Sierra Road

Sierra Road winds from San Jose into the eastern foothills of Santa Clara Valley (otherwise known as Silicon Valley). I was out on that road watching the Tour of California a week ago, as you may have read in a previous blog. I was rained out for painting, so went back today. A storm had just cleared, and the skies were wonderful! I found a great spot overlooking the valley, and could actually see downtown San Francisco, looming over the bay 50 miles away. Mt Tamalpais was directly behind it. What a great day!

I ended up doing a small panorama, 8×16 inches in about 90 minutes. It turned out quite well, a real keeper. I even painted in a wisp of San Francisco way in the distance. Below are a few shots from my vantage point.

sierrard09a.jpg

sierrard09b.jpg

sierrard09c.jpg

Below is the painting. I will probably touch it up a bit, but doesn’t need much!

San Jose california

Win One, Lose One

The largest cycling event in America, view the 2009 Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding, no rx 750-mile course from Sacramento to Escondido from February 14-22, 2009.  This year is special because Lance Armstrong, the famous cyclist is in the competition.

In past years, I have motorcycled out on the California coast to paint, and then watch the race go by.  I would have gone to the coast this year, but we have been battered for days with a long series of rain storms (we need it, but the bikers have been drenched!!), so decided to meet the race close to home in San Jose.

The race actually passed within miles of my home, but I decided to go up a little further into the hills east of Milpitas to catch the race in a more rural spot.  The forecast was for 90% rain,  but the skies were clearing, so I took off.  I took my paints, hoping to paint and watch the race as before.  As soon as I got to my selected spot, on Calaveras Road just as it climbs over the foothills, it started raining, and continued until I left.

Well, I won one by watching the race, but lost one, as I was pretty drenched, and went home without a painting.  I may go right back after this storm clears, as I forgot how much that area of the eastern foothills of Silicon Valley is so scenic!

Rather than photos, I thought you might enjoy a short video–

Nick White , in Memoriam

A good artist & painting buddy of mine passed away last week.  I had known Nick White about 5 years and he was one of the nicest, no nonsense, down to earth guys I have ever known.  Nick was the leader of the Los Gatos Art Association plein air group, and it was primarily his effort, energy, and care which kept the group going.  Besides painting together in the local area many times over the years, we took several painting trips together, such as one to the Eastern Sierras in October 2006 to paint the fall colors.

There were no memorial services for him, but a group of friends gathered at his home today in remembrance. Below are a few photos of the gathering–

white09a.jpg
white09b.jpg
white09c.jpg

Next are a few photos of Nick during some of our painting adventures together.  I didn’t have any closeups of him, but mainly just pictures of him doing what he loved doing!! —

white09d.jpg
white09e.jpg
white09f.jpg
white09i.jpg
white09h.jpg

Lastly, here is a picture of Rebecca, Nicks wife at the recent Touch My HeART show.  Rebecca is also an artist and frequent paints with the group–

white09j.jpg

We will all certainly miss Nick & wish the best for Rebecca.

Touched by MyHeart

“It was a dark and stormy night”…yes it was when I drove over to the the Touch My HeART, here artists reception tonight.  An unusual California downpour drenched everything on my drive.  When I arrived at the event, I was amazed by the line out the door and the crowd to get in.  It was the biggest crowd I have seen at any of the Los Gatos charity events.

I donated 3 miniatures and they told me ahead of time I was honored with 2nd place…so, just a few picts.

heart09a.jpg

heart09d.jpg
heart09c.jpg
heart09b.jpg