Sunday, June 26, 2011

Downtown Los Angeles

Last week, I painted at Angel's Nook, a tiny little pocket park in downtown L.A. right next to Angel's Flight, a tiny little funicular railway. My painting turned out to be a complete waste of paper. In fact, I think I'll use the back to test colors. I saved the day by shopping at Grand Central Market. Grand Central Market opened in 1917 to serve the population's need for fresh produce and other foods. It has remained, I imagine, pretty much unchanged since that time. I purchased as much fresh produce as I could carry - two arm-straining bags of peppers, avocados, bananas, cherries, cucumbers, green onions and more - for $5.42.

After the fact, I painted a view from the lot where I parked to paint and shop. It's pretty simplified, which is a good thing, yet I think you can still recognized the Los Angeles City Hall and the Los Angeles Times buildings.

I've been a little light on blogging lately. It seems better, at least for now, to concern myself with quality rather than quantity. In almost all things.

Monday, June 13, 2011

It's still Monday here

I'm sharing my roses with many katydid nymphs. There are plenty to go around. These look very similar to the grown katydids. The smaller ones look very different and it took me literally years to figure out that they were the same insects.
These katydids haven't yet grown their wings, so they aren't making noise. I can't quite remember how they sound. I listened to sound clips, and they were a little different from the katydids around here. The call is supposed to sound like "katy did," which is where they got the name. I don't really hear that. It is a more complex song than the chirp of the crickets though. A three beat measure.

I've included this because the colors go so well with the picture above. I've also been pretty excited ever since I learned what a scarlet pimpernel is. This lovely little weed. What an odd name for a hero. Damned elusive pimpernel (I quote.) There are more wonderful macros here.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Haunted Forest

I painted this at the Cobb Estate in Altadena. Although there is a lot of internet noise about it being haunted, it's not a scary place, at least not during daylight. I saw a huge and marvelous gopher snake there on Saturday. I understand the property did belong to Groucho Marx for a time, but that was after the mansion was razed, and he never lived there. The Cobb Estate is also the entrance to the Echo Mountain trail, which is one of my favorite local hikes. It works your leg muscles and heart just about the right amount, and there's some nice stuff to see when you get there.

Although this is not painted very well, it does have nice colors and value patterns. It looks pretty nice to me from a distance. It might look good on an i-phone.

If, like me, you love old things and music, you'll want to check out the National Jukebox at the Library of Congress. What a kick. These are the recordings people listened to before they even had radios.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Thursday, June 2, 2011

My Turn

Some months ago, I mentioned to my blog's biggest fan that I'd considered making a separate blog for rants. Everybody wants to rant sometimes, right? I'm a picture person though, so the blog would have to have pictures, and I didn't know what. How about pictures of bottles of your favorite beers? he said. In some odd way, it made sense. But I thought little more of it. Then one afternoon, I was at the Altadena Ale House on the patio. The sun shone on the remains of a happy hour. I took pictures. Weeks later, with nothing to paint, I committed the images to watercolor. Now here are my rants.

I don't really care what you believe, unless you insist on believing in a selfish, egotistical, narrow-minded God. That is wrong.

Don't be wasteful. Don't acquire or consume things you don't need or want. Don't dispose of things that are still good and useful.

Take personal responsibility. Change your own ways. Don't assume that the world's problems will be solved for you.

Keep your sense of perspective. There may be concerns that are more important and more pressing than yours.

Be aware of your surroundings. Take in the beauty. Notice what is missing. Be mindful of the dangers. Move with care. Be thoughtful of the others.

Be quiet. There's much too much noise and talk. Wait until you have something to say that adds something. Meanwhile, just think and breathe and listen.

Crap. That's not very rant-like. Oh well. Perhaps another time.