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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Sketching Rose Parade Floats 2016

Rose Parade 2016 has 44 floats this year. Each one is completely covered with flowers, seeds, plants, bark... Most of the floats are build in Pasadena or near by cities.

It's been a long tradition for me to sketch at the Rose Parade Float Barns in Pasadena. It's my way to record the end of a year and the start of a new one. Some people love to glue flowers on the floats and they travel from all over the country to do so. Not me!!! I'd rather sketch. The biggest dilemma is getting permission to being on the float building floor. Once inside it's tricky to finding a float I can see without getting in the way. It's always a challenge to sketch through the scaffolding, workers, volunteers, camera crews... 

This year it was really chilly with temps in the 30's. Southern California does get cold...okay not as cold as other parts of the country but cold for for me! You'd be surprised how noisy it gets in the barn, too. Crew chief's shouting, P.A. system, power tools, blenders, scaffolding being moved... But it does smell good.
"Along for the Ride" by State Farm

I like the tile of this float, Along for the Ride". Isn't that what life is all about? So...climb on board, enjoy all the sites and experiences along the way. Wherever you go and whatever you do make 2016 a great year!

Happy New Year!


  1. Happy New Year, Brenda. Our son once owned a home on the street that separates Altadena from Pasadena. That year, we walked down the watch the Rose Parade. Glorious! Weather here in FL is in the 80s. Came on down.

    1. Lee, I know the area! Your son's home was near the location the floats are parked after the parade. Florida? We get to FL to visit family and I've taught workshops, too.
      Happy New Year!

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  3. Brenda, Why does it not surprise me that you chose a float with 2 vehicles involved...Love your work. Thank You for sharing & have a painterly New Year.

  4. Dear Brenda - what a great way to start the new year. Your sketches are wonderful. Hope 2016 is the best ever. Have a great one!

  5. I love seeing your sketches of the Parade floats every year. Glad you were able to sketch despite the cold temps. Happy 2016!

  6. Found your blog on Pinterest. Inspiring, instructional and motivating. I'll be back.