Thursday, July 11, 2013

House on Thistle Downs Drive ~ sketch

Yes, it's my first house. "What?!" you say? She just posted about creating a consistent body of work! Trust me, there's method to my madness...I think.

I drew the sketch last night from a wonderful photo reference courtesy of Ted Duckworth of Charlevoix. I had already been considering doing a series featuring Earl Young's 'mushroom houses' (as they are affectionately named by the locals) but there was one on Thistle Downs Drive that I especially love but wasn't quite sure if it was a true Earl Young house. When I saw Ted's photo on Facebook I knew it must be a sign. It's a difficult house to photograph because of it's location which is on Round Lake where the channel empties into the harbor. The majority of the house spills down over a steep hill to a lovely yard and a run of boat docks, the main entrance is butted up to Thistle Downs Drive which is really no more than a short, dead end alleyway.

Today I did some research and discovered it was the original creation of Earl Young's daughter, Virginia Young Olsen who went on to design several homes based on the style of her father homes. My search lead me from the internet to a real estate agent to the local Historical Society and finally to the actual owners, Lowell & Sharon Blossom. I had a lovely conversation with Mr. Blossom and learned the house was built in 1957. The Blossoms purchased it in 1997 and the following year began to add on but not without talking Virginia (the original designer) into being the design consultant first. They wanted to keep the 'Mother Goose' (Lowell's term) sensibility intact while adding space. He told me he had to do a lot of convincing to get Virginia onboard but obviously the effort was worth it. The project was completed in 2000 and the result is spectacular.

Back to the consistent body of work now. I've decided to stick with the alcohol inks for a time and see where this medium takes me. I'm also a fan of the Russian artist, Ludmila Shambina  I love her crazy landscapes and buildings. If you follow the link I posted, scroll down to the third painting featured to see the work that has inspired me most. Her website is entirely in Russian and from what Bing translator gave me, I believe she works on watercolor paper and rice paper but I can see this done with Micron pen and alcohol ink, possibly on Yupo. I need to do some experimenting which is my next project. The house on Thistle Downs lends itself perfectly to such interpretation but I would rather not go quite that far afield in respect for this beautiful home and all the Blossom family has done to preserve it's integrity. 

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