Saturday, November 24, 2012

The Lake That Became a Park

A recent paint-out was at Lacy Park in San Marino, which started out as a lake.  It was a natural lake, fed by springs and streams flowing from the San Gabriel Mountains.  It was also a drainage area for the Old Mill which I've painted 3 times now.  But, oh my, by the early 20th century excessive water usage by the local settlers had turned the beautiful oasis into a dried up, stagnate, swampy mess.  As the community around the lake grew, in 1924 the city decided it would better serve the public as a park.  So, in the 1920's earth from the excavation of early buildings for Caltech was brought down (about 2 miles) to fill in the lake.  Rare plants were donated from the Huntington Gardens.  Looking on Google Maps it's interesting knowing the history of the park since it looks like a big lake in the center.

It started as a dreary day but the sun appeared in the late morning.  I like some sun for cast shadows and also to help my washes to dry.  There is a wonderful rose garden with arbors but without sun, it looked sad and shady.  There are fabulous palms but I had just painted some the day before.  I found an old 1920's-era building, the only structure around, and chose it to paint.  I really had fun with this piece and my viewpoint was next to the play equipment so it was enjoyable to hear the kids while painting.  I'll also post a view across a corner of the center lawn where the lake was which includes friends' easels.  In my last photo, the walking loops around the center lawn are lined with these El Camino Real bells.  The El Camino Real linked the 21 California Missions.


  1. Sherry you must be always out and about as you have so many great en plein air work - bet it keeps you fit too.

  2. Such an idyllic scene. So lucky that you live in this beautiful part of the world. It reflects in your works, too.

  3. I stopped by to thank you for your very kind comments on my work, Sherry. AND I found the most beautiful watercolors! Your work is lovely! I'm so happy to have found YOU! Happy painting! :)

    1. Thank you for visiting Darla! Great to meet another dedicated painter.