I feel so honored to have worked with this wonderful woman to tell her story through a painting. Kay reminds us that love isn't always easy, and if you truly love someone, you have to work really hard on it sometimes. Through thick and thin, sickness and health, love will prevail! As you are reading, see if you can find the symbolism that we used, and feel free to share your interpretations.
"My husband and I have been married for 23 years now. Soon is the 26th anniversary of our first date. I wanted this commission to celebrate our life together. A few years ago we went through our first really rocky spot. It was very difficult time and honestly I wasn’t sure, at times, we would make it through that. It was a stormy time in our marriage and lasted much longer than we would have liked. I had a great friend who supported me through that and honestly was instrumental in making sure I stayed level headed to ensure Rick & I worked through this tough spot.
We've worked extremely hard to overcome those difficult two years, focusing on each other, keeping each other first and most important every single day. We came through that storm honestly better than ever. In Jan 2014 we renewed our vows in Key West and have been traveling and really enjoying each other since. This is where the attachment to Key West came from. We also have 3 children, 24, 22, 21 and have a few special places in Florida. We spent lots of sunsets in Pensacola. Destin is also a special place. We spent a few anniversaries there, recently, as well. My first real trip out on the sea was from AJ’s in Destin and Rick loves boats. He was in the Navy for the first 6 years of our marriage. That anniversary on the sailboat was a special one.
Thank you so much for sharing, Kay. I hope it inspires us all to work hard on our relationships when the time comes, to make it through the storm to the sunny skies ahead!
It was a total pleasure working on this very special commission. Not only is it an awesome story, but it also happens that the person who requested this piece is a very talented photographer, Presley Wright. Together, we were able to come up with the perfect way to commemorate this journey in time for Father's Day.
As a family, Presley, her parents, and her brother sailed their boat from Alaska down the west coast of North and Central America, through the Panama Canal and up to Key West. I had the most gorgeous photographs to work from- Whales, Seals, Bald Eagles, Bears, oh my! The final product was one chart of Alaska with a bald eagle, bear, orca and their boat against the cliffs. The other chart was of North, Central and South America and included a sail fish that they caught on their journey, a whale shark, grouper and mother and child humpback whales. Both charts can be viewed on my commissions page, and the North America chart is for sale as a pre-order, limited edition of 50 18"x24" prints.
It has been a while since I posted a commission story for the series, but I am so happy to share the background for this big, beautiful piece of three of the coolest creatures on the island of Oahu! Michael Frey and I met at Garlic Fest last year, and he and his wife talked about their personal travels and what brought them to South Florida. They also purchased the original Cali Sea Lion and Cali Shark because those pieces were relevant to their life adventures. It was definitely a pleasure to paint this giant piece for Michael and his family so that he could share that part of his life with his children and generations to come!
Tell me a little bit about yourself? I was born in Allentown, PA. Like many other families in that area I spent my first years of life during summers adventuring over to the New Jersey “Shore”. My dad would rent a house with his brothers and cousins. We did all the typical summer shore actives, clamming, crabbing, fishing, and days at the beach chasing sand crabs.
Later in life my friend suggested we head down to the Florida Keys for one of our school breaks. I saw the most amazing sea life on our dives and that is when I decided I wanted to be a Marine Biologist.
What are some of your best memories in the water? My best memories of the ocean are when I was working at a year round youth camp for Marine Biology in San Diego. We would take weekly trips out to the Coronado Island to dive. My favorite part was interacting with the Sea Lions because they were very playful. Similar to playing with a pet dog.
There was also one time a few of us were out where we jumped in to snorkel with a Blue whale mother and her calf. It was a bit frightening to be so close to such a enormous creature and there was a definite respect for our worlds biggest animal.
Another time we took a zodiac out when there were swarms of Jumbo Squid off the SD coast. I jumped in the water grabbing these 4-5 foot creatures from the deep. The ocean world is almost like another planet when you live in the city everyday. This trip reminded me you don’t have to go to Mars to see aliens.
Why did you want to commission this specific piece? The piece I commissioned was of a map of Oahu. I lived on the island while getting my Marine Biology degree. I wanted to share a piece that brought back memories for me and to help me share those memories with my two children. I really like what Carly does and feel that any way we can make people more aware that our oceans are an important part of our planet and that we all need to play an active role in helping keep them in balance is awesome.
Thanks so much for sharing with us, Michael! I hope you and your family enjoy it!
Garlic Fest is fast approaching again this year and I hope to see you all there, or at the Hobe Sound Festival for the Arts this coming weekend!
As you already know, I love making commissions with awesome background stories and I especially like it when it's for a special couple that shares a love for the ocean and experiences life adventures together! This is one such story about Tiffany and Chris...
Tell me about yours and Chris' childhood and how you met
Chris and I grew up a short boat ride across the Indian River from each other, with him living in Melbourne Beach and my living on the river in Sebastian. We had begun surfing and fishing from an early age. Commercial fishing was in my blood due to my father and for Chris, his father figure was a commercial fisherman as well. Even with all this in common, we didn't meet until we were about 20 and 21 through mutual friends. We became friends and enjoyed many surf sessions together for years. We didn't actually begin dating until many years later, after I had completed college and after Chris had begun commercial fishing out of Key West. A short year later, I packed up and moved to Key West to be with him and our 2 month old yellow lab pup, Dixie.
Why did you want to have a commissioned piece of the two crabs together on the Saddle Bunch Keys
We have 5 of your prints (the lobster, the octopus, the black grouper, Melbourne beach seahorses, and Bahamas turtles) and absolutely LOVE them. When I found out you did commissions, I immediately requested a blue crab and stone crab on a chart of the saddle bunch keys. We commercially trap both species and our first home is located in the saddle bunch keys.
What is your favorite story together from catching crabs or being out on the water?
We have had many great (and LONG) days crabbing together. I often drove the boat during our first season together. I think my personal favorite story of crabbing, is the day that our motor was conking out when in idle and when going just a few knots... Both of which are necessary when pulling almost two hundred traps. Needless to say, we didn't have any other choice and the traps had to be pulled. So, for the next several hours, I had to navigate through all the traps going about 10 knots and Chris had to work ridiculously hard to keep up with shaking and re-baiting them! It was not a fun day at the time, but makes us laugh now!
Since then, some of our best days on the water involve our lab pup! She has grown up a salty dog and tries her best to find and even attempts to catch fish too. She hates when Chris is spearfishing, and dives into the water to be close by and 'protect' him.
Thanks so much for sharing your story with us, Tiffany! Hope to meet you two in person and hang out on the water someday soon!
I'm also so happy to be able to offer this commission as a limited edition of 50, available online now, and in person April 25-27 at The Delray Affair.
Carly Mejeur is a floridian artist, inspired by her ocean hobbies and travels. This Blog is for news, events, and just for fun. Click here for the artist's Bio.