I have a handful of consistent clients that help keep me in business. I call them “Hall of Fame” clients. The regulars. As in, “I don’t know what we’re going to do yet, but put me down in your schedule for March” regulars. Okay, technically that only happened once, but it did make me feel like a rock star. There are only a handful of regulars at the “Hall of Fame” level, and the Ilfeld family is one of them.
Jo and Jeff first hired me ten years ago to paint every inch of their son’s bedroom in a safari theme. I know exactly when it was because my daughter was only two months old, and I brought her along with me and painted with her strapped to my back. A few years later, I painted a four-wall mural for their second son with a firehouse and emergency vehicles theme. Then they had a daughter, Miri, and we covered her room in frolicking fairies, flowers, toadstools and a few elves.
A few years back, Miri’s fairyland was sacrificed in a remodel, so last month they had me back to start from scratch in her new room. Miri, now 7, wanted an underwater theme, and gave me a clear directive: Penguins! On icebergs! Whales too! And a couple sharks… Everything on the wall came from Miri’s direction. She will make an excellent movie director someday.
On the opposite corner of the room, we created a kelp forest where the sharks could hang out, far enough away from the happy penguin scene that they wouldn’t pose a threat.
It is awesome to walk through the kid’s bedrooms and see my handiwork still being enjoyed, albeit with a few additional Giants posters to accompany the artwork. On this project, I was essentially a facilitator for Miri’s creative ideas; her walls became the canvas of her imagination. I hope her new antarctic penguin mural reminds her to dream big and also that she is so very loved. Thank you, Jo and Jeff for being “Hall of Fame” clients!
Senanque Abbey Paintings
The Mora’s first commissioned me in 2005 to create a painting for the space above their hearth that celebrated their wedding location and honeymoon in Italy. I customized the artwork for their space, and it still works perfectly in their living room. This time, they wanted a painting for their bedroom that captured a blissful family vacation they spent in Southern France, specifically the Senanque Abbey, a visual highlight of their trip.
For my commissioned paintings I always paint two pieces and let the client pick their favorite. In this case, the breathtaking view we wanted to capture was set. In the first painting, I tried a pulled back view with softer colors. Peaceful, idyllic. For the second painting, I used stronger colors with the Abbey taking center stage, for a little more drama. I called the softer painting “Annelise’s View” and the more dramatic painting “Jeff’s View.” When I brought them over to the house for the “choosing moment,” Jeff threw open the door and said, “We won’t keep you in suspense: We want them both!” Comment dites-Vous “awesome”?!?!
Spring is in full force right now. Life feels grand inside and out. It’s hard not to use hyperboles when I talk about my projects, but I am thrilled with my work right now. I am painting a sixty-foot long landscape that is adjacent to a beautiful garden with a fountain and pond. It is incredibly peaceful work, listening to the birds, the fountain, no hurry, no worry, just relishing. It is more meditation than work, and a blessed way to spend a beautiful spring day.
Enjoy your spring!