Prudhomme’s Paintworthy Places Within 3 Hours of Redding: Cedarville & Surprise Valley

Today we journey to the quaint town of Cedarville and spectacular Surprise Valley. It's a three-hour drive from Redding via Highway 299 East, past Alturas and over Cedarville Pass.

Surprise Valley is like old California was 100 years ago. The main town is Cedarville, a quaint ranching town with a couple of motels, cafes a bar, an old school mercantile, a modern clinic and even a book store.

It is also home to many notable writers and artists. In fact there is a well-known writer’s conference held there every year. It is also home to the Surprise Valley Hot Springs Motel where you can bask in a private natural hot pool right outside your room as you gaze into the heavens above.

Surprise valley is primarily a ranching area with beautiful old ranches framed by split-rail fences and huge poplar trees that turn a majestic gold in the fall. To the east lies the wild and mostly uninhabited desert in Nevada.

To the west lies the majestic Warner Mountains that rise up in a vertical wall framing the quaint ranches and lush valley below.

chuck prudhomme cedar painting

Painting by Chuck Prudhomme: Canyons of the Warner Mountains

The Warner Mountains are a smaller version of the eastern slope of the Sierras, but similarly majestic. They are forested with spectacular rock formations and canyons full of beautiful camping and fishing areas.

One can view herds of wild horses roaming the desert areas to the east of town. For a step back in time away from the rapid pace of modern life take that short day trip or an overnight trip to Cedarville and Surprise Valley and allow yourself to unplug surrounded by unequaled beauty.

You'll notice the painting I did in one of the canyons of the Warner Mountains. As you can see it's very reminiscent of the Sierras.

Once again, within a three-hour drive of Redding, there is so much natural beauty to be found and appreciated here in the north state. Cedarville and Surprise Valley are among them. Make the drive. You'll be glad you did.

Chuck Prudhomme
Chuck Prudhomme retired after 35 years of flying helicopters at a myriad of locations around the world to include Vietnam, Antarctica, Greenland, and South America. He also flew for the Coast Guard, various hospitals around the country and Cal Fire. After retiring in 2002 he took up art full time. He enjoys painting on location throughout the West. He is an oil painter who enjoys a representational impressionistic style of painting with a thick application of paint and tactile brush strokes. He is represented by 4 galleries throughout California to include the James Harold Gallery in Lake Tahoe. Chuck is also a featured artist, painting teacher at co-curator at O Street Gallery in Redding.
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7 Responses

  1. Ginny says:

    Thank you for your wonderful description of Cedarville and Surprise Valley.  I am sure your painting does both of them justice.

  2. Peggy Elwood says:

    Love that area but haven’t been for years..need to go!! Would love to see some mustangs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. I love this feature, Chuck. And I don’t know of another artist who not only writes about these beautiful places, but illustrates it in an oil painting. Thank you!

  4. Joanne Lobeski-Snyder says:

    Thank you Chuck for a great article.   This is a beautiful area….it’s easier to appreciate the beautify when you can be still and really look around and see how the colors change during the day and smell the scent of the sage.   Maybe that’s the best thing about plein air painting….you’re required to be in one place…with purpose.


  5. Russell K. Hunt says:

    Looks like the mountain the ski resort was on.

  6. Lori V says:

    Chuck, I’m interested in this painting or print. How can I find out about its availability?  Thank you!

    • Lori, to see more of Chuck’s work go to the O Street Gallery, 1261 Oregon Street in Redding (right next door to Woody’s). I’m sure he’ll reply when he gets a chance regarding this particular painting.

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