Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Virtual Paintout - Norway!

Every month I enjoy participating in The Virtual Paintout hosted by Bill Guffey.  For August Bill chose Norway for artists to look around using Google Street View.  Norway looked very beautiful and prosperous to me.  It was quite a change from the July Virtual Paintout in Cambodia.  I had a long list of possible views I found to paint.  I usually like to try two very different scenes, usually a cityscape and a landscape.  But this time I liked the coastline landscapes around the long fiords so much that I tried two views.  There was some snow to try as well.  I don't get to paint snow very often.  

5" x 7" Watercolor

5" x 7" Watercolor

Friday, August 26, 2016

Fletcher Avenue

This is another gouache piece painted in South Pasadena a couple months ago.  It was in May when we had some overcast "May Gray" days.  The Saturday paint-out group met on Fletcher Avenue.  It's a beautiful tree-lined street with some lovely houses to paint.  Our leader, Barbara Field, had a commission to paint one of the homes so we were walking the street looking for our views.  There were several homeowners asking what we were doing.  They were very accommodating when we turned out to be harmless artists.  I seem to like views that are between buildings, as I painted in Neighbors, another South Pasadena neighborhood.  I liked this view of a driveway with an orange tree, palms and utility poles.  I had a curious cat as my audience.

7" x 5" Gouache

Sunday, August 21, 2016


This plein air gouache piece was painted a couple months ago at one of our main intersections in South Pasadena.   I've painted it several times before.  Buster's and the Mission Gold Line Station are the main features at the road and track crossing.  My previous post was Goodbye Buster's.  Yes, Buster's is now an ice cream shop.  I sat across Meridian Avenue and the light rail tracks, facing the west side of the old Buster's brick building.  A new view for me, and it was kind of a quick piece.  Brenda Swenson had invited us to meet after painting at her local studio.  A fun morning!

5" x 7" Gouache

Mission Station

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Paint-Out and Demo!

On Saturday the paint-out group visited the Self Realization Fellowship Center on the top of Mt. Washington.  The extensive gardens are a beautiful, peaceful place for meditation.  On every earlier visit the weather has been overcast but it was sunny this time which gave the gardens a whole new look.  My post about my previous visit is a gouache piece, Self Realization Fellowship.

The distinctive gates catch my eye on every visit but I haven't found a good vantage point from which to paint them.  Since the location is on top of Mt. Washington, there is also a great view of downtown Los Angeles.  The main building is the three-story 1909 Mount Washington Hotel.  I decided to give it a try in watercolor because the light on it was so pretty.  Several of us painted from a large paved area which was the tennis courts at one time.

On Sunday I had another inspiring day watching a demo given by fellow watercolor artist Larry Cannon.  I really enjoyed the morning watching Larry paint a view of a Laguna Beach cove.  I also got some tips to put into use!

5" x 7" Watercolor

My first view in 2012, 11" x 8" Watercolor

Larry Cannon

Friday, August 12, 2016

Arboretum Terrace

I met one of the paint-out groups at the local Arboretum last week.  I've painted there quite a few times now but of course there are many many views for artists to paint.  On my previous visit I painted this watercolor,  Green Umbrellas.  On that visit I didn't have much time to spend on my painting.  I had more time last week but didn't venture into the various gardens.  This bright terrace shaded by a huge tree caught my eye.  The terrace overlooks the main lawn and fountains, with an amphitheater on one side.  The craftsman style corner lantern is a perfect addition.  Unfortunately there were too many ants bothering me!

8" x 10" Watercolor

Peacocks always hang around the cafe.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Dog Park

Last Saturday we returned to Crescenta Valley Park.  Hard to believe it's been almost three years since I painted there last.  I was ambitious and painted two pieces that day, Crescenta Valley Park.

It was another sunny Saturday but not too hot fortunately.  A party was being set up among the beautiful trees there.  A tempting subject to paint as I did last time.  But the dog park to the north with a hazy mountain view also caught my eye.  More and more kids and adults arrived for the party so I close the dog gouache.  It's a challenge to put into practice some of what I learned in the Mike Hernandez workshop I took in June.

5" x 7" Gouache

Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Greene Brothers' Only Bridge

I knew it had been a few years since I painted the Oaklawn Bridge in South Pasadena.  But three and a half years was a surprise.  Here is my watercolor of the bridge from 2013, Oaklawn Bridge.  The 1906 bridge is the only bridge designed by legendary architects Charles and Henry Greene.  South Pasadena is lucky to have this landmark.  It used to span the Santa Fe rail line that today is used by the light rail Gold Line, Los Angeles Metro.

I find painting the bridge to be deceptively difficult.  Its graceful curves and subtle accents all catch the light and shadows in interesting ways.  I'm always looking for strong verticals to compliment a horizontal subject like this bridge.  This location has plenty of utility poles as well as overhead wires and cables for the electric railroad.

8" x 10" Watercolor