Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Beauty, Easy to Miss

I walk a lot around my city of Pasadena, California. When you walk the same streets over and over, you see things you missed the first, seventh, or tenth time.  

On one my frequent routes, I pass these two outstanding botanical murals by Mark Venaglia.  They're on the side of a large, newish apartment building that's pretty unremarkable otherwise.  The murals are a fanciful interpretation of a view from beneath Pasadena's Colorado Street Bridge with the San Gabriel Mountains in the background, as if observed through a lens borrowed from Alice in Wonderland.

I applaud the artist for creating these unexpected splashes of beauty and I applaud whomever commissioned these murals.  I might have noticed them if I was speeding past in a car, but wouldn't have been able to appreciate their delicateness.  I certainly couldn't have seen the small message the artist penned in each panel along with his signature.  

You can read more about Mark Venaglia here.

Here's Panel 1:

A message from the artist, his signature and some graffiti:

The second panel:

Another message from the artist and his signature:


  1. These really look nice or your ladyshutterbugging makes them so!

    I can't recall ever seeing these. New apts, I know.

  2. Cafe, they're on Euclid, south of Cordova, across from the Masonic lodge. There are trees on the parkway in front and usually parked cars, so they are really easy to miss. I give all credit to the artist, none to my photography skills. I snapped these shots with the camera on my BlackBerry.

  3. I love these murals and have never gotten the shot I want (too many cars, bad weather, etc.). You did it! I agree, it's when you walk that you see the details of our wonderful town.

  4. Thanks, Petrea. High praise coming from such a skilled photographer!

  5. I'd like to share my praise for YOU, Dianne. Have contacted Pas. Cultural Affairs and all related passthebuckers for the last 3 years about the entries across my Panel One. Came to appreciate them as additional graffiti offerings as they were all added around my own verbage. Around the time I discovered your blog (thanks Bing, you rule!) I trotted past the murals, as I always do now that I no longer live in Pas- and much to my immediate delight- the addition words now exist only on yur blog. I credit you- 100% and would like to take you out for a Peet's on my artist schmooze budget. Can provide numerous references; am not a stalker....many , many thanks either way- Mark


    The link will take you to my site whereby one may click upon enlargements of both panels; printable art for home exhibition and beautification as pleases anyone.

  7. Mark, I'm so glad you found my blog posting about your wonderful murals! You are correct...the additional graffiti is gone. I don't know whether my post had anything to do with it, but who knows?

    I will take you up on your invitation to Peets. And please come to my book launch party for LOVE KILLS at Vroman's, Tuesday, May 25 at 7:00 pm... And bring friends!!

  8. ARGH!!!! Diane, I JUST GOT THIS! Damn it , it- would really have enjoyed providing support to you , especially after your extensive blog entry on my murals. Sorry, sorry. Grrrrrr! I was introducing my petraits all over Fullerton today- how did it go at Vroman's? Do hope the turn out was great and I have to apologize again- could we communicate via our direct emails?