I received a beautiful letter from my client today that expresses the story behind why she commissioned this painting and what it means to her and her husband. It is an incredible feeling to have created a painting that represents something so meaningful to them. I wish you both all the best. Happy Anniversary!
A letter from my client:
“My husband and I aren’t the couple that make public declarations of love. We don’t have each others names tattooed across our hearts. Our gifts are never so personal and thoughtful that we weep with shock and joy. They are those spoils that we’d never get for ourselves. The fancy stereo. The expensive cashmere sweater. Still thoughtful, but nothing that would be featured in a romantic comedy. For us, it’s perfect.
This Christmas I attempted to do something a little different for his Christmas gift. Show him that I had really tried to think outside the box and get him something special…I failed miserably. I knew I had to make it up to him. Our second wedding anniversary was April 3. Perfect! I could knock his socks off with that perfect, thoughtful gift that he could treasure forever. A reminder that I loved him with all my heart. A painting.
This wouldn’t be just any painting. He had an idea for a painting in the back of his mind for years. The first time he told me his idea I couldn’t help but giggle. I think I even tossed in an eye-roll. He wanted a painting of Lake Louise and…Superman’s Fortress of Solitude. Go ahead and giggle. I won’t be offended, I swear. As I said, I did the same thing. That was until I really got the meaning out of him.
He had a rough go as a child. I won’t give you all the dirty details, but let’s just say it was one of those childhoods that we hear about and question how the poor soul coped. But he did. He’s always loved Superman. He can fly! He can leap tall buildings in a single bound! Bend steel with bare hands! For him, it was deeper than just admiring his special powers. Superman was a man that masked his true self behind a safe alter-ego. His Fortress of Solitude was the one true place where he could be himself. Exactly what he wanted and needed. As he grew older, his love for the mountains grew. Specifically, Lake Louise. He had found a place where he felt like himself, completely at ease. Home.
The pressure was on, this painting needed it to be great. So began the search. I knew I wanted a local artist – an artist who could take on this challenge. I searched Google, I spoke to friends, I even tried Kijiji. And finally, Esty.
I noticed the colours first. Then the realism of the birch branches. Melissa McKinnon. I sent her a note immediately. My heart was pounding with excitement. I think I found the artist! Now to try and explain what I needed…and hope she’d be up for the task.
She was! Melissa exceeded my expectations. She was excited and eager…and she got it. She was pleasant and helpful and most importantly, patient. I hummed and huhhed over everything. Size. Composition. Colour. She held my hand throughout it at all. Sent me pictures. Kept me updated. It was clear that the painting meant something to her as well, which made it even more special.
I was buzzing the day I picked it up. I came around the corner of Melissa’s living room (completely distracted as I oogled her beautiful paintings) and, BAM, there it was placed lovingly on her mantle. The colours shone, the texture was outstanding. It was abstract, but real at the same. It was perfect.
The real test was my hubby. He opened it last week on our second anniversary. I swear he stared at it for five minutes. Pure joy. I had done it! Found that perfect gift. It wouldn’t have happened without Melissa. This was a risk. It was something personal for him. He’s a particular person so I knew he’d have a vision for the painting. I was taking that away from him and I putting it in the hands of Melissa. And she blew it out of the water. Thank you Melissa. I don’t think you’ll ever quite know what this painting will mean to both of us.”
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