Monday, April 23, 2012

Western Avenue Series

Mile 21: Foster-Peterson
This sketch is a part of my Western Avenue Series, through which I'll be making 24 watercolor paintings, one to document each mile of Western Avenue, in Chicago.  I started this project because while it is not considered to be among the most “beautiful” of Chicago’s streets, Western Avenue is a perfect place to document the humanness of Chicago, the positive and the negative. In the words of Stuart Dybek, "Western, with apologies to State Street, is a great street,  Unlike State, it is a street that goes to the interior, the heart of the city, as it glides and glows through a United Nations of neighborhoods."  Check back next Monday to see the painting completed based on this sketch.

Though I am certain that I had ridden the Western Avenue bus along this stretch of Western between Foster and Peterson before walking this stretch, I probably would have found it difficult to describe what was located along this portion of the Avenue.  In part, that lack of distinct memory probably comes because a large portion of the property olong this stretch is occupied by Rosehill Cemetery.  It feels a bit like the stretch of Western which borders the Dan Ryan Woods on the south side of the city--wooded and not as developed as most portions of the city. 
This portion of the avenue is also home to a number some typical Chicago brick two flats, modest homes which proliferate the housing stock, as well as a few businesses.  Overall the cemetery seems to dominate the landscape. 
Do you have a favorite Chicago cemetery?
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