There was only one place remaining for a larger painting in the household of longtime collectors Bob Goodkind and Kathy Wissel. Bob, Kathy and I looked at the space above the window in the room used more than any other in their home, and contemplated what would be appropriate. I was struck by a small painting already there to the right of the window – a remarkable older work of Adam and Eve in a landscape full of animals and birds, particularly mysterious and unusual in composition and palette. What came to me was a long horizontal painting to fill the space, where arks full of the animals and birds could travel in an optimistic journey towards survival.
Bob and Kathy collaborated with me in this process in one very important way. They expressed utter trust in the creative process. Whatever I wanted to do! Any topic, any size, any palette, any medium, any time frame. I have been fortunate enough to have been offered that kind of carte blanche two other times with commissions. The paintings that emerged in all cases were highly successful: for the best in art to reveal itself, there really should be few constraints.
I had a 2’x8’ panel constructed for the project, and started with layers of acrylic paint. I worked hard on the sky until I had the tone and texture that I was hoping for. The sea itself ended up looking quite turbulent, which was no surprise considering the current state of affairs on our planet. However the surface of the water contrasted with that, as I taped off a very straight horizontal line for the boats to float upon. This was not consciously meant to represent safe passage, but in the end I felt that was the message that came across.
For installation I was fortunate enough to be able to call on a real master in Greg Tindel, who had constructed and stained the frame the perfect color for the image. Greg actually called it a “launching” rather than and install. Bob and Kathy had not seen any sketches or process images of the painting before we brought it to their home. That was the degree of trust involved! Happily they responded positively to it, and it worked very well with the other art on the walls.