Thursday and Weekend Paintsites Details

General Information:     

The usual start time for the paint sites is flexible. The organizers are usually there at 10 AM. Often people stay until early afternoon, having taken a packed lunch to eat at the site.  If COVID restrictions are not in place, then after lunch we will share our paintings. Artists who wish to have a photo of their painting on the paintsites blog are asked to take the digital photo themselves, crop, and email to

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 paint site email cannot be guaranteed.

Be aware that government COVID-19 restrictions are subject to change at any time. Always check the Society website and your email before venturing out to a paintsite.

Pandemic Guidelines for scheduled Paintsites events : To keep our members and guests as safe as possible during the COVID-19 era, we must change how we do things. Some of our sites have limited visitor requirements. When they do, we will post this information in the paintsite detail with instructions. Participants must wear masks and observe the 6 ft. rule. We will not be taking photos of paintings on site. Please take your own photo and submit to according to our submission guidelines.

Take a digital photo of your painting and crop it as you would like it to appear.

Thursday, April 1: Villa Montalvo, 15400 Montalvo Rd., Saratoga


Villa Montalvo by Tanvi Bush

Once the grand estate of Senator James Phelan, Villa Montalvo is a lovely mansion surrounded by formal gardens with arbors and statues. 

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 lot #3 and #4. No fooling, the restrooms are now open!

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

Thursday, April 8: Daniels Nature Center/Alpine Pond, Skyline Ridge Preserve, Skyline Blvd, Redwood City map


The David C. Daniels Nature Center is located on Alpine Pond, a good location to sit and paint. In addition to the short trail that loops around the pond, there is a 2 to 3-mile loop trail leading from the center taking you through forest, chaparral and grassland habitat. Dress in layers because it could be much cooler at the top of the ridge than down in the valley.

Want to paint Bay Area Wildflowers Virtually, here are some links to get you started:

Directions:  Skyline Preserve shares parking with the Russian Ridge Preserve, so don’t be confused if directions take you to the Russian Ridge Parking. Drive south (up the hill) on Page Mill Rd until it intersects with Skyline Blvd at the top of the ridge. Continue across Skyline Blvd, drive only a few yards, and turn right into the Russian ridge parking lot. Leaders will wait at the parking lot from 10:00 to 10:15. Walk through the pedestrian tunnel to the Daniels Nature Center and Alpine Pond.

Thursday April 15: Nola’s Iris Garden, Prevost Ranch and Gardens, 4195 Sierra Road, San Jose map

We have planned our mid-April visit to Nola’s to capture the blooming bearded iris at their peak, and to add to the incredible display of color is a fantastic view of the East Bay hills.  

The gardens are open for plant sales in the springtime only.

Directions: Highway 680 to Berryessa Road East exit. Take Berryessa Road east to Piedmont Road. Turn left on Piedmont to 1st traffic signal and turn right onto Sierra Road. Continue up the hill on Sierra Road 2.1 miles. After passing a vista point on your left continue 50 yards and the driveway will be directly in front of you. The views are not taxing! 


Thursday, April 22: Rancho Cañada del Oro OSP, 4289 Casa Loma Rd, Morgan Hill map


Rancho Canada del Oro lupine by Edward Rooks

Celebrate Earth Day as we will strive to capture this beautiful South Bay Open Space Preserve in its springtime glory. The parking lot is adjacent to a meadow surrounded by trees and is sometimes full of wildflowers. There is also a paved, ADA and wheelchair accessible Llagas Creek Loop Trail (0.5 miles) for a very short hike. The preserve has a restroom but no water, so bring your own water.

Directions: GPS ALERT: Not all GPS systems are accurate in this area. Only trust your GPS if its directions match these directions. From US-101 S in South San Jose take exit 373 to Bailey Ave, turn right (west) on Bailey Ave and go 3 miles. Turn left onto McKean Rd and go 2.4 miles. Turn right onto Casa Loma Rd and go 1.7 miles, and the preserve will be on the left. The road will narrow before you reach the preserve.

Thursday, April 29: San Jose History Park, 635 Phelan Ave, San Jose map

This 14-acre site contains 32 original and reproduction homes, businesses, and landmarks, including the electric light tower and Southern Pacific Railroad Steam Locomotive.

Directions: From 101 take Story road west, left on Senter Road, left on Phelan. From 280 exit at 10th/11th streets, follow signs to spartan stadium, left on Phelan. in both cases follow Phelan avenue to the parking lot at the end of the street where parking costs $6.


Where: Cummins Iris Garden, 165 Canham Road, Scotts Valley map

When: Saturday, April 17, 2021


The Cummins adventure began in 1984 with 6 rhizomes, and today their garden is home to more than 800 varieties of iris. In addition to the stunning iris blooms, there is an endless collection of curiosities, including birdhouses, farm machinery, gardening equipment, and also, a barn, sheds, and a little creek running across the property with a small bridge. It's just delightful! The property was once a stage stop between Santa Cruz and San Jose where the stages changed to a fresh team of horses to go over the hill. The old house dates back to the late 1840’s and has stood during two major earthquakes, 1906 and 1989.


Directions: Take the first Scotts Valley exit (Exit 5) off Highway 17 South, Scotts Valley Dr. toward Granite Creek Road. At the traffic signal, go straight across Scotts Valley Drive to Glenwood Drive. Follow this road just over a mile and take Canham Road on the right. Property is the first one on the left.

Join us virtually:  See how beautiful Cummins Iris Garden is by visiting

Weekend Paintsites "To Continue Virtual"

Weekenders, join in the fun and submit a photo of your painting each week for the blog. See the guidelines above and submit a photo your plein air (preferred) painting to 

 General Information