Fourteen: The Los Gatos Stream

Continuing the ‘Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley’ year long project. (Click here for complete info.)

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Los Gatos Creek originates in the Santa Cruz mountains, flows northward through Santa Clara Valley, and eventually feeds the Guadalupe River. As it flows through the small suburban town of Campbell, the creek feeds percolation ponds that are part of the groundwater recharge system built by the Santa Clara Valley Water District. Water held in the ponds seeps or “percolates” through the earth’s layers until it reaches underground aquifers.

The Los Gatos Plein Air group was out today painting around the creek and the percolation ponds, so once again joined them. We were very close to the intersection of highways 17 and 85. There were more painters than last Monday, around ten or so.

Click here for a map of all painting locations.

This is a wonderful place to paint! Within a hundred yard radius, you had your choice of a creek, ponds, mountains, a wide variety of trees, ducks, egrets, geese…you get the idea…all in a Silicon Valley suburb! It was somewhat overcast, but the sun would peek out frequently to light up the landscape.

I chose to paint on a pedestrian bridge that spans Los Gatos Creek. Below, a small dam backs up the water and creates a nice slow flowing spot in the creek. Others chose to paint the percolation ponds. Here are a few pictures of the day. You can click on any picture for a larger version.

Some painted along the percolation ponds.
Some painted along the percolation ponds.
Some painted from the pedestrian bridge.
Some painted from the pedestrian bridge.

My easel is on the left.

A view of the bridge I was painting from.
A view of the bridge I was painting from, along with the small dam on Los Gatos Creek.
An egret takes wing by one of the percolation ponds.
An egret takes wing by one of the percolation ponds.

Just beyond the pond you can see California Highway 17, otherwise known as the Santa Cruz highway.

Here is plein air painting number fourteen:

The Los Gatos Creek 8x10, oil on panel
The Los Gatos Creek 8×10, oil on panel

I chose to include the office building in the background to indicate we were right by an office park. The building was the offices of South Bay Development Company. In the middle ground, the flat top of the levee is the Los Gatos Creek Trail.

It was a great day painting, and I hope to join the group again next Monday painting Alamitos Creek.