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.
9 x 12
California impressionist oil painting on canvas panel
The San Gabriel Mountains constantly change their colors through the late afternoon and early evening. Starting out as browns and greens, they become blue violet as shadows fall, and eventually reflect the warm colors of sunset.
This scene captures a moment in that transition, from the vantage point of Hahamongna Park (formerly Oak Grove Park) in the upper Arroyo Seco between La Canada Flintridge and Altadena/Pasadena.
Wildflowers billow and catch the warm light of the late afternoon sun.
Yesterday I received some more good news about one of the many shows I’ve been entering. One of my plein air paintings, “Days End at Fallbrook” was accepted into the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association (LPAPA) 6th annual “Best of Plein Air” show. The exhibit will be at the Esther Wells Collection in Laguna Beach from July 17-25.
“Days End in Fallbrook”
11 x 14
oil on canvas
Memorial Day Concert, 2010
(La Canada Flintridge, featuring Captain Cardiac and the Coronaries)
8 x 10
plein air oil painting
This painting is now SOLD but I have many others for sale…..
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.
Claremont Wilderness Park Trail
(featuring Potato Mountain – and the Angeles National Forest – San Gabriel Mountains)
18 x 24 oil on canvas
If you have a question or or would like to find out if this painting is still available for sale…..
This painting is brand new and features a viewpoint from a trail in the Claremont Wilderness Park. Depending upon which way you’re hiking on the trail, it’s either the beginning or end of a loop that goes way up into the mountains. On the day I was there and did a small on-location study, there were spectacular clouds in the sky, making interesting shadows and bright spots on the ground – a painter’s delight.
I’m taking the painting tomorrow to the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Gardens show in Claremont for their annual juried Art in the Garden show. This will be my third year participating in this wonderful location. I would love to see you there, so if you plan to attend, please email me and I will send you a flyer you can print out – good for free admission this weekend only.
Please make a calendar date: Next weekend, June 12-13, I will be painting in my home territory, Descanso Gardens in La Canada Flintridge during a 2-day Art in the Garden event. Look for a number of painters painting around the pavilion in the International Rosarium. I will be bringing a selection of works for sale also.
More later … now I’m back to getting my last-minute framing done.
Descanso Gardens Azaleas
9 x 12 oil on linen panel
Along with the bountiful spring bulbs at Descanso, the azaleas are in full bloom, a temptation for the plein air painter. This scene prompted me to paint mostly with red-green complements.
Wishing everyone a beautiful Easter!
The tulips are up at Descanso, and blooming merrily. When I was painting there a few days ago, I heard that although they planted tens of thousands, that raccoons dug up some of the bulbs, so the display is not as robust as they had hoped. The good news is there was no sign of deer grazing, so they must have shooed them out of the gardens or the blooms would be nipped off.
This is a good time to see the spring bulb show if you’ve never been to the gardens. In addition to the tulip display there are also foxgloves, azaleas, clivia, lilacs (both California native – ceanothus – and the traditional syringas) and some camellias still blooming. The wildflower meadow on the south side of the garden is beautiful now, too, as is the Japanese garden.
No wonder Descanso Gardens are becoming such a popular wedding location – it really is magical and romantic looking in the spring.
Descanso Lily Pond
9 x 12
oil on canvas – plein air painting, Sept. 2009
I can’t believe that in all the time I’ve been painting Descanso Gardens that I haven’t painted this lily pond which is near the front gate. There used to be two sculptural fishes that formed a fountain, but I have been told that they are no longer in service due to drought issues. I hope that they will return some time in the future, although they may not have been too visible at this angle.
What I loved about this view was the crepe myrtle (pink flowering) tree which was in full bloom and casting its reflection in the pond. The bench awaits a person to come for a moment of meditation.
My thanks to Ed F. for taking this picture and sending it to me. I appreciate it! Note to self, after taking off straw hat, remember to use hairbrush before photo op. [grin].
This Sunday, I’ll be showing my work at the Redondo Beach Art by the Sea Artwalk, specific details to come. Artists will be setting up along the boardwalk/bike path at the parking lot level. I’ll try to get some better instructions. It’s in the general area of the pier, but not on the pier.
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.