I was asked to create something for my friend’s in-laws who are selling their home of many decades. It got me thinking about the house I grew up in, where my parents still live. We had a great neighborhood full of kids of all ages that would rule the street from sun up ’til sun down. We would get to the bus stop at the Maltman’s house early so we could get a good game of tag in before school. We painted rocks and sold them to our neighbors so we could donate the money to MDA. On Independence day, the neighborhood kids put on a play written, directed and acted out by the kids. Summer nights we played four square and kick the can until the street lights came on.
Inside our house was modest at best. Looking back, we never felt without, because it just wasn’t about that for us. The house saw the glorious 70’s orange and brown, the fabulous 80’s pink and mint green, and now, a more neutral pallete. I had a corner bedroom that, when you opened both windows, would have an amazing cross breeze with the faint smell of lilacs. Every day, you’d hear Steven tripping UP the stairs. We had a home cooked dinner together at 6:00 on the dot every night. Jack, eat your peas. And we’d always have to wait for Kevin to finish. He was sooooooo slooooooooooow. But the conversation never stopped and Jack never did eat those peas.
So many parties and celebrations in that house. Christenings, confirmations, graduations, weddings, birthdays, holidays, pizza bake offs…with a large family, there is always a reason to celebrate. Even now, with my parents pushing 80 soon, they can STILL throw one down. So many amazing memories all from one little cape.
Then I got to thinking how hard it must be to sell a house that has been in the family for decades. Culling through years of accumulation, deciding what is worth keeping. Ultimately, though, its not the house or the stuff that makes it so special, it’s the people and memories within it that stay with you forever.
I knew exactly what I wanted to do for this piece, however it scared me just a little bit. It’s been a looooong time since I’ve drawn anything other than lettering and coming from a long line of artists and craftsmen in my family, it was a little intimidating. I really loved creating this and it has inspired me to create my own series of house drawings for all the places my military brats have called home.
This piece is pen and ink on Strathmore watercolor paper and is framed in a slightly distressed black wooden frame.