A father-to-be has the grand desire to please his wife, the mother-to-be of their first child, in one of the most touching scenarios I’ve ever witnessed. His pregnant wife is in Alaska completing a work assignment until March 1st. And, he boldly decides to surprise her with the most special gift upon her return — a completely decorated and well-stocked baby’s nursery. He’s not exactly sure how he envisions it and he’s very sure she has no idea of what it should look like either. He “googles” my website and this is where I have the sacred privilege of stepping into the picture, so to speak.
In our initial meeting, it’s apparent Chuck is a newbie, feeling overwhelmed at making decisions on baby purchases for a new baby girl. Undoubtedly, how to prepare for the arrival of the first child is mind-boggling. But it’s clear the immediate goal is to have the most delightful and happy environment for their new baby while absolutely blowing his wife away! But, he has already decidedly purchased the furniture and a few baby outfits at this point. After looking at the baby clothes and the artwork in his home, I suggest we look at “funky and fun” images, a little “Pee Wee Herman,” Dr. Suess, and some other illustrators for inspiration. And, through our discussion, it is clear the nursery should be “non-gender” to make room for more “possibilities” and somewhere their two current “babies,” a Yorkie and Schnauzer, are to be included.
At home, I begin to look at my bookshelf of illustrators and some images online, as well as non-gender crib bedding. I email Chuck some images to get his reaction. And, I begin to have a general idea of what the lay out should be and the style in which it should be produced. I send him a rough sketch and scans of what I propose and it’s a go. What is fun in this particular case, Chuck is very open to what would evolve in the creative process. So, even I didn’t know how this would all turn out.
Creatively, one of the main elements that excites me is a “wash and scribble” style to accentuate the playfulness and fun of children. Often, I am asked to paint soft, nurturing, beautiful images, which I love. But, we collaboratively are not going for that here!
I paint for three days in the room and watch it come together before my eyes. I can tell you I actually laughed out loud, as I simply serve as a conduit for whatever decides to come through me. I smile at the face of the sun when he is “born.” And, the joyfulness of the doggies participating in this adventure is really fun!
Something is still missing. The windows need dressing and the cloud shape becomes the obvious solution. We enlist the help of my friend, Rosa Harvan (http://draperiesandslipcoversbyrosa.com/aboutus), and she makes the most wonderful “poofy” cornice boards — the final touch. On my trip back to “bejewel” the clouds, I see the furniture and the shutters are now in place. And, I spy many important baby purchases around the room. Chuck is ready. He has it all taken care of and his wife is to arrive in just a few days…
Again, I am struck with the magnitude of his love for his wife, his family, the initiative he takes to bring it all together. And, it makes me extremely happy to think about how these new parents will have the opportunity to experience their little girl observe and interact with her new world around her. And, I was given the opportunity to contribute in some small way.
Here are some final words from Chuck:
Angie absolutely loves the room. She couldn’t stop smiling when she walked in for the first time. Whenever she went upstairs over the weekend she would take a couple of minutes to go in and get another look. Saturday night we just sat in there listening to music, talking about our plans and enjoying your artwork. It’s perfect. We couldn’t be more thrilled with how it turned out.
Thank you so much,
Thank you, Chuck and Angie, for granting me this very, very special opportunity.