Sep 3, 2011

Home, 1980-1989

The next several Plein Air posts will feature the places in which I lived at one time in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I just returned from a trip there and while visiting, decided it a good thing to paint part of my history. I lived in the Twin City metro area from 1970 until 2003, until I returned to Goldsboro, NC, home of my parents and the later years of my youth.

Home of Behr Lemons, 6 1/4 x 9 1/4" watercolor
When I was in my twenties, I became almost obsessed with owning my own home. Somehow, thirty seemed like the age at which one was supposed to have their name on a property. I rented an upper duplex in Kenwood, an upscale neighborhood in Minneapolis. The duplex was a grand Victorian two-story house with gingerbread woodwork and at least one stained glass window. The duplex I liked second to mine was this prairie-style home in south Minneapolis. Rick Lemons, a friend and fellow art director in the ad business rented the second floor. His living room featured a large skylight that provided light and cheerfulness even in the dead of winter. Sure enough, Rick’s landlords, a married couple who lived downstairs, needed more space when two children from a previous marriage came to live with them. In January of 1980 Rick and I purchased the duplex from them, and became legal tenants-in-common, each with our own unit. Later that year we also became business partners, thus the name Behr Lemons.

I moved out when I married in 1989, but continued to run my freelance graphics business there. When Rick and I were threatened with eviction for operating a business in a non-commercially zoned space, we decided to sell the property. Closing day was on a Monday in early November 1993. Two days later, Rick collapsed from a brain aneurism while working out at a local gym. Sadly, he died just days before his 49th birthday.

I love painting that which is beautiful to behold, but I also enjoy painting places that are meaningful to me in other ways. This gives me time for contemplation and reflection, allowing me to pay tribute to those places or people who have shared a piece of their history with me.

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