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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Sketching the Rose Parade Floats

Me and my sketching buddy, Judy

I have been sketching the Rose Parade Floats, in Pasadena for 10 years. Each year I go through the process of getting permission to be on the float building floor with hundreds of people who are working on the floats. Most of the floats are built inside two large warehouses that are called float barns. Inside these buildings can be super cold!! This year I had on three layers of clothes and gloves. The float barns are a short distance from Colorado Blvd where the Rose Parade begins. Sketching can be a real challenge. It’s tricky just to see the floats through all the scaffolding and people while staying out of the way. If were in the way they’d ask us to leave. People were gluing flowers, seeds, and spices, cutting stems off straw flowers, sticking vial with water into the float frame to hold roses, moving scaffolding. People look like little specks climbing all over the floats. The P.A system was constantly calling a “Float Chief” to an area. The energy in the building is magical! The floats I sketched this year were, The Lyon's Club International. I loved sketching all of the architectural landmarks, most of these buildings I've seen.  The second float was the Nurse's Float. The title "A Healing Place", stole my heart. As many of you know my son Daniel was diagnosed with cancer in September. Thank you for all your kind words and prayers...keep it coming! We could use some healing in 2013!
Here you can see the birds I sketched, top center of photo.
  Notice I don’t glue on flowers. I’m like a cat and I don’t like my “paws” sticky. 

Happy New Year and Happy Sketching!



  1. That means I've been reading your blog for a whole year now as I remember your Rose Parade post last year (I was Ink & Aquarelle then) I do send prayers & wishes for your son's healing. I seem to be on a break from my sketchbook, posting photos lately instead. Perhaps I need to join something like your old sketch-a-day club. I did see you featured in the Plein Air magazine at the nearest Barnes & Noble to us, in NH. Congratulations!

    1. Time is going fast! Thank you for continue prayers and kind words . Happy Sketching!

  2. I remember that Rose Bowl sketching from last NY too.
    AND we saw the float you sketched go by...yes...beautiful.
    What a wonderful perspective on the birds too.
    Thanks as always for your beautiful inspiration.

  3. I remember then too. This has to be one of the most exciting events to sketch. I hope you will show more sketches.