Snow on the San Gabriels
(Federal Courthouse with view of the Arroyo Seco)
12 x 16 oil on canvas
The winter storms, which may now be over, often leave rare snowcaps on our local mountains – for a few days. I took advantage of one of these unusual scenes last month. This is a view I have painted before, in the autumn when the sycamores are in full color – and will likely paint again through the years with different weather and seasonal looks.
More of my Pasadena area paintings are viewable at Pasadena Paintings
Thanks to everyone who came out to the Casita del Arroyo show yesterday – it was a great day! I’m now looking forward to spring painting in Central California and working on numerous commissioned projects.
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
9 x 12 oil
This plein air painting was actually painted last fall, as the leaves of the sycamores were starting to turn – but somehow it escaped my scanner until now. It’s one of the paintings I’ll be bringing to the Casita Del Arroyo show and sale – presented by the California Art Club on Sunday, March 14
It looks like the rains are tapering off this week, and the weather is warming a bit, so I’m looking forward to even more plein air painting when I’m not working on commissions. The other day I saw a rainbow over our local San Gabriel mountains – what a sight, although it didn’t last very long.
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
18 x 24 oil on canvas
Click image to enlarge
This is my newest painting, which I took to the South Pasadena Public Library today for display at the annual show featuring scenes of South Pasdena. This year, the theme is City of Trees. Although many people are painting historically significant trees, I have grown fond of this group, framing the Arroyo Seco, which we see on our walks in the area. When the theme of “trees” was announced, I knew just what I wanted to paint.
The following information is from the California Art Club news release about the event:
Location: South Pasadena Public Library Community RoomÂ
1115 El Centro Avenue
South Pasadena, CA 91030
Collectors’ Preview Reception: Friday, October 2, 7 – 9:30 p.m
All submitted artwork will be on display for this special Collectors’ Preview event at the South Pasadena Public Library Community Room. Tickets $25 per person. R.S.V.P. to 626-441-2339Â (Participating artists get in free.)
Saturday, October 3, 6 – 10 p.m.
The free exhibition at the South Pasadena Library Community Room continues for one more day as part of SouthPas ArtsFest, featuring live music and entertainment,wine tasting, food court and an ArtWalk featuring eight galleries.Â
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.
Pasadena Bridge – Summer Days
(Colorado Street Bridge)
8 x 10 oil on canvas
SOLD but I have other bridge paintings
This California landscape is one that is familiar to residents of Pasadena and the communities surrounding the Arroyo Seco. The Colorado Street Bridge , seen here looking northward, rises over the grassy fields that are now turning golden. Only the evergreen eucalyptus, oaks, willows and other natives keep their colors. The 134 freeway bridge can be seen in the distance. On these late spring days it’s not uncommon to see thunderheads building over the San Gabriel Mountains – you can feel the humidity build up at those times.
I am counting down the days until my reception at Gale’s Restaurant in Pasadena. Sunday, May 31, 4-6 pm. If you’re local, I hope you can come!
Book tip of the day: Kevin McPherson’s Landscape Painting Inside and Out: Capture the Vitality of Outdoor Painting in Your Studio With Oils. I do plein air painting as often as I can … but I have learned a lot from this book and others about keeping the fresh plein air feeling while painting in studio. Check it out!