Thursday, September 10, 2015

Friend's House

We all probably think we grew up at the best possible time, back when kids were safe and had freedom, and there were infinite things to do and places to explore.  I think my own kids think that too.  Maybe everybody's childhood kind of shimmers in the distance.  Katie was one of my good friends growing up.  Our friendship probably peaked sometime between fifth and ninth grade.  After high school, she went to college out of state and moved away.  Thanks to Facebook, which is great for just this reason, we reconnected.  When Katie's mother passed away, and the family was selling their old home, she asked if I would paint it.  It's pretty close to where I live, so I gathered a few of my plein air painter friends and made a morning of it.

I love this painting.  A big part of that is probably that it made my friend and her sister truly happy, as well as a little comforted about giving up their childhood home.  Another reason I love the painting is that it's chock full of my own memories.  I'll come back to those.  And then I just think it looks good.  It isn't painted front on from a photograph.  I walked around and picked my favorite angle.  The light is pure Southern California.  It's not a real showpiece house; it's pretty basic, but in a lot of ways that makes for a better painting.  On request I enhanced the orange tree a little.  The tree  was struggling in the drought, had no oranges, and got removed not too long after.  I like the moon, peaking out in in the hot daylight.  And the memories.

Listening to record albums, especially The Beatles, over and over again until we knew them by heart.  Making prank phone calls.  Ditching my last undershirt there, not quite ready for a bra, but for damn sure was not going to wear an undershirt to junior high school.  My first slumber party, pretending I was hypnotized.  Walking to a nearby vacant lot with a tree to climb.  Walking to the variety store and buying candy and gum and wax lips and mustaches.  Puppies.  Looking over the back wall at the cemetery.  Teak Danish modern furniture that required coasters.  Which is what I still think of when I hear Norwegian Wood.  


  1. I really like this painting. I think you are getting very good at capturing southern California sunlight.

  2. I love this painting too and so glad your friends were pleased. It's really perfect. I enjoyed our paint-out there, and sorry the orange tree is gone.

  3. "Maybe everybody's childhood kind of shimmers in the distance." lines like that make me happy to see you up and blogging again. This is a great painting - very truthful.