‘When you find ‘The One'”
11 x 14 oil painting on canvas
Wedding gown shoppers at Mary Linn’s Bridal Shop in Pasadena, California
For a long time, I’ve wanted to paint a charming bridal shop in Pasadena named Mary Linns. I’m guessing that it has been there a very long time and no doubt contributed to the joy of thousands and thousands of brides. This young couple was window shopping. I can only imagine what was going through both their minds. I think this has a nice narrative quality to it. It happense to be Pasadena, but it could really be anywhere that young lovers plan their future.
A Rainy Night at City Hall
14 x 11 inch oil painting
This painting will be included in the next California Art Club show at the Old Mill in San Marino as part of the ten-year anniversary celebration: Urban California II. The address for the Old Mill is 1120 Old Mill Road, San Marino, CA.
The show will run from September 7, 2011 through January 8, 2012, with an artists reception on Thursday, September 15, from 5:30 – 7:30 pm.
I loved the colors as they shimmered in the wet pavement. The scene reminded me of those architectural renderings of buildings, where the sidewalks and streets are always shiny and fresh as though it has just rained.
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.
“Until You Come Home”
9 x 12
oil on panel
This was the painting that I did for the QuickDraw phase of the San Clemente Art Association annual paintout. A quick draw is a timed competition – from the stamping of panels to the final horn, we had exactly 3 hours to get to a location, paint a painting, get back and frame the painting and turn it in. It may sound like a lot of time but when you take off travel time and setting up an easel and packing up, the time really flies.
The weather has been very gray in San Clemente (think: June gloom) and it hadn’t burned off by 12:30, the start time. With this in mind, I looked for something to paint the day before that would have a spot of color. When I saw this yellow ribbon hung on the balcony of an apartment building, I made it my choice. San Clemente borders Camp Pendleton, the Marine Corps base, so I’m guessing that someone who lives in that apartment has a loved one in the service, and the yellow ribbon represents waiting for their safe return from overseas. The apartment is on the corner of Santa Barbara and Del Mar, if anyone knows who lives there. The painting is currently hanging in the San Clemente Art Gallery in the Community Center. If no one takes it home before Friday, it will be in my booth for the Saturday-Sunday show.
I am continuing to paint in San Clemente and Orange and San Diego counties for the rest of the event. I’ve got three additional paintings finished, and more to come by the end of the week.
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!
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!
Today I was delighted to get a notification that this will be one of 15 paintings accepted into the upcoming juried California Art Club group exhibition “California in Focus: Scenes of Pasadena and the San Gabriel Valley. Part 2”
The exhibition will be on view at Marston’s Restaurant in Pasadena … 151 E. Walnut Street … from November 27, 2007 – January 27, 2008. A reception will be held toward the end of the exhibition – the exact date and time to be determined. I’ll announce it on the blog as soon as I know.
Needless to say I am thrilled to be included in this beautiful CAC show, and to meeting my fellow exhibitors, but it just so happens that Marston’s is on the short list of our very favorite casual local restaurants. If you ever have a chance to dine there there you simply MUST try the Pasadena or Cordillera salad. Their cottage garden is a delight, too. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve photographed those blooms, and how it’s been an inspiration to my own cottage garden. I’m going to have to paint the Marston’s garden one of these days. If Descanso is my garden home, Marston’s is definitely my lunch home!
This was one of many painting projects that have been in the works these past weeks, and I am so very happy to be included.