Last fall I had an email from Mary Linhart of Richmond, Virginia asking if I would be interested in creating a painting for her husband Ted as a surprise gift. She explained that she and her husband had a home on Gwynn’s Island, on the Chesapeake Bay near the mouth of the Rappahannock River. Of course I was very familiar with the island having had a home in nearby Deltaville. Ted’s family had spent many years boating in the area and was particularly fond of watching the 4th of July fireworks from their 58’ Hatteras motor yacht Chevy L anchored behind the island on Milford Haven .
Except for the fireworks, the project posed no tremendous challenge after the thousand or so I’ve done, so I began. I did a small pencil sketch that Mary approved at which time she selected her frame and title: “Island Memories”. Then I began the painting that showed the view from the wharf, looking west toward the bridge. After some experimentation the fireworks came along nicely.
Mary presented the painting to Ted on New Years Eve last month at The Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. Mary reported “I had the painting lit, propped-up in a lounge chair in our room as he came through the door from having been at the concierge desk. He knew immediately that it was yours from across the room. He gasped, ‘No, it’s not really, no, not really. It is!!!!!!!!!! He ran over to the painting and examined it with a huge smile on his face. ‘It’s Gwynn’s Island!’ he said. I asked, what else do you see? He said, ‘Fireworks and…The Chevy L!’ He absolutely gleamed with joy.”
In a recent email from Ted he said “I can’t begin to tell you [John] how much I love “Island Memories” and especially the care and concern you showed Mary in capturing our favorite images of Gwynn’s Island. Your treatment of the light shining from the Callis Wharf building onto the water and the light reflecting from the fireworks onto the faces of those watching is especially delicate and most sensitive. I absolutely will cherish this remarkable work of art!
For all these years I’ve felt so fortunate to spend my life painting the beauty around me but there truly is nothing so special as to see my work have the affect on it’s buyers as was expressed by Mary and Ted Linhart.
TAGS : Custom Paintings