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View from my Childhood Bedroom Window

Oil on Canvas - 30"x24"

Finished July 27, 2012

Concept:

I started this painting of the view from my childhood bedroom window while in college in the early 1990s. I can't remember why it remained unfinished but I kept it in a closet for nearly 20 years. Perhaps feeling nostalgic, I decided to finish it. I had to retouch the leaves of the trees, paint the curtain, add more detail to the lawn and wooden window frame as finish the outer concrete outer window sill. The biggest obstacle was that I never drew the handle on the window and couldn't recall what it looked like and my mother sold the house years ago.

Undeterred, one evening after painting class at the Metro Arts Community Center, I drove to my old home. With my nearly finished painting in hand, I knocked on the door and took a step back. The woman who bought the house from mom answered the door.

 

I said something like, "You probably don't remember me, but you bought this house from my mom and I'm hoping that you'll be nice enough to do me a huge favor. I know this is going to sound weird but I started this painting around 20 years ago, and was hoping if I gave you my phone, would you take a picture of your window's handle for me." She was really sweet, looked at my painting in amusement and said that I could come in and take it myself. Which I was happy and relieved to do so. 

It's weird going back into the house you grew up in. The bones of a house may not change much but the personality of it certainly does. It wasn't a bad experience but it no longer had any sense of my family though I could see the kitchen cabinet that my brother-in-law hung and the flooring we had put in, everything else was all different. She offered to let me look around but I graciously declined. Instead, I went home, painted the window handle and then finished painting a memory.

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