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1979 Portland Avenue: Rosebud
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1979 Portland Avenue: Rosebud

1979 Portland Avenue: Rosebud

1979 Portland Avenue: Rosebud

John Wenzel
1999
Oil on Canvas
40" x 30" approx
Status: Sold
Comment on this artwork

Referencing "Rosebud" from Citizen Kane in case you didn't get that. (Google it)

From 1995 to 1997 I, along with my brother David, renovated the house at 1979 Portland Ave. in St. Paul, MN. The house was duplexed and in severe disrepair. We set out to turn it into the "Jewel of Portland Avenue." I cannot describe the 1000 days of seriously hard work, but it included everything from rewiring the entire house, almost all walls gutted, entire exterior stripped of cement board siding and aluminum... the list would fill a couple pages. Too make a long painful story short, we finally got out of there.

After all was said and done, we sold it. After figuring gains and losses I figured I made about negative $5/hr for 3 solid years. But not long after, I really regretted not sticking with it, although I don't think it was possible financially. I always thought if I had the money someday, and the house was for sale, I'd buy it in a heartbeat.

This painting, I did easily from memory since I spent weeks/months rebuilding the eaves around the entire house that were rotting and packed full of squirrels and squirrel nests. We did not however have cedar shakes, that was what we dreamed of but the asphalt roof cost plenty. So, the great thing about a painting is that, I put cedar shakes on the house. And it was a lot less sweaty work!

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