Sunday, May 22, 2016

Filoli Artist Access Day, Woodside. Thursday, May 19, 2016 - Paintsite II

This was Part II of our grand experiment to combine two Paintsites in one day.   In the morning a few of us visited nearby Sawyer Camp Trail (where it was quite breezy) for an abbreviated Hike & Sketch (see the earlier posting for that paintsite) and then on to Filoli (where it was even breezier - technically a gale).   There we met the rest of the group to participate in Filoli's Artist Access Day program in which artists are allowed to set-up with folding stools, easels, tripods, etc. and paint, draw, or photograph whatever they like from 3:30 - 6:30 PM.    A General Admission ticket is included in the Artist Access package which allowed us to roam the grounds during General Admission hours (10:00 AM - 3:00 PM), pick-out a favorite subject and even do some sketching (as long as we didn't block paths) before re-admission at 3:30 for some serious painting.

Special thanks to SCVWS & Filoli members Kathy Wright and Mary Raftery for helping coordinate our visit and Filoli staff Paula and Susan for explaining the process in detail as we had a larger than average group.  Thanks to them, everything went smoothly.

For general in formation about visiting Filoli, the official website is:

Artist Access Days are the 3rd Thursdays of every month during Daylight Savings Time.  For specific information about Artist Access Days, visit:

 Upcoming Paintsites:
  • Thursday, May 26, 2016:   Anna Cook's Mexican Garden, Saratoga 
  • Thursday, June 2, 2016:    Rancho San Antonio, Cupertino - Hike & Sketch or Sit & Paint.
  • Thursday, June 9,  2016:    Allied Arts, Menlo Park
  • Thursday, June 16, 2016:   Vasona County Park, Los Gatos
  • Thursday, June 23, 2016:   Sierra Azul Nursery & Garden, Watsonville 
  • Thursday, June 30, 2016:   Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda, San Jose
Details can be found on the SCVWS website and in the current May and upcoming June Newsletters.    Be sure to read the Sunday e-notifications for specific driving and parking directions.  And please consider carpooling to Rancho San Antonio (limited parking) and Sierra Azul (a long drive).

Other ongoing  local events of interest:

  • Through Friday, May 27, 2016:    SCVWS  Member Show "H2O Works" at the Presentation Center in Los Gatos.   For details see the SCVWS Home page:
  •  Through Sunday, June 12, 2016:  18th Annual Botanical Art Exhibition at Filoli.   A niche genre of spectacular work which can be appreciated by everybody, especially watercolorists.   See the particulars at

 The Return of Alwyn:
Alwyn, our Paintsites mascot, made his first paintout in some time.    (We were all jealous of the nice warm sweater he was sporting.)

Filoli:    This was a case of best laid plans not always panning out:  we walk around for hours looking for the perfect subject to paint and find it --- but, when it came time to actually set-up and paint, someplace, anyplace, out of the wind (or more accurately, relatively out of the wind) took precedence.   Fortunately, at Filoli, everyplace offers something of interest. .

These sturdy hedges must have been planted decades ago with the express purpose of sheltering plein air painters from the prevailing  North-Westerlies.    They work pretty well and have the advantage of offering great views of the Sunken Garden and Garden Shop's bell tower.
The Sunken Garden and Garden Shop Bell Tower:

Cathy making value sketches in the Sunken Garden during 10:00 AM - 3:00 PM General Admission hours .   (photo by Liz)

Linda's unfinished painting of the Bell Tower from the Garden Shop Courtyard.

Marilyn (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator)

Marilyn's painting of the Garden House.

Marilyn's painting of the pool & fountain in the Sunken Garden with the Bell Tower in the background.
Carole's painting of the Bell Tower.


Lisha's painting of the Garden Shop's Bell Tower.

Jane (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator)
Jane's painting of "Yellow roses and the Bell Tower".
The Woodland Garden:
Katherine back from her foray into the Woodland Garden.

Katherine's painting of the brick wall  and gate leading into the Woodland Garden.

 The Southwest Terrace wall:

Mary's painting of a spectacular purple clematis and yellow rose (both in full bloom) on the wall separating the Sunken Garden from the Southwest Terrace.
 The Cutting Garden:

Mitsi's painting of the Cutting Garden.   Sweet peas growing on the sides of the enclosure in the background filled this area with their wonderful fragrance.

It was so windy and cold yesterday!  I worked very wet and had to wait till today to add color to the flowers.  The paper wouldn't dry.   Mitsi

The Garden & Gift Shop and Retail Nursery:

Kaaren's painting of the Garden & Gift Shop.
The Summer House:

Brad's painting of the Summer House.  When a particularly powerful gust caused the sturdy brick Summer House to shake, we figured it was time to head for home.

Here, There and Everywhere:

Laurie did pencil sketches of many of Filoli's handsome brick buildings on a single sheet of paper.   She'll use it to ultimately create a montage.
Laurie's  “Filoli Postcard Memories.”
 Although it’s not a great design (value contrast is inadequate, with too much for the eye to look at, should have softened and minimized the “background” images), I have great memories of being there.  Laurie

Note:  We didn't have our usual critique where most of the artwork is photographed so please visit this posting again as more images are submitted (hopefully) by the artists.

Normally all artists have to leave the garden by 6:30 PM and on most days there's the temptation to paint until the very last minute but, tough as we are, we started packing up at 6:00 PM and left a few minutes early. Were the volunteers happy to see us leave?  You bet!   Nothing personal I'm sure, just that they were equally anxious to get out of the wind as they were in an even more exposed position than we were.


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