Los Arcos – Lands End – Cabo San Lucas
5″ x 7″ miniature oil painting
This painting has a romantic story to it. The young woman who commissioned it, who I’ll call Stacy, is going to be married very soon. As a wedding present to her fiance, Stacy is going to give him five original paintings of different places they have been and want to return to. She saw my large commissioned painting of Los Arcos online and asked if I could paint a small version of it for this multi-part gift. I love romantic notions, so of course I was happy to oblige. I can hardly wait to hear how her husband likes it.
If you have a special occasion coming up, or are thinking ahead about holiday gifts, this is a good time to put in your order for an original painting. I get busier as the holidays approach.
Now for the less than cheerful news …
For those of you who are regular readers of this blog, you hear the names Angeles Crest, San Gabriel Mountains, La Canada Flintridge, Pasadena, Altadena, La Crescenta and other location names quite frequently. I live in La Canada, now the flashpoint of what has become the infamous “Station” Fire which is raging through the Angeles Crest forest in the northeast part of Los Angeles County. It is named the Station fire because it began near a forest ranger station up Angeles Crest Highway.
We are fine, since we live a mile or so from the forest/residential interface, but the mandatory evacuation area came within about 2000 feet of our home. Today, the skies are blue above La Canada, a far cry from four or five days ago. For us, at least, I think the worst has passed. But we have many friends and neighbors in the surrounding areas who are still in the path of the conflagration. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
It is comforting to see the snorkel helicopters and other fire fighting aircraft in the skies above us, hauling water and fire suppression materials to hot spots.We are SO LUCKY that this happened in August, not during Santa Ana conditions. In a strange way, I am grateful that this happened at all. I heard an interview with a fire chief who said that if this happened during Santa Ana season literally hundreds and hundreds of homes would be lost (including ours, I’m sure) and there’s nothing they could do to stop it.
Counting my blessings in La Canada,
14 x 11 oil on canvas
Stately eucalyptus trees line a path overlooking Pasadena/Altadena, looking east and north toward the San Gabriel Mountains. The branches catch the early morning light.
“All Aboard” – Descanso Gardens train station at sunset
9 x 12 oil on canvas panel
Plein air landscape oil painting
Late Thursday afternoons at Descanso Gardens always bring opportunities for things to paint. Yesterday I enjoyed the view of the little train station where the engine and engineer wait to take people on a magical trip through the camellia forest. Maybe one of these days I’ll actually take the train ride, camera in hand, and see the garden from a different (low angle) point of view. An alizarin crimson underpainting (done very rapidly) imparts a warm glow to the scene.
I thought I left my big roll of brushes at home and consequently painted most of this with a medium sized filbert. Some of the fine detail on the engine and engineer was done later when I had the appropriate tools. Last week’s Descanso painting has been purchased by a lovely new collector from So. Pasadena, but this one is still available.
Reminder: the photos I post are low resolution so that they load quickly for those on slow connections. If you are interested in purchasing a painting, please ask and I will send a higher quality image.
Descanso Sunset Path
8 x 10
oil on canvas on birch panel
Plein air painting
This evening there was strong color in the sky because of some brush fires in the area. When that happens it means spectacular sunsets. I enjoyed painting in the warm glow, while listening to the rehearsal of the Pasadena Pops, which will be playing tomorrow night.
If you are familiar with Descanso, this is the path where tulips are usually planted in the spring. It goes by the little train station, which is just to the right. Because the light was going fast this is a little looser than some of my garden paintings. I like the effect.
Descanso Oak Pathway
9 x 12
oil on hardboard panel
Oh, I am trying hard to catch up and post paintings that I’ve been working on. I know it’s been a little spotty lately but more are coming. I have been working on a lot of commissions and getting ready for some upcoming shows. Add that to travel all over California and a new passion for daily walking and I’ve been a very busy lady. Yesterday, in fact, I spent a lot of time at Redondo Beach and Palos Verdes. When the weather is hot, we flee to the coast for art and recreation.
This was painted a week ago at Descanso Gardens in the very late afternoon as the sun was setting and back-lighting the oak trees. Although the light and shadows changed by the minute, I blocked in the lights and shadows at one moment in time and then continued with it.
I’ll be at the Montrose art show again September 5 (exact spot to be determined) but I will post it here when I know. I’ll be bringing new work, including plein air work from my recent Central/Northern California trip.
South Pasadena Fourth of July Parade
8 x 10 oil
Plein air painting
This one was a lot of fun to paint, because the crowd was so lively and colorful. Because I know some of you are thinking – how can you paint a moving parade while it’s happening. The simple answer is I paint the things that don’t move (trees, buildings, distant crowds and then roughly indicate the things that are moving and finish them later from refrence photos. In this case the tractor pulled float with balloons was the big moving thing in the scene, so I could only block in the outline as it passed. I needed a photo to get the detail on the tractor. I painted the cheerleaders from memory because they didn’t stay put for long either. If I got your uniforms wrong, sorry girls, but Go Tigers!
If anyone knows the name of the group riding on the float pulled by the tractor, and the name of the tractor driver, let me know and I’ll add their names to this blog post. I’m thinking Brownies or Girl Scouts but I couldn’t swear to it.
South Pasadena is the most wonderful slice of Americana you can imagine, and on the 4th of July you can feel like you’ve stepped backwards in time in the very best way. Parades, flags and bunting, families gathering, sack races in the park … I just love it.