Thursday, August 9, 2012

The Gift of Art

Philippa, Rob, Rebecca, Cindy and Fred

A Childhood Dream

Former Kings Mountain resident Fred Cohen, a longtime Genentech scientist, has been one of Holland Studio's most innovative and engaging patrons. When Fred was a child he came to the Kings Mountain Art Fair and fell in love with Rebecca's paintings of the redwoods that he loved. Later as a successful research scientist his dream of owning an original painting came true when he commissioned a 24" X 31" oil painting, "April Light", for his San Francisco home. 
April Light Click here for more info

Now he has redefined the gift of art.

When Fred and Cindy, who met at Genentech, were planing their wedding, they used a print of an old Oak tree from a drawing of Rebecca's as a "guest book". All their guests placed their thumb prints on the tree's branches signifying the mark each made on the couple's life.

The wedding took place at the Emerald Hills home of Philippa Normon. Sharing her beautiful home would turn into an extraordinary journey since Fred and Cindy's gift to her would be to commission a painting in her honor.

"Philippa is a dear friend, and we wanted to thank her for everything she's done for us. We thought she might enjoy the  experience of working with a talented artist to immortalize a personal moment."        Fred Cohen

The Journey of the Painting 

Philippa chose as a subject Angel Island,  where she and Rob spent romantic times bicycling and enjoying the spectacular views from the Island. It was the remote wilderness feel of the island, with the wind and light on the water below, and the expanse of the bridge to bridge view beyond that they loved.
Selected photos turned into a Photoshop composite image of the entire plan
Rebecca photographing on Angel Island

Like all commissions the journey began at the source of the inspiration, on Angel Island, retracing Philippa's path to her favorite picnic spot. 

Photo for Alcatraz and the City

Many photos studied the details of the plants and rocks, the sailboats, and the buildings on Alcatraz and the City. Selected photos turned into a Photoshop composite image of the entire plan.    
Phillippa's photo shoot

The sky came from photos taken on the day of Philippa's remembered picnic. 

Photo study of the city 

Among the many challenges for Rebecca was capturing the magical feel of the moment while depicting an accurate image of the buildings and the bridges.

Perhaps the most challenging task were the towers and cables of the Golden Gate Bridge. These required ordering special Kolinsky script brushes made of sable hair to paint the hairline detail of the bridge. Philippa and Rebecca enjoyed a day of work together at the studio when the sky was painted.

Celebration of the Painting

Celebrating the completed painting 

Finally the day the painting was finished arrived. Fred and Cindy and Philippa and Rob arrived to see the master piece for the first time. 

Everyone had a good time celebrating the completion of the painting at the evening wrap party around the fire pit at Lobitos Creek Ranch.

Around the fire pit

It was Philippa's job to name the work. Inspiration hit around the camp fire that evening and "Rendezvous at Angel Island" was now official.

The Finished Painting

"Rendezvous at Angel Island" 
"…Rebecca, your work brilliantly captures "my" Angel Island. It evokes so many memories…what amazes me most about the painting is that you clearly heard the things that I love about Angel Island and somehow managed to capture and translate these into such a beautiful oil painting…"  Philippa

Seeing the painting for the first time:

1 comment:

  1. I enjoyed looking at the many wall paintings that you have done. Not being very handy with a paintbrush, even though
    I know what I like in the way of art, I took the easier option to order this canvas print from the site .

    It’s an unusual work called Forest music 1, by Remedios Varo Uranga, a Spanish-Mexican woman artist.