Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Descanso Gardens

While noticing I had a few paintings for my last post, "Chinese Themes", I also noticed a few with Japanese themes.  Two of these are subjects from Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge, CA.  It's a gorgeous public garden, or rather a collection of gardens.  There is a Camellia Collection, Japanese Garden and tea house, Rose Garden, as well as woodlands, fountains and ponds.  Lots of squirrels, ducks, turtles, frogs, and I saw a family of Canada Geese on my last below.

The first small painting of a Japanese stone lantern was done for the online watercolor class instructed by Vinita Pappas in 2011.  The lesson was about mixing neutral colors and I thought the gray stone would be good to try.  I always take a photo of this lantern sitting in the dappled shade in a big patch of mondo grass.

This piece was also painted  for Vinita's online class.  She put together a video for Earth Day of paintings that we submitted.  I painted my piece from a photo I took while walking through the shaded woodland area.  I always like greens and purples together it seems.
The video is available to see on YouTube

The next painting was done when the plein air group went to Descanso in May.  This is the tea house.  There is a relaxing koi pond surrounded by Japanese maples and huge oaks.  It was very peaceful painting on a Thursday morning until bus-loads of pre-schoolers arrived.  I had fun answering their questions which were pretty cute.

I always like to take a photo of our big friendly plein air group.  This view shows most of the painters that day.  Brenda Swenson is talking about the watercolors.

It's the Canada Goose family crossing a bridge over one of the steams!  I heard about them from people all morning and was so happy to see them coming my way.  Painters, tourists, birders, and pre-schoolers didn't seem to bother them at all.


  1. Your watercolors are always so soothing. Maybe it's how you place your cools and warms? And always the light. Do you think you'll paint the goose family - how cute!

    1. Thanks so much Terry! Your comments are always so encouraging. The geese are so sweet. :-)