Pasadena’s Pride – at the Pasadena ArtWalk Saturday

SOLD Pasadena’s Pride
(Colorado street bridge oil painting)
14 x 18 oil on canvas

See more Pasadena paintings here

I’ll be exhibiting about 30 paintings Saturday, October 13 at the Pasadena Artwalk on El Molino Street from 11-5.
This one day annual event attracts large crowds from all over Southern California.
Look for me in booth 9, just a little north of the Pasadena Playhouse, near Zona Rosa coffee, on the west side of El Molino, between Colorado Blvd. and Green Street. There’s plenty of parking nearby.

I’m down to the wire on framing and packing … See you there!

La Canada Landscape Oil Painting – Memorial Day Concert – California impressionist genre painting

Memorial Day Concert, 2010
(La Canada Flintridge, featuring Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries)
8 x 10
plein air oil painting

If you have a question or or would like to find out if a painting is still available for sale…..
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Ah, the beginning of summer, and the summer Music in the Park series in my hometown, La Canada Flintridge. I enjoyed painting this scene while visiting with picnickers and others who were out savoring the warm day. The first act, Misplaced Priorities, energized the audience and set the stage for the second act, Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries. Both 50s-60s rock bands were enthusiastically received. In front of the gazebo/bandshell, dancers of all ages found their groove.
When I was growing up, I couldn’t imagine having fun dancing to the same music my grandparents liked. But old time rock and roll was appreciated that day by 70-somethings and 5 year olds alike.

It was good to see so many friends and neighbors out relaxing. Thanks to the LCF Chamber of Commerce for making Fiesta Days a wonderful event once again.

And speaking of La Canada outdoor events … I’ll be painting this coming weekend June 12-13 at Descanso Gardens in the Rose Garden … along with other Descanso artists. We’ll have other botanical and nature paintings on display for sale, too – including landscapes. Hope to see you there.

Arroyo Seco Landmarks – Colorado Street Bridge Pasadena painting

Arroyo Landmarks
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

South Pasadena Plein Air Genre Oil Painting – Fourth of July Parade 2009

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.

Above San Clemente Coastal Plein Air Seascape Skyline Painting

“Above San Clemente”
8 x 10 oil
The view from Salvador Drive, high above San Clemente, about 5:30 in the evening

This painting is on exhibit at the San Clemente Art Association Gallery, until July 31.
If you are not in the area but are interested in purchasing, please write me and I will contact the gallery.

This was one of the paintings I did for the plein air paintout – at the end of a very long day painting in other locations. It portrays the silvery bay in late afternoon light from the vantage point of Salvador Drive, up Presidio, east of the city. The sun was just out of the frame, and I was trying to keep it under the brim of my hat – not easy! My husband took this picture of the painting on the easel at the end, just as the sky was starting to turn warmish. I thought it looked kind of neat backlit by the sun.

More of my work from the paint out will be posted all this week, so please check back.

Chinatown, Los Angeles oil painting – California Art Club Plein Air Paint Out

Chinatown Afternoon
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.

Good Morning, La Canada Flintridge

“Good Morning, La Canada”
9″ x 12″ oil on canvas on board

For more information about this painting, please write

In our small town, the streets aren’t usually this deserted in the morning, but during the holidays and early weekend mornings there’s definitely less traffic. I decided to leave out the random cars for the sake of reducing clutter.

La Canada Flintridge is a “bedroom” community of Los Angeles. Just 20 minutes or so from downtown, Foothill Blvd. is our main street. This is a view of the corner of Foothill and Oakwood, quite near the Vons market on the left, and La Canada Presbyterian Church on the right (that’s the spire that’s visible.)

After all the paintings I’ve done of Pasadena, the Arroyo Seco, Eaton Canyon, Hahamongna Park, Glendale, Descanso Gardens and other local sites, it’s really about time I got around to painting more of LC itself.

The last time I painted a vertical cityscape it was El Molino Avenue in Pasadena, near the Pasadena Playhouse. This one. So maybe it’s about time for another one.

Folklorico Dancers at Pasadena Civic Auditorium

Plein air oil painting
9 x 12 oil on canvas board

This may have been the most difficult plein air painting I’ve ever done. I’m not complaining, mind you. I love to paint outdoors and the dancers were beautiful with their colorful costumes, but it was just challenging for a variety of reasons. For one, the colors of the sunset changed moment by moment. I hadn’t taken into consideration how dark it would be when the dancers appeared in the plaza (yes, 7:30 is dark, it’s not summer any more, even though temps are still in the 90s!) And even though I arrived early to get the Paseo Pasadena background blocked in, the colors of the buildings changed by the minute. The dancers of the Clasica troupe performed for about a half an hour with one costume change. (This was the first costume, the second costumes were all white) It was the best I could do to get a suggestion of the swirling skirts. I hope the beautiful ladies will forgive me for not including faces, but I only had time for an impression of the scene – and the paint was flying!

Because plein air painting means simplifying the design and making choices about what to include and what not to include, I simplified this scene by just suggesting some of the major buildings in the Paseo Mall, the shape of the Sierra Madre Mountains, the foreground plaza and the dancers themselves. All the windows and details were reduced to a few glowing shapes to convey a night scene. The dark shapes of palms in the distance form a border to the setting. I left the painting of the ground under their feet until I got home and could assess what the painting needed.

I’m going to have to try “urban night” again sometime, and see if I can incorporate what I learned from this experience.

The dancers were appearing as part of opening night festivities for the Pasadena Symphony – and their performance was wonderful!

South Pasadena Watercolor Painting – Buster’s Coffeehouse

Buster’s Coffeehouse – South Pasadena Landmark on Mission Street
11 x 15 watercolor on paper

See more of my Pasadena area paintings here

This is the third painting that I submitted for the Rialto Visions benefit art show and sale, proceeds of which will help restore the Rialto Theater on Fair Oaks Avenue in South Pasadena.

Buster’s is a favorite hangout of ours when we’re in South Pasadena. Not only do they have great coffee and the small neighborhood atmosphere you can’t find in the ubiquitous ChainBucks stores, but they sell Fosselman’s ice cream, which is truly wonderful. It’s sort of like the Cheers of coffeehouses – you always run into someone you know when you go there.

About 100 paintings were submitted for the show. Tonight at 7 pm, there’s a Collector’s Preview at the South Pasadena Library Community Room on El Centro Street. The $25 admission fee (for non-participating artists) will help support the theater’s restoration. Come meet the artists and see a lot of art, fresh off the easel.

El Molino Afternoon – First Place – Pasadena Artwalk painting contest 2008

El Molino Afternoon SOLD
11 x 14 oil on board
First Place, 2008 Pasadena Artwalk “Life in the Theater District” competition

Remember a few months back when I said I was in a painting frenzy, getting ready for all sorts of shows and competitions? You might have even seen this painting here on my blog at that time. Well, this is one of the shows that I was painting for, and last night the news was announced that this urban cityscape was given First Place by the judging committee, along with a VERY nice cash prize and certificate. (Thank you, judging committee, and thank you Playhouse District Merchants’ Association for your generosity.)

If you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you know that cityscapes aren’t a frequent subject of mine – I lean more toward seascapes and sycamores. But I also enjoy a good challenge and this contest gave me the opportunity to experiment in an architectural vein.

The Pasadena Artwalk is an annual show, now in its third year, which will take place on October 11 in the Pasadena Playhouse Theater District on El Molino Street. This painting presents a point of view looking toward Colorado Blvd (yes, where the floats go by on New Years’ Day).

If you’re in the LA area two weeks from now, please come say hello. I’ll have new paintings and prints on display including this one.