Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Public Chambers

This is a small bit of the Richard H. Chambers Courthouse that houses the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Bankruptcy Court.  Built as the Vista del Arroyo resort hotel, this building also served as the McCormack Army Hospital in the 1940s, and later - rumor has it - mysterious military intelligence went on there.  The Pasadena area does not have any of California's beautiful historic courthouses.  Possibly Riverside is the closest one.  But thanks to the vision of Richard Harvey Chambers, an architecture-loving federal judge, we have a beautiful federal court.  And this lovely building perched on the edge of the Arroyo Seco overlooking the Colorado Bridge belongs to the public.  I was inside not too long ago - not for a bankruptcy, thank goodness - and a saw an exhibit of furniture made by a Pasadena craftsman from fallen Pasadena trees.  Tree artist, I'm sorry I don't recall and can't find your name.  I learned on Saturday that the grounds of the courthouse are not fully accessible.  Still, the garden was beautiful and the parking lot open and free.  

As for the painting, I'd give it slightly mixed reviews.  The drawing is a little off in a distracting way, with the bowed archway and wrong angle of the doors.  I tried and failed to get the beautiful warm reflected light inside the archway.  To be honest with you, I cropped off some of the right side, which was just more of the same distracting dapples of green.  There's some nice technique in the agapanthus, ubiquitous purple flowers I'm glad I painted.  I'm fond of the shadows.  I chose to paint this view because of the the interesting shadows, and because it has a face.      


  1. Kindly dispense with the "word verification". It is a bit irritating.

  2. You painted this from within the Garden??
    I had an opportunity to tour that bldg last yr, but due to circumstances beyond my control, the tour was scratched at the last moment!

    I gotta see about organizing a tour, if possible, but only if I could get a good number of people to actually come. Actually a better idea wood bee to get someone else to take the baton of organizer!