Palisades Park in All It's Glory


I had forgotten that I had already posted in my last blog the second of these large green drawings.  This actually is the first.  I was waiting to see if it was finished.
 Aside from a few lines, it was.  Some in this group are maximal, this one is minimal.  Its a part of the park where few people congregate, and they stand only fleetingly at the fence before they move on.  Sitting there can inspire contemplation.
I had some interesting conversations over the few days that I worked on this drawing.  One of the days there were three park rangers standing and talking right about where I was going to draw.  I thought well, I'll just sit nearby, so I did.  They noticed me setting up my chair and were very friendly and I talked with them for a bit.  That was the first I learned of Palisades Park even having park rangers!  
The next day I talked with a woman who was watching me work.  We discussed the lone tall plant I was drawing and we wondered about the name.  I thought it was some kind of yucca which I remembered from my elementary school days.  In fourth grade our class went on a weekend trip to a camp in Malibu Canyon and there we learned how the "Indians" (that was our title then) used all parts of the plant to make things like soap and rope.  The school had a very strong learning-by-doing philosophy, after John Dewey, so we all got to try our hand at making soap.  We carefully separated the leaves into threads, grasped them with our hands and rubbed them together with water.  It was cool, we all thought.  After I graduated from elementary school and moved on I used to compare memories with my friends about elementary school and what we remembered and hands down I always remembered the most; because of the experiential social studies program I remembered (and remember) what I did in each grade. I was very proud of my elementary school.
The lady told me that one of the park rangers told her that up near California Street there was an area where the plants and trees were labeled, including the one I was drawing.  So I planned to check it out.
This is the 3rd large green drawing I did, over the course of a few days.  At some point I decided I would make several of these large ones of the park.  The coolest thing that happened as I was walking to my spot the 2nd day of this drawing was a crew of fashion photographers and a model showed up to work right by the fence overlooking the ocean.  It was rather captivating, something about the arrangement of the people, especially the photographer on the ladder. So I took a break from the green piece to make this black and white one.
The most beautiful thing was the umbrella.  That kind photographers use to diffuse the light.  This was the first time I had a chance to really look at this kind of thing and suddenly that's all I wanted to draw.  Something about the light and the lines of the black metal supports on the inside.
Fortunately, just as I returned to the large green drawing, the fashion group moved into the area I was looking at, and I got to put them in my drawing.  I think they gave this piece a needed spot of interest.
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published this page in Blog 2011-09-24 15:37:51 -0700