Last spring, Kathy Gruhn, creator and author of My Baby Compass, came to us with a very special vision. She wanted a painting of her mother, Isabelle, who had passed away. She hoped that William could create a painting of her from old photographs. Kathy provided a few images, but they were not high enough quality and did not contain enough detail from which to create a painting. William was not sure he would be able to help Kathy; however, loving a challenge, we scheduled a design consultation to see what could be done. After much discussion, William and Kathy had a wonderful realization! Kathy's daughter, who was of similar size to Isabelle, could sit for a portrait wearing her grandmother's clothing. William would be able to use the old photographs to capture her mother's likeness, building and layering the images together to create a viable image from which to paint. Eureka! Kathy and her daughter soon came up from Charlotte for the sitting and the wheels were in motion. Her daughter wore one of Isabelle's dresses along with her jewelry. The sitting was a great success and William had all of the pieces necessary to create the painting.
In Kathy's words, William's painting perfectly captured the "energy, beauty and pure happiness" of Isabelle Thorson. "I walk into the room, look at my mother's portrait, and I expect her to come out of the painting and start talking to me. William caught my mother's essence perfectly. Isabelle's middle name was "Joy" and that is what this painting is all about."
In her lifetime, Isabelle donated the land on which Blooming Prairie Manor, an assisted living and nursing facility, was built. It was a thoughtful, and selfless effort to help take care of the elderly in her community. As of its unveiling on July 9th, 2014, the portrait of Kathy's mother is on display there. We were so glad to be a part of this magical experience, and thrilled to memorialize such a wonderful, caring woman.