When you open the refrigerator door in our second kitchen, it’s pretty easy to tell we live in France. The Camembert fromage (cheese) wafts its unique “bonjour” and I know we are home.
And what a glorious thing it is to make yourself a home. I don’t mean to fill…but to actually create. To curate your space with a life that is yours. What could be more beautiful? Each painting, each photograph, a story. Each book, a conversation. A place to launch. A place to land. As unique and full of feeling as an original painting. A painting in which you can see each stroke. See where one color blended into the next. Actually feel the hands that made it.
I grew up in the painting — the neighborhood — of Van Dyke Road. The Vasek’s lived in the first house. The dust from the gravel road gathered on their screen door, giving it a creak to announce each visitor. They seemed especially old, probably because I was especially young, but I would visit them. How odd it must seem now, to say we, young and old, would visit our neighbors, walk through their unlocked, creaking doors and visit their curated world. Each stroke that was unique to their “birthplace of America.” It was a light peach colored home, and smelled, not of age, but of time. Time of food cooking on the stove. It was worn, the welcome rug, the railing at the front door. I didn’t have words for it then, but what a glorious gift, what a symbol of love, community, and peace, to wear the railing of your heart’s door with the hands of those around you.
I suppose that’s why I paint. To welcome you, near and far, into my world. To see the strokes of my life, and tell you, young and old, this is my neighborhood, my creaking door, my welcome mat, my heart — “Come in, you and your heart sit down.”