Artist's Reflection

In creating the art for The San Tomas Aquino/Saratoga Creek Trail, I observed, sketched, and researched the wildlife along the trail so I could create the art in a realistic style. Therefore murals were designed to complement the flora, fauna and habitat near the creek and become a story wall interpreting the natural environment. My vision was to make the art a tactile experience for all trail users as well.

The walls are textured and smooth, rounded concrete surfaces, with 1- 1/2 inch relief. Children enjoy touching the animals and birds and the art provides an entertaining and educational opportunity to learn about the environment.

When I worked on the drawings and then later sculpted them in clay for mold production, I always kept in mind that I wanted sight impaired trail users to experience the wildlife they could not see. As I worked on the clay I wanted to bring the animals, plants and birds to life so I sculpted them in actual size.

The murals display ecosystems which include brackish marshes, grasslands, fresh water streams and riparian woodlands with the richness and variety of wildlife. Some of the animals and birds included among cattails and tules are: Western Burrowing Owls, White Pelicans, Cliff Swallows, Great Blue Herons, Great Egrets, Snowy Egrets, Belted  Kingfisher, Black Crowned Night Herons, Pied Billed Grebes, Mallard Ducks, Gray Fox, Red Tail Hawk, Jack Rabbit, Western Pond Turtles, CA Quail, raccoon with crayfish, dragonflies and butterflies.

The Western Burrowing Owl mural is special for me because I took the original photos of the owls in 1986 behind our home where we were trying to save their habitat. I was able to draw the owls from the photos. Few owls remain now near the trail site and the species has almost vanished from the San Francisco Bay area due to loss of habitat. 

I hope the murals will inspire respect and appreciation of the area wildlife.
Linda Patterson


e-mail us:

All images on this site are protected by U.S. Copyright Law.