Correspondence- The Beginning


May 10th 2021


I have had an idea rolling around my head since we met at your studio and I want to share the concept with you and find out if it inspires you a little too and if you would like to explore the idea more.

I don’t know if you do commissioned smaller pieces?  (I mean smaller than the cemetery paintings)

Here is what started my idea. 

#1 I LOVE your paintings that have flags. There is a way that you paint the flag and it just pulls me in and is so honoring and intense.

#2 When I saw what you are working on right now as a vignette, I immediately saw something in my mind that was almost the same and the items as part of the vignette are from my father.  

My father was a Sergeant E-5 in the 101st Screaming Eagles Airborne division.

He had a small collection of items from his time there, his uniform and other stuff.

I have attached a couple of photos that I took before we had to pack everything up. I now have it all at my house. The clothes, the mementoes.

His experience there transformed his life and what happened when he came home made it even worse. He was a tortured soul and is finally at peace.

He was also passionate about wild rice. This entire career and life was dedicated to it’s growth and value in feeding people around the world.

He spent summers in a rice paddy for over 40+ years. The connections between the two is not hard to miss.

He worked for the U of M

Those are the things that I would want to be brought into a memorial painting, if I were to have someone do one.  And what I saw in my mind as part of a vignette.

I really wanted to talk with you about this before I left, but Tom helped me to see I would not have the time for us to really engage in my idea and see if it was a fit for you and the direction you want to paint in right now.

What I am asking is, would you like to explore the idea of a commissioned painting honoring my father?

If you would, I would like to set up a time to bring up his stuff, sit in the studio and explore that more and then see what we think and if we both feel good about it, we can figure out timing and you can let me know about pricing (now that I know the pricing of your larger works, I think I have a rough idea of what I am asking for price wise, maybe a range is the right word.)

I want to make sure that you know that you can and need to say NO to me, if this doesn’t feel right and isn’t something you want to be doing. I understand how much of this you have spent years painting and the inspiration may not be there for this anymore and I understand that and support you too.

Please think about it and get back to me about your thoughts.

May 11th 2021 – from Charles

Hey JoyGenea,
Sounds very interesting your concept! That realm is still something I will continue to investigate for the remainder of my time this side of the stars. The image I have included a painting that I did to deal with my father’s death back in 2005. It helped me close out so to speak. The painting is called “Serenity.” On the continued talk of said subject matter; I had a meeting last Friday with CW3 Haugen about an idea that I have going. It is about women in the National Guard and the cultural diversity that exists. I have General Kruse’s blessing to pursue the idea. Our hopes is to get a grant from the Minnesotan State Arts Board and pursue private donors to pay for it. The finished piece would go to the education center here at Camp Ripley and become part of their collection. The overall reaction to the Cemetery project and positive feed back has been tremendous. It has touched many, many people and helped some deal with issues. An Artist always looks to impact people no matter what their discipline is. That is the nature of the creature. Bottom line I have always used still life to tell stories. Touch base when you get back. In the meantime enjoy your time away from here!

May 11th 2021 – from JoyGenea

Thank you for getting back to me so quickly.
I really like your new project idea and I look forward to seeing where it goes.

I will reach out when I get back to the main land.
I like the painting you included. The grieving is a process, one that for me needs a little action to it.

Talk in a few weeks.