Watercolor #11 in 33 years – Barlow Hospital

by Pasadena Adjacent


GarrisonWC#11enlarge to appreciate 

I take pride on my intimate knowledge of the many nooks and crannies that make up Los Angeles. So imagine my surprise to discover this former 100 year old TB sanatorium called Barlow Hospital. It’s located in Elysian Park and is still in operation today. The only building I was able to identify from the historical photo is the large building on the left. I did photograph it, but from behind the building (better light). If the photo based video intrigues you, I recommend visiting as soon as possible. Although the facility has been granted historic Cultural Monument Status in 1990, plans are underway to enlarge the operation with a whole lot of “yuck.” Ironically Dr. Barlow, a tuberculosis patient himself, never thought the land would ever be threatened with development. The very logic behind his purchase of the multi acre tract was because it butted up against a park. Now they want to stack the hillside with condos to pay for the update and expansion of the hospital. It just never ends….. If you do visit, I must warn you, they did ask one of us (with paint and easel set up) what our business was. duh. Still it’s worth coming up with a creative excuse to explore the grounds.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] Across the street from the hospital is a group of four bungalows. They were built for returning WWII servicemen with respiratory issues. Using paints from my box set of Holbein watercolors (an x-mss present from my brother) I chose to paint the green home with the giant yucca. On this pleine air watercolor session I took it easy with the frisket. Partly because my concentration was really off. I did a rough sketch of the house and started blocking in some of the elements. This is the danger stage of my work; moving through my fears and making a boatload of mistakes in the process. Approaching the Yucca plant and Canary Island Date Palm, I could go in one of two directions – abbreviation or exaggeration. Exaggeration won out in the firework like bursts of flora. Abbreviation was relegated to the hillside fauna. As to color, I made a choice to lean heavily into a green palate. The stone wall was from imagination.

Today’s session will take place at Arlington Gardens in Pasadena.

For Sale: Barlow Hospital Military Bungalow 12″ x 16″ on Arches archival paper $250.00 unframed accesspalm@gmail.com