Pasadena Adjacent

Life Lived on the Edge of Pasadena

Watercolor #21 in 33 Years: Colby Canyon Fire


colby_1enlarge to appreciate 

Plein Air painting #21 was not accomplished en plain air. Barbara had family matters to attend to, so our Saturday session was cancelled. I could of gone out on my own, but I like the social aspect involved painting with such nice and talented people. That said, I’m trying to make a discipline of creating a painting a week. If something comes up, I don’t have a problem pulling out a photo to work from. This image is from a photo taken on the hill rising behind Church of Angels on Ave 64. It’s of the 2014 Colby Canyon fire. The houses in the foreground are of a 60’s subdivision referred to as the “Arroyo View Estates”

[WARNING SHOP TALK] I have a fear of the dark. Putting in those dark blue roofs was an act of courage. And this painting was a challenge. I doubt I could have done it ‘pleine air.’ Just so complicated; requiring a ton of plotting. There must be 50 buildings that I was trying to keep separate through color, contrast, walls, shadows and trees. And the smoke — I pulled it off (imperfectly).

Strangely, I disliked this painting the evening that I finished it. After a nights sleep, I felt just the opposite. I would defiantly encourage you to ‘enlarge to appreciate.’ The beauty is in the details.

*Waterlogue app images in video

Watercolor #20 in 33 Years: Holy Family Church


Church.Garrisonenlarge to appreciate

En Plaine Air Painting #20 on a Saturday morning. This session took place at the highly baroque ‘Holy Family Church’ located in South Pasadena. Baroque is a bitch. And since I’m not one to focus (crop) in on a manageable area, I get to experience the pain of full ‘representation’ in all it’s gory glory. But I did pretty good too. An added bonus is that one of our watercolor fellows is a member of the church and wants to include our results in the Church’s book store. That’s one way to get me into a church.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] I was able to move my Spanish revival palette into a warm yellow/green rather then the usual purple/pink spectrum. There’s a little bit of wonky happening with the architecture. I’m good with that. Yes, there are areas I’d like to redo; mainly the lighting on the different layers of concrete facade as it goes back in space, (check the original photo).  A favorite is the incense cedar’s color system on the far right. It reminds me of orange crate art and other prints of that era. Oh, and the lights; note the illumination. And just to make sure no one thinks the hillside in the far distance is the San Gabriel’s, I’ve added the South Pasadena water tower.

*The Waterlogue app translations are in the video

Watercolor #19 in 33 Years: Audubon Nature Center


Audubonenlarge to appreciate

En Plaine Air Painting #19 on a Saturday morning. This session took place in the land of the California Crafts Movement: specifically the Audubon Nature Center above the Arroyo. The local movement was a California variant of a school traceable to English designer William Morris which produced a distinct regional amalgam of Japanese, Native American symbolism and elements from the state’s Spanish-Mexican heritage. I like to think I’m part of an updated continuation of that tradition via location and chosen materials; ceramics and watercolor.

Wave at Petrea over at Living Vicuriously  She was on the other side of the Arroyo at the same time. Yodelee ay he Oooo!  

WARNING SHOP TALK: I like this painting. Though it contains my usual sins – screwing up the first elements I paint. And usually the defining elements of the composition [unidentifiable green shape and foreground bridge]. It’s also using an array of my favorite hot cools (lavender) cools (prussian blue) and warm tones. And though some may see a little to much liney liney ( think Tim Gunn’s matchy matchy) — how can one not be charmed by the dancing sycamore and flowering sage in the upper right hand corner? (thanks to my zealous use of masking fluid). It’s not just El Alisal, in my world it’s the land of dancing sycamores. Yes, you may use the term lyrical

*note the birds



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