Watercolor # 27 in 33 Years: Altadena Barn

by Pasadena Adjacent



I’m not a big fan of the Cobb estate trail. Not that it isn’t lovely, but too steep for the knees, too many people, bikes and and not much shade. So I go left, and take the trail less followed. Against the edge of suburbia — it allows me to eavesdrop into other peoples lives via their backyards. Or run into one of those progressive schools, a bunch of mid-century homes being flipped or this barn.

[WARNING SHOP TALK] There are paintings which are best described as problem children. You end up spending half your time trying to fix them up because you see their worth. Either that, or your to lazy to start over again. #27 included a fair amount of time trying to get that horse trailer rendered correctly: tires are hell. But the creation of a big dark blob on the right side, whose intent was to frame the view, didn’t exactly evoke ‘oak.’ So I did what the desperate do, and brought out my tube of white watercolor. Which seems to go against the concept of watercolor. More like a gauche. Liberally applied, it made my ill conceived blob into a ghost oak now situated behind the cactus.

The Eucalyptus behind the barn qualifies as a ‘fail’ but the dark green in and around it was an epic save. As for the horse, one of Barbara’s instructors told her that if you get the back of a horse right, all else can be wrong. Obviously, I didn’t study with her instructor, but I still stand in solidarity with my pony pal Pokey. The foreground washes signify watercolor at it’s best. Simply taking the premixed colors on my palate and throwing them down.