20 September 2005

On the Street

I stepped out of the magazine and onto the street, with my camera in hand. It was time to take my own pictures.

I loved old architecture and Ontario abounded in it. Old, that is, by North American standards, very old by BC standards. The quaint cottagey Victorians especially interested me. There certainly were some fabulous features in the grand estates, but the more accessable, down to earth, modest places suited me better. I could imagine my ancestors living there. The plan, then, was to find a neighbourhood of good photogenic homes, and snap them up, so to speak, for reference material. Photography wasn't enough; I had to paint them.

It is an odd thing to do. Stopping in front of a stranger's home and analyzing the best angle; staring, really. Then pointing a camera at someone's private property and clicking. It was awkward. I felt that at any moment a suspicious, irate or even enraged occupant would come flying out after me. I could never do what the paparotzi do. Fears aside, I did it anyway, trying very hard to be discrete. As it happened, no one seemed to notice or care.

Of the pictures I took, six became paintings.

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