Some of my favorite paintings to do are ones that make me appreciate where I live. I’ve been blessed to live in areas of the United States with rich history, culture, and nature, and I don’t do enough artwork to reflect that. Doing artwork based on where you live is a great way to think about your home in a new way, or reflect on what you like about it. Here are a few paintings I’ve done based on my home.
Here’s a painting I did when I lived in the DC area; it’s the Jefferson Memorial during the Cherry Blossom Festival. I wasn’t fond of living in NoVA, but the Cherry Blossom Festival was one thing that I could always appreciate. I loved the way the whole area suddenly came to life in the spring, casting off the grays of winter for a vibrant, swaying dance of color. I loved how the cool spring breeze would send pink and white petals swirling through the air like a beautiful flurry. Seeing the cherry blossoms almost made up for the horrifying, smelly traffic you have to go through to get there.
This painting started out as an idea for a paint party, but I decided that the building would be way too tricky for a group of potentially drunk clients, so I changed it to the Washington Monument instead. I still like this painting, except that you can tell that the canvas panel originally had a different painting on it, which left a lot of raised brushstrokes. I ought to have sanded it down first, but it was too late by the time I noticed it.
This Virginia map was fun to paint, and it turned out pretty cute! The shape of Virginia is pretty interesting, with its ripped-looking coastline, craggy North-Western border, and good old Chincoteague island! I sold this painting at last year’s Ashland Strawberry Festival, and I’d like to paint new one soon. Next time, I’ll use a ruler or something to help me make the straight lines inside the VA outline; that would probably cut my painting time in half. Who knew straight lines were so hard to paint?
I wanted to paint something that celebrates my new home, so I painted this nighttime RVA skyline. The city of Richmond has a river flowing through it, which makes it exceptionally fun to paint! I want to do lots more paintings featuring Richmond in the future, because it’s such a varied and interesting city. Of all the paintings I’ve done in the past year or two, this is one of my favorites. There are so many more wonderful things around me and my home to paint, that I doubt the subject will ever be exhausted!