Sunday, May 26, 2019

Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills, Thursday, May 23, 2019

Frank and Josephine Duveneck, the original founders of Hidden Villa, were deeply committed to the environment and to multicultural awareness.  They purchased the property in 1924, opened the first hostel on the Pacific coast in 1937, created the first multi-racial summer camp in 1945, and provided housing for interned Japanese Americans in 1948.  Frank Duveneck founded the Loma Prieta Chapter of the Sierra Club in 1933 and the founding members met in the Duveneck home.  Today the legacy continues as Hidden Villa provides community programs and school tours during the school year, hosts summer camps, and uses its organic farm, wilderness, and community to teach about the environment and social justice.  Frank Duveneck's father was a master en plein air artist, and the Hidden Villa staff is very supportive of the SCVWS paintsite artists.  Some of the leaders of the school tours encouraged their children to ask questions of us artists, giving us an enjoyable opportunity to chat with the children.

The weather was perfect for the 18 SCVWS artists who had a hard time choosing from the many possible subjects to paint:  the beautiful Duveneck home, the "White House" which was originally a stage coach stop, the "Tin Barn", the "White Barn", the hostel, many smaller farm buildings and implements, lots of water in Adobe Creek, or the animals.  The Jersey cows were very cooperative subjects and the sheep were semi-cooperative subjects.  The sow had given birth to 11 piglets just 4 days earlier, so we were not allowed in the pig barn, but we could catch glimpses of the nursing piglets inside the barn.  The Hidden Villa staff gave us permission to use their photo of the piglets outside the barn so you can see how cute they are.  A most adorable nearly 3 month old Jersey calf, Clifford, made his first appearance after lunch.

Thank you to Lindsay Hedgecock, Hidden Villa Community Programs Coordinator, for graciously hosting us and giving us a well received tour of the Duveneck home.

For more information about Hidden Villa visit:

Upcoming Paintsites.  See the SCVWS website or the May and June Newsletters for details.
  • Thursday, May 30, Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda, San Jose
  • Thursday, June 6, Lake Elizabeth, Fremont
  • Saturday, June 8, Fredericks Field, Almaden Valley
  • Thursday, June 13, Casa Grande, New Almaden
  • Thursday, June 20, Maryknoll Retirement Residence, Los Altos
  • Thursday, June 27, Sunnyvale Historical Museum

Artists and their artwork

Hidden Villa pasture and barn

Morning grooming in the cow pasture

Sheep pasture
Sow and many of her 11 piglets outside the barn.
Photo by Nicole Carbone, Hidden Villa Staff Member

Jersey calf Clifford was born on March 1.  He didn't make an
appearance until our painting day was finished.


Edward's painting of the Duveneck house

Broncha's painting of the cow pasture surrounded by Los Altos Hills


Cindy's painting of grazing cows

Cindy's second painting of the cows in the pasture


Kaaren's painting of the shadows on the shed's window and wall

Kaaren's second painting 


Liz's watercolor sketch of rusted farm tools



Wendy's sketch of the Duuveneck house and garden

Mary at the entrance to the Duveneck house


Helen's sepia toned painting of the stage coach house

Leslie's watercolor of the Duveneck house patio 


Matt's painting of the view of the stage coach house and
 the surrounding foothills



Tanvi's watercolor of the youth hostel 

Lorraine's painting of a shaded trail beyond the farmyard


Mindy's watercolor sketch of a Hidden Villa sheep

Mindy's watercolor of the garden poppies


Susan J

Jane's watercolor of the cow pasture and tin barn

Caroline's painting of a volunteer in the garden

Artists viewing their work

Monday, May 20, 2019

Weekend Paintsites, Calero County Park, Rancho San Vicente entrance May 18, 2019

Rancho San Vicente showcases some of the best views of the South Bay countryside preserved in Calero County Park and the foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains. Despite rain throughout the Bay Area and predictions of more to come, two of our intrepid artists ventured to the countryside. Still, with the help of Doppler radar our artists basked in brief sunlight working quickly to press paint to paper.

Link to Calero County Park

Next weekend paintsite, June 8, Fredericks Field

Approaching clouds will cause the grass to be bright green again.

New plantings will restore the valley with native trees.

Alison's ink and watercolor of the hillside with Mt. Umunhum in the background.

Alison and Marilyn F.

Saturday, May 11, 2019

Nola's Iris Garden, Prevost Ranch, San Jose, Thursday, May 9, 2019

Nola's iris garden
Thank you, Nola, for hosting us at your beautiful iris garden again this spring.  We were there at peak bloom and there were so many irises blooming beautifully, it just took one’s breath away.  If one were to stroll around a bit, one found more iris beds and more iris beds!  And all of this beauty had the lovely background of the East Bay Hills with Mission Peak and the San Francisco Bay in the distance.  The sky remained overcast with excellent visibility which made for no sharp shadows but very comfortable painting conditions.  For additional information on Nola’s Iris Garden, check out the following link:

For additional photos of Nola’s Iris Garden, please refer to Edward Rooks’s Flickr album:

Upcoming Paintsites.  See the SCVWS website or the May and June Newsletters for details.
  • Thursday, May 16, San Jose Municipal Rose Garden
  • Saturday, May 18, Calero County Park, new entrance at Rancho San Vicente
  • Thursday, May 23, Hidden Villa, Los Altos Hills
  • Thursday, May 30, Duc Vien Buddhist Pagoda, San Jose
  • Thursday, June 6, Lake Elizabeth, Fremont
  • Saturday, June 8, Fredericks Field, Almaden Valley
  • Thursday, June 13, Casa Grande, New Almaden
  • Thursday, June 20, Maryknoll Retirement Residence, Los Altos
  • Thursday, June 27, Sunnyvale Historical Museum

Open Studios in May

Many of our Paintsite regulars will be showing their work in their own studio or sharing a studio with other artists.  Open Studios takes place the first three weekends in May, 11am to 5 pm.  A booklet with locations and examples of work is available at most area art galleries and on line at

Artists and their artwork:

Nola, our gracious hostess

More beautiful irises from Nola's garden (photo by Edward)

View from the deck looking northwest towards the East Bay Hills


Annie's watercolor of a Degas's Dancer

Brad and Bill

Brad's watercolor of a purple iris

Bill painting from the deck overlooking the fabulous view of garden
and East Bay Hills and Bay

Bill's painting of garden irises and the distant SF Bay

Broncha (photo by Edward)

Broncha's view of the iris garden looking south

Cindy (photo by Edward)

Cindy's watercolor of the multicolored iris beds


Edward's painting of the iris garden and the East Bay Hills


Elaine's painting of a cluster of irises

New Paintsites member Grace D's painting of a single iris

Helen (photo by Edward)

Helen's watercolor of a group of irises

Indira (photo by Edward)
Indira's painting of irises

Sham's painting of iris garden

Paintsite co-coordinator Jane in the garden's lower terrace
(photo by Edward)

Jane's painting of the iris garden looking south

Lora's painting of a purple iris

Paintsite co-coordinator Marilyn painting from the deck

Marilyn's watercolor of an iris set against the
the East Bay Hills 


Matt's painting of the view looking west across the ranch property

Salinda's painting of irises, foothills, and horses on the nearby hill

Tanvi, Mindy (back left) and Annie (back right) surrounded by a sea
 of iris blooms (photo by Edward)

Tanvi's watercolor of iris blooms

Mindy's watercolor of an iris and bud

Toni (photo by Edward)

Toni's painting the garden and foothills

Close-up of an iris bloom and cucumber beetle (photo by Edward)

"Smells like purple" (photo by Edward)

Artists display their artwork