Watercolor #38 in 35 Years: My Childhood Home
by Pasadena Adjacent
Barbara, our glorious leader and location scout was out of town the Saturday before last. So I was on my own to find something to paint. Since I spend more time at my childhood home then I care to, I thought I might as well paint it. Those in the ‘know’ might remember that it’s that space to the right of the brick chimney that the man in the Porche SUV managed to drive through uninvited. 8 months later, Mom now suffers with PTSD. Thanks asshole.
My father bought this house without my mother having ever seen it. A dilapidated wreck on a busy blvd, with a high end address. I still remember mom walking through the rooms crying. But my engineer father saw it’s potential and with a talent for landscape design, and a sensitivity for balancing squares and circles, he laid out the concrete walkway and the swerving architectural bones. He also went out to a tree farm and selected two crated olive trees (one that JUST died) and that beautiful Japanese Black Pine. It’s shaped like an oversized Bonsi Tree. Having noticed it was stressed, I’ve been babying it with a soaker hose. It’s in my painting. So is mom’s cat Bubba – and all those power poles the parrots like to hang out on.
[WARNING ART TALK] Grabbing my mother’s half walker/half chair apparatus, (those who’ve taken care of the elderly are familiar with this geriatric hybrid) I loaded it up with my supplies, wheeled it out front, locked the brakes and used it as a seat. That shadow on the lawn is missing from my piece. Why? because it wasn’t there when I painted the house in the late afternoon. I went back the next day and took another photo when the house was drenched in afternoon light. I suppose I could put the shadow in, but I don’t think it would make sense if you can’t see the tree casting it.