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.
Descanso Gardens Rose Garden (Rosarium) Wedding
16 x 20 oil on canvas
Live event painting
I had the honor of painting this live event at Descanso Gardens for some dear friends who are also collectors of my work. The occasion was the marriage of their daughter to a fine young man. The party was going to be in the evening which presented certain strategic challenges – namely, painting at the time of day that the light was changing the most rapidly. The bride and groom couldn’t be dancing in the dark under the pavilion while the sun was still shining brightly. Nor would it make sense to paint the whole thing in the dark, because then the beautiful garden couldn’t be seen. We decided on a twilight look, and I painted the garden as rapidly as I could right after the ceremony, knowing that I could always paint the sky in later. It was a lovely occasion, and one that I hope they will always remember with romantic notions, whenever they look upon the painting of that day.
Sweet Pea Springtime
(Cottage garden, Pasadena, California)
14 x 11 inches
Oil painting on canvas
I’ve been thinking about painting this subject for several years, since my husband and I were out on a walk in Pasadena and we came upon a scene of a woman cutting sweet peas along the cottage garden path leading to her front door. The location is near S. El Molino Street, or S. Oak Knoll, near Cornell, but I neglected to write down the exact address. I told her I was a painter and asked her permission to take a picture and she pleasantly agreed. I changed the color of her dress from periwinkle blue to white because it contrasted better with the green of the sweet pea vines.
The picture was taken in March when everything was verdant green, and the flowers – snapdragons, pansies, poppies and more – were at peak bloom. I should try to walk the area again some time and see if I recognize the houses and the path.
Although I prefer to do plein air studies as preparation for studio paintings, there are some occasions when a composition just presents itself to you and there you are without an easel, and the light fading fast. This was one of those occasions when I was glad I had a camera with me.
“The Bridge Aglow”
(Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena)
11 x 14
Oil painting on linen panel
The Colorado Street Bridge in Pasadena is an icon that I never tire of painting. This painting was started on site last fall, and has been waiting for me to put on the finishing touches. The viewpoint is the eastern side of the Arroyo Seco, not far from the Federal Courthouse, formerly known as the Vista Del Arroyo Hotel.
There used to be monthly California Art Club paintouts at the arroyo, but I don’t think they’re doing that any longer. I liked this viewpoint for painting the bridge because it shows it in relation to both sides of the canyon, although not the entire span.
Rose Bowl, with San Gabriel Mountains, in January
8 x 10 inches
oil on linen panel
The Rose Bowl is an imposing structure any time of year, but when the San Gabriel Mountains are dusted with snow, as they often are in January, it provides an extra-special backdrop. When the air is cold enough, the snow falls at altitude, but down in the Arroyo Seco, it provides welcome rain. Welcome except on January 1, that is.
I thought about putting in some people in red or purple or gold or blue jackets, but it occurred to me that if someone wanted this painting as a keepsake of a special bowl game that they might prefer to have a few people in THEIR colors, rather than the, um, rival team. Sound fair?
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.
“Below the Arch”
Colorado Street Bridge, Pasadena
11 x 14 painting
oil on canvas
This painting of our iconic Colorado Street Bridge went home yesterday with a new collector. I always enjoy painting the bridge, and hope to appreciate its beauty from many new angles in the coming year. This was a larger painting based upon a 5 x 7 study I did a few years ago.
“This Side of Paradise”
Eastern Sierra oil painting
6 x 8″ miniature
Oil on linen panel
This little study features an area along highway 395 near the Sherwin grade, as the road climbs out of Bishop and leads up to June Lake and Mammoth Lakes.
In October the aspens are starting their transition from green to gold, and the first dusting of snow can be seen on the high peaks. The grazing meadows have turned golden and fairly glow in the afternoon sun.
This painting is for sale. It was photographed under bright incandescent light, indoors. It may look warmer or cooler on your monitor.
11 x 14 inches – oil on canvas
This is a plein air painting that I did a few years ago, and somehow it escaped being photographed and posted to my blog. A recent conversation prompted me to revisit it and I discovered that it was missing from my site.
Not too long ago we renewed our Huntington membership and I’m looking forward to visiting again when the camellias are in bloom. On a trip a few weeks ago, they had a California landscape exhibit which I enjoyed, along with other permanent collection work in the Paul and Heather Sturt Haaga gallery. If you live in Southern California and you’re not a member of the Huntington, what are you waiting for?