Friday, April 1, 2016
I've railed before on this very blog I think about the trend toward safe and bland playground equipment. There I go again sounding like I want children to get hurt. It isn't that at all, but adventure, fear, risk . . . those are beautiful things. Kind of almost worth flying through the air and landing hard with a mouth full of sand. This playground equipment seems pretty safe. No hard edges or hot metal, or free-fall from ten feet up, but still honestly it looked fun. These little kids had their own challenges, trying to grow up under watchful eyes.
As it happens, I used to work across the street from this park, also to the west, but slightly further south, to the left and out of the picture. I was only a few years wiser about the world than the children of the playground. I used to walk across the street to the park for my lunch hour. I probably even occupied the swings sometimes - those treacherous swings of a bygone era. There were pigeons eating things they shouldn't and old tired men drinking from paper bags.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
The stone structure depicted here was a watering trough, built in 1906 and 1907 and much later designated South Pasadena historic landmark number 7. It was a place for tired and thirsty horses and travelers to rest and hydrate on their way from Los Angeles to Pasadena. Before people built lovely structures out of rocks, there were many more rocks just sitting around on the ground.
Saturday, January 30, 2016
I'm pretty pleased with myself that I managed to get a photo in here with the new species of computer. It only took an hour or so, and I may or may not be able to do it again. I mean eventually I'm sure I'll be able to do it again.
By most accounts, the Christmas season has passed. The are still some lights up and some very dry trees at the curb. Maybe you haven't started your diet yet - there are still those Super Bowl parties and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates to consume before you worry about how you look in your swim suit. I painted this just after New Years. Lots of painters came out to paint.
It was cold and overcast when I started painting. This is the Sierra Madre Congretational Church, or part of it. They also have the white be-steepled church across the street that I've painted before. I've always liked this building, but since we paint in the morning, it's always backlit and dark. It wasn't so backlit on that gloomy January morning, and lack of light and shadows made the colors brighter. And then I guess the sun crept overhead while I still had time to light up the stairs.
With the fall foliage and the after Christmas wreaths, there's some blending of seasons. When I'm outdoors, I notice a lot of that. Leaves fall off and expose the buds of spring blossoms. And each new spring blossom contains its fruit, its seeds and its inevitable end. And its beginning. Those dry fir trees at the curb, they've seen some things too. Been witness to quiet cold starlit nights, birds and rain, decorations, gifts and holiday celebrations. The trees aren't going to come back to life, but they will get to be mulch, and in the meantime the dogs like to sniff them.