During a critique I once admitted to my painting class that I like looking in people's windows. I could care less what the people inside are doing. I just want to see what their homes look like! Stop judging me and just admit it. You're the same way.
When I was a kid, my mom and I used to tour model homes. We moved several times and I always went along for the showings. Before moving into the house my mom lives in now, I used to make my boyfriend drive by with me at night so I could see in the windows. I would imagine what my new life in that house might be like. It was a way to look into the future. Who would I be when I lived there? How would we arrange our furniture, where would we put the Christmas tree? What things would we laugh and cry about together in the kitchen, dining room, living room? Would our fresh start be successful?
I guess that's the allure of looking in windows and stepping into a stranger's home. A house speaks volumes about its inhabitants. Seeing how other people live behind their private walls, picturing yourself in a new place, a better place, thinking of all the changes you'd like to make to your own life. Or seeing how others live and deciding you like your own way just fine.
Tomorrow afternoon I get to take another tour, and this one will be a first. A couple who visited my art show inside the American Gothic House invited me to explore their home and make a painting based on anything inside it. Basically, it's the ideal situation: Peek into someone else's life, see what their home is saying, and try to express that message through a painting of the most evocative possessions. After a month long break from my studio, I am more than ready for the challenge.