Friday, October 28, 2016

Senior Safari - Happy Hollow Zoo, San Jose. Thursday, October 27, 2016

Taking advantage of the free Senior Safari for adults 50+ at Happy Hollow Zoo, we had a chance to sketch & paint wild (tho' not in the wild) animals for the first time at a Paintsite.  (Other than the wild boars at Joseph Grant County Park but sketching them was the last thing on our minds at the time.)   Intermittent showers didn't discourage us at all but did most of the animals as they were smart enough to stay in their nice dry little 'houses', caves, dens, burrows, etc.  (Not sure what that says about us.)

For information about San Jose's Happy Hollow Park & Zoo, see:
For information specifically about the Senior Safaris at the Happy Hollow Zoo, see: 
(Thursday was the last 2016 Senior Safari -- hopefully the program will restart in 2017.)

Upcoming Paintsites:

  • Thursday, November 3, 2016:  Japanese Garden, San Mateo Central Park, San Mateo.
  • Thursday, November 10, 2016:  Historic Santa Clara RR Depot, Santa Clara.
  • Thursday, November 17, 2016:  "Kids & Artists" - Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills.
  • Saturday, November 19, 2016:  "Kids & Artists" - Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills.
Details can be found on the SCVWS website and in the November Newsletter.

Ongoing activities of interest involving Paintsites regulars:

  • 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.   Ask the reception if it's OK to see artwork in the exam rooms.   The Hospital is open Mon. - Fri. 7:00 AM - 8:00 PM; Sat. & Sun. 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM.    The exhibit runs thru Sunday, October 30th.
  • Mike Granger has two paintings in the Fremont Art Association's 50th Annual Art Show.  The Association Gallery is located at 37697 Niles Boulevard, Fremont.   Hours are: Tue. 11:00 AM - 3:00 PM; Wed. 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM; Thu. 1:00 PM - 4:00 PM; and Fri. - Sun. 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM.    The show runs thru Sunday, October 30th.
  • Candy Yu is showing 17 original paintings & canvas prints at Foothill Presbyterian Church, 5301 McKee Rd. San Jose.   Call the church (408) 258-8133 before visiting to make sure the show will be accessible.   The show runs thru the end of December. 
Two red pandas, recently installed, are the 'stars' at Happy Hollow Zoo.  Beautiful animals, they only occasionally made forays out of their tree house for a spin around their enclosure.

Marilyn at the Meerkat habitat.  The little fellows, cozy in their underground dens, were not to be seen, or sketched most of the day.

Marilyn patiently waited for a Red Panda to come out and, when it did, made this quick sketch of it.

For a rainy Thursday morning when just seniors were in the zoo, the paths were unexpectedly crowded but, just outside the Zoo's perimeter fence, was the Meadow Amphitheatre ---  where there was room to spread out and set-up ...

Jane S., between a rock and a hard place, practices yoga while sketching.


Liz's painting of the 'Crooked House'.

Salinda and Dick.

Salinda's painting of the aptly named 'Crooked House'.

Dick's painting of the same.
Jenny and John in the Meadow

Meanwhile, back in the Zoo, in the rain ...
Iris and Tammy sketching Sophia the Jaguar.    Sophia was sleeping in her cave (that's what cats do best) and and all we could see of her was her head.

Leslie's painting of a Red-ruffed Lemur at his feeding dish.

It was on a branch when I started but went down after I got the sketch drawn so I had to use the one lying down to get the colors.   But it climbed up again as I was nearly done, so I was able to use it as a model again.    I had to put my umbrella up over me as I finished the painting to prevent any watercolor "surprises"."    Leslie

Dick, left, and Brad

Brad's sketch of the Red-ruffed Lemur.

Brad's quick sketches of Eloise the (pig-like) Collared Pecarry, a Ring-tailed Lemur, and the African Spurred Tortoise.   (Lesson learned: don't use a Tombow when it's raining.)

A case of role reversal:  Here an artist, Helen, stays dry in the enclosed aviary observation building while the birds flit about in the rain.
Sometimes the best part of a paintout is the least expected:   Because of the weather we decided to skip lunch and our critique.  But then, on the way out, near the Main Entrance is a colorful carousel we couldn't resist riding.  And riding, and riding ....

The Keep-Around Carousel.  (Rides were free.)
And sometimes a bunch of serious artists is transformed into a bunch of happy kids ...

Jane on an eagle and Liz on some hybrid horse/zebra like animal.  (Photo by Marilyn)

Here comes Liz and Jane again.
There goes Jane on her eagle.

Oops, here comes the eagle without Jane.  What happened to Jane?

 (Scroll down to find out*.)

from left, Brad, Helen and Marilyn.   (Photo by Jenny)
Marilyn on a hummingbird and Helen on an anteater.  (Photo by Jane S.)

Brad on a jaguar.   (Photo by Jane S.)

Jenny on a shark.

John on a fishing cat.  (He's too tall for the giraffe.)

*Don't worry about Jane - she got off the eagle without mishap.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Henry Cowell State Park - Roaring Camp & Big Trees Railroad October 20, 2016

Seven hikers sketched their way through the redwood grove and all the way to Cable Car Beach along the San Lorenzo River.  There we met a couple on horseback. One of the horses really wanted Jane's apple.  With the owner's permission, Jane gave her apple to the horse, and the horse loved it.  That was part of Jane's lunch, so we were lucky that our wonderful lunch hostess Jeanne unexpectedly provided a pot of delicious vegetable and sausage soup so Jane didn't have to go hungry. A few hardy pioneers crossed over to Roaring Camp and Big Trees Railroad to paint rusty boilers and retired rolling stock.

After painting and sketching we met up at Jeanne's beautiful home in Ben Lomond where we enjoyed our lunch around a couple of tables in her backyard.  We set out our paintings on her steps for our critique.  We were delighted to hear that she enjoyed having us there and would welcome us back.

Hike and sketch artists in the redwoods
Hike and sketch artists by the San Lorenzo R.  (Photo by Liz)

Hike and sketch artists Annie (left) and Marilyn on the trail. (Photo by Liz)
Allen's redwoods

Dalene's split rail fence

Helen's pen and ink with color sketch

Helen's view through the trees

Ji-eun's painting

Kaaren's pen and ink with color

Kaaren's grayscale sketch

Leslie's watertower

Lisha's sketch with color

Liz's grayscale sketch

Lois's redwoods

Marilyn's pen and ink with color redwoods

Marilyn's reflections in a stream

Mary's Roaring Camp Station

Mary's "Rusting at Roaring Camp"


Salinda's caboose
Dick sketches the caboose "close up"

Dick's caboose
Broncha's covered wagon
Jeanne and Broncha

Dalene, Lois, and Mary


Lisha, Annie, Helen, and Allen

Marilyn, Jane, and Liz

The Critique