Colors of Longwood

Fall has been lingering a bit this year, and all the better, as I’ve been behind in capturing the colors this year. So last week with sketchbook in hand I went for a stroll at Longwood. My sketchbook wasn’t long enough so I had to double back to fetch some longer sheets of watercolor paper. Here’s the result. I still wish the paper could have been even longer…

Even as I was sketching the clouds came by quite suddenly and I had to get another view with the clouds in this time. The sketch turned out a bit busy but worth the effort as now I have another sketch to add to my cloudscape studies…

Night Of a 1,000 Lights 

The night before last night was the last night of “Night of a 1,000 Lights” at Longwood. It’s Longwood’s Asian-inspired lantern celebration of thousands of floating and hanging lights or Chinese lanterns all aglow. For four nights (the last 2 consecutive Fridays and Saturdays) the Conservatory is open late and you get to enjoy this lighted show after hours in full view of the Chrysanthemum Festival. More on the chrysanthemum festival in a later post.  The event was spectacular last year and didn’t disappoint this year either! Here are a few of the images I managed to capture.

These were the lovely display at the Conservatory entrance.


The floating lanterns in the Exhibition Hall, the gentle sway and the soft reflections on the water were quite mesmerizing.


These orange lanterns lined the Acacia Passage in a continuous stream and the feathery acacia fronds that entwined them added a sense of mistique and an ethereal atmosphere. And these multi shades of blue lanterns lined the ceiling of the cactus room.

Stay tuned, more sketches from this event on the way…

Fall trees

This time of year I love sketching trees. The changing colors, the negative space, and just the fun of capturing them as they go from green to yellow to shades of oranges, reds, purples and on to just bare with blue skies takes only a few days and if you miss it you’ve got wait a whole year. Here are a few that I’ve done so far.

This is a view from my window…and a special tree in my backyard.

Another view of the same trees as they change colors done just a day later…

These trees are a view from my dining room window…

This one is from a hike at Longwood…

From my sketchbook

A short trip to LA in October gave me the chance to visit Long Beach and the Los Angels County Museum of Art. The visit to LACMA was too short and I have to go back again, bit I did manage to do some sketches both outdoors and in. My favorite by far of the outdoor sculptures was Chris Burden’s Urban Light comprising 220 vintage lampposts. I managed a quick pen and ink sketch while I waited for the museum to open.


Indoors, the highlight for me was the Lazarof collection of Piccaso, Degas, Pissarro, Kandinsky, and a whole room filled with sculptures by Alberto Giacometti. Here’s a quick sketch of Giacometti’s Monumental Head.