This commission was for someone who had very fond memories of living in this Kitsilano triplex. They installed the fence and the window box when they lived there and both were still in use when I took the reference photo.
The overall shape of the house is kind of like a pudgy teapot with a face. There was something in the sweet old-fashioned touches like the white picket fence and the flower-filled window box that are best expressed with a teapotty shape. Houses have faces, and this one definitely does.
At the time, they had a friendly fat black cat with green eyes and a crooked tail. The cat was placed on the front steps because he was “usually out front greeting people.” The customer’s favourite West coast season is spring, with “a sky that has a good amount of grey, just to keep it real!” The lighting is warm, buttery late afternoon (left-side western light).
These are my favourite sort of paintings to do. There’s a built-in nostalgia and sentimentality when you think of where you spent happy times and it is best described with whimsy and a few emotional details, like the cat, the red geraniums, and the five o’clock lighting. Life extant. I like to imagine everyday scenes that were repeated over and over in one’s memory.
Acrylic on canvas, 60″ x 48″
Located at: Private Collection