Friday, June 5, 2015

Santa Teresa County Park Hike & Sketch / Sit & Paint. Thursday, June 4, 2015

It's been one year since Jenny & Sylvia resigned as Paintsites coordinators and, to celebrate (in a good sense) that anniversary, we invited Jenny and Sylvia to lead one their trademark "separate the men from the boys" Hike & Sketch paintouts.   Only in this case it turned out to be more of a "separate the women from the men" Hike & Sketch paintout and, not surprisingly, it was the women left standing at the end of the day.  The saving grace was that Jenny promised not to employ Julius Caesar's methods when marching his Legions back and forth across Gaul two thousand years ago -- so we all made it safely home, including me -- the last man in.    Many thanks to Jenny & Sylvia for selecting this location, figuring out and coordinating the details with Marilyn, and then leading us.    We hope they'll do it again --- we've already started talking about potential locations.
For additional information about the Santa Teresa County Park, the official website is:
The Hikers set out from the Almaden Valley Stiles entrance trailhead off Fortini Rd.   The Sit & Painters met and painted in the Pueblo Day Use Area.

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • 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.

We head out:
Jenny & Sylvia setting a brisk pace, we start out in good order with a spring in our step. (photo by Rich)
From the parking lot it was up a series of not too steep switchbacks to this view over the Almaden Valley where we made our first stop.

The Stiles Park Entrance parking lot, far below, where our day began.

First stop:  Painting the Almaden Valley and Coast Range (photo by Rich)

More of us at the first stop.  (photo by Liz)


Rich finishing up his first painting while Lisha, Sylvia and Candy offer encouragement and tell him it's time to move on.

Approaching the first ridge crest.   The grasses were actually quite a beautiful gold - we were concerned that they might have turned brown by now - but they hadn't yet.  (photo by Rich)

Sylvia leading, we're about to crest the first ridge, leaving civilization behind.

It's time for Marion, Jenny & Sylvia to check the map and determine where sketching stops will be.   (They were most definitely not checking the map to see if we were lost.   I think.)

Our second stop:  looking east and south over the southern Santa  Clara and Coyote Valleys, the Santa Teresa and Diablo Ranges.

Lisha & Candy at the second stop. (photo by Liz)

Down, down we hiked.  Across a little wooden bridge before heading up, up again.   The IBM center was above us to our left.    We don't know if the fence was to keep IBMers 'in' or Artists 'out'.  (photo by Rich)

From the second ridge we crested, looking back towards the first ridge, we could barely see Helen, who made a late start, coming down the switchbacks to catch up with us.    With no mobile service, (kind of refreshing in a way), we were left with waving our arms and shouting.   (It turns out Lisha has a much louder voice than anyone might have imagined!)
While the Hikers were hiking, the Sit & Painters were painting in the Pueblo Day Use Area where we met for lunch and our usual critique.

John painting away in the Pueblo Day Use Area.  And waiting for the Hikers to show up so he could have lunch. (photo by Liz)

A well planned rendezvous for lunch

 After which we showed off what we'd done:

Broncha's Pueblo Day Use Area painting of a trail-head.

Rich with two of his three sketches.

Rich's pencil sketch

Rich's Almaden Valley & Mt. Umunhum painting

Rich's third painting

Jane S.

Jane's Pueblo Day Use Area painting.  (I think her painting captures better that the camera just how beautiful the oat grasses swaying in the breeze were.) 
What a beautiful day, and to top it we met an Audubon volunteer checking on bluebird boxes who let us take a peak at 4 fledglings while mom was off searching for food. The tall grasses were absolutely beautiful, bleached almost white by the hot sun. Such a contrast against the cool greens of the trees. Jane S. 
Helen and one of her "on the trail" sketches.

John and his Pueblo Day Use Area painting.  (John has also painted extensively in Santa Teresa CP at the Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch on the parks northern boundary.)

Lisha and one of her fine "on the trail" paintings.    Lisha recently returned from her son's wedding in Hawaii and brought her sketchbook from their trip to share with the group.    I hope to remember to remind her to bring it to the Annual Party in January, 2016.

Liz and two sketches from the trail.

Marilyn and her Pueblo Day Use Area painting looking south-west down the Mine Trail.  (This is the route the Hikers took back to the Stiles parking lot.    Thankfully it was mostly downhill altho' I suspect Jenny would have been pleased if the hike back out could have been uphill too.)

Marion did a number of wonderful sketches on the hike.   This one is of lichen covered rocks.

Mitsi getting ready for the hike back to the parking lot.
Mitsi's first stop painting of the Almaden Valley.

Mitsi's painting of lichen covered rocks.  One thing there was plenty of on this hike was rocks - there was even a very long rock wall going over several hills - obviously man made but every foot of it was unique and it looked very old.

Sylvia and two of her sketches.   She's not only smiling because of her fine artwork but also at the thought of the hike back to the parking lot.   (Not everybody was smiling at the prospect.)

Candy also has something to smile about. 
Leslie with one of her pencil sketches.  The color comes later in her studio.
Leslie's finished painting of the Almaden Valley. (That's Candy in the foreground.)

Leslie's lichen covered rock with a tree bending down to communicate with it.

Jenny and one of her wonderful little paintings.    Jenny also brought her New Zealand travel sketchbook to share with us.   Hopefully she'll bring it to the Annual Party in January to share with everybody else.

Jenny & Marion getting in one last painting before we head back.

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