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Artists at Calero County Park sketched by Candy Yu

The group at Calero County Park, by Candy Yu

SCVWS offers its members the opportunity to paint and/or sketch at outdoor sites in the company of other members. By painting together we enjoy the company, security, and conversation of other painters and inspire each other to improve our skills. This was the original purpose for the formation of the Society in 1967 and the tradition has been maintained over the years resulting in a huge inventory of wonderful paint sites. These include historic houses, barns and churches, private gardens and public parks, lakes, streams, woodlands, mountains, the Bay, boat yards, the beach, etc., etc.

The sites are generally easy to access, have toilet facilities, and shade. They are also chosen seasonally to take advantage of blossom times or fall colors.

Plein Air painting at Coyote Hills
Plein air painting at
Coyote Hills

Thursday Morning Group
We meet on Thursdays, generally all year round. We also add in occasional extras such as visits to exhibits, weekend, and Hike and Sketch events.  For more information or questions please contact the Thursday paintsite leaders at:  paintsites@scvws.org

Equipment and Supplies

arrow Download list of suggested equipment and supplies

Presentations on Plein Air Painting by SCVWS Members

An Introduction to Plein Air Painting with PAINTSITES (a recorded Zoom Session)

Uma Kelkar's articles explaining her choices of brushes and colors

Dick Zunkel's Powerpoint on Plein Air Painting 

Edward Rook's Youtube Series on Sketching and Painting Nature


Hike and Sketch
The Hike and Sketch events are fun trips involving some gentle hiking to sketch from vantage points not normally visited on the regular paint sites. Examples include hikes at Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, Coyote Hills, Rancho San Antonio, Alum Rock Park, and more. Also, members can join the paintsites email list to be advised of extra events, which do not always appear in the newsletter.
Sikh Gurwara by Brad Santos

Casa Grande by Tanvi Buch

It's important to know....Start time at each paint site is flexible unless indicated.The organizers will be there from around 10:00 a.m. Often people stay until early afternoon, having taken a packed lunch to eat at the site, so any time that you can arrive is OK. If the paint site is large, for example, the San Jose Historical Museum or a street venue, it is recommended that you call one of the organizers, so that a specific meeting place can be arranged. Also, be sure to check the Paintsites details page for cancellations before leaving if the weather looks uncertain, particularly in winter.

 The Organizers:

  Jane Saltman

  Alison Turner 

  Lora Cattell

paintsites email

Vasona Lake by Lisha
Vasona Lake - by Lisha Wang


Vasona Lake by Marilyn Perry
Vasona Lake - by Marilyn Perry


Posting Artwork
To view artwork from previous paint sites, check out our blog archive. As of May 2022 Paintsites members transitioned from posting their artwork photos on the blog to a Facebook private group. For information about the FB private group contact paintsites@scvws.org