Up Quimby

Quimby Road runs a couple blocks by my home, in San Jose, CA, zig-zags straight up the eastern foothills of Silicon Valley, offers spectacular views of Silicon Valley, then goes over the central foothills, joins Mt. Hamilton Road, eventually San Antonio Road, and finally you can get to central California, or the San Joaquin Valley.

I have often loved driving this road. Many think California is ‘so crowded’, but in minutes I can be up this road and never know there is a huge metropolis nearby…which is very typical of the San Francisco Bay area. From almost anywhere, within minutes, you can leave the city behind.

I have driven my motorcycle and/or car over much of this area. Today, the Amgen Tour of California came over some of these back roads I have traveled on many occasions on my Harley. I watched a few minutes of it live today, and recognized much of the road and vistas.

Today had a pretty gloomy forecast, but it turned wonderful. Big cumulus clouds hung over the entire area. I had been wanting to paint a particular scene on Quimby Road, maybe 3 miles up from my house, so went up and did it. The weather was a little brisk, but felt great. I wanted to do a late afternoon work, to catch the falling sun.

When I got there, three Turkey Buzzards were doing quick work on some road kill right by where I wanted to paint. I tried to tread gently, but all but one scared away. The others soared overhead while I painted, and occasionally I heard a whoosh as they swooped by…duh…maybe they didn’t want me there!

What a glorious scene! With the sun back lighting the huge cumulus clouds, and casting a warm glow in the urban setting below, you couldn’t get much better than that.

I spent about 90 minutes on the 12×16. I especially wanted to capture the valley and the waining sun. Below are a few shots of the day. Once again, I’ll post a better picture of the painting at a later date. I wished I would have taken a picture of the Turkey Buzzards hanging around nearby…maybe next time.

Below is the scene when I started–


I waited until the clouds cast the exact shadow I wanted in the foreground to take this picture:


Below is my easel with a partially done painting

As usual, I’ll post a picture of the finished painting in a couple of days.

1 thought on “Up Quimby”

  1. Pingback: Donald Neff Weblog » Blog Archive » “A Breath of Plein Air”

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