Friday, February 28, 2014

March 3, 2014 (Monday) Paint-Out at Arboretum at Rancho San Rafael, Reno

We are having waves of short storms passing through.  Latest forecast says Monday will be no rain, so we will stay close to home in Reno.  Lake Tahoe folks - you may want to stay on your side of the hill as well, since it is hard to predict what the roads will be like.

Date:          March 3, 2014 (Monday)
Time:          11:00 am
Place:          May Arboretum in Rancho San Rafael Park, Reno
Parking:       In front of the Arboretum
Meeting Place:     In the parking lot in front of the Arboretum - when you first drive into Rancho San Rafael Park, turn right into the first parking lot.
Amenities:       flush toilets, water, paved main trails and sandy arboretum trails, free parking

Here is a map of the arboretum trails.  You can also access the map via this link:

What to bring:
  • camera
  • painting gear
  • drink and snack or lunch
  • carts work here
  • folding chair if you want
  • cell phone
  • brim hat
  • appropriate clothing for the temperature
  • hiking boots if you want to go off trail
  • umbrella if the sun comes out
What you can see and paint:
  • arboretum trails have different kinds of plants and trees
  • creek with a tangle of cottonwoods
  • marshy areas of creek with cattails
  • groves of trees
  • arbors and gazebos covered with vines
  • May Museum buildings and outbuildings from former ranch
Other amenities:  Rancho San Rafael also has a dog park, a pond, an old ranch pastures.

San Rafael Regional Park is at 1595 N. Sierra Street. The main entrance from N. Sierra Street is west of the UNR campus and takes you onto San Rafael Drive, which runs along the south side of the park. From this street you can access the main features, such as the May Arboretum, May Museum, the playground, and various picnic areas. The park office phone number is (775) 785-4512.

Link to Arboretum Society:

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Notes from the last paint-outs

We artists have been pretty lucky weather-wise on Mondays and Tuesdays!  Here is a quick recap on our last paint-outs:

Oxbow Nature Area:  What a pleasant surprise!  This is a lovely spot!  We had quite a good turn-out, too....Nan, Carol G., Emma, Jack Phillips, Chris, Karen and myself.  There were different little spots to paint and we all spread out.  Here is a picture of my place with Nan and Chris:
 Hope Valley:  We really had a window of mild weather on this "iffy" day.  Great turn out:  oops, lost my notes... let's see if I can remember everyone:  Emma, Carol, Nan, Karen, Thaleia, Bonita (was there but I never saw her), Evelyn, Monika, Linda, and Bill.  Hope Valley is such a big area and we all spread out.  Below is the view Nan and I chose to view.

Bartley Ranch:  It was a gorgeous day.  Lonalee and I were there....where were you????  I painted the covered bridge and Lonalee painted a tractor.  While I was painting an old-timer and his wife came over to talk.  I told him how Bartley Ranch had a special meaning to me.  Years ago when the Bartley family lived here I boarded my horse here.  The man said "then I must-of shoed your horse for you!  I did all the shoeing at Gus Bartley's!".  Wow, then we talked about how the ranch was and he and his wife told me many funny and interesting stories of the place.  It was the best part of the day for me!

Spooner Lake:  It was a nice day but the weather was changing while we were there.  A storm was just beginning to come and it got a little breezy about the time we were leaving.  Present were Monika and her playful doggie entourage, new painter member Carol Karch from Dayton, and myself.  It was a holiday Monday and there were hikers, snowshoers, a family sledding, and cross-country skiiers.  Here is the view I chose to paint:
Eagle Falls:  Another gorgeous and mild day!  Present were Emma and myself and Lonalee (who came later) and three new painter participants!  Welcome Denise Jenkins from Dayton (she painted the Markleeville Plein Air Event last summer with me), Cindy Ralson (from Ohio on vacation here for a few weeks), and Ginny Schankerman from South Lake Tahoe.
The view I had from the top of the falls:
Serene Lake:
This paint-out was an unpublished event, partly because it was a "scoping-out" day for future paint spots.  Present were Monika, Linda and I.  This location will be fun in the spring or summer.  It is a pretty little lake lined by cabins above Donner Lake, back and beyond Sugar Bowl Ski Area.  This lake has little islands with trees and a view of Castle Peak.  The lake is iced over and covered with snow.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

February 25, 2014 (Tuesday) Eagle Falls, Lake Tahoe

Eagle Creek (google search image)


Date:          February 25, 2014 (TUESDAY)
Time:          11:00 am
Place:          Eagle Falls parking lot, near Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe
Amenities:    Bathrooms at Eagle Falls and Emerald Bay turn-off, but it is unknown at this time if they are open
Meeting Place:      Eagle Falls free parking area outside of the fee parking lot.
Free parking outside of Eagle Falls Trailhead parkinglot (google search image)

Sorry - I haven't been there to scope it out at this time of year.  Since it is a dry winter, the likelihood of parking is good since there was less snow to move away.  Also, there is more likelihood that many areas are easier to walk to for good photos and/or painting.

Forecast:  At this time they are talking partly cloudy and mild temps for the lake

What to bring:

  1. camera
  2. painting gear
  3. drinking water and snack or lunch
  4. Money for paid parking area if that is all there is available
  5. cell phone
  6. chains for your car?  Maybe not necessary, but you should have in car
  7. winter clothes and layers, gloves, waterproof snow boots or hiking boots, warm hat
  8. brim hat for sun, sunglasses, sunscreen
  9. Snow shoes and poles?????
Hazards:  In shaded areas there will be ice!  Please tread carefully.

What you will see to paint:
picture from google search

  • views of Emerald Bay - check out the other parking pull-offs
  • Views of snow around Lower Eagle Falls and maybe it will be frozen (?)
  • Views of snow covered mountains
  • Possibly Vikingsholm - people do hike/snowshoe/cross-country ski down the trail to Vikingsholm
Picture from google search
From Reno:  take 580 south to Carson City, at the end of the freeway take Fairview Exit and turn Right onto Fairview.  Turn Left at old 395 So Carson Street, turn Right on Highway 50.  Stay on 50 going through South Lake Tahoe for a total of 27 miles.  Turn Right on CA-89/Emerald Bay Road.  Go 8.5 miles.  Trailhead and parking is on your Left.

If you are new or want me to look for you, please email me at


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

February 17, 2014 (Monday) Paint-out/snowshoe at Spooner Lake State Park

photo from article on 1st snowshoe of year 2014

Date:          February 17, 2014 (Monday) (Holiday - President's Day)
Time:          10:00 am (it is supposed to be a warm day!)
Place:          Spooner Lake State Park
Meeting Place:     Parking lot inside the park - there are two loops in the parking lot - look for Monika and I
Parking:       Park Fee envelopes at the entrance, plenty of parking
Amenities:    toilets.  Cross-country ski concession is no longer there. I don't know if rangers will be there
Pets:          Normally pets are not allowed.  I don't know if it is enforced in winter or not.

Optional:  Cross-country skiing to paint, snow shoeing to paint, hiking to paint, or paint close to your car.

What to bring:
  • Paint gear
  • Backpack, sled or means to carry said gear
  • camera
  •  sunscreen, sunglasses, hat
  • appropriate snow clothes and boots - dress in layers
  • water and snack or lunch
  • your means of getting around - snowshoes, cross-country skiis, snow boots, appropriate poles
  • cell phones - however they don't work there very well.
Where to go and what to paint:

  1. The loop around the lake is easy and you don't have to go far or go all the way
  2. The trail to Marlette lake is a dirt road and you don't have to go far to see a beautiful meadow on your left.
  3. The service road that runs from the parking lot through the meadow should be nice as well.
  4. If you are able and willing, you can go to the old Spencer's Cabin.  It is probably a half a mile or so up the Marlette trail, or the service road goes to it as well.
It is recommended that if you go far, take someone with you.

Directions:  From Reno:  Take 395/580 south to Carson City, exit at the end of the freeway and go right on Fairview Drive, Left on Virginia Street (old 395), Right on Highway 50 to South Lake Tahoe.  At the top of the pass, turn right on 28.  Make your first right into the park - Spooner State Park.

From Incline:  Take 28 south.  Before you get to Highway 50, turn left into the Spooner Lake State Park.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

February 11, 2014 (TUESDAY) Paint-Out at Bartley Ranch, Reno

Please note different day of the week and different meeting time:
Date:          February 11, 2014 (TUESDAY)
Time:          11:00 am
Place:          Bartley Ranch, 6300 Lakeside Drive, Reno
Parking:       Several locations within this regional park
Meeting Place:    Parking lot of the School House.  Then we can scope out where we want to paint and move our cars if necessary
Amenities:       Toilets, drinking water, ranger station, picnic tables, hiking trails

What to paint?  Although there are old buildings and farm equipment you can try your hand at, there are also a pasture and riding arena.  If you are lucky a horseman may be practicing there.  Just be advised that horses can be scared of easels.  Ask the rider first or observe from a distance.  From the school house and other places there are hiking trails up towards windy hill - for an overlook view.  Some areas were burned in a fire a few years ago, but other areas were untouched.  There are cottonwoods on the far side of the pasture.  There is a creek that runs under the covered bridge.

What to bring:

  • painting gear (a cart will work here)
  • painting umbrella (might be sunny)
  • hat with brim, sunglasses
  • camera
  • drinking water and snack or lunch
  • cell phone
  • appropriate clothes for the temperatures
Directions:  From the intersection of South Virginia Street and McCarran Blvd.:
Take McCarran Blvd. west
Turn Left on Lakeside
Go about .6 miles
Turn Left at the Regional Park Sign and then right into the park via the covered bridge

More Links:

Saturday, February 1, 2014

Addendum to Monday, Feb. 3 paint-out in Reno

The weather is colder now.  I should have set our meeting time to paint for later.  In case someone doesn't get this message, I will still show up at 10am.  If you DO get this update, you can arrive later when you think it is warmer for you.  The high is expected to be about 44 degrees, partly cloudy, and breezes 10-20 mph.

People in the MidWest and East will probably think we are wimps!  If you are in the sun and in a protected place you can be OK if you are dressed warm enough.  The really hardy painters from the Minnesota area use hand warmers in the top of their gloves and in their boots on top of their feet.  Some will have all their paints laid out before they go outside their car.  Then they go back to their car to warm up.

If it is too cold to paint, you can always use it as a hike and take photos of potential painting locations!