Jael Lang commissioned me to make a painting for her husband John for their anniversary which they celebrated yesterday. (...so it's now safe to post this today). I was happy to oblige. I’ve been friends with John Lang for over 20 years. We grew up together in North Minneapolis (....and for some reason both moved out of that area). I was even the best man at their wedding.
Jael asked for a painting about makng the journey through life with someone you love. She told me a story about a camping trip they took to Gooseberry Falls State Park on the North shore of Lake Superior, shortly before they were married.
They were hiking and decided to wander off of the main path on to what turned out to be an over grown deer trail. This lead to Gooseberry River. They jumped from rock to rock to the middle of the river.There they sat. It was beautiful and peaceful... and fun.
In this painting I decided to catch them in the action of making their way out to the rock. Here they are helping one another. I wanted to acknowledge how maintaining a good relationship is active rather than passive.
I’ve been married for almost nine years and sometimes it is work. I have to be very conscious of what I do. (Like most people, I can easily turn into a jackass). Anyway, work is good... keeps you happy and healthy...
I have never been to Gooseberry Falls State Park before so I took Jael's suggestion and referenced pictures online. Of course it's beautiful. Much of the Gooseberry River has rocky banks and the water appears to move rapidly and mist and spray.
I intentionally made the water bluer than it appears in the photographs I referenced. In these pictures it's greenish brown. It is probably from silt on the bottom and from reflecting the color of the thick wooded areas around it. But I made the water blue with little yellow sun reflections. This seemed more appropriate to the content.
No one wants a painting about their relationship to be poop brown. Right?
In other news...
I am still working on Orin’s painting but will finish it this week and will post it on Friday. Thank you everyone for your comments and suggestions on the Panda Facebook Page. Upon consulting with him, Orin decided to go with seeing the animals from his point of view rather than seeing the human figure. This makes more since to me too.
Anyway, Thank You John and Jael for your friendship and for asking me to paint for you.