A few years ago, I got really interested in vintage aprons -- the kind our moms and grandmothers used to wear around the house. I remember in the 1950s there were quite a few very cute styles. Since I like to sew almost as much as I like to paint, I decided to make a few. This painting is from a photo my husband took in the process of making matching aprons for his daughter and granddaughter. Aprons have quite a history, and there are lots of websites devoted to vintage styles. Who knew they would become so popular again?
Mission San Luis Rey de Francia in Oceanside, California is the "King of the Missions". Named for King Louis IX of France, this was a former Spanish mission. It iis still a working mission today, cared for by the people of the parish. The Red Door is one of the many doors leading to the interior of the main building. This mission has two asistencias, or sub-missions, associated with it. Since the California missions were set up to be a day's travel between them, I often wondered how someone got from Oceanside to San Gabriel in one day (a distance of 89 miles). I did some research, and I found there were ranches that provided lodging for travelers in-between. The two asistencias (stations) for Mission San Luis Rey are Las Flores, near San Clemente and San Antonio de Pala, near Pala Mesa. Some of these asistencias are still standing, and I plan to go back and visit them, as I visit all 21 of the California missions.
2013 marks the 300th anniversary of Father Junipero Serra's birth. He founded the California Missions beginning in 1769. San Luis Rey, the "King of the Missions", was the 18th mission to be built in California. Although I've been to several missions throughout my life, I've been visiting all of them, and I"ve taken hundreds of photos for painting reference. I've always been interested in their history, and I love the architecture of these places. If you get to California, do make it a point to visit at least one mission and experience the history of old California.
This past Spring I took many photos of the blooming cactus along the route where I ride my bike; and I painted this from one of those photos. There are so many colors and varieties of prickly pear cactus, ranging from yellow-green to pink, purple and deep red. The blossoms are many different colors, too. The Sonoran Desert is a colorful place in the springtime.