Friday, August 3, 2018

Downtown Los Altos & Post-Paintout Pot-luck. Thursday, August 2, 2018.

Paraphrasing Julius Caesar: "We came, we painted, we ate, then we ate some more".   And that's the  story of our Downtown Los Altos + Pot-luck Paintsite in what's become something of an annual tradition.

Downtown Los Altos has many varied charms -- not least of which is what I imagine a sophisticated yet casual European ambiance (but with perfect Bay Area weather) must be like.   Paintings completed (ever noticed how much faster you work when there's a culinary reward waiting?), we made the short drive to SCVWS member Karen Druker's lovely home for a lavish pot-luck.

After painting, eating, socializing, and sharing our work, some of us visited the fine Los Altos History Museum to take in the current show of historic Los Altos scenes by, among other local artists, Nancy Troup, Jane Saltman and Tanvi Buch.   Well worth a visit.

Thanks to Thursday Paintsites Coordinator Marilyn for working out the menu details and making sure everybody got where they were supposed to be and when. 

And finally, from all who participated, a huge THANK YOU to Karen for hosting us again.  Part of what made the day she orchestrated so special was that we seldom get the opportunity she offered to get to know each other in such casual, comfortable circumstances:  sharing good art and good food invariably leads to new friends.

August paintsites: See the SCVWS website or the August Newsletter for details.

  • Thursday, Aug 9, 2018:  New Almaden Historic District, San Jose
  • Thursday, Aug 16, 2018:  Quail Hollow Ranch CP, Felton
  • Saturday, Aug 18, 2018: New Almaden Historic District, Casa Grande Museum
  • Thursday, Aug 23, 2018:  San Jose History Park, San Jose
  • Thursday, Aug 30, 2018:  Quarry Lakes Recreation Area, Fremont
Shows & Exhibits by Paintsites Regulars:
  • John Ediger's award-winning painting, "The Old Adobe", is included in the current California Watercolor Association's "The Color of Summer" Exhibit at St. Mary's College of Art in Moraga.  The show runs thru August 26, 2018. (Official website: )
  • Watercolors by Jane Saltman, Nancy Troup, and Tanvi Buch are featured in the Los Altos History Museum's "Paint the Town ll: Echoes of the Past " show which runs from July 5 to October 7, 2018.  Tanvi's painting of "Voyageur du Temps" received the Honorable Mention award.  Check the following website for plein air related lectures and events during August.   The Museum is located at 51 S. San Antonio Rd, Los Altos.  Hours are Thu - Sun: noon - 4 PM.   Admission is free. (Official website: )
  • Annie Haines and John Ediger each have two paintings in the California Watercolor Association's "Explore Color / Discover Color" exhibit at Dominican University, 50 Acacia Ave, San Rafael.   The show opens August 5, 2018, and runs thru January 31, 2019.    The Reception and Awards Presentation is Saturday, August 18, 2018 from 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM.  (Official website: )
  • Rich Bloechl's watercolors are currently exhibited in the Campbell Library, 77 Harrison Ave, in downtown Campbell.  The artwork will be "up" in August during normal library hours. (Mon - Tue: 1:00 PM - 9:00 PM;  Wed: 10:00 AM - 9:00 PM; Thu - Sat: 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM; Sun: closed.)
Meet the Artists:
New SCVWS members and first-time Paintsite participants Sham (left) and Indira

Thursday Paintsites Coordinator Marilyn

Benay (left) and Lisha.   Lisha has painted with Sham and Indira before so was able to give them a warm welcome.

Los Altos is pretty close to Caroline's home grounds so she was able to join us for awhile before heading off to band practice..




Jan C.


Janice S.



Our Sketches & Paintings:
The arrangement was to meet in the Los Altos Veterans Community Plaza at the can't-be-missed  Clock and spread out from there.   But the big Clock is such an interesting subject that many of us didn't stray far ....

Alan set-up in the Plaza opposite the Clock so he was able to add an element of perspective  to his painting.
Liz's painting of the Clock, colorful banners on a street lamp, and a fellow artist.
Joe's painting of the Clock, plaza, and fellow artists.

Caroline's painting of the Clock and some stylish Downtown Los Altos shoppers.

Constance applied techniques developed in her recent "cafe" sketches experiences in London, England, in this sketch of the Plaza and the Clock  ....

... and in this painting.

John set-up across Main St. from the Plaza for this painting of the Clock.

Marilyn's detailed painting of the Clock ...

... and Brad's sketch of the same.

Carol also painted in the Plaza but was more interested in the lovely blooming street trees than the Clock.

A couple of short blocks from the Plaza is "Satura Cakes" whose bright yellow sidewalk umbrellas were again a popular subject...
Lisha's painting of the Satura Cakes outdoor dining scene.

And Marilyn's, here employing a new technique, of the same subject.

And there was yet more in Los Altos to see and paint ...

Kaaren's 10 minute sketch of folks enjoying themselves at an outdoor cafe.
And, while exploring Main St., Sunny came across "Davino Florist" and painted this fun, colorful flower cart..

Kaaren's painting of another colorful building and an outdoor cafe scene.   (Note: if you look for this building on Main St. you'll find Kaaren rendered it far handsomer than it actually is.)

Brad's sketch of John painting the Clock.   (But, in this instance, unlike Kaaren's painting above, I think everybody will agree that the subject is actually far handsomer than the depiction.   Or maybe most people will agree.   Or maybe somebody will agree.  Or anybody? )

The Pot-Luck at Karen's:  Having worked up a serious appetite painting in downtown, most of us arrived at Karen's lovely home right on-time and dug right in.

Thursday Paintsite Coordinator Marilyn (left) and our hostess Karen

Lunch in the dining room
Also lunch in the dining room but from the other side of the table.

And lunch on the deck

Regrettably no photo was taken of the salad & entree island counter before we swarmed it.   These are the leftovers!   But don't worry, nothing went to waste --- everything went to good homes.
Same for the dessert sideboard.   This is after we attacked it.   Looks like there's still quite a few treats left over --- true, but you should have seen the spread before we loaded up our dessert plates.
So much good food and fun has a price --- somebody always has to clean up after the party is over.   We left Karen to do most of the work but Liz lent a helping hand.
Show & Share:

Some of our artwork lined-up for all to admire.

And here are some of the appreciative admirers.

Bonus: A short virtual tour of the Los Altos History Museum's "Paint the Town ll: Echoes of the Past" exhibit highlighting watercolors by Tanvi Buch, Nancy Troup and Jane Saltman,  (The other artwork isn't too shabby either.)    Take the tour: enjoy the artwork and get a little Los Altos history lesson.

Los Altos History Museum  (note the banner to the left of the entrance.)

Jane's Hidden Villa "White Barn" painting in banner size.

Entrance to the exhibit

Description of the exhibit
Publicity postcard

Wall with Tanvi's paintings.   Note the Green Ribbon ... that's the Honorable Mention award presented to Tanvi.



Same White Barn --- last time you'll see it in this posting so study it closely.