Friday, September 21, 2018

Curtin House

A few Saturdays ago we painted at the Pasadena Museum of History which is on the grounds of the Feynes Estate.  I haven't painted the main entrances of the Feynes Mansion since it looks difficult and a little uninspiring to me.  The Curtin House is also on the grounds which I painted over five years ago, Another Museum!  I've always loved the quiet courtyard in front of the house and the pretty bird bath fountain.  I tried it again in gouache this time.  A man who lived at the house turned the fountain on for us.

5" x 7" Gouache

Monday, September 3, 2018

South Entrance

In May one of the paint-out groups visited Central Park where there is a wonderful view of the landmark 1887 Castle Green Hotel.  On my previous visit I painted the buildings lining Raymond Avenue instead of the hotel, Central Park View.  To me the ornate hotel has so many floors and details that I usually get lost with my painting.  On this visit I decided to try more of a close-up of the bottom few floors with the park rose garden in the foreground.  The sun finally came out on our initial cloudy day.

Watercolor 8" x 10"

Some of the Friday paint-out group

Thursday, August 30, 2018


Who knew that the Virtual Paintout for September 2017 would be the last one until August 2018?  It was a surprise to me when Bill Guffey, the paint-out's creator and host decided to go on hiatus.  It was only supposed to be for three months but turned out to be eleven months.  I know Bill needed a break and some time off.  I missed the paint-out.

I was very surprised when my monthly check of the website announced the return for August.  The U.S. Virgin Islands sounded like a wonderful place to see via Google Street View.  The U.S. Virgin Islands include St. Thomas,  St. John, and St. Croix, a lot of area to check out for a painting spot.  I found these islands really interesting to see.  I know I won't ever be there in person.  I happened to go down Strand Street where the picturesque Hotel St. Croix is located.

7" x 5" Watercolor

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Lake Flowers

Last month we returned to Echo Park since it is Lotus blooming season.  They are so beautiful that we can't miss visiting to check out the flowers.  On my previous visit, last year, I painted The Park Bridge.  Besides the lotuses, there are also water lilies, and this time we noticed some tall red and yellow flowers out in the lake.  I should have taken a close-up photo so I could identify them later.  We found some shade with a view of flowers, the boathouse, and some of the many palms.

Gouache 7" x 5"

A pink blob of invasive apple snail eggs

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Water Tower 2

It's been two months since my last blog post.  I've been painting as usual, so I guess it's time to post some of the paintings.

The Saturday paint-out group recently visited one of my favorite places to paint, Pasadena Water and Power.  I decided to try the view I painted on my previous visit, Water Tower, but this time using gouache.  My small area of shade seemed to diminish even faster than it did last time so I painted quickly.  There are so many interesting views, and it's a nice, quiet place to paint.

Gouache 5" x 7"

Looking through the fence

Saturday, May 26, 2018


The weather for our paint-out last Saturday turned out to be overcast.  In Southern California we usually have May Gray days and in June, it's June Gloom.  We painted at Alhambra Park where it was sunny on our previous visit, Alhambra Park.  One very bright spot at the park was a beautiful planting of geraniums surrounding the Veterans Memorial...appropriate for this Memorial Day weekend post.

7" x 5" Watercolor

Friday, May 18, 2018

St. John Ave.

In March one of the paint-out groups returned to Singer Park in Pasadena.  It was a cloudy day on our previous visit as it was this year.  Last time, I painted the house next door, Park Neighbor.  It was too early for the park's rose garden to be in bloom.  St. John Avenue borders the park on the east side and it has some attractive, older homes.  I sat at my usual picnic table and tried a neighborhood view across St. John.

5" x 7" Watercolor

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Second Try!

In February I attempted Mary Gilkerson's 20 minute painting challenge.  The goal was to paint a 20-30 minute painting for five consecutive days.  I tried two 7"x5" pieces, Twenty Minutes!  These two paintings were frustrating.  I was using my usual amount of water which resulted in areas not being dry enough to go back to within the allotted time.  When Mary's challenge began again last week I thought I would try it again.  Since I had a hard time with twenty minutes I thought maybe a smaller size paper wouldn't be so discouraging.  Okay, 6"x4"!  I chose some easy-looking landscapes from my Arlington Garden photos.  This worked much better for me and I really tried to control the water.  So these are my first three attempts.  I have two more and will continue with this challenge since I really did learn a lot about shapes and values.  I would think I already know about shapes and values but I was more aware with the Twenty Minute Challenge.

6" x 4" Watercolor

6" x 4" Watercolor

6" x 4" Watercolor

Friday, May 4, 2018


Last Saturday the paint-out group met on a small street with a great view of the famous Colorado Street Bridge (1912).  The last time we met there I didn't have much time so instead of taking on the bridge, I saw a nice "still life" from the Habitat for Humanity project going on under the bridge, Construction.  To me the bridge feels a little daunting to paint.  It's very beautiful, has arches and lovely details.  So, the flowers in a front yard near where my friends were painting appealed more to me to try.  There were a nice variety of colors, from yellow, to orange, to shadowy reds and purple.  This was fun to paint and I would like to attempt more watercolor flowers.

5" x 7" Watercolor

Friday, April 27, 2018

Wrigley Garden

Last Saturday was a very pretty day to paint at the 1906 Wrigley Mansion, officially Tournament House and headquarters for the Tournament of Roses parade on New Years day.  Besides a possible painting of the stately mansion, the surrounding gardens feature over 1000 varieties of roses.  It was a little early for most of the roses to be blooming but there were a few early flowers.  My previous watercolor there was two years ago, Wrigley Roses.  I chose the same spot to paint from this time and did quite a bit of editing out the modern part of the building.  I added more flowers too!

5" x 7" Watercolor

Flag at half-staff for Barbara Bush

Friday, April 20, 2018

Red Poppy Season!

The paint-out group met at Arlington Garden in Pasadena last Saturday.  We like to visit the wonderful garden to paint the red poppies.  Of course there are also the bright orange California poppies there too.  I see I posted a painting from last April, Arlington in April.  One spring a few years ago, there were many more red poppies but gardening is always being done and flower beds change.  We were still able to find some red poppies which we are always happy to see here in Southern California.

7" x 5" Watercolor

Another great view from where I was sitting.


Saturday, April 14, 2018

Plein Air Festival 2018

Last week was the 2018 Los Angeles Plein Air Festival.  I've enjoyed participating in the past two events, Plein Air Festival 2016 being the previous festival.  I painted last time at the 1924 Spring Arcade building at the Broadway entrance in downtown L.A.  It was fun to return to the same location to try another street scene this year.  The eye catching, red Los Angeles Theater sign is such a terrific downtown landmark.  I wanted to include it in my view.  It was nice to see that the Spring Arcade is looking busier with more restaurants, and very festive with cheerful white lights criss-crossing the main walkway.  Although participating artists can paint anywhere in the city I would be happy to try this downtown view again next year.

8" x 10" Watercolor, looking south on Broadway

Looking north on Broadway

Vintage photo of the Spring Arcade