I have always had trouble giving my husband gifts. He buys what he wants, and what he does not buy for himself, we either cannot afford it (super expensive timepiece) or have nowhere to put it (new Corvette). So I decided to make a painting for him that would never leave the house to go on exhibit. A painting of his childhood home.
I remember well each house I called home as I grew up. We never moved out of Columbus, Mississippi. The apartment duplex on Tenth Street North where I lived as an infant is still standing (although I am not certain how that is). My grandfather designed the first house my daddy built with a house note of $90 per month. It’s probably still standing, but I am not sure if I want to go back to that part of town. We then built “out in the country” off Highway 45 where we stayed a few years before moving back to Tenth Street North to a house built in 1910. That is the place I call “home” before I moved to college just down the street. Mother and Daddy went on to two other houses after that. In fact, when I came home from college one weekend, they told me they were moving….I guess it was a good thing I went home to visit or I may have never known where they went!
My husband, on the other hand, had only one address until he left for university. The house, built in the 1850’s, is one of the largest in the town of Canton and has been in his family over one hundred years. The Mosby Home has been sketched, photographed, and painted a number of times, and I thought having an original painting of it would be pretty cool. Especially if the painting was really big and hanging over my mantel.
I began this project in June, 2020 figuring I would have plenty of time to finish for Christmas. This is highly unusual for me because I am a last-minute kind of person. I knew how I wanted it to look because I “borrowed” the composition from my friend, Keith, the artist across from me at the studio (is there anything really new?). I drew, painted, corrected, and corrected again. I was hopeful that I would have an opportunity to exhibit it in a local show before my husband saw it, but my painting was declined. Which was for the best, since this was a gift, something he could never buy for himself, and I didn’t want him to see it. I was able to surprise him with it on Christmas day.
Did he like it? He never really said…but it is hanging over the mantle, never to leave the house again.
Visiting downtown Apalachicola, Florida is almost like taking a trip back in time. The buildings along the waterfront have such personality, even though they may be vacant. The huge palm tree in front of this building is what initially caught my attention, but the painting became more about the structure as I worked on it.
Every town has a famous or picturesque street, and in Baton Rouge, Louisiana it is Third Street. There are restaurants, bars, and music venues between office buildings which are nearly one hundred years old that have seen several renovations during the last five or so decades. Along the sidewalks are trees and flower beds, outdoor seating for restaurants, and the crosswalk of the street itself is creatively painted. Several of us took the opportunity to do some plein air painting downtown on Third Street during the stay at home order. Because so many offices and businesses were closed, we could almost get in the street to paint. Almost. (We may be crazy, but are not stupid.) The brightly colored awnings got my attention. I began five paintings during the stay at home order. Painting the urban landscape is a challenge for me, so I was happy to have the opportunity to practice on the streets of Baton Rouge. Those people who were out were happy to see painters, offering encouragement and compliments. I will take those any time!
For years I drove past this pasture filled with yellow flowers and thought how much I would enjoy painting it. I realized the property backed up to a subdivision near my home so I would get out for a few hours to paint. I met the owner as he was cutting the field as I was painting it. I asked if I could paint the front of the property, and he and his wife were happy for my painting friends and me to spend time working there. It has become our go-to place during the stay-home order this spring.
This property has become one of my favorite landscapes to paint. 11″ x 14″ $400