The Pearl Street Project

    I've decided to make up a new project for myself. It's been a while since I've tried to tackle a series of larger paintings.  My idea was to paint as many people that live on the block I partially reside on in Stoddard WI.  I am starting with the next store neighbor Chink (Eugene).  From there I will venture out to the other people that I don't know nearly as well. 
    I am spoiled because Chink is retired and we get along so well that I am welcomed to come into the house and paint anytime.  He never locks the door and I keep all of my painting supplies tucked up in his spare bedroom.  I am painting him in his room with his clothes hanging around him. I haven't decided what exactly to include yet so the surroundings are bare and I am just concentrating on him, how he sits and settles in to his chair, how he feels.... which is tricky.  It's hard for me to paint some one I care deeply about because I feel obligated to portray them in a positive, loving way.  Chink is elderly, he lives alone, he can appear to be isolated, which he really isn't but still it comes across that way. Everything in his room is old, sturdy, and worn down, like him.  I don't want to paint him as a person who has seen better days.  But sometimes when we sit, there are long terms of comfortable silence and his face settles into a state that says "Well, this is how it is".  But I still want to cushion him with my feelings of admiration so it doesn't seem so stark. We'll see how it goes..