Saturday, May 23, 2009

Surviving the Commission

Not one soul passed by the afternoon I started this. So the next day I enlisted the landscape guy as photographer since the homeowner requested a picture of me painting it. If I look a bit frightened, it's because I just had to ask, "I wonder what lives in these Palmettos behind me?". "Oh, you don't even want to know! --- Rattle Snakes, bla-bla snakes... snakes... lizards...". After hearing a lot of dry rattly sounds of movement, I knew there was something living in there so I occasionally tapped my brush against the easel in an attempt to claim my space. I saw a lizard, which I am not afraid of, in the light of day. But I didn't feel up to fighting a rattler with only an umbrella for a weapon. I was at the end of a delightful stay here at this charming vacation home, but after standing in the Florida sun for the last few days, my freshness-date was expired. As the sun set, this survivor packed up her palette full of pine-needles and headed west on I-10. I left the no-see-ums in the painting for texture. (click painting to count them)
Now let me tell you how this came about. One of the first people to leave a comment on my new website was Leisa Tobler, the WINNER of this Summer Dream Vacation Home in Windmark Village. The same Windmark Village that hosts part of the Plein Air Paint-Out that I wanted to attend last May. I was happy to read- I like your work, do you ever come to Port St. Joe? I would like for you to paint my home. I answered - If I do, I will let you know. So I did. And that's how I got to stay at the Summer Dream for 5 nights! Go to the website and read her side of the story. Thank you Leisa for welcoming me so graciously.
This house has a large breezeway in the middle leading to a courtyard in the back. My intent of this composition is to draw you up and into the house. But once you have had the tour, come back out on the porch with your coffee and enjoy the huge porch swing (porch swings rank high on my list of favorite things). This one is like a swinging bed. Stay tuned for that painting.


Dana Cooper Fine Art said...

Jill, what a fun thing you got to do and the resulting painting is beautiful...I'm sure they will treasure it!
I think you are very brave to paint anywhere near where there might be snakes, and your writing about it is hysterical, you have a wonderful sense of humor!!

Chuck Dilmore said...

incredible story AND result!
everything you produce has such... meaning!

very nice, Jill - wow!

Leisa @ IdeaMom said...

I very much appreciate you braving the critters lurking in the shadows behind you to create a beautiful work of art for me. I love the way our stories seemed to entertwine leading us both to that welcoming porch at Summer Dream in WindMark.
The painting is beautiful. I can't wait to see it in person. I understand it has already claimed a place of honor in the WindMark house. I also plan to keep tuning in to your blog to see the finished painting of the porch bed swing.
Thanks again for a gift I will always treasure.

Karen said...

What a cool story of how it all happened. She must be thrilled with the outcome!

Gwen Bell said...

What a great house...and gorgeous painting. Love the way you bumped the colors up. I know Leisa is thrilled with it!

She WON this house??? Amazing. I'm off to her website to read all about it.

Hey, I feel your pain. The snakes here in Texas are big and mean.

Jill Berry said...

You all are so sweet with your feedback. Thanks for taking the time.

Joan Sicignano Artist said...

Wow Jill, I thought I had problems with neighborhood noises. You are really brave. As for me, I have the comfort of my own backyard. But, I do plan to change that and venture out to the unknown. Living on Long Island, don't think I have to worry about snakes.

Your work is lovely!

Pamela Alderman said...


I commend you for taking on a commission. Your work is lovely. Thanks for visiting my blog. Yes, His favor does endure forever.

Many blessings, Pamela

PainterLee said...

You are one brave artist...I could never paint with creatures lurking about! Great job on the house!