A Stream of Visitors at Pasadena City Hall

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Historic Pasadena City Hall —

Pasadena City Hall is a popular site for tourists, photographers, artists and more. I imagine I’ve painted here at least a dozen times. This time I pitched my easel on Euclid St., which is the east entrance to City Hall.

It was a sunny day. I arrived at approximately 11:00 am, so the shadows were more horizontal than diagonal. Once again, I am experimenting with doing a pencil sketch instead of pen & ink. I ran out of my regular Arches paper, so I’m using Arches 140# rough watercolor paper. It seems to be even more absorbent than the other.  The colors are biting in more. I think I like it because the colors look richer. I especially like the dry brush affect over the rough texture.


My first visitor was a chef. He will soon become a father and was very happy to talk about his new baby. It was good to hear a young black man excited about fatherhood. I pray he will maintain that enthusiasm even as his child grows into those teenage years. If not the same level of enthusiasm, the commitment to pour his life into his child from now to eternity.

A steady stream of visitors paused to chat as I painted. Some stopped only long enough for me to hand them a Talent Search tract. One very interesting visitor was a police officer. He had once been involved in the arts as a gallery owner. He and I knew some of the same African American artists who have done well in their careers.

Another visitor said that she got her marriage license at Pasadena City Hall. When I asked if she also got married there, she said no and that she had been divorced for 29 years. I replied to that, “You barely look 29 years old.” That wasn’t a flirt, but a fact! When she told me that she was 59 years old, I told her that God has taken good care of her.”

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