The Basement Apartment Oil on Canvas 16 X 20 inches
Likely there’s some point in a life that includes renting a basement apartment, below street level, in a city. There’s an immediate intimacy with the footwear and pace of strangers, but that’s the outside we closed the door on.
Inside, cramped with selected out and preserved little bits of what we love, hanging from hooks or pinned on walls and doors are decorative clothes, a great pair of espadrilles, an unforgettable chair from a theatre production, brilliant hat boxes, a torn out comic strip that’s always funny, a stanza copied out from Housman’s Shropshire Lad, a recipe…and hot coffee and brioche. The thrill of making do may fast wear off, but it’s there, and there are adventures afoot to relish.
Truly, I think I’ve started painting in protest to the flaunting of obscene overdone affluence which is so drowning, so unpleasant, so removed from real feeling that I just want to puke. I’m painting scenes of more uncommon, interesting living. Some of which I live and some of which I imagine and some I recall. What people actually DO with 5,000 sq feet except furnish it badly and get lost I can’t imagine.
It’s not that I disapprove excess and style and largess and money. But I must say, I kind of adore intimate. There’s a lot to be said for simple pleasures.