Pasadena Adjacent

Life Lived on the Edge of Pasadena

Watercolor #34 in 33 Years: Santa Anita Race track



A few weeks back I was invited to breakfast at Clockers Corner to be followed by a hike near Mount Baldy. A memorial trot for a fellow blogger who had recently died. I took a pass on the hike — having stepped on glass the night before. Too bad because it was a cool day and I could have handled it. Oh well. We all have our memories, and one of my favorites with Natasha was the afternoon she and I spent stalking old boyfriends. We shared common markers. She grew up in Highland Park, and in a way, I did too.

[WARNING SHOP TALK]  I showed up an hour early at the race track and did a preliminary sketch and took photos with plans to work from home. Semi plein air and another case of condensed perspective. It seems my visual angle is wider then my camera’s angle. What excited me was the fog over the mountains. Gray skies can have the effect of intensifying select colors while muting others. I think that’s the case with green. I also think I got carried away with green and found myself returning to knock it down a notch by applying a thin wash of it’s opposite color.  As I told Karin – people and horses are the hardest thing to depict. She asked “why horses” and I said it’s because they’re made up of strange parts. That when put together in correct proportions, become beautiful. Don’t believe me? Photograph a horse head on. Right. Or maybe because they don’t have fur. Fur allows for fudging.

Do you have the patience to make it through the video?

Watercolor #33 in 33 Years: Overlooking the Arroyo



This is my second attempt to paint the Colorado Street Bridge in 33 years. The first time was in oils for Dr. Thompson’s class. The only art professor I knew who had a doctorate degree. The Greatest Generation got the ‘greatest breaks’ when it came to education. Seems my older professors all had golden handshake retirement deals, beach front property and second homes in Europe. Anyhow, I recall the entire painting was in shades of mauve and painted from below La Casita Del Arroyo. If your familiar with the Arroyo, this particular view point is from the banks of the Arroyo: that area containing the remnants of a fountain. Some shade was available, but not where I could pull up a log and be comfortable. So I spread out a blanket, did what I could, then came back later in the afternoon (with a chair) and finished up.

[WARNIG SHOP TALK] The light source on the Federal building is off. So is it’s size; plus it’s tilting into the Arroyo. I (unfortunately) tend to tackle the thing I’m most nervous about first. The light in the morning is opposite of the afternoon light. A problem for both the Federal building and the bridge. Fudging was necessary. You might also notice my condensed perspective. There are additions of rock and buckwheat not seen in the video. I like the foliage, the craftsman cottage, the globular lights on the bridge and the mountains.

Watercolor #32 in 33 Years: Farnsworth Park




Farnsworth Park has been the site of many a blogger’s picnic. Created in 1934, it’s a lovely W.P.A. sponsored river rock community center that includes a spectacular amphitheater. Something I might take on at a future date. When I got to the park, the sun was blasting and the humidity was high. Sending me in search of a shady spot with a passable angle. And this was it. Regrettably the drawing was in place before the sun disappeared into June Gloom, leaving me with an odd angle and limited highlights and contrast.

I need a proper pleine air set-up – and a pony.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] River rocks are the bane of my existence. Depicting a million of them is maddening. But I did a decent job of giving each and everyone a certain individuality. Shingles are a close second. And if I were a better painter, I’d know how to economize my energy to get the point across without the added labor. But I’m not there — so the added labor becomes ‘style.’

Did you catch my screw up?


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