Pasadena Central Library Financial Services

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Pasadena Central Library —

I didn’t intend to do a plein air painting today at Pasadena Central Library. What I did plan to do was complete a small painting of my wife from the sketch I did earlier this morning. Peggie and I had gone to breakfast at a quaint restaurant. The kind with wood paneling, 60’s style vinyl covered chairs and curtains in the window. I did a pencil sketch of her on watercolor paper but didn’t have time to paint it.

When I arrived at the library to do the painting, I realized that I had left the sketch in my car. I saw that I had 30 minutes before I had to move my car, so I decided to see what I could accomplish in that short time.

Without a Net

Since my time was very limited, I didn’t do a preliminary pen & ink sketch, nor did I do a pencil sketch. Instead, I went straight for the watercolors. I used my #1 rigger (a paintbrush with extra long bristles) as a sketch pen and developed a quick composition using a thin mix of ultramarine blue, burnt umber and a touch of alizarin crimson. You can see that in the palm tree shadow. I then blocked in the library scene using a #8 sable and finished it of with a #6.

The Visitor

While I painted, I was also looking to see who God might send to my easel. People passed by going in and out of the library. Since I was sitting on a bench instead of standing as I usually do, not everyone noticed me. A few did, but simply looked curiously at me as they passed by. Finally, someone approached and asked if he could see what I was doing. Of course, I invited him over.

Jim (not real name) was a friendly young man. He was well-dressed and very polite. We talked about art for a while, then I asked him what he did for a living. Jim works in the financial industry. He said there were such an excess of unethical practices in that industry that he didn’t enjoy the work. Jim was not the type of person who would compromise and lower his standards. I encouraged him to continue to do what was right and watch as God promoted him into a place tailored just for him.


For those who wanted to follow up on my daughter’s artwork, you will find some info at

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