Just after I arrived in Portland in 2007 I bought a street map at Powell’s books and noticed what looked like a square cinnamon crossbun in the SE corner. It turned out that, yes, it was a real street configuration, called Ladd’s Addition. I found beautiful homes, tall trees lining its streets, and diamond shaped rose gardens in between. In the center was a circular street around large rhododendrons and an elegant coffee house with stained glass lamps, that served me my first Mexican Mocha. Apparently it was a farm plot in the early 1900s that originally had a stream running through it, then redesigned by its landowner with eccentric ideas for subdivisions.
This was an early Oregon painting, part of what became the first third of my master plan. Overall I aimed for an expression of Sunday afternoon Alice in Wonderland bliss, which at least one of the sessions was. I did my best to paint the shades of blues growing gently darker up the early June sky. I had done trees before, both as standalone paintings and ones that took up most of the canvas if they were, but never just as meticulous about the leaves as the bark as in this old elm that arched over.
Maybe I was so reluctant to leave that I came up with reasons to spend over 40 hours at this spot, making this painting my second longest I have ever spent on a 22X30 one. It almost sold to a local customer who at the last minute chose “SW Corbett White Oak Tree” instead, that you may remember from a newsletter in late summer 2019. Can you find the squirrel?
Ladd Circle, SE Portland, Oregon, June 2007, ink and watercolor, 19″X26″