This area is called Allied Gardens, one of San Diego’s postwar suburbs. It has curving residential streets and culdesacs that branch off a busy road lined with strip malls. There are suburbs like this all over the country, places that once offered an idea of safety and a particular way of life and to some extent still do.
I have grown interested in this type of area recently. They really say a lot about American culture.
A hot day in January in La Jolla. Finished painting, put back on my shirt, went up the stairs, met a porn star.
This is from last October. I was staying in an old farmhouse in Tuscany.
I am happy with this little painting, done as fast as possible. The trash guys dumped the tree out of the trash can into the street. I loved the passive aggressiveness of that.
I rented an apartment on AirBNB in Rome with a partial view of Castel Sant’Angelo, an ancient structure later used as a fortress by the Popes. The view was very partial, you could really only see it by peering over the neighbor’s patio through some kind of spiky screen covered in plastic vines. To get around that for the painting, I stood on the rickety metal steps to the roof with my easel in a planter box, on top of the crusty remains of departed flowers. In gale force winds, but I didn’t blow off.
For 10 days this October I stayed in what was once a tenant farmhouse to a castle up on the hill beyond this field. Coming from a family that moved all over the place with the US Military, and having traveled quite a bit as an adult, I have seen a lot of beautiful places. I have to say that Tuscany in autumn is the prettiest place I have ever been.
The crops had just been harvested and the fields freshly plowed. To my left was a pig farm. I could hear and smell the pigs, but not see them. This was right on the border of Tuscany and Umbria- the castle had been in both regions at different times. Coming up the lane to the house, you left Tuscany briefly and went into Umbria, then looped back around. The lady who rented me the house told me the creek and the bridge (at the bottom of the painting) is the border. I was standing in Tuscany and painting Umbria. The color of the fields though, was Raw Sienna, a color I regrettably did not have on my palette.
The leaves went from summer green to fall yellow and russet while I was there. Through some magic, or maybe just the same climate change that destroyed the grape and olive crops this year in Tuscany, I was blessed with perfect sunny weather on this trip. I made the most of it.
We went to Idaho for a wedding and stayed in a beautiful secluded cabin. These are the views.
Trash cans are the cows of urban landscape.