FiftyFive: The Shrek Donkey, Live


Continuing the ”Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” year long quest.

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The Shrek Donkey, Live, 8x10, oil on board
The Shrek Donkey, Live, 8×10, oil on board

 

OK, so there is no donkey in the painting, but here is the story…

When Dreamworks Animation was looking for a real life model for the irrepressible and quirky donkey in their upcoming animated movie Shrek, they did not have to go far. A miniature donkey named Pericles, better known as Perry, was in the nearby Palo Alto neighborhood of Barron Park. The Dreamworks animators fell in love with him.

The donkeys at Barron Park.
The donkeys at Barron Park.

Barron Park has been home to donkeys since the 1930s, when this pasture was part of the Bol farm. Generations of donkeys have been visited here by their friends for nearly 80 years. The tradition has been continued through the generosity of local landowners James Witt and John Klimp, over 25 volunteers who oversee their feeding and welfare, and gifts from the donkeys’ many supporters. There are currently two donkeys, Perry, and Miner 49er. They are taken to Bol Park each Sunday morning, where they can be visited by children while they graze on the lawn. You can watch a video of them here.

Just a few blocks away is Barron Creek which originates in the lower foothills of the Santa Cruz Mountains in Los Altos Hills, and courses northerly through the cities of Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, and Palo Alto, before joining Adobe Creek (painted in TwentyFive: Where Redwoods Thrive). It is the most modified creek in the Lower Peninsula Watershed, with 67% of its course classified as “hardened”, meaning that most of it is a concrete channel or underground culvert.

There is a stretch where it emerges from underground just east of Gunn High School in a little more natural, earthen channel. It provides a nice little setting and here I painted #55, about 3 miles from Stanford University. The creek had water in it, but I don’t think was really running much.

Just a couple pictures of the day–
Click on a thumbnail to open up a larger picture and slide show***

 

A panorama of the area–

Gunn HS is on the left, my easel in the middle, and car on the right.
Gunn HS is on the left, my easel in the middle, and car on the right.

 

You can volunteer or donate to the donkeys welfare with more information on their website here.
 


Click this link for a map of all painting locations along with each painting.
Click on this link for a Pinterest catalog of all paintings so far.


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The Painting of TwentyFive: Where Redwoods Thrive


Continuing the ˜Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley” year long project.


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I recently bought a GoPro camera and used it to take some time lapse photography of painting number TwentyFive.

5627 individual photos were taken at one per second for a total duration of 94 minutes. The photos were then sped up to 10 per second to produce the video. The camera was never stopped the entire time, even when I was talking with passersby.

TwentyFive: Where Redwoods Thrive


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

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Where Redwoods Thrive, 8x10, oil on board
Where Redwoods Thrive, 8×10, oil on board

One of the most beautiful and unique trees in the world are the redwood trees of the west coast of North America. The native habitat of Sequoia Sempervirens is only in the Northern California coastal forests ecoregion and several miles into Oregon. The redwood Hyperion Tree in Northern California is the tallest tree in the world. It’s close cousins, the Sequoia only grow on the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountains and the General Sherman Tree is (arguably) the largest in the world by volume. When I bought my house in 1984, six redwoods were planted, and due to various reasons only two remain.

Twentyfive was painted in the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve in Los Altos by Adobe Creek. Los Altos is one of the more affluent bedroom communities of Silicon Valley.
Click this link for a map of all painting locations.

14 mile long Adobe Creek originates in the Santa Cruz Mountains, flows through the cities of Los Altos Hills, Los Altos, and Palo Alto. It is joined along the way by three seasonal creeks in Los Altos Hills, Moody Creek, Purissima Creek, and Robleda Creek.

153px-Adobe_Systems_logo_and_wordmark.svg

The two founders of Adobe Systems lived along the creek and named their company after the waterway. In the 1980’s, Adobe revolutionized the printing business by teaming with Apple Computer and producing the first desktop publishing system. The rest is history, so they say. Adobe’s fingerprints are all over technology today… the PDF (Portable Document Format), Photoshop, Flash, Dreamweaver, to name a few. Virtually every image and every web page you see is touched by an Adobe product.

About the painting, although it is supposed to run year round, and we have had recent rains, Adobe Creek was virtually dry, so I used a little artistic license and added some water, although I am debating about taking it out. BTW, This is the third redwood depicted in this quest, the other two are Seven and TwentyOne.

Coming up:
A new twist for this quest…hint, think GoPro. Also, the afternoon’s painting where no art has gone before…think blimps and Google. On the upcoming painting schedule: Chavez and Korakuen.