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We are down to the final three paintings of the quest, and I will be releasing them as a trio series the next couple days.
First, is Morning…, a view of Randol Creek in the Almaden Valley area. I previously painted in this area with Fifteen: The Hard Drive Machine and Eighteen, Nineteen: Mercury Sheen and you can read a bit of the local history by clicking on those links. The creek has been dry all summer, but with a good downpour, it is now running just a bit, and I was out painting this right when the morning storm started to clear. Randol is a tributary of Alamitos Creek, which flows into the Guadalupe and on to San Francisco Bay, right in the middle of a newer suburban neighborhood at the southwestern edge of San Jose.
Trees are starting their fall color in the valley, as they did when I started this quest almost a year ago. Unlike last year, though, the creeks are much drier and some which normally run year round are completely dry.
Click on a thumbnail to open up a larger picture and slide show***
The basic scene I wanted to paint.
My easel at the creek. The skies were turning sunny.
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The native Ohlone Indians called it cinnabar. The early pioneers called it quicksilver. Today we call it mercury, the liquid metal. The southern part of Silicon Valley was once home of the most productive mercury mine in the US. Mercury was produced at the New Almaden mines from 1845 until 1976. It is used to extract gold from ore and was in great demand during the California gold rush years.
The names cinnabar, quicksilver, and mercury are seen everywhere and the local San Jose newspaper is still called The Mercury News.
The Los Gatos group was out again painting along Alamitos Creek in the general area I painted Fifteen: The Hard Drive Machine. Alamitos Creek flows right through New Almaden. The last five days we have been experiencing a Pineapple Express, a moisture drenched series of storms originating around Hawaii in the Pacific, so I expected the creek to be flowing quit readily, but, it was basically dry! Since this is the first real rain all season, it takes some time for the parched earth to saturate enough for the streams to flow and the reservoirs to start filling.
Here are a few photos of the morning’s work. You can now click on a thumbnail, then scroll directly from picture to pictureâ€”
An egret was enjoying the cloudy weather.
Some of the Los Gatos painters enjoying the outdoors.
My easel under the Almaden Expressway overpass.
Here is the painting. I edited out quite a few of the trees and brush as I wanted a clearer view of the skies.
I planned on staying in the area the afternoon for another painting, so after wolfing down a sandwich, I drove around the New Almaden area, and finally decided to join a ‘holdout’ from the mornings paintout, Teresa, who was painting the Almaden Valley at the corner of Harry Road and Camden Ave. I wanted to do more of a sky scene to document we finally got some rain! A picture from the afternoon painting session–
This is the first painting where the creek is not the main focus as I wanted to mark the first big storm of the season. New Almaden is in the distant hills and to the lower left is Arroyo Calero Creek.
These are the first paintings I have done in almost three weeks as I was in East Texas due to my father’s passing. I am still well ahead of schedule but plan on doing one more this week.