Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Finding Marine on St. Croix

We are wrapping up our week of birthday celebrations...yes, I said week. (That means I get a week in December!) Really nothing too over the top...just stepping back and taking the time to enjoy the fall weather (winter will come soon enough) and each other's company.

We enjoyed a few road trips to our favorite towns...Northfield, Hudson, Stillwater, and the picturesque Marine on St. Croix. I enjoy the change in scenery and the slower pace of the day. It always refreshes me and provides me with a healthy dose of inspiration.

I think inspiration can be found anywhere...if you are open to it. I grew up in smaller towns (very small) and still like the feel of smaller communities. 

 I love the feel of Marine on St. Croix...yup, that's the name of the town. There's not much there, but lots of charm. Located just 10 miles out of  Stillwater (and a short hop from St. Paul), it still has a General Store and ice cream shop. It is nestled alongside the Mississippi River and I think was founded as a logging town.

It contains lots of charming old houses, like this one, that I can only imagine calling home some day. Can you smell the bread baking?

But just a mile outside of town, there is a housing community that I find so inspiring. All the houses are white and at first glance may seem cookie-cutter...but when you take a closer look you notice all sorts of unique features.

Like this house with the mini-house/gazebo just off the house, but still attached.

Or this single residence that looks like two houses with a skyway. Can you imagine one side being work/studio space and the other side being your dwelling space.

All the houses at Jackson Meadow are designed by the same architect, David Salmela , and while all the houses use the same building materials, they all feature unique design. They blend the traditional with the modern and perhaps most importantly, create a sense of neighborhood. They also blend into the natural environment...with prairie grasses growing on the land surrounding the lots.

I'm not going to be moving into one of these houses anytime soon (unless I win the lottery!), but I can take this inspiration into the studio. I can envision a number of paintings inspired by this community. 

I've already started two.

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