Walking Up Stairs

A colored pencil drawing for Sunday Sketches at Blue Chair Diary Blog. It is from a photo my friend took while we were walking the Camino. I considered water color, but I can play more with pencils. I’m still working on my water color techniques, and it’s kind of hit or miss. I haven’t found a creative direction since I returned home, so I pull out my sketchbook when the mood strikes.

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Here in Los Angeles, there are about 42 historic stair walks.  Most were built in the 1920’s and are in the older areas of LA.  They were originally the only way for people to get to the houses constructed on the hillsides.  There is a famous Laurel and Hardy movie that shows the two of them trying to get a piano up one set of stairs.  Each stair walk has a different amount of steps. When you reach the top of a group of stairs, you walk a short distance on the paved streets that exist today. Then you come to another group of stairs. You get to experience different kinds of neighborhoods with each stair “walk.” I went on one today.  It was about three miles, and had 664 steps total.  The longer sections had 163 steps in one, and 134 steps in another.

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It’s a great way to see parts of LA that you would never get to see otherwise.  Here’s a couple sights I saw today.

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A (blurry) peacock.

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The Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery has an open call for art once every couple years. This year they added the theme of “play.”  I submitted a mixed media piece that I made after my dad passed away a couple years ago.  His garage looked like the hardware department of a Sears store.  He played out there building shelves, sofas, bird houses, and pieces of furniture that fill his children’s homes.  After he passed, I went through many containers of nails, washers, and bolts, and found some tiny round metal objects.  They were so delicate compared to all the heavy tools and equipment.  I decided to make something with them.  The days I spent sewing them to canvas was play for me, the value of which I learned from my father. The submitted piece was accepted.  The La Municipal Gallery is one of my favorite places.  It’s on a hill in the middle of Hollywood, but when you are up on the top, you’d never know you were in Hollywood. A photo below.

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And a photo of the piece.  I hand sewed the buttons as well as the metal rings to the canvas.

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I’ll leave you with a rose from a walk in my neighborhood.  It’s the color that made me stop.  Of course my phone didn’t capture it exactly, but it looked like a “big stick” popsical.  If you don’t have them in your area, this rose is pretty close to the color.

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Enjoy your weekend. If you’d like to see more photos of the historic stairs and surrounding neighborhoods, there’s a related catagory in the sidebar. Just click

11 thoughts on “Walking Up Stairs

  1. The walking sketch is great – good job and I love the piece you submitted and got accepted. Very creative! Also enjoyed the photos.

  2. Your colored pencil sketch reminds me of all the hikes I take with my granddaughter and husband. How you did the step walks I do not know. I could not have made it. My favorite shot is the one of the steps with the beautiful Italian tiles on the fronts of the steps. They are gorgeous. The piece you created with your dad’s washers and bolts is a wonderful tribute to him. Adding the buttons was a wonderful idea. Such a nice post. genie

  3. It’s a lovely area to walk and those stairs make a great workout! I’m exhausted just looking at them, lol.
    Congratulations on having your artwork accepted at the gallery! The piece is fabulous, Barbara!

  4. An art blogger I follow recently finished the Camino walk. Nice job on the sketch!
    How interesting about the stair walks….sounds like a good health workout too.
    Your art piece in memory of your Dad is beautiful and very touching. I lost my Dad last year so I understand the precious connection we make to even the little things.

  5. omigosh!! so many stairs! it hurt my legs just looking at them! thanks for the little tour!

    visiting from Sunday Sketches

  6. wow, what a cardio Training;) i especially love the stairs in the photo before the peacock. they have that hispanic look you often find in california.
    wonderful Piece of art you made with the round objects – your memories of your father are in it… and how wonderful it was accepted for the exhibit!
    oh, i almost forgot to mention your pencil drawing – it turned out great and is a wonderful reminder of your camino pilgrimage!

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