I got a request from my friend Leslie of spectacular quilt fame: “Josh’s dear friend Emily is marrying Jeff on Jan 25th. I’m wondering if you could paint a watercolor for them with the intersecting hearts, their names and even the date if it fits the design. Emily is an extraordinary musician. I even took violin lessons with her a couple of summers ago.” Leslie was thinking of this little commission I did for Running with Brushes back in August.
But, as I am prone to do, I wanted to do a little more research. She sent me a link to their wedding website and I have to confess that I stalked Emily and Jeff.
This is what I found out:
- they met while working for the Pittsburgh Project
- Jeff proposed on an ice rink and had someone take photo while he did it (and Emily was happy she chose to wear fingerless gloves that day)
- they were going to London on their honeymoon
- they are both deeply committed Christians and attend Hot Metal Bridge church
- they didn’t want wedding presents, but rather wanted guests to donate to one of their favourite projects, pay it forward to someone else, or create a piece of art
- And obviously the music angle as mentioned above.
What became obvious is that bridges were a recurring connection (pun intended) in their story. Pittburgh has bridges, London has bridges, violins have bridges, music has bridges, their church is a bridge and marriage is definitely a bridge between two families.
The artwork I created is full of these:
- Pittsburgh on the left
- London on the right
- Ice skating and holding hands (bridging the gap) in the middle
- A treble clef instead of an ampersand
- a cross in the bottom of the treble clef
- Emily could probably figure this out, but the music that connects the bridges is from Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water – from the part that starts: “I’m on your side when time get tough…. “
Of course, I called the painting: Bridges
I added in a card to go with the painting… This painting was my second try, the first one I messed up while inking in the music notes. My ever resourceful sister, Vandy Massey, had taught me that even reject paintings are good for something… in this case to chop up and use one small section on the outside of the card.
Dear Emily and Jeff, I hope your life together is full of bridges…