Sweet Pea Springtime
(Cottage garden, Pasadena, California)
14 x 11 inches
Oil painting on canvas
I’ve been thinking about painting this subject for several years, since my husband and I were out on a walk in Pasadena and we came upon a scene of a woman cutting sweet peas along the cottage garden path leading to her front door. The location is near S. El Molino Street, or S. Oak Knoll, near Cornell, but I neglected to write down the exact address. I told her I was a painter and asked her permission to take a picture and she pleasantly agreed. I changed the color of her dress from periwinkle blue to white because it contrasted better with the green of the sweet pea vines.
The picture was taken in March when everything was verdant green, and the flowers – snapdragons, pansies, poppies and more – were at peak bloom. I should try to walk the area again some time and see if I recognize the houses and the path.
Although I prefer to do plein air studies as preparation for studio paintings, there are some occasions when a composition just presents itself to you and there you are without an easel, and the light fading fast. This was one of those occasions when I was glad I had a camera with me.
“The Bridge Aglow”
(Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena)
11 x 14
Oil painting on linen panel
The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena is an icon that I never tire of painting. This painting was started on site last fall, and has been waiting for me to put on the finishing touches. The viewpoint is the eastern side of the Arroyo Seco, not far from the Federal Courthouse, formerly known as the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel.
There used to be monthly California Art Club paintouts at the arroyo, but I don’t think they’re doing that any longer. I liked this viewpoint for painting the bridge because it shows it in relation to both sides of the canyon, although not the entire span.
Rose Bowl, with San Gabriel Mountains, in January
8 x 10 inches
oil on linen panel
The Rose Bowl is an imposing structure any time of year, but when the San Gabriel Mountains are dusted with snow, as they often are in January, it provides an extra-special backdrop. When the air is cold enough, the snow falls at altitude, but down in the Arroyo Seco, it provides welcome rain. Welcome except on January 1, that is.
I thought about putting in some people in red or purple or gold or blue jackets, but it occurred to me that if someone wanted this painting as a keepsake of a special bowl game that they might prefer to have a few people in THEIR colors, rather than the, um, rival team. Sound fair?
Descanso Gardens Japanese Teahouse
22 x 30 watercolor on Arches paper
SOLD (painted on commission)
This painting has a history. Several years ago, I painted a smaller version of it, and it was exhibited for sale at a local store in La Canada. One day in April a few years ago, a car transport trailer lost its brakes on the Angeles Crest Highway and crashed through the store. Two people lost their lives in the accident, and one of the most minor casualties was that watercolor painting, of which I still have a remnant.
A very lovely woman contacted me a few months ago and asked if the original painting was for sale (it was not) but I offered to paint it again for her in a size to suit her home, and this is the result. She and her husband were married at Descanso Gardens many years ago, and the painting will be a memory of that very special day. And it makes me especially happy to know that the destroyed painting survives in a unique way. It became a study for this one, which will be in their family for years to come.
Because of my concentration on oil painting, I haven’t been painting watercolor as frequently. But I enjoyed this return to the medium so much that I will probably try to devote a little more time to it in the coming year.
Merry Christmas to all those who are celebrating it tonight and tomorrow.
11 x 14 oil on canvas
Autumn. My favorite time of year. It reminds me of back to school, fresh pencils and crayons, an imminent coolness in the weather, Halloween, football games and the bluest skies of the year. Here in southern California, at least when I was growing up, the summer heat trapped a layer of haze in the sky. But spring and fall were crystal clear. When you put the blue of the sky against the warm complements of orange and gold – well, it’s just magical, and who could resist painting it. By December, the sycamores have turned and the first rains bring forth new green grass. Autumn comes late around here.
Update: This painting was done a few years ago, but I just drove through the area a few days ago and it looks exactly like this.
“Below the Arch”
Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena
11 x 14 painting
oil on canvas
This painting of our iconic Colorado Street Bridge went home yesterday with a new collector. I always enjoy painting the bridge, and hope to appreciate its beauty from many new angles in the coming year. This was a larger painting based upon a 5 x 7 study I did a few years ago.
“This Side of Paradise”
Eastern Sierra oil painting
6 x 8″ miniature
Oil on linen panel
This little study features an area along highway 395 near the Sherwin grade, as the road climbs out of Bishop and leads up to June Lake and Mammoth Lakes.
In October the aspens are starting their transition from green to gold, and the first dusting of snow can be seen on the high peaks. The grazing meadows have turned golden and fairly glow in the afternoon sun.
This painting is for sale. It was photographed under bright incandescent light, indoors. It may look warmer or cooler on your monitor.
11 x 14 inches – oil on canvas
This is a plein air painting that I did a few years ago, and somehow it escaped being photographed and posted to my blog. A recent conversation prompted me to revisit it and I discovered that it was missing from my site.
Not too long ago we renewed our Huntington membership and I’m looking forward to visiting again when the camellias are in bloom. On a trip a few weeks ago, they had a California landscape exhibit which I enjoyed, along with other permanent collection work in the Paul and Heather Sturt Haaga gallery. If you live in Southern California and you’re not a member of the Huntington, what are you waiting for?
San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge oil painting
18 x 24 oil on canvas
The Golden Gate bridge stretches gracefully across the bay as sailboats return from a day’s excursion. The viewpoint is from Baker Beach, the romantic site of countless wedding proposals and weddings.
I’m so accustomed to doing Colorado Street Bridge paintings (Pasadena, California) that I thought it was about time that I painted one of the most famous bridges of all. To be sure, it won’t be the last time.
The day we were out there it was cool and breezy and the fog and clouds were swirling around the bridge in beautiful patterns. When we viewed the bridge later, the sky was crystal clear. The following morning, from our hotel room, all we could see of the bridge was the tops of the tallest towers. It was quite a view.
(by Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge)
12 x 16
oil on linen panel
The previous painting in this series sold very quickly at Gale’s Restaurant during the Art for the Animals show, so I decided to paint another version of it, this time horizontal. There are always ducks paddling around down there, as we’ve discovered from our frequent walks, so this may not be the last exploration of the theme.
This past weekend we enjoyed some time closer to home and our own natural habitat, which we had been sorely neglecting as I’ve been painting all up and down the coast. So we cleared off the porches, gave the Boston ferns a good haircut and deep watering, trimmed back the geraniums and took cuttings to propagate new plants. I’m hopeful that all of these projects will provide abundant plant material for future still life paintings, or, at the very least, for our enjoyment.
This Saturday from 9-4 you’ll find me at the Montrose Artwalk in Montrose, at the corner of Honolulu and Ocean View – see map below. I’m on the sidewalk next to the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, where they have great iced coffees! You might even find me doing some painting.
View Larger Map
Saturday evening from 5-7, I’m delighted to be at the artist’s reception of Segil Fine Art’s First Annual Works on Paper show. Address is 110 West Lime in Monrovia. I’m honored to have my pastel painting “Wildflower Sunset” included in this inaugural show.