Friday, September 16, 2016

Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale. Thursday, September 15, 2016.

It's been a few years since we visited Murphy Ave. but, happily, it's still retained its simple, unpretentious charm:  wide sidewalks shaded by large trees and lined with small, brightly painted (albeit slightly faded) pre-WWII buildings; it's a very comfortable place in which to paint.
     We arrived just as the block long historic district was 'waking up'  with the friendly & accommodating restaurant staff setting up tables, chairs, and umbrellas (which they invited us to use) in anticipation of the lunch crowds.  As it was such a fine day, the street did come alive with diners enjoying themselves.  Then, as the crowds thinned, the Avenue took its afternoon siesta in anticipation of a bustling evening as we took our leave.

For more information about Murphy Ave., including a virtual tour, see:

More info here.   I think the '... From Historic to Hip' title pretty much describes the 25 Paintsites artists who painted on Murphy.    (The only question is: which of us should be described as 'Historic' and which as 'Hip'.)

Upcoming Paintsites:

  • Thursday, September 22 - Friday, September 23, 2016:   Annual Santa Cruz Paintout.
    See the September Newsletter for details including registration instructions.
    (Registration required for post-paintout pot-luck receptions & critiques at member's
  • Thursday, September 29, 2016:  Loma Prieta Winery, Summit Rd., Los Gatos
Details can be found on the SCVWS website and in the September Newsletter.

Ongoing activities of interest involving Paintsites regulars:

  • John Ediger will be gallery-sitting at the Az Gallery (1213 Lincoln Ave., San Jose) on Tuesday, September 20th and Friday, September 30th from 11:00 AM - 4:00 PM.  Stop by and say 'hello'.
  • Karen Druker has been accepted into the The 8th Annual 50/50 Exhibition at the Sachez Art Center in Pacifica.  (1220-B Linda Mar Blvd.)    Gallery hours are Fri. - Sun. 1:oo - 5:0o PM.  The show runs until Sunday, September 18th.
  • Candy Yu is currently showing 18 watercolor pet portraits at the VCA Crocker Animal Hospital, 475 N. Jackson Ave., San Jose.  Most of her artwork is in the reception area and hallways and can viewed by the public.    The Hospital is open Mon. - Fri. 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM; Sat. & Sun. 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.    The exhibit runs thru the end of October.
  • SCVWS  members Annie Haines, Mary Raftery, and Uma Kelkar were accepted into Fioli's "The Valley of Heart’s Delight: A Multiple–media Exhibit"  which runs thru October 23rd in the Visitor & Education Center.    A  'Closing Reception' will be held Thursday, October 20th from 5:00 - 7:00 PM.    This event is free but reservations are required by October 14th and can be obtained at:  or 650-364-8300, x 508.
  • Jane Ferguson and Nancy Calhoun are currently presenting 'Line & Shape' (mixed water media & encaustic) at Viewpoints Gallery, 315 State St. in Los Altos ( .  Hours are Mon. - Sat. 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Sun. 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM.   The show runs thru October 1st.  
  • Jane Ferguson is participating in the Santa Cruz County Open Studios Art Tour on Saturday  & Sunday, October 1 -2 with an encore weekend on October 15 - 16.   Hours are 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM.   Jane is Artist #86 -  3540 Marilyn St., Santa Cruz (
Murphy Ave., Sunnyvale 
Several of us arrived by Caltrain so our tour of Murphy Ave. will start at the very modern Caltrain Station ...

Marilyn (Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator) on the Northbound Platform sketched the trains as they pulled in to the Station ....

Marilyn's journal entry of  the #138 Southbound as it pulls into the station (right on time at 11:15 AM).

Marilyn's journal entry of the modern and handsome Sunnyvale Caltrain Station.

New SCVWS member Paula at her second Paintsite event.

Paula's look down Murphy Ave. from Murphy Square, a new office structure.   Not as 'modern' as the adjacent Station itself, it fits nicely with the historic section.  (Note:  there is an identical arch at the other end of Murphy.)
Srivani, another new SCVWS member, took a long lunch to join us at her second Paintsite.

Srivani's sketch of Murphy Square ....

... and the finished painting.

Srivani's second sketch - also of Murphy Square ....
... and her second completed painting.
Beyond the gateways onto the Ave. itself ... 


Joe's painting of the Tao Tao Cafe.   The Tao Tao is pretty typical of the type of buildings on Murphy Ave.:  not imposing or elegant but with fun little touches that make it interesting for an artist.
Joe's second painting - this of the old Clock.   It has special meaning for Joe as his Rotary Club donated it to the City of Sunnyvale.

Helen's painting of the same old Clock in front of the Turmeric Indian Restaurant.

Left to right: Joy, Lisha, and Sharon

Joy's painting of the Clock and artists on the other side of the street.

Lisha's painting of the Tarragon American restaurant.

Dick set up right in front of the old Palace Theater (now the Pure Lounge which claims to be Silicon Valley's hottest nite spot!) for a different perspective than the last time he painted on Murphy Ave.

Since we're interested in this as a historic structure, we'll call this Dick's painting of the Palace Theater (tho' it's now the Pure Lounge).


'A Question for the Sphinx' - Caroline's painting of the Palace Theater/ Pure Lounge.


Salinda's painting of the old Clock and Turmeric.

While Dick and Salinda were intent on their work, Anna was intent on them ...

Dick, as painted by Anna.

and Salinda, as painted by Anna.

Anna's unfinished painting of Isabella's boutique.  The sidewalk display of clothes was as colorful and exuberant as the rest of the street.

Broncha and Katherine

Broncha's painting of the Rok (fondue and hot rock) Bistro.

Katherine's painting of one of the many inviting small second-story open terraces overlooking the street.    They look like great places from which to observe and paint the street scene.

Katherine's sketch of the old Clock.

And Katherine's sketch of Leslie.

Speaking of Leslie, here she is!

Leslie's painting of Leigh's Favorite Books (  ) which is an excellent new & used independent book store with a large selection of popular adult coloring books (altho' I doubt any of us would be interested in those.)

Leslie's painting of the clock and Turmeric.

Lots of colorful umbrellas, store fronts, neon signs, awnings, etc. on Murphy Ave.   And our Judi.

Judi's unfinished painting looking toward the gateway at the south end of Murphy Ave.
Which is where Nora painted.

Nora's painting of the south end of Murphy Ave. looking towards Murphy Square captured the color and confusion of the street.      
The wonderful food smells were impossible to capture but may have influenced the colors I chose to use.    Nora

Talk about dedicated!  Alison caught a bus from her office, painted with us for just a short time and then took the bus back to work --- all before she was missed.  (We hope.)

Jane P.  ...

... and Ji-eun on the Ave.

John traveled light and concentrated on sketches with a water soluble ink pen and washes.

John's sketch of Gumba's Italian Restaurant with its colorful awning and umbrellas.

John's sketch of one of the second story terraces with its bright umbrella.

John's sketch of the old Clock.

And finally, John's sketch of young Helen.
Painting all those restaurants helped work up our appetites so, at 12:45 (15 minutes early), we put down our brushes and palettes and adjourned for  ...
Lunch & Critique:
This is not a photo of a beer truck.   It's the group enjoying our take-out or brown-bag lunches.

Are we examining the interesting sidewalk?   No!  we're  examining (critiquing) the even more interesting artwork lined up on the theater wall.   (photo by Salinda)

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