Many of you may know Tysons Corners of Northern Virginia close to Washington, DC, but few of you probably remember it as it looked like in the spring of 1965. As I tooled along in my MG-TD, top down going South on Route 123, early morning, I noticed a billboard newly posted on the hillside pastureland to the East just before the junction of 123 and Route 7. "COMING SOON: SHOPPING CENTER," it read and, of boy, was that sign right!
Within months, the cows disappeared, road work began to widen the road, and the hillside was no long green pastureland with scattered trees. It was bare brown. The only reminder of the past within a few blocks of The Corners was a lovely old apple orchard on another hillside as one headed West toward Leesburg, Virginia. Not many years later, that bit of idyllic countryside was gone as well. Gone, but not forgotten.
Monet's painting of Apple Trees in Bloom, although not painted at Tysons Corner, captures the look of that hillside orchard.
I decided this scene would make the perfect 37 minute painting challenge. And it did. My painting is much simpler than Monet's, not nearly in the subtle colors or detail, and looking more like Thomas Hart Benton than Oscar Claude Monet. But I didn't cheat on the time!
The best part about this experiment is that I can't wait to start another! Except this time, I may fudge a little on the timing.