Thursday, December 4, 2014

Cambridge Studio Window 1984


My dwelling in Cambridge, Mass. was on the first floor of an old wooden duplex house just outside the borders of Harvard University, and the house was owned by Harvard too. The original living room, dining room, and kitchen were in this apartment, but the second floor had been re-built into another apartment. There was a majestic porch on the house which I used anytime it was warm enough to go outside. The porch wrapped around the main body of the house but the wraparound railing, for space reasons, was merely decorative on one side and didn't allow me to actually walk or sit there. 

The original living room behind the porch, which faced the street, was my bedroom and art studio combined. There was a bay window with two tall narrow side windows. The window you see here is one of them, through which you can see the decorative railing of the porch and some vegetation. I did a careful study of one of the side windows. There are multiple levels of wood and glass in this old sash window and due to overpainting and age, it was very difficult to open so I didn't try it very often. Also, my art table was near the window and there wasn't a lot of space to move around in. Underneath the windows was an old metal radiator, which made apocalyptic steampunk clanking noises  when it started up. The gas furnace for the whole house's heating system was directly under my bed and when it started up (which it often didn't due to the pilot light going out) there was a great whoosh and an earthquake-like bang rattle which woke me up. It's a wonder the house didn't blow up with me in it. Nowadays the entire house has been re-done as a multi-million-dollar single family home.

I am bemused by the amount of time I had back then to do art. Not only was I preparing full-scale acrylic fantasy art for the 1984 Worldcon in Los Angeles/Anaheim, but I did an ink and color sketch of local buildings and scenes almost every day. There was no Facebook or Google or Blogspot or the abominations of click bait to fragmentize and wreck the continuity of time and work. And of course no day job either. 

Brown technical pen ink and watercolor on sketchbook page, about 4" x 7 1/2", July 13, 1984. Please click to see a larger view. Thank you for tolerating my reminiscences.

1 comment:

Tristan Alexander said...

So simple but it still has charm and evokes feelings!