Tuesday, May 31, 2016

En Plein Air: A Shaded Trail (Oil, 12 x 9)

I didn't go out to paint yesterday because it was raining. Instead my wife and I went to a movie, The Meddler. The Rotten Tomato gave it a pretty high rating for review but it was a disappointment.

This morning I went to Forest Hills Gardens to paint. There was a spot I liked very much. It was a big dip in the land and looked like a small pasture valley in this suburban area. I also liked the small winding trail in the woods. Surrounding the clearing high up on all sides were million-dollar, or even multi-million-dollar houses. While I was painting, two of the house owners came out to watch me paint. To my surprise, they were Chinese and Russian. Is capitalism dying or what? Are the communists taking over this country? Obviously, the two ladies with children were new immigrants. The Russian lady could speak very little English. They reminded me of another experience last summer.

When I was painting at the entrance of Forest Hills Gardens near Queens Blvd one day last summer, a guy came over to watch me paint. As in most of the times when I was painting outside, he and I started a casual conversation. When I came to the topic of architectural beauty of the neighborhood, I said, "The real estate market must be very good in this area." Unexpectedly, the guy raised his voice and responded, "The rich Chinese came and bought them all..." I sensed a displeased tone in his voice, but he discontinued his talking, as abruptly as he raised his voice in the beginning. I turned around and looked at him, realizing he was staring at my Chinese face. He must be thinking he had offended me. With a smile, I told him, "Don't you worry! I am just a starving artist and hate those filthy rich guys, too, for kicking up the realty prices." Immediately his face melted into an embarrassed smile. After that we gave a hearty laugh together.

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