Saturday, December 9, 2017

A Busy Park

A few weeks ago our Saturday paint-out group returned to Arcadia Wilderness Park.  My blog post from my first visit was Wilderness Park.  The park is usually very quiet on Saturdays but not on this visit.  Many Boy Scouts were there with adults for a weekend of camping.  They had tents set up and were out hiking on the trails.  It wasn't too hard to stay out of their way since there are many nice views to paint.  The light down a quiet path near the Nature Center I thought looked promising for a painting.  As I painted, the quiet path turned out to be fairly busy.  It was a good thing that my set-up was off to the side of the main walkway.   It's always fun to chat with the kids who are curious about a plein air painter.       

5" x 7" Watercolor

Monday, December 4, 2017

Lummis Cacti

It seems I've been returning to paint-out locations where we were last year at about the same time.  A year ago when we met at the historic stone Lummis House I painted a gouache piece, Lummis Garden.  This year the Shakespeare Center of Los Angeles was there, setting up for Macbeth.  The stone home's facade would double as a Scottish castle for the performance.  That would take place in the evening so no problem with our paint-out.  I've always admired the old and large cacti planted along the east fence.  I tried a small gouache piece of that view, and look forward to our next visit.

7" x 5" Gouache

Scottish castle stand-in

East side gates

North side

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

The Offramp

It's been over three years since I painted at Defender's Parkway in Pasadena.  On that visit I looked to the east and tried a watercolor of a distant glimpse of downtown Pasadena, Defenders Parkway.  Since this small park is located at the main intersection of the Tournament of Roses Parade, bleachers were already set up for the New Years Day parade so a view to paint in that direction was out.  There are miles of bleachers to be set up before January 1st. so they start early.  Checking the west side of the park for a view to paint, there is the Colorado Street Bridge entrance, foothills and hillside homes, and a freeway offramp.  I really liked a view across the freeway offramp to some eucalyptus trees and a distant hillside for my small watercolor.  While we painted, it was fun to see photographers coming by with clients for photos on the famous bridge.

5" x 7" Watercolor

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Grandview Point

A few weeks ago the paint-out group had Angel's Point in Elysian Park on the schedule.  Elysian Park covers some hills with wonderful views overlooking much of Los Angeles.  I tried painting there a few years ago but never found Angel's Point what with the maze of windy roads and smaller hills.  Unfortunately on this visit the gate to Angel's Point Rd. was closed.  No problem.  We found Grandview Point which has terrific views of downtown L.A. to the south, and the foothills to the north.  An ariel tramway was proposed to Grandview Point a few years ago.  I decided to paint a watercolor of the vista I could see through the trees and bushes from the hilltop.  Great views!

8" x 10" Watercolor

Los Angeles River with bridges

Metrolink Central Maintenance Facility,
historically Taylor Yard from the 1920's

Friday, November 17, 2017

Gates Closed...

A few weeks ago the paint-out group returned to the Los Angeles River Center and Gardens.  Unfortunately the gates were closed.  Many events, especially weddings, are held there because it's such a beautiful venue.  A wedding was going to be set up so we had to find a view to paint from outside the gates.  My previous completed painting was LA River Center.  On two other paint-outs we were told we had to leave in an hour for wedding preparations so I didn't finish my paintings.  Luckily there are many appealing views outside of the gates at this location.  The bougainvillea plants were bright with magenta flowers.  I decided to try a view of the hillside across the street which had some interesting elements that I like to include.  Hopefully the center will be open on our next visit.

7" x 5" Watercolor

Parking lot tree!

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Hollenbeck Ducks

It's hard to believe that it's been four years since I painted at Hollenbeck Park, Hollenbeck Park Return.  The Saturday paint-out group returned on a pretty day a month or so ago.  The park is quiet in the morning and I love the lake with the many park birds...pigeons, ducks, and geese.  As usual it took me a while to choose my view to paint.  The palm trees surrounding the park are so beautiful, and the remaining part of the old boat house is appealing.  I found a nice spot under a tree with a view across the lake, including many birds.  As we were finishing our paintings some people with food for the birds arrived which brought them all.

7" x 5" Gouache

Curious Egyptian Geese

Vintage postcard of the old boat house.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Descanso Rose Garden

In September I returned to Descanso Gardens with one of the paint-out groups.  I can't believe I haven't posted a painting from there for over a year, my last piece, Descanso Train.  Coincidently the Enchanted Railroad train caught my eye again for a few photos.  I decided to try a watercolor of the Rose Pavilion entrance, the center piece in the rose garden.  There is a huge willow tree next to the pavilion that I painted in gouache a few years ago and never posted it on my blog so I'll include it today.  Descanso is on the painting scheduled many views to paint there.

8" x 10" Watercolor

7" x 5" Gouache

Maintenance on the train

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Fair Oaks

The Saturday paint-out group returned to the Mountain View Cemetery in Altadena yesterday, appropriate for Halloween weekend.  We were there two years ago to participate in James Gurney's October Graveyard Challenge, October Challenge!  That challenge was a lot of fun to try, and only three colors were allowed to be used.

No limits this time but I didn't necessarily want to paint the headstones and monuments even though they are old and beautiful at this cemetery.  I was hoping for a great view of the mountains and the low morning light was wonderful, but nothing appealed in that direction.  I walked around.  There are also many terrific old trees.  Across the street, some men were working on a billboard.  There was some nice light on one of the gate pillars, but it would change quickly.  Finally the verticals of the power poles and palm trees just across Fair Oaks Avenue caught my eye.  A very peaceful place to paint.

5" x 7"


Friday, October 20, 2017

At The Library

Yesterday I returned to the South Pasadena Library with another paint-out group.  In August I painted the coffee house across the street, Corner Coffee.  On this visit I thought I would see how the library looked from the side, maybe even from across the street.  The west side didn't have any light on it and seemed too dark.  But the east side of the 1908 building had some nice, ever changing shadows from a tall pine tree.  The shadows really caught my eye... I found my view.  

8" x 10" Watercolor

Friday, October 13, 2017

Corner Coffee

In August the Saturday paint-out group met in South Pasadena at the library.  I sat next to a friend who was painting Kaldi, the coffee house across the street.  I painted a gouache piece of Kaldi a few years ago, Kaldi.  The historic 1908 library was designed by the same architectural firm as the Kaldi building, Marsh and Russell.  In 1904 the South Pasadena Bank, our first financial institution, opened in the building where Kaldi is today.  It's nice to see that some reminders of our city's history are still in use.  The sun and shadows caught my eye on the side of the early brick building so I gave it a try in watercolor.

8" x 10" Watercolor

My friend Barbara Field painting the library.