I've been lucky to be able to paint with two plein air groups recently at Olvera Street. It's in the oldest part of downtown Los Angeles and naturally part of its history. The Avila Adobe, 1818, the oldest residence still standing in Los Angeles is there. During the first half of the 1900s Olvera Street went through some tough times, but has been preserved and restored, designated a state historic monument in 1953. Olvera Street is really a named alley, not a true street. It's a tourist attraction today, the historic, old brick buildings lining the very colorful vendor stands filled with Mexican goodies for sale.
I was excited to see Olvera Street on the paint-out schedules. What a fun and picturesque walk down the street past all the vendor's offerings, under the old grapevine. But since it's such a big tourist attraction (complete with tourist buses and school buses) I was a little concerned about painting there. I don't take up much space with my watercolor gear so I was open to seeing where, and what, I could paint. The Plaza de Los Angeles is next to Olvera Street and turned out to be the best place to paint. There are a few of the colorful vendor stands in the plaza area. On one paint-out I chose to paint a watercolor view to the south, and then the opposite view in gouache the next visit. Visiting the end of October means lots of festivities for the Day of the Dead Mexican holiday. On Saturday the plaza had music and dancing for us to enjoy while painting. One of my most memorable paint-outs!
|8 x 10" watercolor|
|5 x 7" gouache|