“Morning Swim in the Arroyo Seco”
16 x 12 inches
oil on canvas
Ducks gently paddle in the pond beneath Pasadena’s Colorado Street Bridge … a scene of rural tranquility in the heart of Pasadena’s Arroyo Seco. Readers of this blog will remember the great duck adventure a few years back, as we watched a mother lead her ducklings up the flood control channel to the safety of the pond – including scaling a 45 degree incline covered with moss. But all the ducklings made it eventually, safe from hawks and owls. Perhaps some of these paddlers are those little ducks, all grown up with families of their own.
Sold at the Art for the Animals show at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena this past week, benefitting the Pasadena Humane Society and SPCA.
The past month has taken me to San Luis Obispo for a paint out with the California Art Club, then home for a few days, then out to Phoenix to paint a wedding reception for a lovely couple. Along the way we took in the sights of red rock country as well as some beautiful desert areas.
Last weekend, the California Art Club held a reception for artists participating in the Long Beach Bike Festival, and I was pleased to find out that the above painting, Belmont Shores Pier, was accepted along with 19 others to be displayed at the Long Beach Museum of Art until May 24. Maybe we’ll take the Metro Blue Line down to see the show and I can sketch some of the riders on the way.
This coming Sunday, the California Art Club will present the opening reception for the exhibition of Ring Festival paintings at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in downtown Los Angeles. The reception hours are from 5-7 pm. Parking is $5. I will be there with my handsome model, who you will see is actually a much younger man than one-eyed Wotan.
Now, I’m working on commissions and painting for several other upcoming competitions and welcoming new clients to my studio. This painting, “San Gabriel Sunset” went home with a new San Marino collector today – it’s a surprise for a loved one.
“Rest at Rainbow Harbor”
(featuring the Long Beach Lions Lighthouse For Sight)
9 x 12
oil on canvas
In May 2010, I exhibited 2 paintings with the California Art Club Long Beach Bike Festival Art Show at the Phantom Gallery, 170 N. Promenade in Long Beach.
I’d been been painting for this show for several weeks, and the guidelines were that the paintings needed to portray landmarks of Long Beach, and at least one of our submitted paintings should feature a bicycle, in honor of the Bike Festival.
This painting combines several of the themes. The Lighthouse for Sight, one of three in Long Beach, was built by the Long Beach Lions Club and is a reminder of the importance of saving vision – one of the important charities that the Lions support. It sits atop a hill that bicyclists ride around. It reminded me of Glastonbury Tor in England, where a tower sits atop a hill, encircled by terraces. A bicyclist takes a moment to rest at the top of the hill, before continuing his ride.
When I learned that the harbor is named Rainbow Harbor, I gave myself permission to “push” the color more than I might usually do. Like I need an excuse to get colorful, right?
“Pasadena Arroyo Bridges – featuring the Colorado Street Bridge”
9 x 12 oil
This plein air painting was done about a month ago and I thought I had posted it to my blog but just realized that I had not. So, here it is. It was painted as part of a paint out for the California Art Club.
The viewpoint is from the east side of the arroyo, near the Casita del Arroyo, looking westward.
And speaking of the CAC, we had a fantastic time last night at the 100th anniversary celebration party of the California Art Club, held at the California Club in downtown LA. The champagne flowed freely and it was fun to see so many early California impressionist paintings decorating the walls of the club, as well as some paintings by some new California masters. It was a pleasure seeing so many old friends and making some new ones, too. No other organization does so much to preserve and promote the beauty of California as portrayed through traditional fine art, and I am always pleased to take part in their many activities. If you’re a traditional fine artist, you really should join.
These are bittersweet times for us, with many mixed emotions. On one hand I’m blessed with so many new opportunities related to art, including my show at the Bowers Museum which will hang this Friday the 16th. On the other hand our almost 12 year old American bulldog Ripley has suddenly become seriously ill and we will probably need to say goodbye in a few days. Feeling intense joy and grief is part of life, and as the wise man said … “this too shall pass …” both the very good and the very sad. I pray for equanimity during these times, savoring good memories of the past and holding optimistic expectations for the future.
12 x 24 inches
oil on canvas
Last week I had the pleasure of painting this panorama of the Arroyo Seco from a vantage point high above the canyon. I wanted the late afternoon look, so I had to work fast. As it turned out, I left the painting of the sky and foreground for later, concentrating on the trees, grasses, mountains and architecture as the sun relentlessly continued its course. It’s an interesting time of year. Not all of the deciduous trees have leaves yet – but the grass is thick and abundant, and bright yellow green. In a few months the vivid green will turn straw brown and there will be a solid canopy of leafy trees below. Every season brings its own beauties to enjoy. I’m guessing that I could look at a plein air painting of an early California impressionist and pretty well guess the month it was painted if I knew the location.
My husband shot a little bit of video as I painted, which I’ve included here:
See more of my Arroyo Paintings at http://www.pasadenapaintings.com
Arroyo Bridge Reflections
9 x 12
oil on linen panel
This is a familiar scene I return to time and time again – a view of one of the arroyo seco bridges from down below. I have walked across that stream at varying depths – after a rain storm and in mid summer when the ground is just barely moist. There are often ducks down there which add to the tranquil scene.
Depending upon the time of day, the scene may appear cooler or more golden, as it does in afternoon light.
Visit this link to see more Pasadena and Arroyo Seco area paintings.
“Arroyo Seco Trail”
9 x 12 inches, oil on canvas
I like to paint new things, as a rule, because it’s fun to interpret new subject matter and challenge myself – but from time to time I get a request from a client to paint a new version of a previous painting. In this case, a gentleman saw the painting I used on my postcard of my solo show this spring (sold during the show) and asked it I would paint another version for his daughter as a Christmas present. The family used to live in Pasadena and had fond memories of the Arroyo Seco and their walks together. I was happy to do this for him. Of course, no two paintings are ever exact copies, due to different shapes of the canvas as well as differences in creative interpretation. He was delighted with this treatment and I hope that his daughter will be, too.
Saturday I had a great time with the California Art Club during a paint out at Randy Higbee’s gallery in Costa Mesa. We were painting models dressed as gods and goddesses from Wagner’s Ring Cycle.
“Arches of Light” – Colorado Street Bridge in the Arroyo Seco, Pasadena
11 x 14
oil on canvas
Although this painting is sold, I have many more Pasadena paintings at this link: Pasadena paintings
This painting is a study for a larger work which I hope to be doing pretty soon – a view of the Colorado Street Bridge from an angle I’ve not painted before. This time of year the trees have not yet turned their glorious autumn colors. But soon they should be more golden, which will present other creative possibilities. This view is from the side of the arroyo between the Colorado Street Bridge and the 134 freeway bridge. The morning light makes the stone (or concrete) structure glow with beautiful colors.
12 x 16 oil on canvas
Original oil painting
More Pasadena paintings at this link: Pasadena paintings
This is a painting I’ve been working on for awhile, and I thought it was time I finished it up while I continue progress with my fall Sierra series.
The Colorado Street Bridge (also known as the Suicide Bridge to locals) is a major Pasadena landmark, as is the Federal Courthouse, formerly the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel, which overlooks the arroyo. From a certain angle you can see both. The bridge is very tall, but surprisingly those pines are even taller.
Along with painting, I’ve been in the throes of migrating to a new computer system. My old Mac was getting slow and a few USB and Firewire drives weren’t mounting, leading us to believe that there was a problem with those buses. Fortunately I had all my files backed up, but when two of my backup hard drives went down I knew it was time to make a change. Coincidence or causality? I don’t know if the old computer could hurt the drives but I wasn’t taking any chances. Leo LaPorte (the tech guy on the radio) is fond of saying that if you don’t have your files in at least two places, you don’t have them. Even when some of my drives were heading south, I immediately backed up the data onto a new one, plus DVDs as well. I’m thinking of subscribing to Carbonite for another layer of offsite protection.
The good thing is that this new computer is much faster, which makes light work of editing photos of my paintings and organizing and cataloging my paintings.
Anyway, upgrades are a tedious and time consuming process, so I’m hopeful that now I’ll be back in the swing of posting new paintings more regularly. But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?
If you’re interested in adding this painting to your collection, please write firstname.lastname@example.org
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.