Kerry’s House

House as of August 15, Finished

This is a “house portrait” that I painted in 2005 for my friends. This was an attempt to recreate Kerry’s childhood home, to paint a house not as it looks now but as it looked during the 1950s and 1960s. Because my friends live in Colorado and I live two time zones away (north of Boston), this was long-distance art as well as time travel.

My friends sent me an early black and white photo to work from, probably taken in the 1920s or 1930s. But in that photo, part of the house was obscured by trees and another part of it was covered with vines.  So my friends took new photos of the house and emailed them so I could understand the structures that weren’t visible in the black and white photo. The house had been changed quite a bit since the 1960s and had been painted white, so this project required collaboration with my friends to get the colors right! They even sent me a bit of crushed brick in the mail, which made me laugh and laugh. They told me about the front porch swing and described the kinds of flowers in the yard. I shared images by email and we talked on the phone, and I posted images on my blog as the work progressed.

So we built this house together with art and memories. Due to the long-distance collaboration, it took me three months to finish the painting. But it was so much fun! Besides, you know what they say: The road to the house of a friend is never long.

Painting by Randa Dubnick; originally posted on Flickr and on August 15, 2005.  All rights reserved.