Tag Archives: personalities

Pedestrians Two: Real and My Real

A photo I took on Market Street in Philadelphia, PA, in August, 2017. Notice that the lady is the same one as in a previous post.

Now here she is in my painted version. A bit of an appearance change. Can a person do this kind of magic just walking down the street? No, but I can, with my paintbrush and acrylic paints. And India ink. And NeoColor I crayons. On an 8″ x 8″ wood board.

“Lady Wearing a Hat on a City Street”

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At Home

The postcards were done on recycled cardboard with various items collaged on. Each one has a story to it, I think, even if the biggest player is a building.

I see I titled this first postcard – “man walking away from a broken home”.

This postcard portrays what could be a lonely house on an empty landscape. I say lonely, but – I like solitude myself and I can understand that maybe the inhabitants of this home are just glad to be left alone, and get a good night’s rest.

Family Home

About a year ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would do a painting of his family home. Sure, I said.

Well, time moved on, we kept talking about it here and there, but finally this summer the stars aligned and the project was done. Here is the story, and it is special to me.

My friend, John, lives in the home where he grew up. It was built more than 100 years ago by his grandparents, lived in by his parents, and now by him. It’s an end-of-row rowhome located in what was a small town about 35 miles from Center City Philadelphia.

The area is now suburbanizing and there have been a lot of changes, but the house is still as it has always been, rising up from the street in a dignified way.

As well as a doing a portrait of the house, John asked me to include his dogs: Ava, Maggie, Nikki, and Winnie. Other than that, well, it was up to me.

Normally I won’t do commissions. I dislike feeling the future owner’s hopes hovering over my shoulder as I work. I extra dislike the idea that I could disappoint the recipient. In this case, I know that John likes my work; he has been a big supporter of me, always.

But I also knew that this house means more than just shelter to him. It is the embodiment of a lifetime of memories for him and the setting for all his family’s history for a century. I felt a lot of responsibility.

But, I figured, I’ll get to work, and if it doesn’t please him, well, I’ll just…just…try again!

I want to show the process of this project, and I will break it down into its parts. Because I decided there would be paintings rather than painting.

Here are my ideas. I would do a small portrait of each dog; I’d do the house; and I’d do a picture of the front door and steps. In this way I could represent all the parts that seemed important. The house, of course. The dogs deserved their own spaces; I felt they would be insignificant inside the larger painting and I didn’t like that idea, since they are so important to John. And I just liked the front steps; that’s the way everyone who’s ever been there goes in and out, all those years!

My husband and I drove out and took pictures of the house in June. John sent me pictures of Ava, Nikki, and Maggie; I took a picture of John and Winnie in July.

Now you know it all. Here are the results.


Let’s start with the dogs.

Ava:

Maggie:

Nikki:

And John and Winnie. I met Winnie myself; John brought her to the Tinicum Festival of the Arts and I took her picture.

Here is the close up of the steps and front door.

And now. The house!

Here are the finished pieces all together…

People Walking

These paintings from June, 2017, are done in acrylics, 10″ x 8″.

“Pedestrian” was started during the plein air event I did in Chestnut Hill in June. I couldn’t finish it there so I took it home and ended up with a scene somewhat like the original. I added a person walking along the sidewalk – the painting looked a little lonely without some sign of life.

The second painting came from my head, no reference to the real world. I added a person to it, too, for the same reason as “Pedestrian”.

Trees With Bare Branches

Acrylics, 6″ x 6″, from March, 2017.

I like the way bare branches reach out – you can see it clearly when the leaves don’t get in the way. There is something communicative about this extension, I think.