I got a commission in Chickasaw Gardens recently. They have more Tudor-type homes over there. I was driving along, looking for the number, and I saw this one and thought, "darn it, I want to paint that one, but it can't be the right number already." Then it was. What fun. I love all the ivy.
I'm doing a lot of pretty houses lately and probably need to get out and do something a little grittier, but I also want to get back over to this neighborhood and do some more painting sometime. I really enjoyed this one.
I love the season of Advent, so I tend not to rush Christmas too much. This year, especially, I was way too busy to get my tree up very early, so I'm leaving it until Epiphany to fully enjoy the Christmas season. We always get a cedar tree from the family farm and use the fat, old fashioned light bulbs. I have so many ornaments on it that remind me of people and places and times in my life that it's always a treat to pull out the ornaments. I take a trip down memory lane each year, remember the people who gave me ornaments or the places I traveled to buy some of them. Many are from my grandmother and mother as well.
This year, on my urban sketching kick, I decided to draw the tree and have it to remember all year.
One of the neat things about the commissions I've had lately is getting to help interpret and preserve people's memories of certain places. This watercolor is for a woman who has moved away from Memphis and wanted a painting of her childhood home. I've also done a "house portrait" for someone who recently moved from her longtime home into a retirement community. I've painted places people were married. I love getting to take part in a small way in other people's important celebrations or milestones. It's one of the privileges of being an artist.
I met a friend at the park the other day. I love going out sketching with friends, and it was fun to have someone to chat with while I worked. Usually I've got BBC and NPR podcasts on my i-pod to keep the verbal part of my brain occupied while the visual part does its thing unhindered.
I didn't get to paint as many decorations as I would have liked (maybe I can get a few more before they come down), but this house was the top of my list. I love this little hobbit-like house anyway, and the decorations are just charming. I love living in a neighborhood with such character.