Twenty: The Trestle Charity

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

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Willow Glen Trestle
Willow Glen Trestle

1921 was the year the trestle was built. In it’s day the rails carried cargo wrapping around the southern end of San Jose and up over the trestle I painted in number Seventeen: The Eggo Team.

Although the railroad tracks are long gone, it has stood the test of time until recently when the San Jose city council voted to tear it down and put in a new steel trail bridge for the Lost Gatos trail system. Citizens rose up and are demanding the trestle be kept and restored. I agree. The 90 year old trestle is solid, and the Friends of the Willow Glen Trust have now sued the city to stop it’s destruction. You can find some local reports and opinions here, and here. They also have some Facebook pages here, and here. There is a charity event coming up on February 22.

For the last year or so I have wanted to paint the trestle, and figured I better do it now if it is torn down. So here is number twenty in my Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley. I visited the site about a year ago, and along the creek, it was pretty junky, with a few homeless encampments nearby. This is only a few miles from “The Jungle”, the largest homeless camp in the US. I’ll save commentary on that for another day. Today, most of the junk was gone right around the trestle I think from volunteers cleaning the area up.

A few pictures. You can now click on a thumbnail, then scroll directly from picture to picture—

Here’s the painting–

The Trestle Charity, 8x10, oil on board
The Trestle Charity, 8×10, oil on board

For better effect, I took out about half of the pylons, otherwise it would have looked like a jumbled mess. This is the only painting I did not complete entirely on site. With some of the noise coming from the homeless camps, I felt a little unsafe being there all alone, so finished about half of it in the studio. My heart goes out to the truly homeless, but many are drug addicts or other problems, and the camps can be dangerous places.

Oh, almost forgot…that’s Los Gatos Creek!

Click this link for a map of all painting locations.

Addendum. Oops…forgot to mention the Save the Trestle website here.

5 thoughts on “Twenty: The Trestle Charity”

  1. thanks for posting!

    Lovely painting — although the engineer in me is cringing at omitted pilings and the lack of vertical support!

    Wonderful concept for a series of paintings, too! There are some lovely streams in the San Jose area: the Penitencia at Alum Rock Park, the Los Gatos by Vasona, the Guadalupe downtown and also as it approachs the Bay, …
    Yup, it could take a year to paint them all!

    ~Larry
    a Friend of the Willow Glen Trestle

  2. Larry, thanks for the note. I didn’t even think about the engineering aspect of it…haha…it’s called ‘artistic license’.

    I have already painted most of the places you mentioned and the others are on my list. BTW, if you know of any little out-of-the-way places, let me know! You can see a map of all locations so far by clicking on the last sentence of the above blog post, and if interested look back in this blog as I have a story on each painting.

    Thanks again,
    Donald

  3. Beautiful work – I love the way you capture nature in out of the way places in the San Jose Area. Thank you!!

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