Sunday, July 11, 2010
Chinatown, Los Angeles
After taking two weeks off from Saturday plein air painting, I felt nervous about going back. It was a wonderful experience to stand quietly and paint in the plaza and absorb the atmosphere of the place, which changes very markedly from 8:30 a.m. to noon. The plaza starts out full of men, speaking Chinese or reading the paper, drinking coffee or tea. Many of them silently watched me paint. By noon they have gone home or indoors to play mah jong; you can hear the tiles. The L.A. Conservancy walking tour is there. There are lots of tourists and locals with their children; the children have those little paper-wrapped popping things. A man is playing an erhu. A group of girls is consulting a fortune teller.
I used watercolors, for a change and to avoid cleaning brushes. It's the first watercolor I have done on an easel. I spent a long sketching this wonderful building before I painted it. You might imagine that I pushed the colors, but if you've seen the building, you will know that my version is rather muted.