I’ve probably painted Castle Green as many or more times as I have Pasadena City Hall. Not only is it rich in architectural details, but the ministry opportunities have been in good supply here as well. Before I discuss the occastion of sharing Christ on the day of this painting, let me tell you a bit about this hotel.
Castle Green was built in 1898 as an annex for the Green Hotel. The architectural style is a mix of Moorish Colonial and Spanish. It’s original purpose was to serve as a lavish resort for wealthy easterners coming to the west coast to escape harsh winters. This bridge-like structure once extended over Raymond Blvd. and connected the two buildings. The small turret-looking room at the end of the bridge was once the studio of Charles White, famous African-American artist who did very expressive charcoal drawings of the black experience. I had an opportunity to be introduced to Mr. White by sculptor John Otterbridge, but did not take advantage of it, which I now very much regret. White passed away in 1979. However, I was very fortunate though to have worked at the Communicative Arts Academy in Compton, CA with Mr. Otterbridge, who is not only an equally great artist as White but also a brillient mind.
To do this painting en plein air, I pitched my easel on Raymond Ave. across from the hotel with my back to Stats Floral. It was early morning, so the foot traffic was rather light. I was, however, able to talk to a lady about Jesus.