So, my time living in Brooklyn is officially coming to an end. Since the beginning of 2011, I began the long, tedious, and exhausting process of finishing up our house renovations, with the intent to sell. This basically has taken up all my physical and mental energy since January (hence my lack of painting and blog posting). The past few weeks have been a whirlwind of craziness: We put our house on the market February 20th, went down to Charleston for 2 weeks, found a house there that we fell in love with, signed a contract to buy it, found buyers for our house in Brooklyn, signed that contract, and found schools for our kids to attend. Now we're back, and as the dust settles, I've got a few months left to do some last paintings of Brooklyn.
Both my wife and I feel like we're in this weird in-between area: not quite here, not quite there. I'm really excited to move down there, and think this the boldest and best decision I've made in my life. Our goal is to set ourselves up with a lifestyle that will allow both my wife and I to make our art. Our plan is to build out an old industrial space, converting it into artists' studios, thereby creating some income and an artistic community, while giving us the time to pursue our art careers. There's definitely a need for more studio spaces there and we've heard some great things about the art scene in general. I won't go too much into it now, as we still have a lot of planning and work to do on that once we move down there, but we're excited about the possibilities.
I'm also looking forward to seeing how this new place will affect my painting. There are definitely some similarities with New York: they're both port cities, have a lot of old buildings and different architectural styles. The light is much brighter being further south, and warmer (much warmer in the summer!) Whereas New York is a vertical city, Charleston lies in the low country. I feel my orientation to the landscape will begin to change. I'm intrigued by getting to know and paint the downtown area too...it has an Old World type of feel, with different vegetation and trees. I also love the gigantic live oak trees covered with Spanish moss....I know those are going to be fantastic to draw and paint.
But, for the next few months I'm going to focus on Brooklyn. I've prepped these canvases in my studio, and am basically going to try and draw and paint as much of this city that I love and have called home for the past 15 years. Stay tuned for seeing the work in progress...