Thursday, October 1, 2015

Coyote Valley Open Space Preserve, Morgan Hill. Thursday, October 1, 2015.

This was another new site for us.   In fact it's a new site for the County as it just opened mid-2015.   The facilities are modest but up-to-date and clean.   There are wonderful views of the Coyote Valley both from the Valley floor parking lot and from scenic overlooks on the trails.   (Also of the hills and ranges to both the east and west.)   If your only impression of the Coyote Valley is the one seen from the grim stretch of Hwy 101 as it passes thru, think again --- it's beautiful and a site to which we'll definitely return.

That's it for the site.   As to our day, the National Weather Service forecast was right-on:  morning drizzle until 11:00, followed by clearing.   Standing in the rain, discussing our prospects, we decided to paint from inside our cars.   A wise decision but one which led to backing up and angling for a prime parking space with a choice view.  (If there'd been more of us, it might have looked like a demolition derby.)    Then, everyone safely in place, all hunkered down in our cars, windows fogged up, an occasional sweep of a windshield wiper;  we came up with some pretty fine paintings to start the day.   With clearing skies, again we met, conferred and decided to finish up our car paintings, have a bite to eat and then hit the trail for the hike part of the paintout.

For more information about this appealing new paintsite, see:

Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, October 8, 2015:  Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont - the prime pumpkin painting venue in the Bay Area.   (Lots of other fun stuff too.)
  • Thursday, October 15, 2015:  Baker Beach, San Francisco - the Golden Gate Bridge!
  • Weekend Paintsite - Saturday, October 17, 2015: Main St., Los Altos - urbanscapes with fall foliage.
  • Thursday, October 22, 2015:  Portola Vineyards, Portola Valley.
  • Thursday, October 29, 2015:  Triton Museum, Santa Clara - paint on the grounds and then a special "open" day in the Community Gallery to see the Members Annual Show.

Special Event:  Annual Member Show at the Triton Museum in Santa Clara - Opening Reception Saturday -- October 3rd.     Show runs thru November 7th - open Saturdays and Sundays only (except for Thursday, October 29th). 
For details, see the SCVWS website or the October Newsletter.

In-Car Painting:   Basically, we either parked looking east into the Coyote Valley, the hills and Diablo Range beyond or parked looking west at the hillside directly in front of us with the Coast Range beyond.

Parked Looking East:
Lisha painting in her car.

Lisha's painting of a farm in the Coyote Valley and the East foothills which were still obscured by low rain clouds.

Lisha's second painting done from her car. 

Candy's painting of another Coyote Valley farm and the hills beyond.

While the rest of us sheltered in our cars, Broncha toughed it out and set-up in the semi-protected structure which housed the restroom facilities.

Parked Looking west:
Mary P. painting in her car.

Mary's painting of one of the old oaks adjacent to the parking lot, the hillside beyond and a glimpse of  the Coast Range beyond that in the mist. 
Jane's "car" painting of another fine old oak.  (There were enough so that we could all claim one as our very own.  Except for Leslie and Marilyn -- see below.)

I painted this one from inside my car, stopping occasionally to run the wipers.  A fun new experience!     Leslie
Marilyn painted the same tree as Leslie.   All differences can be attributed to Leslie looking thru a Toyota windshield, Marilyn a Honda windshield.

What a delight to be in Coyote Valley as the rain stopped--the birds were singing joyfully, the clouds were so beautiful, and the air was so clear.  Yes, it is possible to paint sitting in my car.   Marilyn.

Brad's painting of a few oaks close-up and the hillside beyond.   There was no blue in the sky when I started but I was so happy to see it later that I had to add it.

Plein Air Painting:  Out of our cars we decided to eat lunch and then either hike to the scenic overlook or do some actual plein air painting in the picnic area adjacent to the parking lot. 

  Plein Air Painting:

Jane, back from her summer in Canada.

Jane's painting across the Valley.  (The same farm Candy had painted earlier?)

 Hiking to the Scenic Overlook:

Lisha and Brad hiking the Arrowhead Loop Trail to the Scenic Overlook.  (photo by Marilyn)
Marilyn at the Scenic Overlook,
Candy and Lisha at the Arrowhead Loop Scenic Overlook.     Candy and Roger hiked on while Marilyn, Lisha and Brad stayed to paint.


Lisha's sketch from the Arrowhead Loop Scenic Overlook.   Altho' the rain had stopped, the clouds across the Valley were still very dramatic.

Brad's sketch from the Scenic Overlook.

Thursday Paintsites co-coordinators Brad and Marilyn survey the Coyote Valley from the Scenic Overlook.   (photo by Lisha)

Beyond the Scenic Overlook:
While Marilyn, Lisha and Brad stopped to sketch at the first Scenic Overlook less than a mile from the parking lot; and Candy and Roger hiked on for a short while longer; Leslie and Gil made the whole Arrowhead Loop --- quoting the park brochure:  four "challenging" miles!   And Leslie even had time for a painting ...   

After the sun came out we hiked about 2 miles to an overlook.  This view faces west.    Leslie

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