Monday, October 19, 2009

18. Wrigley Building and Tribune Tower

This painting will be donated to the Zebra Ball and for sale at the event's silent auction on Saturday, February 13, 2010. The Zebra Ball, which takes place in Chicago, benefits the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation. It was launched by Sharon Devereaux, the mother of a childhood friend, whose own mother has been diagnosed with carcinoid cancer. It has been a pleasure to attend the event the last two years and to donate paintings to the silent auction. I marveled as I painted this image at Chicago's extraordinary architecture and the resulting compositions. It is amazing that Chicago is a city where, in a glance, one can see the gleaming white clock tower of the Wrigley Building and the neo-Gothic Tribune Tower.
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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Searching for Images of Chicago to Love

In writing recently about Baltimore (where I lived for several years) I wrote this:

As a watercolor painter I find the images of Baltimore completely captivating. In contrasting Charm City with it nearest counterpart Washington D.C., I often used the words gritty and industrial. Those words unfairly flatten the depth of the city’s character. The visibility and aesthetic pleasure of Baltimore’s history, in the urban landscape, makes for extraordinary compositions. I have quite contentedly painted the Domino Sugar Factory and the Mr. Boh sign and wondered at the nostalgia I felt for these neon advertisements. They are simultaneously iconic reminders of Baltimore’s historic and contemporary industry, beautiful, wholly associated with the place, and part of Baltimore’s identity in the present, which feels personal.

Basically, I am searching for Chicago's "Mr. Boh sign" and "Domino Sugar Factory." What are the iconic images that represent my present home, images about which Chicagoans feel nostalgic and which are unexpectely beautiful? I am, at present, working on a painting of some beautiful Chicago buildings, but I am always searching for those images that feel "completely Chicago." I would be very amenable to accepting suggestions if anyone out there would like to leave a comment about a Chicago image that has stolen your heart.

I leave you with my favorite words about Chicago and my own words about Baltimore. Nelson Algren, said that loving Chicago, is "Like loving a woman with a broken nose, you may well find lovelier lovelies. But never a lovely so real." I would say of Baltimore that it is like falling in love unexpectedly, you may well find a more perfect lover. But never have you been so charmed.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

17. Lincoln

Living in the "Land of Lincoln," in the city of Chicago, Lincoln (at least in name) is part of your daily life. In Chicago, there is Lincoln Park (a park) which runs along the lake for a large portion of the northside, Lincoln Park (a neighborhood), Lincoln Square (another neighborhood), Lincoln Ave., no shortage of references to our 16th President. This year as we are celebrating the bicentennial of his birth, his image and story are even more omnipresent. You can even "get Lincolnized." So, I feel a certain nostalgia about him, our relationship seems a bit more personal than my relationship with most former presidents who were born 200 years ago.
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