Paintsite Details

Thursday paintsites

Weekend (Saturday) paintsites

General Information

Click on the map link on a paint site address below to go to Google Maps for that paint site location.

Thursday Paintsites

Thursday, July 11, Moss Landing Harbor District, 7881 Sandholdt Road, Moss Landing map

Since there was no paintsite on July 4, let's make a day of it for July 11 and go to Moss Landing. Lots to paint here, old shacks, quaint cafes and shops, boats and the harbor, Old Salinas River, sand-dunes and Monterey Bay, hopefully a sea otter, and not forgetting the Moss Landing power station.  Carpooling suggested due to distance from Bay Area.  We'll meet in the Harbor parking lot. Let's honor a tradition and have lunch together at Phil’s Fish Market and Eatery, and perhaps paint another painting after lunch.  (Of course, you may bring your bag lunch if you prefer.)  Bring exact change for parking fee; in 2015 it cost $7.

Check out our blog from our last visit to Moss Landing in 2015 when we painted both before and after our lunch at Phil’s.  It was really windy on the beach and we had to keep a tight grip on our palettes.

Directions:  From San Jose take Route 17 South towards Santa Cruz. Take Exit 1B onto Route 1 South/Cabrillo Hwy toward Watsonville/Monterey. After about 23 miles take a right on Moss Landing Road, first right on Sandholt, then right into Harbor parking immediately after the RV Park.

Using 101 South - drive south towards Monterey, Merge onto CA -156W and go 5 miles. Take CA-183 Exit toward Castroville. Turn right onto CA-183/N Merritt St. Continue onto CA-1N/Cabrillo Hwy. Turn left onto Moss Landing Road. Turn right on Sandholt, then right into Harbor parking immediately after the RV Park.

Moss Landing Harbor by Lois Stevens 

“Moss Landing Harbor” by Lois Stevens

Thursday, July 18, Stevens Creek CP Lakeshore Picnic Area, 11401 Stevens Canyon Rd, Cupertino map

This is our chance to paint Stevens Creek Reservoir because it is full for the first time in a long time.  The Lakeshore Picnic area has trees and picnic tables very near the shore.  This County Park has a $6 parking fee.

Directions:  From the intersection of I-280 and Foothill Blvd, take Foothill Blvd (which changes name to Stevens Canyon Road) south for about 2 miles and turn left into first entrance to Stevens Creek County Park, which is well marked by a sign.  Use credit card to pay $6 parking fee.  Continue south on Stevens Canyon Road for 1.2 miles, and shortly after the intersection of Montebello Rd on the right, turn left into the Lakeshore Picnic Area.

Thursday, July 25, Portola Vineyards, 850 Los Trancos Road, Portola Valley map

This beautiful vineyard has long views of near and distant hills and trees, winery buildings and home, barn, pond, swimming pool and cabana.

Directions: Take 280 to Palo Alto.  Exit on Alpine Road and continue south on Alpine Road (follow signs to Portola Valley) for 2.6 miles.  Turn left onto Los Trancos Rd and drive 0.5 miles.  The sign for Portola Vineyards will be on your left.  Note that street numbers are not sequential near the vineyards.  This private vineyard is opened specially for us, so do not arrive before 10 AM.

Thursday, August 1: Saratoga History Park, 20450 Saratoga-Los Gatos Road, Saratoga map

Saratoga History Museum is housed in a 1904 commercial building which was moved from Big Basin Ave. Next door is the historical McWilliams House, perhaps dating to the 1850’s.  Both have petite but attractive gardens. You may want to paint from across the street to get the best view. The museum is not open on Thursdays. Other historic buildings are nearby, including the Federated Church and the Saratoga Foothill Club.

Directions: From Highway 85 in Saratoga, take the Saratoga Ave exit, turn west toward the Santa Cruz Mountains and drive 1.9 miles to the intersection with Saratoga-Los Gatos Road (Hwy 9).  Turn left on Saratoga-Los Gatos Road and go just past the first block.  The buildings and parking will be on your right.  There is also parking behind the fire station across the street. Lots of close by restaurants and coffee shops with restrooms. 

Thursday, August 8: Don Edwards Wildlife Preserve, 2 Marshlands Rd, Fremont, 94555 map

There are views of the tidelands and the Coyote Hills.  Old “duck blinds” and walkways with bridges provide interesting subjects or sit in them for shade.  There are bayside and hillside trails that you may explore to find your best view.

Directions: From Highway 84 (at the east end of the Dumbarton Bridge), exit at Thornton Avenue. Travel south on Thornton Avenue for 0.8 miles to the Refuge entrance on the right. Turn right into the Refuge and follow Marshlands Road to the stop sign. Turn left into the parking lot, park near the visitor center.  Restrooms in visitor center which opens at 11 AM.

Don Edwards Wildlife Preserve by Dick Zunkel 

“Don Edwards Wildlife Preserve” by Dick Zunkel

Thursday August 15:  Guadalupe Oak Grove Park, 5982 Thorntree Drive, San Jose 95120 map

This 63 acre park has three kinds of oaks: Blue, Live, and Valley.  It also has some quite steep hills which offer views of interesting rock formations, the valley, Mt. Hamilton, and Mt. Umunhum.  This is not a hike and sketch, but you are welcome to walk along the trails to pick out your best view.  Or you can set up and paint near the parking lot.

Directions: From 85, take Almaden Expressway south and go 1.2 miles to McAbee Rd. Turn right on McAbee Rd and go 0.3 miles, right on Thorntree Dr and go 0.3 miles. Entrance to the park is well marked on the left.  There is a small parking lot inside the park or plenty of street parking.

Thursday, August 22: "Senior Safari Walkabout" at Happy Hollow Zoo in San Jose's Kelley Park map

There is a special start time for this paintsite - 9:00 AM - at which time both parking and admission to the Zoo are free for 'seniors' (50 and up).  Seniors get in free from 9:00 – 10:00 AM and can stay for the day, but don't be late because even seniors have to pay after 10 AM.    For those not yet fortunate enough to be a 'senior', the Zoo opens for general admission at 10:00 AM.   Admission costs $14.25, parking costs $10.00.  Once in, we will be able to sketch and paint the animals and the Park's other attractions and even ride the carousel.

Please go light on the art supplies:  carts and easels are not permitted inside the zoo.  We do have permission to make artwork if we keep it on our lap and make it 9" x 12" or smaller.

For those not fortunate enough to be a ‘senior’, note that the adjacent Japanese Friendship Garden is an option, but several of the ponds remain empty due to the 2017 flood damage.

Directions:  Please park in the old parking lot on Senter Road, NOT the new parking lot on Story.  Seniors get free parking in the Senter lot, and there are nice picnic areas there.

From 101 take Story Road west, left on Senter Road and pass the park on the left, U-turn at Phelan Ave, and continue back on Senter.  From 280 exit at 10th/11th streets, follow signs to Spartan Stadium, left on Phelan, left on Senter.  In both cases you will first come to parking lot for Friendship Garden on the right, then the parking lot for zoo on the right.

Thursday, August 29: Villa Montalvo, 15400 Montalvo Rd., Saratoga map

Once the grand estate of Senator James Phelan, Villa Montalvo is a lovely mansion surrounded by formal gardens with arbors and statues.  We will have the opportunity to view an art exhibit on the grounds, “Threads, Weaving Humanity”.  For information about the exhibit visit

Directions: From Hwy 85 exit at Saratoga Avenue, and drive south 1.8 miles to downtown Saratoga. Turn left at light onto Hwy 9 / Saratoga - Los Gatos Road. Drive 1/3 mile and turn right onto Montalvo Road. Continue approximately 1 mile to Montalvo grounds.   Drive past Lot #1 and park in any of the lots closer to the villa.  Meet on the lawn in front of the villa.

Please note that some web-based mapping services may direct you to turn onto Mendelsohn from Hwy 9. Do not use these directions, it will lead you to the Exit Gate which is one-way the wrong way. The Main Gate is accessible from Montalvo Road only.

  Weekend Paintsites  

 Saturday, July 20,  Webb Ranch, Portola Valley 10:00 - 1:00

2720 Alpine Road, Portola Valley, CA 94028 

Webb Ranch is a plein-air artist's paradise. Nestled in the Portola Valley, this working ranch features horses, farm machinery, barns, and beautiful valley scenes. Best of all, it's berry season, where artists can paint, or pick their own. Don't miss this special paintsite.


Important! The speed limit within the Ranch is 10 mph. There are children and horses throughout the ranch.



 Saturday, August 17 Guadalupe Oak Grove Park 5982 Thorntree Drive, San Jose 95120  map

The weekend paint site is doubling the fun of the Thursday group and  will provide another opportunity to  paint the  beautiful oak savannah.  

Guadalupe Oak Grove Park protects one of San Jose's last remaining groves of heritage oak forests. Some of the oak trees are over 300 years old. The park is home to three oaks, Blue Oak, Valley Oak and Coast Live Oak. Guadalupe Oak Grove Park's unique features is the flourishing Blue Oak trees growing on the valley floor as most Blue Oaks grow only on steep slopes.

The lands of Guadalupe Oak Grove Park were once home to the Ohlone, the California indian tribe of Santa Clara Valley. The park offers another unique feature of grinding holes thought to be from the Ohlone processing of acorns. It is a quiet park, consisting of two types of terrain. There is a flat area with trails through the shady oak forest and some more open hills with spectacular 360 degree views. It is home to Blacktail Deer, Red-tail Hawks, Great Horned Owls, Red-crested Woodpeckers, squirrels, jackrabbits, skunks and other wildlife.  Website

Directions: From 85, take Almaden Expressway south and go 1.2 miles to McAbee. Drive  Turn right on McAbee and go 0.3 miles, right on Thorntree  Drive and go 0.3 miles. Entrance to the park is well marked on the left.  There is a small parking lot inside the park or plenty of street parking. We can meet by the picnic tables.


 General Information

The usual start time for the paint sites is flexible.  The organizers will be there from around 10:00 a.m. and will always carry cell phones (numbers in Member Directory for Marilyn Perry, Jane Saltman) if you have trouble locating the group at the site.  Alison Turner leads our weekend paintsites. Often people stay until early afternoon, having taken a packed lunch to eat at the site.  After lunch we share our paintings and pictures are taken (if desired) for posting on the paintsite blog.

In case of rain or other unforeseen events:  Cancellation will be announced on and on the home page by 8 AM on the day of the event.  Cancellation will also be announced by email to members, but the timing of SCVWS paintsite email cannot be guaranteed.