Saturday, May 30, 2015

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park Hike & Sketch, San Jose. Thursday, May 28, 2015

After spending most of our Spring '15 paintouts in lovely tree peony, herbaceous peony, iris, rose, cactus & succulent, wildflower, and formal gardens, we were ready for something a little on the wild side.   Hence our visit to Guadalupe Oak Grove Park.    Not a large park, it's undeveloped with enough steep hills to appreciate that this wasn't just another walk-in-the-park Paintsite.    Venerable Blue, Live and Valley oaks, interesting rock outcroppings, truly golden grasses swaying in the breeze (for which we were grateful), and distant Almaden Valley, Santa Clara Valley, Coast and Diablo Range views provided plenty of subject matter.   And a lunch spot with a huge hole in the ground provided lots of speculation as to what lived down the hole --- we never did find out so we'll probably go back again to check it out.    And of course to paint.

For more information about Guadalupe Oak Grove Park, the official city website is:

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, June 4, 2015:  Santa Teresa County Park  - Sit & Paint or Special Hike & Sketch led by Jenny & Sylvia.   Meet for lunch.
  • Thursday, June 11, 2015:  Los Altos Redwood Grove, Los Altos - we'll paint in the morning, eat lunch then drive to the Los Altos Hills Town Hall to view the current  "No Limits - Freedom to Create" exhibit where we'll see the "studio" work of many Paintsites regulars.
  • Thursday, June 18, 2015:  Agnews Historic Park, Santa Clara
  • Saturday, June 20, 2015:  Santa Teresa County Park - no Hike & Sketch this time, just a Sit & Paint in the Pueblo Day Use Area.
  • Thursday, June 25, 2015:  San Juan Bautista Mission, San Juan Bautista
For additional information and details, see the SCVWS website or the June Newsletter.

Note 1:  The June 4th Hike & Sketch will be led by Jenny & Sylvia --- it won't be for sissies but is guaranteed to be exciting and fun.    Wear good hiking shoes and carry extra water if you plan to do the Hike & Sketch.  (Not required for the Sit & Paint participants --- they'll just need to be prepared to listen to our tales of extreme hardship on the trail when we meet for lunch.)

Note 2:   Many of the March, April, and May blog postings have been updated with additional and "finished"  painting images.   I think our floral paintings this year were exceptionally fine so please revisit to see the updates.  

The Sandstone Quarry was a very popular spot to start the day for many of us.   All trails seem to meet there and we did indeed arrive from every direction.   Bonnie, however, found a perfect spot on one of the trails leading up to the Quarry and decided she didn't need to go any further ... 

Bonnie's painting of Marilyn on the trail (and maybe that's us at the Sandstone Quarry in the upper right corner).

A group of us clustered around the little observation area which offered great views down the valley and up towards the Quarry.    Depending on where we sat, we all saw different colors and shapes in the rocks.    ( A city boy, I saw a place where I imagined snakes lived -- lots of snakes!)
John, Jane, Helen and Mitsi painting the Quarry, Candy painting the valley below, Roger just admiring the landscape.  (Photo by Rich)
Rich's painting of the Sandstone Quarry

John' painting of the same rocks

Helen's painting of the big rocks plus a bit of the colorful foliage above them.

Liz's take on the same rocks plus just a bit more foliage.  (But no fence.)

Sylvia captured the rocks and the entire hillside.  (But again, no fence.)
Marilyn painting the Sandstone Quarry

Marilyn painted the whole tableau: the rocks, the hillside, and the fence.
Looking down the valley ... 
Looking over Candy's shoulder to where Bonnie was painting just off the trail.  (You can just barely see Bonnie down there.)

Candy's painting of the valley.

Jane also painted the valley.   (That's Mt. Hamilton in the distance.)

Looking down from the steps leading past the Quarry....

is where Melanie painted this view of the valley.
Meanwhile, a bit further up the hillside, Leslie hacked her way thru the underbrush and got up close to the rocks ...

Leslie, (unafraid of the snakes I'm certain were there), paints fearlessly on. (Photo by Rich)
After a morning painting in the quarry, we split into smaller groups and went our separate ways ...

On the trail with Sylvia, Liz & Melanie.
Marilyn leads Mitsi, Melanie and Liz down some treacherous steps. 

 We broke off and painted when something struck our fancy....

Rich's painting of a fallen oak on the ridge crest.

Candy's painting of the trail as it emerges from the ridge top oaks.

Sylvia's painting of an artist on the trail.

Helen's painting looking south toward Mt. Umunhum.
A few of us decided to hike the smaller but steeper northern hill where we caught our breath at the summit and did some sketching and painting before heading back to the flats.

Leslie found more rocks to paint with downtown San Jose in the distance.

Leslie's painting

Liz's painting of a birdhouse in the big oak.   (We saw a bird enter the birdhouse.)
Marilyn's painting of  rocks and a tree.

Brad's sketch of the oak with the birdhouse
Mitsi perched on a rock overlooking southern San Jose.

Mitsi's sketch of a sad looking group of trees

and the finished painting.  (They still look pretty sad.)
Mitsi's second painting of the day

Melanie looks pretty relaxed after our steep climb ...

at least relaxed enough to do this fine little painting.

Then it was back down to the picnic area for lunch and the critique ...

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