Saturday, December 1, 2012

By Southwest

It's the last few minutes of Friday, and with any luck I'll have a new painting tomorrow, so it's time I post last Saturday's.  This is the view from the other side of the Southwest Museum, which you may recall I recently painted from Ernest Debs Park. Blogger Pasadena Adjacent suggested I do it again on better paper.  Also, I remembered that after being closed altogether for a while, the Southwest Museum is now a little bit open again.  It is open only on Saturdays from 10 to 4.  The garden is open, and the empty tunnel and a very small exhibit in the main hall.  But you've got to go.  It's free, and your very presence will help send the message that this neighborhood needs a museum, and the Southwest collection belongs in the place where Charles Lummis had the foresight to start collecting Native American art 100 years ago when it was still relatively ubiquitous.

The rather prominent flag is lit incorrectly, but it's kind of cool, and it's kind of an inside joke I'm going to let you in on.  When I was painting the previous painting, a hiker came by and looked at it for a minute, and said, "you forgot the flag."  I said, no, I left it off intentionally.  It was a design choice; I didn't want it to be the tallest thing and the only red white and blue thing in the painting.  But the hiker gave me this look that said he understood that I hate America.  So, just to prove I don't . . . but you know me better than that anyway.

The Southwest Museum was the first museum I visited with my older son.  As soon as he was old enough to eat solid food and sit up straight in a stroller, we needed to take him to a museum.  But where to start?  Someplace not too big and exhausting.  Someplace fun to ride in a stroller.  Someplace with cool tangible stuff, but not a lot of noisy shiny gimmicky stuff to lure kids in and fail to teach them to look with their eyes and engage their minds without their hands.  See?  My son was just a baby, and I was already well on my way to being a grumpy old woman.

I'll leave you with this.  It's the motto of Southwest Museum.  I'm telling you, you just don't find museums with mottos everyday.  Tomorrow is the flower of its yesterdays.


  1. I can feel the sun here and am loving the shadows cast that are making the painting come out live. I personally feel that adding the flag made me realize the importance of the building.I think it certainly added value!

  2. Hi, Barbara,
    Thank you for sharing the nice painting and the interesting post. "Tomorrow is the flower of its yesterdays," is the wonderful and wise say. Yes, we move on!
    Best wishes, Sadami

  3. You have a wonderful sense of light in your paintings, Barbara - always something I admire so much!

  4. I was talking to a friend from Montecito Hts recently. Mentioned the SW Museum to her. Response: "No, I've never been. Hate Indian stuff!"

    But I like your painting of it, and, I think she would like your painting of it too - if not the museum itself.

  5. Love this piece, the flag story, and the motto!