Painting with Words: 417 Greenacres Drive

Tonight I am revisiting
a painting that I completed in early 2008. At the time, I was living on Greenacres Drive-- a street tucked quietly between the university and downtown Huntsville. In the late 50's, when the one-story brick houses were built, the neighborhood was probably on the edge of town and mostly inhabited by young families. Fifty years later, it was populated by college students and retired people, and as the college students sat in the driveways laughing loudly into the night, an ambulance siren would scream in the distance now and then or a face would show up in a window for a moment before the lights went out. In the winter, the yards were smothered with the dry leaves of the aging maples and in the summer, the savage beauty of the greenery, the flowers, the heavy rains, would swell up to the windows as I watched from my room, paintbrush in hand. There was a feeling of ethereal transience in the stars, the leaves, the golden light and dappled shadows, the rushing traffic on busy, gritty Jordan Lane (the next street over). I meditated, I dreamed, I wondered about youth and age, and I read and wrote continuously. This painting was completed in the winter, but I wanted it to seem beyond season or time of day. I wanted it to reflect the beautiful yet tumultuous nature surrounding once-beloved, now-disintigrating houses, the ceaseless change. The houses morph into an abstract landscape, hinting at a time before the houses and perhaps a future into which they might dissolve. Yet the scene is not meant to be disturbing, merely nostalgic and curious-- the greens are bright and cheery, the oranges warm and inviting. Out of all of my works (as of last week, I have completed 82 paintings), "417 Greenacres Drive" remains one of my favorites.

[The original is not available, as I would like to keep it in my permanent collection, but 11X14 prints can be had for $30.]

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