Basement Apartment


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.

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4 thoughts on “Basement Apartment

  1. Simple pleasures but certainly richly conceived! I remember, by contrast, a bedroom scene by Van Gogh that was stifling and claustrophobic. If only in his down moods he could have borrowed some of your vivid imagination!

    • I agree about the Van Gogh, and likely it was his general impression of the world at large. And it rarely disappointed him except when he faced flowers. And fields. And starry starry nights.
      Thanks for liking this one, John. Living on the edge, at the borders, and even a bit underground has always been interesting to me. I keep seeing canvases to fill, or leave alone and admire, or remember through eternity.

  2. I so agree! Happy 4th, my dear friend. I always worked in clinics below ground level & how I remember the feet & shoes going by. My son has some funny stories of living below ground in Haight/Ashbury area, many years ago.

    • Sounds right, SF and NY….. Basement apartments, fabulous and eerie at the same go. I knew I wasn’t alone.
      Happy 4 to you, too, Bette. Not going on Highway one.

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