Saturday, December 30, 2017

Redwood Grove Nature Preserve, Los Altos. Thursday December 28, 2017.

This is a wonderful and little known site in the depths of Silicon Valley --- one which always amazes first time visitors who never suspected that there's a stretch of mighty redwoods between I-280 and the Foothill Expressway.  Sadly, it appears that many of the redwoods are dead, or are dying (possibly from the drought?), and are being cut down; their stumps mixed in with others still standing but looking none too healthy.   Still, there are enough remaining to give both the visual and the emotional feeling of being in a redwood "forest" and the boardwalk winding thru the Grove enhances the feeling of remoteness.

It was a cold morning to start and never really warmed up as the the day progressed.   Still, as you'll see, most of us toughed it out and painted the redwoods in the shade of the redwoods.  Fortunately, we were able to hold our Paintsites Holiday Pot-Luck at picnic tables in a sunny (but not warm) location.

There is no parking at the site proper though there is ample street parking with a bit of a walk down a steep hill into the Grove.    There is adequate parking at the adjacent Shoup Park with a pleasant, level trail connecting the two parks.   Facilities are limited to two Porta-potties

 For more information about this park, check out the  Los Altos Redwood Grove Nature Preserve website

Upcoming Paintsites:   See the SCVWS website or the January Newsletter for details.   Rain is forecast for early January so be sure to check the website and watch for Wednesday nite or Thursday morning e-notifications for cancellations or last minute changes in plans before heading out the door --- the last thing you want is to be the only artist at a remote Paintsite where Mountain Lions have recently been reported!

  • Thursday, January 4, 2018:  Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz OR, if the weather looks 'iffy' for the drive to Santa Cruz and there is a strong likelihood of muddy trails, then we'll paint at the Emma Prusch Farm Park in San Jose --- check the website and watch for the e-notification for our final decision.
  • Thursday, January 11, 2018:  Emma Prusch Farm Park, San Jose - lots to see and paint here so even if we end up at Emma Prusch on January 4th, it will be worth a return visit on the 11th.
  • Thursday, January 18, 2018:  Downtown Campbell
  • Thursday, January 25, 2018:  Charleston Slough, Mt. View 

The SCVWS Annual Holiday Party:   See the SCVWS website Home page links for details.   And remember to bring a 4" X 6" painting for the Painting Exchange.   A "Pear" or "Pears" (hopefully you'll be able to come up with a more creative title than that) is the theme of this years Painting Exchange and Community Painting.   We've already seen an example of a Pear painting by Lisha and it's something anybody would be happy to win in the Exchange.   But if you don't bring a painting (or produce one at the Community Painting station) you won't have a chance to win it.   Key Annual Party dates: 
  • Tuesday, January 9, 2018:  last day to RSVP for Annual Holiday Party
  • Saturday, January 13, 2018:  Annual Holiday Party, Saratoga

The Last Paintsite of 2017:   A wide spot in the paved portion of the principal trail, flanked by redwoods, near the Adobe Creek bridge was the most popular spot to set-up.   And the simple bridge a popular subject.
Helen's painting

Lisha and Helen

Lisha's sketch

Lisha's painting

Elaine G joined us for her 3rd Paintsite - hopefully she's hooked on Paintsites!

Elaine G's sketch

Elaine's painting

Susan B-G

Susan B-G's 1st painting

Susan B-G's 2nd painting

Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator Jane S.

Thursday Paintsites co-coordinator Marilyn

Marilyn's painting

Weekend Paintsites coordinator Alison's painting



Lorraine's 1st painting

Lorraine's 2nd painting

Broncha's painting looking back towards the park HQ.

First-time Paintsite participant Ling, a guest of Lisha, did this fine painting.   The pile of logs in the right-center are those trees which have been cut down.

Brad's painting of a few redwoods and some still brilliant deciduous trees on the park boundary.
We came, we shivered, we painted, we socialized, we ate (lots of excellent desserts I'm happy to say), we shared our artwork and went home happy knowing we'd put in an good day's work, the culmination of another fine year of Paintsites.    Bring on 2018!

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