Twentythree: Fi-na-lee! Quimby!!


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

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Finally! More streams are running! We are in the midst of another series of storms bringing rain to much of parched California.

I have been patiently waiting for this particular creek to start running, as it is very special. The creek is dry much of the year, but flows once we start getting winter rains. Since moving to my home of 30 years in the Evergreen area of San Jose, I have driven by this spot near my house thousands of times (by calculations, easily over 9 thousand times). Each time I tell myself it would make a great little painting…but never painted it. I was too busy painting the Sierras, Lake Tahoe, Big Sur, Yosemite, and other ‘scenic places’ to sell in the art galleries who represent me.

This spot was the genesis of the idea to start this project to paint the Creeks and Rivers of Silicon Valley. Right at the corner of bustling Capitol Expressway and Quimby road, across the street from a major shopping mall, surrounded by tract homes, smack dab in Silicon Valley suburbia, is this little scene. It’s not spectacular, but with proper treatment, as good as scene as you can find to paint. Click this link for a map of all painting locations.

It’s Thompson Creek, and about half a mile from painting number One: It Begins. I painted it between two major storms hitting San Jose. The skies were gorgeous and again, besides painting the creek, wanted to include the stormy skies.

As soon as I started painting, a young Chinese couple came by inquiring about my painting, so they accommodated me by taking a few pictures.

You might notice some pictures have water running, and some don’t. Thompson Creek was a raging torrent for a few days, then the day I went out to paint, was dry again. I had to use my recollections from the day before to paint the water. While I was painting, a maintenance crew was walking the creek checking for what I don’t know. My guess is there is some flow control upstream, but not sure where.

Finalee, Quimby, 8x10, oil on board
Finalee, Quimby, 8×10, oil on board

As I was painting, it looked like the next front was coming in, loaded with rain, so I finished the last part in the studio. The next day, writing this, I drove by Quimby and Capitol, and Thompson Creek was again a raging torrent.

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