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.