Monday, September 30, 2019

Natural Bridges SB, Santa Cruz, Thursday, September 26, 2019

Three arches carved by nature out of a sandstone cliff inspired the naming of Natural Bridges State Beach.  The outmost arch fell during the early 20th century, and the inner arch collapsed during a 1980 storm, leaving only the central arch.  Natural Bridges SB is home to one of the largest monarch butterfly over-wintering sites in California, and they were just starting to arrive.

It was overcast when we arrived, but it was not gloomy because we could see large areas of blue sky over the ocean and heading our way.  The winds were light, the temperature was in the high 60's, and the calming sound of the surf made Natural Bridges SB a delightful place to paint.  By the time we met for lunch, the clouds had dissipated and the sun was shining brightly.

For more information about Natural Bridges SB visit
The Wikipedia article about Natural Bridges SB has a 1970 photo of two remaining arches:
For more photos from our paintsite, see Edward Rooks's Flickr album:

Upcoming Paintsites:  See the SCVWS website or the October Newsletter for details:
  • Thursday, Oct 3, Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont
  • Thursday, Oct 10, Los Altos History Museum with potluck at member's home
  • Thursday, Oct 17, To Be Announced
  • Saturday, Oct 19, Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont
  • Thursday, Oct 24, Sawyer Camp Trail, San Mateo County
  • Thursday, Oct 31, Triton Museum Grounds, Santa Clara

Artists and their artwork:

The sound and action of the surf and the close view of the arch lured some of us out on the sand quite close to the surf:

Three artists with a good view of the last remaining arch

Susan B-G

Susan B-G's painting of the arch being hit by a wave


Lorraine's painting of the arch


Edward's painting of the arch has lots of action in the surf

Annie and Marilyn

Marilyn's painting of the arch

Annie's painting includes children playing in the sand


Lauren used permanent resist in her painting of the arch

Claudia was taking no chance with a sneaker wave and
chose a perch up on the cliff

Claudia's first painting of the arch

Claudia's second painting of the arch

The sun had not yet come out, and Tanvi said
the sand was cold on her feet.

Tanvi's first painting of the life guard station and the arch

Tanvi's second painting of the life guard station and the arch

Some of the artists discovered that the view was just fine in the picnic area near the parking lot and there was no need to walk down to the sand.

We welcome Santa Cruz resident Karen who was
painting with us for the first time. 


Indira's painting of the beach and battered cliffs


Matt's painting of the beach and battered cliffs


Cindy's painting of arch and artists


Sham's painting of the beach, cliff, arch, and many beach-goers

Elaine found beauty in another direction -- overlooking Moore Creek


Elaine's first painting of Moore Creek

Elaine's second painting of Moore Creek

Thank you, Edward, for leading the critique
We gave careful consideration to each painting.  Notice how the sun
is shining brightly by critique time

This pygmy nuthatch came so close we thought
he wanted to participate in our painting critique.
Photo by Edward Rooks.

We had been told that the monarchs had started to arrive for their over-wintering, so some of us had to check it out.

Inside the fence is the butterfly garden and across the road is the monarch
grove. There were many butterflies which brought out the photographers.

Monarch on milkweed in the butterfly garden.  Photo by Edward

The monarchs are starting to cluster in the eucalyptus in the monarch grove.
Photo by Edward

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Weekend Paintsites, September 21, 2019 Hayes Mansion

The Hayes family built a Queen Anne Victorian style 22,000-foot mansion in 1891 only have it to burn to the ground in 1899. Construction on the current Hayes Mansion began in 1903 and the family, except Mary Hayes Chynoweth (who died on July 27, 1905), occupied the mansion in time for Thanksgiving, 1905.  Just like the first one, this Mansion was built as a triple residence. Mary was to occupy the rooms on the second floor of the center portion, and sons Jay and Everis and their families had the East and West wings respectively.
The City of San Jose purchased the Mansion and the remaining 6.2 acres of land around it in 1985. The Mansion was converted into a conference center that opened in 1994 with the addition of a dining room and large meeting room. Additions in 1996 and 2002 provided a total of 214 guest rooms and suites and 33,000 square feet of event space.

The Bay Area's Mediterranean weather was perfect for our weekenders to enjoy a day of plein air painting the Hayes Mansion and Edenvale Park. 

Link to Hayes Mansion website

Alison's photo of the Hayes mansion
Alison's painting of the mansion
Uma's two-page monochrome sketch 
Mary M's painting of the mansion

Edenvale City Park--originally an exotic garden for the mansion

Next weekend paintsite

October 19, Ardenwood Farm, Fremont, CA

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Allied Arts Guild, Menlo Park, Thursday, September 19, 2019

Wealthy art lovers Delight and Garfield Merner created Allied Arts Guild beginning in 1929 to be a serene, beautiful workplace for artists and crafts people, having been inspired by craft guilds they had seen in Europe.  The land had been a farm, and they re-used some of the old farm buildings.  New buildings were of Spanish Colonial design, and the gardens were inspired by the gardens the couple had visited in Spain.  Some of the objects of art decorating the walls were brought from Spain, Tunis, and Morocco.  Ansel Adams was the Guild’s photographer of record and took the first interior and exterior photographs shortly after the buildings were completed.

In 1932 their interest in the Stanford Home for Convalescent Children (now Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital) prompted them to provide lunches at the guild for the benefit of the Home.  That association continues to this day and the Allied Arts Guild Auxiliary now operates the complex in support of the Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

We artists were delighted to enjoy this serene, beautiful workplace for the creation of our art.  The weather was beautiful and sunny and the temperature was very pleasant for painting en plain air.

For more information about the guild, visit:

Upcoming Paintsites:  See the SCVWS website or the September/October Newsletters for details:

  • Thursday, Sept 26, Natural Bridges State Beach, Santa Cruz
  • Thursday, Oct 3, Ardenwood Historic Farm, Fremont
  • Thursday, Oct 10, Los Altos History Museum with potluck at member's home
  • Thursday, Oct 17, To Be Announced
  • Thursday, Oct 24, Sawyer Camp Trail, San Mateo County
  • Thursday, Oct 31, Triton Museum Grounds, Santa Clara

Artists and their artwork:

Many artists painted in the Court of Abundance which is reminiscent of Spanish gardens with its splashing fountain and yellow and gold flowers.

SCVWS newsletter editor Tanvi painting in the Court of Abundance

Tanvi's painting of Spanish Colonial style buildings

Elaine is painting in a sheltered nook of the Court of Abundance.
Notice the beautiful artwork on the wall behind Elaine.

Elaine's painting of the Court of Abundance

XL painting in the sheltered nook with Elaine.
They both were serenaded with children's music from the
"Music Together" music class in the building beside them.

Brad painting in the Court of Abundance
Brad's unfinished painting of Court of Abundance

Sham's painting of Spanish colonial style buildings

Toni's painting of Spanish colonial style building

Joe in the walkway adjacent to the Court of Abundance
Joe's painting of the Court of Abundance

Some artists painted in the area with the original farm buildings.  The guild's iron and wood shops in this area were the first in operation because they were used in the construction of the rest of the complex.


Lorraine's painting of the old barn


Lora's painting of a vine-covered walkway

The complex now houses many shops featuring artwork of many genres.  The following artwork captures a bit of the diversity.

Claudia has four little paintings on one page.  Her sign lists some of the shops
at the guild.  The artists on the left are Indira and Sham.

Cindy's painting of fabric art


Indira designed a composite painting showing pottery
and flowers from the complex.

Mindy's painting of the some of the beautiful
and fragrant roses blooming in the guild

Thursday paintsite co-coordinator Marilyn

Jan C.
Jan C's painting of a garden walkway

We welcome Carol B., a friend of Jan C., who painted with us for the first time.

Jane P.

Although the end of September is not blooming season for many flowers,
the guild's gardens were still stunning thanks to the dedicated work of 
the guild's volunteer gardeners.