Saturday, December 17, 2011

Sky About To Rain

Even if you've just driven through Pasadena, you've probably seen this - St. Andrew Church. St. Andrew's is celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, although the current beautiful building with the tower wasn't built until 1927. The interior of St. Andrew's is wonderful. You should visit, maybe take a tour, or at very least visit their website and look at the pictures.

I was painting from a vantage point at Memorial Park. Memorial Park suffered devastating losses of trees in the recent winds. It's possible that a couple of weeks ago I could have stood in the same spot and giant oaks and camphor trees would have been in my sights. The sky was pretty today, but kind of emo. Then it started to rain and I hightailed it to my car, not because I mind the rain, but it plays hell with watercolors. I painted for another ten minutes at home.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


Here's a recent indoor painting. Generous friends shared their haul of delicious fuyu persimmons. I think because I'd painted persimmons in class last year, they called to me, not only to eat them, but to paint them too. I got the color much more saturated than my typical slightly faded looking watercolors. I recalled other lessons of oil painting as well: attention to values, contrasts, sparing but bold brushstrokes. They look a little like they're teetering on an abyss. I think the eating was a greater success than the painting. I ate at least one persimmon almost daily for more than a month I think. I shared a few. But the truth is few people like persimmons as much as I. I'm glad I didn't waste any, but I'm sad that they're all gone. I considered purchasing some at the market, but they're priced at bit beyond my fruit budget. Please think of me if you ever have more persimmons than you can use.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Can This Be Winter?

When I said it was a beautiful day at Arlington Garden, this is what I'm talking about. It's nowhere near spring, and yet a hundred different things are blooming. Fruit of the prickly pear cactus.

These seed pods are on one of Yoko Ono's wishing trees. I don't have any idea what became of the wishes, but the trees live on at Arlington Garden. I remember a time when I thought Yoko Ono was not a real artist, but was an opportunistic selfish woman who broke up the Beatles and took John for herself. With more mature eyes, I can see how perfect Yoko was for John; how they exemplified the very best of love, nurturing what was truest and most beautiful in one another. That's a good wish.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Arlington Garden

Beautiful day today. I'm glad I was out painting rather than shopping. At Arlington Garden, the citrus trees were heavy, and any windstorm damage had been lovingly cleared away. Exotic flowers were blooming and lizards were basking. Dogs and people were getting some exercise.

Once there was a enormous house here at Arlington and Orange Grove. The mansion wasn't torn down until 1961, by which time I was four and living in the area. How on earth did I miss it?

I also meant to note that instead of photographing my paintings laying flat in bright shade as I usually do, this was photographed upright in sunlight. The color washed out a bit, but is much more true, and you see the texture of the paper as well.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

After Wind

Possibly you heard that California experienced some unusually strong winds which took down thousands of trees and knocked power out in many locations. The trees at my home all survived, with just minor injuries. Power was only out for about seven hours when I was most interested in sleeping anyway. But my old computer? Fried when the power went out. Surge protector notwithstanding. That is why there have been no blog updates. My advice to you? Replace your surge protector every so often.

I went out last Saturday to paint, but it was still pretty windy, and I became convinced that a tree would fall on me. Or at minimum, that my easel and paper would blow away. This painting is one I had been wanting to paint for a while. One morning I found a dead moth floating in the dog's water. It was really very beautiful. But when I took a photograph, it looked awful. Sort of like a dead moth in the dog's water. It needed artistic interpretation. Which I have attempted.

Thank you for being here.