Saturday, January 5, 2019

Alum Rock Park, San Jose, Thursday, January 3, 2019

Alum Rock Park, California’s oldest municipal park, was founded in 1872.  It got its name because rocks near its entrance which contain the mineral thenaradite were mistaken for alum. The majority of the park’s 720 acres are steep slopes, but we stayed in the flat Mineral Springs area around  Upper Penitencia Creek.  In the late 19th century through the 1930s the park was famous as a health resort for its mineral springs, and a railroad linked the park to downtown San Jose until 1932.  Stonework grottos were built around many of the mineral springs and several stone bridges were built across the creek.  People now come to the park for hiking or picnicking, but the stonework remains.

Brrrrrr was it cold!  This is the coldest temperature I can recall at the start of a paintsite.  Based on my vehicle’s thermometer, I say it was 40-45 degrees when we arrived and warmed up to about 50 degrees.  Previous paintsite visits to this park have been hikes, and the trails looked very appealing because the North Trail was in brilliant sun whereas the steep canyon where we were was mostly in shade.  Finding sunshine was mandatory for most artists, but there were a few of us who were really bundled up and who stayed in the shade all day in order to get our desired view of the creek or stone bridge.

For more information about Alum Rock Park visit:

Upcoming Paintsites.  See the SCVWS website or the January Newsletter for details.
  • Wednesday, Jan 9,  Last day to sign up for Annual Holiday Party
  • Thursday, Jan 10, Bernal Gulnac Joice Ranch, San Jose
  • Thursday, Jan 17, Los Altos Redwood Grove
  • Saturday, Jan 19, Annual Holiday Party with theme "Under the Sea"
  • Thursday, Jan 24, Location to be announced
  • Sunday, Jan 27, 1-3 pm, Santa Clara Fire Museum
  • Thursday, Jan 31, Downtown Pleasanton and CWA Exhibit
  • Thursday, Feb 21, Winchester Mystery House
Shows & Exhibits by Paintsites Regulars:
  • 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.   John's painting "Red Barn" won the 2nd place award. The show runs through January 31, 2019.    (Official website:
  • Tiangong Liu's painting "Low Tide" has been accepted in the California Watercolor Association's 49th National Exhibition to be displayed Jan 11 - Feb 16, 2019 at the Harrington Gallery, Firehouse Arts Center, 4444 Railroad Ave, Pleasanton.  We will view this exhibit on January 31.  (Official website: )
  • Elaine Goldstone’s Botanical watercolor paintings are currently on display in the 1st annual Artist Showcase at the Pacific Art League in Palo Alto  - 668 Ramona Street, Palo Alto, CA 94301 (650) 321-3891 Monday - Friday 9AM to 5PM, Saturday from 10AM to 2PM. Elaine's Hachiya Persimmon painting sold on the 1st night! The show runs until January 28, 2019.

Also coming up: The SCVWS Annual Holiday Party: See SCVWS website Home page links (left of the green seahorse) for details.   And remember to bring a 4" X 6" painting of a sea shell for the Painting Exchange.

Artists and their artwork:

Lisa, Annie and John painting from the
parking lot

Annie's painting of eucalyptus and sunlit hillsides
painted from the north side of Penitencia Creek

Benay painting on the south side of the creek

Benay's painting of the old stone bridge near the visitor's center

Brad's painting of the stone bridge on the upper stretch of the creek

Candy sketching from the north side of the creek

Candy's sketch of an eucalyptus highlighting
the blue green foliage and orange bark 

Dick's painting of the creek flowing near the upper bridge

Dory (new to our group) holding her first
 painting done with Paintsites, a view from
Alum Rock Falls Rd


Indira's watercolor of the lower bridge and rocky pool below

A closer look at the eucalyptus by Jane S


John's unfinished painting of the eucalyptus from the parking area

Lauren's painting of the upper bridge and buckeye tree

Dory and Lisa 

Lisa's watercolor of the Eucalyptus trees on
Alum Rock Falls Road

Liz's painting of a live oak that survived
 the recent wind storm

Dick and Salinda bundled up and ready for painting in the cool
canyon breezes

Salinda's painting of the Penitencia Creek near the
Mineral Springs


Sham's painting of the lower bridge 

Janice standing on one of the park's historic bridges


Marilyn's painting of the old stone bridge near the Mineral
Springs trail

While picnicking we saw this bobcat strolling on the
volleyball court.  He seemed to know this was his home and
to feel quite comfortable there even with people around.

Alum Rock Park group photo.  We are still bundled up despite the bright sunshine.

Second group photo at Alum Rock Park

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