Pasadena Adjacent

Life Lived on the Edge of Pasadena

We Interrupt Our Regular Programing


As much as I enjoy sharing my watercolor bravado, I have other things that need my attention. And the dog days of August (which on the west coast include both August, September AND the first two weeks of October) kind of mess with my desire to hang out with Mr Sunshine and lay down color. So I’ve turned to my studio, with it’s blessed AC unit. One that looks a lot like that robot in Lost in Space.

Plus I don’t really feel like writing.

My head is just in a different space: cats, horses, and House. One is clay, one involves vector files and both performed to the beat of a House M.D. marathon. Lots of barfing. Currently House is in prison. He’s also cute. That’s him on the screen. The tall one. That’s a cat in the foreground. I’ll be adding ears to the head. After I’m done with the head and hula hoop torso, the base will be constructed. It’ll resemble a topographic map. This is my fourth ‘cat’ sculpture.

The Artist residency is still up in the air. Though I’ve volunteered to help with the one year anniversary event for the San Gabriel Mountain’s National Monument recognition. And I plan to donate work for a future show benefiting the range. In Andean shamanism mountains are sacred. They call them Apus. An Estrella is the spirit of an Apu. The call to the shamanic path means being summoned by an Estrella through an outward manifestation. So I’m calling the residency proof of my Estrella. And Ritalin my coca leaf.

Back to work

Mahafaly tomb sculptures near Tulear, Southern Madagascar



Watercolor #40 in 35 Years: Singer Park Pasadena



I had a bad feeling about this location. First off, I was still working on the ‘Old Mill’ painting and wasn’t prepared to switch gears. When I did arrive at Singer Park, I noticed all my fellows were huddled into the north east corner. An indication that that might be the only focal point worth pursuing. Or at least one with shade. But just to be certain, I followed the circular path taking photos along the way. And this view was my first stop. The restroom.

To be fair, I did make it over to the gang. And I did try with all my heart to draw the Pergola that was near them, but it just wasn’t happening. So I went back to the restroom, did a little drawing, a little painting – all with disastrous results. At some point it occurred to me that painting a public restroom is probably not a wise choice. People like paintings with yellow in them – they don’t like bathrooms. Which might explain the endless argument on how to hang a roll of toilet paper. But I liked the apartment buildings on the other side of the fence. So there you have it.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] Barbara, upon seeing my sad start, encouraged me to turn the paper over and began again – she also said she had faith I could turn it around too. I took option B, got up early the next morning and made the restroom painting work. Then dropped in on the PCC swap meet, picked up a bunch of brushes from my favorite vender, returned home, and made everything else work. Mr V suggested keeping the background apartments low key. If I could change anything, it would be to remove the trees from behind the bathroom. The apartments are interesting.


Watercolor #39 in 35 Years: The Old Mill in San Marino



A blistering day awaited us when we made our way to the Old Mill in San Marino. Otherwise referred to as El Molino Viejo. Upon arrival we found the joint set up for a wedding. This made certain areas off limits, and other areas too hot to endure. What was left was a rounded pergola with a view obscured by a Huppah and a whole lot of chairs. Barbara took advantage of the situation and painted the scene ‘as is.’ And if the likes on Face Book are any indication – to great success. Me? I did some drawing, laid down some paint and came back the next Friday to work – without benefit of a wedding.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] The cooler Friday weather put me in a productive mood, resulting in a decent painting. I brought it up to the point where I could come home and put in the final details. Mr V. looked at it and encouraged me to bring up the darks (watercolorists generally work from light to dark) slowly; preserving the subtlety that was in the underpainting. Screwed up the stairs, put in a bench to take attention off of them, and eliminated the black metal handrail. Mainly because my fine line brush is much like my truck’s tire alignment – it veers to the left.

They let us take home a pomegranate.


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