I thought about the original owners of this home as I painted it. Did they often sit out on their wrap-around porch? How was their garden different than the one I was now painting? How different we are from the people of that era. And yet in many ways we are the same. We all reflect the values of the culture that we live in, and our perspectives are therefore different. And yet we are all human. Human strengths and frailties, and emotions; the human condition does not change. I am facinated by this concept. The houses are an echo of these people, now gone. So similar, so different. We learn from them by what they left behind.
When painting, I become very well acquainted the subject I am working on and all its little details. It is interesting, then, after a painting is finished, to revisit the site and have another look. I see it so much better after I have painted it. One fall day I took a slow drive by this home that I had come to know so well. I was in for a bit of a shock, however. The porch was a riot of garish halloween decorations. There were polyester cobwebs, cardboard skeletons, plastic witches and hollow eyed sheets where the flower baskets had hung.
This was not the essence of a people who had come and gone before us. This was a different kind of ghost. I quickly left.