Now, you may have known this or not, but I happen to dislike football.
However, I am in the throws of the last touches on a very football-driven commission.
Which, I have happened to start loving. It's terribly architectural, with a beautiful Alabama afternoon sky. So while I am finishing this masculine illustration, I thought I would give you this very organic and girly painting I did on site in Greenwich.
This disliking a general and then surprisingly liking an aspect of that which I hated before seems to be a theme in my life. But don't get excited, I still probably won't be sitting and watching football this season...
This Greenwich Seascape comes to you with a confession of the most surprising nature: Greenwich has become my home.
I know. I know. It sounds anticlimactic. I've lived here for going on two years now. But this is a HUGE step for me here. I've lived many places, but they do not easily gain a beloved place of permanence in my life.
In a recent post I mentioned the many northern idiosyncrasies of Fairfield County and New York City. And of the longing for the gracious ways of my more southern roots in Virginia.
However, I don't live in the "South" anymore. So, clearly, I don't quite know that I can easily convince anyone that it is the greatest place on earth.
The truth is, I have a gypsy soul, and I wish to live in a new place all of the time.
Paris, London, Italy, India, Scotland, Nova Scotia, Norway, South Africa? (This is the short list.)
Greenwich, when I first heard of it, I pronounced "Green- wich" as if it was a breakfast sandwich with kale and cucumber. Now, living here, I have been ushered into an elite group of people who hear such individuals as my former and uneducated self and pause, slightly tip one's head to one side and look at them reproachfully.
"Oh, Darling. It's "Gren'ich." You correct them.
My introduction to the idea of living and working in Greenwich all happened so fast! I arrived on The Avenue with a sense of reservation and NO preconceived notions of what this place was.
(The Avenue, for those of you "Green-wich"ers, is THEE place to be seen and to see while picking up a impulsive $400 scarf from Hermez for your spontaneous get together dinner at the fashionable restaurants in town.)
As beautiful as the town is, I thought, "What's the big deal?" The reportedly gorgeous beaches are behind big gates and require a top secret clearance (also known as a "Greenwich Residence") to be admitted.
All the beautiful land here is all locked up in private estates, and all the drivers are rude.
It might as well BE a kale and cucumber sandwich. I prefer chicken salad.
No. I decided last year, while I love my new friends and I enjoy all the time I spend here, I would never truly call this place home.
"Hahahahaha" Said God.
This is a classic Lydia situation: speak with confidence-- defiance, perhaps?-- only to be completely overcome by my emotions in the opposite direction in spite of myself.
So, here we are. A year and a half after I set foot in my first little French Cafe along The Avenue for a croque madame with my parents, Greenwich has become my first real grown up home. Not because I live here, but because I love it.
Contrary to popular belief, the Avenue has little to do with my affections for this area. The shopping is very limited to individuals who shop strictly on unlimited budgets.
However, I do easily fall in love with landscapes, cityscapes, beautiful places, and wonderful friends.
The new friends I made and was so happy to have here became wonderful roommates. The house we rented together has made a very happy household and we've become a little framily. The provisions I've been given have come in abundance and I feel so undeserving.
So when and how did this all hit me? This sudden heart throb feeling for this area?
I happen to live very close to a little harbor and the ever popular Todd's Point. And earlier this summer, my office moved up a long country road leading to Conyer's Farms that resembles the countryside of England.
Particularly this Spring and Summer I've had a little more time to explore and I've used it to my advantage.
The rolling hills and the big beautiful oak trees!
The SKY! I tell you! It's always so expressive and always that pearly glaze from being by the sea. This area was not colonized by the impressionists by coincidence. No, it really truly is a remarkable place.
There is light that has inspired and immortalized artists- namely, Rambrant and Vermeer.
The light along the Connecticut coast line inspired many of the American Impressionists as well, including one of my very favorites, Williard Metcalf. (I did an old master copy of his "Old Homestead" in acrylics, which you may see in my gallery. It is a Connecticut house, and ever since I saw it on display, it has captured my heart and imagination. If there was ever a painting to own, it would be that one.)
Equally to "The Homestead", the little harbor by my house has stolen my heart by the luminous color in the mornings and evenings.
So when everything happened so quickly that cold day in Virginia when I discovered I had a job interview in Greenwich, It was almost as if God flung open the door, exasperated, thinking to Himself, "Finally! Lydia! Why must you dawdle so? Let's get started, already."
And I always thought that what was intended for me here was just a wonderful house, and friends, and an experience that would cause me to grow.
But the fact that it's really become a home, and that I've fallen in love with the landscape too.... That's all been a hidden blessing, and a sudden happy discovery for me.
I can still see the humor in living in such an elite crowd, but I think, now instead of my sarcastic jokes about the strict unlimited budget being defiant. They've become a little more humble. Because now this place is my home. And I love it.
Without further ado, I give you the painting I was doing as all of these emotions flooded into my heart.