Watercolor #22 in 33 Years: Garfield Park

by Pasadena Adjacent

EG_Garfieldenlarge to appreciate

En Plein Air Painting #23 on a Saturday morning. Two view points, one park, two dogs; Elwood (belonging to my cousin Dave) and Frankie (belonging to Barbara).

This should have been #22 but I was so uninspired by my start, that I allowed it to sit around and collect dust. Consider it the first in my loosing streak. Last Saturday was a visit to the South West Museum. Arriving late, I wondered the museum grounds, took photos and marveled at an excellent show of 20th century South West potters. Despite my brand new palette of Holbein paints, I didn’t even start a sketch. So what choice was there but to finish the Garfield Park painting.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] The painting came out much better then expected. Perhaps this was due to my new palette or because I was unattached to the outcome. Maybe both. The paints lather up with ease making it easier to get richer and more densely pigmented washes. As to structure, there is some serious wonky perspective at work. Like the Egyptians, I’ve  placed size and value on the same plane. The sycamore has a huge trunk, but in reality, it’s far back on the picture plane — but not in my world.  Causing the leaf crown to look like those DTLA sidewalk Ficus trees. Where the business owners chop off the crown and they grow back looking like lollypops. A deliberate choice was made to leave off the hanging foliage from the redwoods in the foreground. Hard since my inner editor doesn’t believe ‘less is more’ But with the high detail of the trash receptacle grounding the composition, it works. As does the way the two sides of the painting (divided by the sidewalk) integrate. Browns and purples on the left, greens and blues on the right.