what the other plein aire classes are doing.  If you want to go inland, I would suggest that you sign up for some other class.

I will make this semester as interesting as possible for you, keeping in mind the requirements.




Note to my Emeritus students - end of summer, 2006

This summer I chose sites that  were the most interesting I could find in the Venice area.  The parking was difficult, and the bathrooms were far away from the parking and/or the sites.  I want to know from you - WAS IT WORTH IT?

I am now getting ready to prepare the itinerary for the fall semester.  I am trying to please everybody, and, of course, that is impossible.

The best sites have difficult parking problems, and oftentimes, the bathrooms are not there.  I have been scouting other locations with the proper amenities.

In order to get bathrooms especially, it almost means that we have to be in a public place, a restaurant, along the beach, or in and around businesses.

In the space below, please tell me the order of importance in your mind concerning these issues.

                 bathrooms:  ---------------      close parking-------------------------

                 interesting sites -----------     sites you have used before -----------    

Another issue that has been brought up is the STRUCTURE OF THE CLASS.  I have tried in the past to have critiques, either at the beginning or the end of the session.   This seems always to create problems of one sort or another.  How do you feel about critiques?

critiques:  beginning of the class  ------------  end of the class-------------------

                the following week ---------------  1st meeting of semester-----------

                not important __________________

The second issue is that of DEMONSTRATIONS.  Different people have asked for different things.  Some people simply want a direction, some people want to watch me paint, and some want a demonstration of some kind.  WHAT DO YOU WANT?

               Demonstration of new techniques that I am working on----------------

               My take on the site - the way I would approach it----------------------

               Watching me paint------------------------------------------------------

               Demonstrations not important - rather work with each individual  

               artist and help them at the stage where they are at.--------------------

December 7, 2005

To my students in the Emeritus "Plein Aire"painting class.

Next week marks the end of the fall semester of our class - #9725, Wednesday, 9:00 AM- l2:00 PM.

The winter semester begins January 4, 2006, and runs for 4 weeks.

After that, the spring semester will begin.

The procedure at Emeritus is that you sign up, at the office on

2nd and Wilshire for each series of classes - which means that you

must sign up now for the winter semester.

It has been very gratifying getting to know you and to see your work.  Realizing that many of you have been together for a long time, and some of you are new, it has been a challenge to figure out how to approach this group of people so that all will feel  content with their own work, and  also feel that they are progressing in their own styles. 

Some of the new people are struggling with developing a new style, and some of you love what you are doing and want to continue on the road you have chosen.

I had certain ideas at the beginning of the semester that are changing as times change.  What I am going to do is this:

We will finish off this semester on the North side of the Pier, and then for the winter session, we will meet there again, but fan out more - meaning - some of you want to go up on the Pier, some will want to stay down by the water, some will want to be under the Pier, and some will want to stay on or around the Boardwalk. We should be able to accommodate all desires, and still remain in eye-sight of each other.

Starting in the spring semester, my plans are to seek out some new sites.  I have the itinerary from a number of past years, and hope that I can come up with some places that are interesting, and perhaps new to you.  One of the main problems in picking a site is to find sites that are new that have bathroom accommodations.  If you can do away with these accommodations, the options become more broad.

For instance, I would love to have us meet on San Vicente, where those most gorgeous of Australian coral trees are, and have everyone paint those trees .  They are all different, and quite interesting.  But - no bathroom.

Another area that I find fascinating is Sunset Blvd. - in between Westwood and Beverly Hills.  There is a center divider at spots, and some beautiful houses and landscapes possible.

Another area would be the Marina, in various places: The Cheesecake Factory, the Fitness Club which is near the boats, the Channel where the boats go in and out, Mother's Beach, Grand Canal, the walk around Grand Canal, etc. etc. etc.

Some people have expressed a desire to paint inside the Merry-Go-Round, and I will see what I can do about that.

The problem with some of these sites is:  no bathrooms.

Getting back to the more mundane and simple - a perfect spot would be the park above the Santa Monica Pier.  There is enough to paint, and the bathrooms are accessible. and the parking good.    The park is long, running from North to South, and I have painted quite a few paintings from this park, some looking down at the houses and ocean from up-high.

And speaking of up-high, the Hamills live up on a bluff, and have invited the class to come to their home with a 180 degree view.

So - I am writing this letter to you in the hopes that you will give me some feed-back.  My main idea this semester was to keep you on the Boardwalk and around this area for the whole time.  We can continue this way if you would like, but I am getting the idea that you would like to experiment with different places.


So - from now on, we will go to the agreed upon spot, and begin painting right away.  This is because it seems impossible for people to all arrive at the same time, so instead of wasting time waiting for people, I think it would be better to begin painting right away, and then break at ll:00 or ll:30 for a quick critique, so that everyone can see what everyone else has painted.  This will also make it possible for those people who have to leave early to do so, and also for those people who have to come late to do so.

If anyone needs particular attention, I will be happy to meet with them privately during the class to help them with their own particular problems.  This week I took Gladys into my studio to show her work I have done concerning texture.  As you know, she is working on Plexiglas, and then using the plexi to make a monoprint.  I showed her different ways that I worked with materials and texture, and suggested that she add different media to those she is already using.

So - in closing, please give me feedback concerning:

       l. do you want to stay in the same spot for 2, 3 or 4 times?

       2. do you want a different site every week?

       3. can you deal with a site that has no bathroom?

       4. any other suggestions?

                                                                              Looking forward to the winter semester,

                                                                              Susan Weinberg




To my Emeritus students – past, present and future  - regarding summer 2007 –

June 18-July 28

#9526 – 9a-11:50a   Wed   ITINERARY   Watercolor Studio - Susan Weinberg

This summer the session will be quite short – 5 weeks only – one week off due to the

 4th of July

In the Emeritus Brochure, there is no mention of where the first class will be held.  Therefore, I am writing this letter to advise you of what will be going on this summer.

                            -       -       -        -        -          -           -         -           -

We will meet each session in front of my studio on the Boardwalk.  My studio is located ON the Boardwalk, directly in front of the Merry-go-Round and the Santa Monica Pier Aquarium.        1605 1/2 Ocean Front Walk, Santa Monica    310-392-5042

Parking is available in the big lot directly to the north of the Pier.  There are also meters available, and a pay lot on the corner of Appian Way and Seaside.  The north lot accepts disabled and senior passes, and the parking is free in that case.

Up to this point I have been stressing “site specific” paintings.  This summer I want to approach the painting a little bit different.  We will concentrate on ”hidden places”, or “precious moments”.  We will stay around my studio for the 5 week period.  The parking is good, my bathroom is available, food is available, and there are plenty of places to paint.

We will meet in front of my studio at 9:00 and have a brief discussion, possibly a “show and tell” of work done the previous week, and then disperse to the painting locations.  It will be very helpful if you can be ON TIME’.  I know this is difficult for many of you, but it makes everything so much easier all the way around.

For beginners it is possible for me to do more teaching from my studio.  My equipment is available, as well as my library.  I know that there will be some people in the class who have NEVER PAINTED IN THEIR LIFE.  With these people, I will teach them about paper, brushes, paints, and start them at the very beginning.  They might want to stay on my front patio, or the back patio, and get into this “plein aire” painting gradually.

For the new people, let me say that we have a wonderful group – very supportive and giving,  You will learn a lot from each and every one of them.  Give yourself a chance to succeed, do not be too hard on yourself, relax and enjoy.  This is a wonderful thing to be able to do – paint – especially as we get older.  I am never bored, and always have something to do.

My love from Susan – looking forward to a wonderful, productive summer.



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