Saturday, July 31, 2010

Southwest Museum

There are two points that comprise a viewpoint: where you stand, and where you're looking. I was looking at the Southwest Museum (as you are now), but I want to tell you about where I stood. The Audubon Center at Debs Park is my new favorite place. It is located in an unspoiled patch of the Arroyo Seco, so a painter can experience and paint the landscapes that were so familiar to painters of the last century, including Wendt,the Wachtels,and Redmond. I saw cottontails. The Audubon Center itself is an entirely green and sustainable structure. It gathers all its own power. Cabinetry is made of compressed sunflower hulls. Parking is ample and free, with preference given to energy-efficient vehicles. You can buy Adventure Passes there for future trips to the mountains. There is perhaps the best play area ever for young children - no gimmicky stuff, just mud, leaves, sticks, fabulous trees, a cave, a fort, picnic benches, play tables, bridges, and endless imagination fodder. If you want to take a little hike (of which there are a number), you can borrow (not rent) strollers, kid-carrying backpacks, day packs, binoculars, nature guides, AND (get ready) watercolors and paper. I brought my own paints and paper. I'm pretty happy with the painting. I've always liked this building, and I did an okay job of capturing the light, colors and values. The sun was warm and the paint dried quickly.


  1. You captured the variety in values brilliantly Barbara, especially since this is plein air, it is commendable! I also loved the way you cleverly handled the green patches. Now I know where to go next time I visit LA !

  2. OH Barbara, this is great and what is also wonderful is that you talk about Pasadena and areas that will be easy for me to go check out. Thanks a lot! I'll be saving off some of the posts for future reference when we get in the car to go on photo shoots. Love this painting.