A few weeks ago I received a text message from Annie that said, "Brock's Birthday 19th. Can I commission you to do something? Is that enough time? Something of us. Is that cheesy? Something to frame in our house."
The texting when on as we brainstormed ideas to make it fun and unique. Something special, memorable, and, in her words, "hilarious." And Annie was awesome to say things like, "I want it to be something you're excited about!" (This is like a slice of fried gold when working on a commission. Not just because it's easier, but rather because it puts me in a comfort zone that makes me more productive and more creative.) Annie and I decided the piece would center around the two of them in their pool with the newest addition to their family, Murphy. Or Murph Dog. Or the Murph Man. He's a golden doodle. A miniature golden doodle. (But if you ask Brock, he'll tell you he just got a retriever mix. And if you ask how big he'll get, he may or may not specify that it's a miniature golden doodle. And if you've met Murphy and are questioning why he's so big in the drawing, it's because Brock mislead me as to the size of his dog, showing me only the most elongated shots of his puppy. Or he showed me pictures of the dog on what looked like a beach towel which later turned out to be a hand towels. Trick photography they call it. Forced perspective I say.) And since they bought their house as a renovation project, I suggested we make the property under construction with animals doing all the work while simultaneously partying.
Annie helped out with details like "We have a lot of deer," "put me on the swan float with champagne," and "Brock once tried to fix a hole in the pool liner with tape."
All sorts of stories, details and ideas came out and ended up being incorporated into the final product. This video shows the creative process. Annie, thanks so much for trusting me with something like this.
Happy Birthday, tall guy.
Tall guy opening his gift at dinner.