In late 2022, I received two special commissions within a few weeks of each other. One is finished and in the collector's home so I'm ready to share the story behind it. The other is still in the works but I should be ready to post about it next month.
The first of the two commissions was for Jini, a local Wimberley collector and friend, who asked me to create a large painting for her living room that would add a pop of color. She already has several of my original paintings in her collection, ranging from spring wildflowers and fall scenes to mountain road trips. For this most recent project, she challenged me to come up with something bold, abstract and different.
After an in-home consultation, we decided on a good size for the space, going with a 24x36 canvas, and an overall color scheme of almost "anything goes." Over the next few weeks, I stewed on it and decided that I really wanted to create something that would be meaningful to her but that I would not only enjoy creating but also find challenging.
I kept thinking about a series of paintings I did some 20 years ago that were inspired by aerial photos of the "big flood" of Canyon Lake in 2002, when a severe and prolonged rain event filled the lake to well over capacity. Luckily, the Corps of Engineers, who dammed up the Guadalupe River in the 1960s to create the reservoir, AKA Canyon Lake, designed a spillway to accommodate just such an event — should it ever happen. On July 4, 2002, the water breached the spillway, and over the next several days created a deep gorge as the flood waters made their way back to the Guadalupe River. Hundreds, if not thousands of photos were taken by amateurs and professionals alike to document the historic event. One particularly interesting set of images were taken from helicopter by the Comal County Engineer as he surveyed the damage. Those photos became the inspiration for my "Flood Series" of paintings.
Fast forward 20+ years and we now have Google Earth as well as drone video and images posted to YouTube to offer a plethora of images for inspiration. I began looking for aerial scenes of the Wimberley Valley and found several to create a composite for Jini's painting. As with the "Flood Series," I let my mind run wild with colors and creative interpretations of the river and creeks, trees, rolling hills and mountains, as well as major roads and even a few "landmarks." As I worked on the painting, I would show it to Jini and get her feedback until we were both satisfied with the result. It is now hanging in her home.
"Wimberley Valley" ©2022 Linda Calvert Jacobson. Acrylic on 24x36 canvas. Private Collection.
The second commission came from some 1200 miles away and involved a cow. Yes, I said cow. I hope you'll check back next month for the full story!