This past weekend, I took part in a large outdoor art show in downtown Toronto. Thousands of people attended, many of whom were visitors from other parts of the world. They had glowing things to say about Toronto, and naturally were very interested in my Toronto pieces. And they would get downright giddy when choosing from my selection of Toronto-themed business cards, showcasing the CN Tower or the red streetcars of the transit system.
Seeing a visitor’s exuberant reaction to the city reminded me just how often “home” gets taken for granted. In the same way a Roman no longer marvels at the Colosseum or a Parisian at the Eiffel Tower, I sometimes overlook the beauty of my home surroundings… that is, until it shakes me out of complacency.
And I didn’t expect Toronto to do that shaking on a greyish day in February! No snow around, but the residual puddles from a recent melting reflecting the cathedral down the street. The random interior lights twinkling in the office towers, giving them a little sparkle. The rows of streetlamps standing guard on the sidewalks of King Street East. And just as a photo was taken, the red 504 King streetcar whizzed into the shot, filled with people on their way home. When I saw the photo, I was so taken with how atmospherically beautiful this city can be! And in February!
As a reminder that there is beauty all around me here at home, I drew and painted my 133rd miniature painting from this photo. And it was one of those pieces at the art show that got lots of attention, and quickly found its forever home with an appreciative collector from… Toronto!