Tuesday, October 9, 2012

El Alisal

As the title might suggest to you, I painted this at El Alisal, the home of Charles F. Lummis in Northeast Los Angeles beside the Arroyo Seco.  El Alisal, I just learned, is Spanish for alder grove, although these foreground trees are sycamores. 

I like this painting a lot.  I think I was pretty inspired, not just by the visual surroundings, but also by the history of the place, including the absolutely brilliant artist friends of Charles Lummis.  Lummis, I believe, was the world's most interesting man.  The real one.  If you judge a man by his friends, or the work of his hands, or the mark he leaves on the world, or his departure from dull convention, his passion, his talents, or his vision, or any other measure I can think of as I sit, Lummis was extraordinarily interesting.  I leave it to you to learn about him, if you don't already know.  Charles Lummis built his beautiful home out of Arroyo stones.  This building is behind it.  I don't know what purpose if any it served in the life of Lummis, but it was a nice subject for a painting, and spared me the challenge of painting stone walls. 


  1. The history builds a character for any place and this seems to be one such. I loved the stone walls with a lot of light and shade playing around.

  2. Just reread this piece Barbara and felt the challenge again of painting the stone walls...

  3. Lummis did the most beautiful wood work inside. Kind of inspired the bed post I keep above my bed - absolutely unfunctional as such but it looks Lummis-esque