Monday, November 16, 2009

20. Seattle Sunset

A little over three years ago, I moved from Baltimore to rural west Alabama. I spent a week between the two places in Seattle with my sister. The trip evolved from what had initially been planned as a road trip from Alaska to Kansas City in a Volvo coupe circa 1964. When the over-ambition of that trip, in light of time constraints, became apparent, it was scaled back to a delightful week spent in Seattle. This painting was made from a photograph we took on the first evening of our trip. As we explored the area near to where we were staying, in Seattle's Capital Hill neighborhood, I was totally delighted by this image of the sunset with the space needle and the water in the distance. I was interested as I made this painting at the amount of information, which can be conveyed with a simple painting: a wash for the sky and monochrome outlines of objects.
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Friday, November 6, 2009

19. Baltimore Street

For two years I lived in the Mount Vernon neighborhood of Baltimore. I feel incredible nostalgia for the neighborhood's beautiful square, elegant homes, pride week high heel race, and one of my very favorite restaurants, Iggies!

Really once I start talking about Mt. Vernon, it's hard for me to stop. It's rare that you find a neighborhood with so many of the city's cultural centers: the
Walters Art Museum, the Peabody Conservatory, the main branch of the Baltimore public library system, the oldest Catholic Cathedral in the U.S., and Centerstage. As if that wasn't enough the neighborhood has an incredibly beautiful central square, the center piece of which is Baltimore's Washington Monument. This square hosts a number of great events like the yearly flower mart, the monument lighting at Christmas, and my favorite, the Baltimore Book Festival. In addition to all of that there is a great variety of bars and restaurants in the neighborhood including the Helmand a great Afghani restaurant, Brewer's Art, which offers amazing garlic rosemary fries, and as Baltimore's gay neighborhood a variety of gay bars and clubs including gay bingo at the Hippo.

There is much more I could say about Mt. Vernon, but one of my favorite things about my former home was just walking around. This painting is of a street scene in Mt. Vernon--beautiful architecture, the trees blooming, and the sun shining. I spent many a contented afternoon strolling the streets of my corner of Baltimore and I reveled in those memories as I made this painting.
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