11 x 14
plein air painting
oil on canvas panel
Good times just don’t get any better than this. The California Art Club, which is celebrating its centennial this year, invited all members to a big paintout in Los Angeles’ historic Chinatown. Although rain had been threatened, morning brought fair skies and the promise of a picture perfect day. We arrived around 10 am to a very well-organized reception, complete with coffee and pastries – and then we were free to roam the streets of Chinatown looking for the best angles.
CAC members were there at the gracious invitation of the Chinatown Business Improvement District and we were impressed by their hospitality, including the delicious artists’ reception which refreshed us at the end of the day.
To paint, I found an angle just off the main plaza on Broadway, looking toward two of the most colorful buildings. As I explained to people who passed by and stopped to chat with me as I painted, I’m more of a tree and mountain sort of gal (as you blog readers know) – but there’s something about the ornate facades of these beautiful historic buildings that just steal an artist’s heart. In the late afternoon the warm sun makes everything radiant. At that hour, once again, it’s the Chinatown I remember visiting as a child, throwing coins into the fountain to make a wish, buying candied ginger and imported seashells from faraway shores.
The smell of the sea, joss sticks, firecrackers, oolong tea, fried shrimp … the sounds of music emanating from every shop, the babble of conversation in Spanish, Chinese, English and the tinkle of wind chimes … the cool breeze riffling the hanging lanterns and flags … a visit to Chinatown is a sensual delight not to be missed. If you’re an Angeleno and you haven’t been there lately – it’s time to discover it again.
And speaking of things to discover … if you’re an artist living in California, come join us in the CAC and become a part of a grand artistic tradition.
9 x 12 oil on canvas
Idyllwild, California, has always been one of our favorite places to retreat. We began visiting when we were first married, and always loved the beautiful mountain sunsets. Once we stopped our car and watched in awe, while classical music played from a nearby cabin. This is a recreation of that spectacular scene, when the sky was awash with color and all was right with the world. I still like to return, in memory, to that golden time.
Thousand Oaks at Satwiwa Park
9 x 12 oil on linen panel painting
Last weekend we enjoyed a beautiful sunset out in Thousand Oaks, in the Santa Monica Mountains near the Satwiwa Village Cultural Center and Boney Mountain. Slight rainfall has made the landscape green with a down of annual rye grass, but the wildflowers have not yet emerged. The sycamores (not seen here) are already pushing out small green leaves. The color was just stunning in the Conejo Valley as twilight came.
Today my dear husband and I are celebrating 35 years of marriage. What a wonderful adventure it has been, and will continue to be. He is my best friend and love, outstanding father to our two grown kids, supporter of all my wild dreams and ambitions, and romantic sharer of sunsets (like this one.)