The Runway at Playa Vista.
We were recently commissioned by Johnson Fain Architects to produce a series of images for a project in Playa Vista, California called The Runway. We had a very short time fame to produce five highly finished architectural illustrations that captured the spirit of this newly proposed retail and residential development by Lincoln Properties.
It was somewhat of a departure for us in that we elected to integrate both the architect’s line artwork and digital imagery into these paintings as not only a way to save time, but to more accurately articulate some of the intricate color treatments and graphics on the building elevations.
My wife and partner Carol was instrumental in bringing this about due to her ability to manipulate the photographic imagery in Photoshop with a variety of filters so that it matched the watercolor painting. The goal was to make the digital images as “painterly” as possible to create a seamless image.
I am quite proud of her contribution and that fact that we managed to produce such vibrant and finished renderings in such a short span of time.
The Runway at Playa Vista
Watts Towers, Simon Rodia’s “Nuestra Puebla”
On a recent visit to the Watts Towers, I was reminded how they evoked something significant about the city that I grew up in and the eccentric, visionary spirit that has always been a part of Los Angeles culture.
I recalled my first encounter with the Towers as a young boy when my father brought me along as he and photographer Seymour Rosen were documenting the site. The towers had been crumbling and were in a bad state of disrepair and a group of concerned members from the architectural and design community were attempting to stave off the wrecking ball and fund their renovation.
Happily, their commitment to this cause won the day.
I recall the story about Rodia’s one way trip on the Red Line to the beach and walking back home, picking up discarded shards of bottle caps, glass and tile along the way to adorn his burgeoning spires.
How inspiring that a simple man of humble origin could dream so big, and do so much with so little.
I chose to paint a watercolor composition of this for our holiday card this year to honor those universal qualities.
Happy New Year!