Saturday, May 31, 2014

Alum Rock Park Hike & Sketch, San Jose, Thursday, May 29, 2014

The Alum Rock Park Hike & Sketch represented a major milestone for the Paintsites group as this was Jenny Tero's and Sylvia Waddell's final event as the Paintsites Coordinators.   In addition to expanding access to a wide range of plein air venues on assuming leadership in 2006, they started the very popular Fifth Thursday Hike & Sketch Paintouts  (although sometimes they should more properly have been called Hike & Sketch Adventures) and developed a series of well attended and much appreciated on-site demos.   And, although Jenny & Sylvia will no longer be leading the group, they have assured the new coordinators that they'll continue to be active participants and watch them closely to make sure there is no lowering of standards.    (They didn't say what the consequences of  lowered standards would entail but it's not pleasant to contemplate.)

So it was only appropriate that their last go-round was a demanding, nearly 4 hour, up-and-down, sun-and-shade expedition.    Moved by the outpouring of appreciation and love (and pastries?) at the outset, it should be noted that we were allowed 25 minutes per sketch (it used to be only 20) and 40 minutes for lunch  (it used to be 30) -- but that none of us complained about this constituting a lowering of standards.

A word from Sylvia & Jenny:
As many of you know, this Hike & Sketch was the finale for organizers, Sylvia and Jenny.    We want to express our thanks to the great group of people that have become “regulars” over the last years/months.  It has been a pleasure to arrange sites and other sessions for an appreciative, talented, enthusiastic, and sociable group of plein air artists.    We have both thoroughly enjoyed the job, and we will still participate as regular painters and give our support to the new organizers - Brad, Jane and Marilyn.    Many thanks in particular to Brad who has helped us so much over the last few years and who kindly brought delicious pastries and Starbucks coffee to celebrate our last session.     S & J

For more information about this historical and very scenic park, see:

(If you have an opportunity to visit the Youth Science Institute, note the exceptionally fine wildlife painting cards by Society Member Candy Yu.)

Upcoming Paintouts:
  • June 5, 2014:   Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills
  • June 19, 2014:   Vasona Lake County Park, Los Gatos
  • June 21:   Rancho Canada Oro Open Space Preserve, Morgan Hill
See the Watercolor Society website or June Newsletter for details.

Sylvia & Jenny leading us onward and, in this case, upward on the South Rim Trail.

A few speeches, some Danish and a cuppa before we head out ...

New co-coordinator Jane thanks Jenny & Sylvia for their years of service

Jenny & Sylvia reminisce a bit; turn over the keys to the franchise to Jane; we have a bit of Danish, some coffee then Jenny says, for the last time:  "Head 'em up, move 'em out!"

John heads in one direction and settles in to paint the historical old cabin:

John's painting

While the rest of us head in the opposite direction ...
We hit the trail

First stop on the Penitentia Creek Trail... wonderful old stone walls, bridges & grottoes...

Sarah's painting

Liz's sketch

Jenny's painting

Cathy's painting

Marion's painting

Rich's sketch
 Second stop on the Penitentia Creek Trail ...
Jane, Lisha, Sylvia, Brad - and some great shadows
Jane's painting
Lisha's painting
Sylvia's painting
Brad's sketch

Marion's painting

Candy's painting
Anna's painting

Cathy's painting

Dick's painting

Jenny's painting
Rich's sketch

Lunch and the Critique ...
We vote to stop for lunch (the vote was unanimous)

The Critique

We pressed on, climbing to the South Rim on the Sycamore Switchbacks.      Then, once on the South Rim Trail, high above Penitencia Creek Canyon to the north and the Santa Clara Valley to the south, the "Five-Minute Sketch"  challenge produced some surprisingly "finished" paintings:

1 comment:

  1. To Sylvia and Jenny, thanks for the many years of leading Painsites. You set the bar very high! Also, you two introduced me to this group and I will be forever grateful. I retired, made a cross-USA bicycle ride with partner Bob on our tandem, then pursued my art passion. I remember that I rode my little folding bike to the ponds in Campbell for my first outing with the group in 2008.