Monday, January 5, 2009

Variations on a Theme...

South Pasadena acts as muse to many visual artists. Remember this Rialto Visions Plein Air Paint Out from back in October? It was an inspiration to see so many painters lining the streets of our fair city, rendering The Rialto in various styles and pigments. I was so inspired, I had to take pictures of them.

But behind the scenes, tucked away in her South Pasadena studio, artist Leslie Saeta was using a palette knife to create her own versions of various city locations. And there was a twist -- she was basing several of the works on my photos from right here on GOSP. When she initially wrote to me to ask permission, I was thrilled that my images inspired someone else. I've always loved the spirit of artistic collaboration. It fueled the likes of Clifford Odets and the Group Theatre, films by Robert Altman, improvisational comedy venues like The Groundlings and Second City, not to mention every garage band's cover of Yesterday.

Now that I've seen Leslie's completed paintings, I'm not only thrilled but honored. This is how I would paint South Pas if I were an artist. You can see the works right here. They are based on my images originally posted here and here.

Take a few minutes to stop by Leslie's new daily painting blog as well as her professional website. (And for those of you who are wondering -- yes, Leslie IS the former first lady of South Pasadena -- she is happily married to David Saeta, former mayor and City Councilman.) Now, Leslie just needs to let me photograph her while she is painting one of my photographs ... MC Escher would approve.

27 comments:

Cafe Observer said...

LA, xxcellent color, Excellent pic, Xecellent links.

Seems your leaning color so far this year.

Abraham Lincoln said...

I followed the links and had a look at everything. SHe does some nice work. Your photography is great, as usual.

Jutilda said...

I love her impressions of your photos. Fun stuff. Amazing how the internet has linked us all. The world is truly getting smaller. If it would just get more peaceful.

I like the balance of the people on the sidewalk in various stages of self expression. I like how the easel legs in combination with the lamp posts seem to ground the entire shot. The yellow of that back building is great against the vivid blue sky. :~)

Sharon said...

What an honor Laurie. Both the photos and the paintings are lovely.

babooshka said...

Both your photography and her visual intepretaion through paint work well. Gary ofetn paints my images or should I say part paints. My house is littered with sketches that don't get finished as he has an art deadline fo paid work. Good to see the finished product here.

Yakpate said...

Well... lovely paintings, but... the artist's color choices did change the mood. Because they are brighter and cheerier than the original colors of your photos, they (for me at least) neutralize the introspective quality of your work that so resonates with me.

Still waiting for the opportunity to buy and display your work...

Keith said...

Art inspiring art is a very deserved honor for you. Congratulations! Love today's photo as well.

altadenahiker said...

Isn't that exciting!

LSaeta said...

Thanks Laurie! You are very kind to mention our new collaboration in today's post. Your photos are amazing and I really appreciate the inspiration they provided me for these paintings. I love your blog and thanks for highlighting our wonderful city.

-K- said...

The two of you make a very good team, southern California at its finest.

Stéphane Kardos said...

Her choice of colours are superb, vibrant and powerful, very much alive!

I went down in your neck of the wood yesterday afternoon Laurie, looking for one of those beautiful cars you shot sometimes, I was in the mood to sketch/paint around south pas...but no luck :( I drove all around, all I saw was a Volvo from the 60's, but I drew it a lot already in Europe before in the streets :)
Have you been to the "bistro de la gare"? are they French?

Happy new year!

Petrea said...

I think it's exciting when one artist's work inspires another. I see Yakpate's point, she interprets the photos with cheerful colors, and you tend toward darkness and high contrast. But I like the difference. That's what makes it art instead of a copy.

ben wideman said...

This is a really cool image Laurie. I love that you can make out the painted subject matter.

Mister Earl said...

Very cool, Laurie!

dbdubya said...

Great idea for a photo, Laurie. And, the art show in October was another great idea. There were about 25 artists who painted over 100 paintings that were on display and for sale in the Library Community Room. Proceeds were split between the artist, the Chamber of Commerce, and the California Art Club, or an organization with a similar name. It was a great way to celebrate the arts and raise funds for good organizations. At least half of the paintings were of the Rialto Theater, and one of the artists misspelled "Rialto." It was fun watching people try to find the one that was misspelled.

I bought two paintings, one of the Rialto, but neither of the ones shown here.

Yes, Stephane, Bistro de la Garre is French owned. Ask for Eric, the owner. He and his wife are charming.

pasadenaadjacent.com said...

Would you mind if I did a drawing of the glowing aqua lady? In case things go terribly wrong, I have my Walter Foster books at the ready!

Stéphane Kardos said...

Thanks dbdubya! I'll give it a try then :)

Tanya said...

Wow, that is so cool! I looked at her work and love the way they turned out! Exciting :)

Laurie said...

Stepping in for a few seconds...

Stephane, you may find my post about Bistro de la Gare right here. It is my absolute favorite restaurant - here or anywhere. A wonderful ambiance and great food prepared in a simple French tradition. I still need to introduce myself to the owners!

pasadenaadjacent -- you're welcome to sketch our aqua lady! I can't wait to see it.

More later, folks. Thanks for all the comments!

Stéphane Kardos said...

Great, thanks Laurie!

San Diego Farmgirl said...

How very cool! Laurie, you must be so honored!

Wayne said...

Don't forget us little people now that you famous LA.

Let me know when it gets above room temperature down there and I'll start thinking about a visit.

USelaine said...

A great photo, great art, great story for the other great photos, great art! *whew*

Laurie said...

Hi there kids,

Thank you so much for all the comments! I'm so glad you saw Leslie's work and loved it as much as I do. There are so many great things that keep being born of this blog -- new friendships, new avenues of exploration, new ways of looking at the world, and all kinds of wonderful collaborative efforts. The internet is magical.

Cafe, I've actually been trying to post more daytime color shots! I do love my night crawling... it's when I can actually take my time and shoot pictures with a tripod and no preschooler asking "Mommy, you finished yet?" But I also enjoy South Pas by day, and I need to make sure to adequately represent it...

Abe, thank you so much! YOur work is such an inspiration -- I still want you to teach me the secret to a perfect macro shot.

Judy, it's funny but I always seem to know the images you'll like! I thought you might like those angles.

Thank you, Sharon. I think Leslie's paintings are far more interesting than my original photos!

Babooshka, oh how I'd love to see Gary's interpretation of your work.

Yak -- you and Petrea mention the darker colors of my work. It's interesting for me to hear because I think of South Pas as being a kind of technicolor dreamland and I often push up the color saturation to intensify that effect. I guess a photographer just can't hide her true self, though, because you both picked up on introspection and contrast ... no trying to deny those things part of my world view.

Keith -- so nice to see you! YOu know, we have a collaboration going too! (I'm still looking for my next topiary volley to lob into your court...)

Altadenahiker -- and our collaboration seems to be a shared love of old movies, dogs and haiku! I would love to see the artistic product born of these affections...

Leslie! Welcome, welcome, welcome. And thank you again for your beautiful work.

Kevin, you're so kind. I think you are one of Southern California's finest, too. But you know how gushy I get when I talk about your photography. It's obnoxiously fangirlish, I know.

Stephane, I am so sorry you didn't find any of South Pas's vintage cars! I have seen several lately -- and dbdubya alerted me to another one the other day -- but I haven't gotten pictures of any of them. I'm overdue.

Thanks, Ben!

Farmgirl, I am tickled pink. I can't wait to find out what hybrid tomato you and one of your readers may end up coming up with. Love that collaboration, love those variations on a theme...

Wayne -- ha! And by the way, are you coming for the DooDah Parade or is it too frozen tundra-ish for you down here these days?

Elaine, thank you. I said "whew!" too after first exploring Leslie's art website. I'm a sucker for thick paint (impasto? impesto? help me out, artists...) and expressionistic palette knife works.

Thanks again, everyone. Til tomorrow.

Oh, and Pasadenaadjacent, I really do want you to draw our aqua lady. It would make me so happy to see her through your eyes.

Laurie said...

Oh, and Hi there Mister Earl! I almost missed you there!

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