Sunday, December 20, 2015

Stanford Sculpture Tour, Stanford University. Thursday, December 17, 2015

Has anybody else noticed that people these days don't seem to have much sympathy for plein air painters when a paintout is rained-out (as were our first two December, 2015 paintouts)?  In fact, when I complain, they say, with a smile, "Get used to it" or "Get over it".   Must be a drought / El Nino thing.    But that wasn't at all the case for our Stanford Sculpture Tour - just the opposite in fact as not only was there never a threat of rain, it was sunny and warm enough for some of us to regret having worn so many layers of clothing.

Thursday Paintsites coordinator Jane Saltman  made several reconnaissance trips to Stanford to evaluate and develop a Hike & Sketch itinerary which kept us on point for what could easily have turned into an interesting but unfocused wandering around the campus looking for sculptures and, ultimately, for each other --- it's a big campus and there's a lot to see.   Jane also gave us a brief description of the selected sculptures, their significance and their history.    Perhaps even more appreciated was her decoding of Stanford's byzantine parking rules and regulations.

For general information about visiting the University, see:

For more information about the Sculpture Tour (either guided or self-guided), see:

For information about parking, refer to:

Upcoming Paintsites: 
  • Thursday, January 7, 2016:   La Casa Grande, New Almaden
  • Thursday, January 14, 2016:   Wilder Ranch State Park, Santa Cruz - Hike & Sketch or Sit & Paint.
  • Thursday, January 21, 2016:   Cooley Picnic Area, Stevens Creek County Park, Cupertino
  • Thursday, January 28, 2016:   Bernal-Gulnac-Joice Ranch, Santa Teresa County Park, San Jose
For details, see the SCVWS website or the January Newsletter.

Remember:    The Annual Holiday Party is Saturday, January 16, 2016. 

Details and sign-up forms are posted on the SCVWS website and in the January Newsletter.   Everyone is welcome to display their 2015 plein air paintings (not just those done at Paintsites events) on the stage.   

First stop for Jane's "tour" participants:
The Burghers of Calais (Memorial Court):
A group of Rodin sculptures located in the entry court to the Quad honors a group of brave civic leaders of the French city of Calais during the Hundred Years War.

Some Burghers and some Artists.

Lisha's painting one of the Burghers

The White Memorial Fountain (The "Claw"):
Another magnificent sculpture with a sad story behind it:  dedicated by the parents of two brothers enrolled at the University who died in separate accidents.

Leslie commented that the advantage of painting this particular sculpture was that nobody could possibly tell how accurate our depiction was.
Leslie's painting of the "Claw".

Marilyn painting the White Memorial Fountain.

Brad's painting of the "Claw". 

Every look at the Claw revealed a new claw or fin sprouting out of the sculpture as the strong shadows alternately hid or revealed details of the work.   Brad

The Stanford Legacy (Totem Pole):

We pay close attention as Jane tells us about the story behind the Totem Pole - the sad tale of the Stanford's loss of their only son at a young age.

Jane, Marilyn and Liz work on their Totem Pole sketches and paintings.

Jane's painting of the Totem Pole.

Marilyn's sketch of the Totem Pole.
Leslie's painting of the Luna Moth Walk I sculpture - part of the artist's Origami series --- certainly an apt description if one can conceive of  folding a huge sheet of  3/4" thick steel. 

Painting in the Main Quad:

John, Tom and Dick and a couple of appreciative visitors in the Main Quad

Tom's painting of Memorial Chapel.
Dick's painting in the Quad looking west.

We found an uncrowded (actually almost deserted), sunny spot in the Quad for lunch and our "critique".  If we weren't so concerned about our parking time limits, we might well have stayed longer.