Year of Dairy Products From the American Heartland: Watercolor #7

by Pasadena Adjacent



My #7 pleine air watercolor in 33 years. Blog title courtesy of David Foster Wallace ‘Infinite Jest.’ A novel I survived completing and for which I’m still reeling.

Our location for this pleine air session was the lovely San Marino home of fellow watercolorist Evelyn, who like me, was also victim of a parking ticket (water color #4). Evelyn’s home is a spanish bungalo on my favorite east/west street, Loraine road. Located on the south side of Loraine, her abode shares a property line with a cemetery where both Mr and Mrs Gay of world famous Gay’s Lion Farm; formally in El Monte under what is now Interstate 10 AND General George Patton are buried.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] I thought for certain my watercolor was headed for the land of ‘watercolors past’ (trash). Yet every session I learn something new. Unfortunately, due to my impulsive nature and rush to avoid fears, I don’t always employ ‘said’ knowledge. For example, I know how the sun and seasons travel over the horizon. Thus I know the effects this will have on shadow and length. And I’m not talking about light depicting the visual picture plane. No. I’m talking about physical comfort. You can’t just grab a shadow and set up camp under it’s shade. Instead, you have to calculate shadow travel to your advantage. That means you not only want your physical body to be in shade, but also your palate, paints and other accouterments of the trade. A real shock to the eye balls occur when your mixing in sun and then painting in shade. Because of my poorly thought out shadow choice, I found myself rushed while plotting and blocking out the composition – as shadows receded leaving me hot and buggy eyed. And I’m not afraid to admit this sometimes works to my advantage; it’s where the quirky factor comes into play. But it can also be a painting’s death. So I gave up. As to the others, they also started late and quit early. Probably because of the remaining leftovers from Evelyn’s full breakfast buffet. Evelyn’s a sweet heart to have gone to such trouble.

~~awkward segue~~

 So once home with documentary photos downloaded, I saw that the situation wasn’t as dire as originally thought. I gave it a few days rest then picked up where I left off. With proper lighting, studio comfort and helpful suggestions from my unpaid intern, I was able to save this baby from the heap. Bigafy then check out the cyprus trees to the right.