A Portrait of Chaos
Today, we’re going to share a portrait of Chaos, a sweet little Sheltie, and the 1957 C1 Corvette that’s named after him. This story, unfortunately, has a sad ending, but the story and the beautiful images that I have created will forever be etched in our hearts.
You Just Never Know
You might recognize this beautiful classic automobile. I’ve had the opportunity of light painting this car on more than one occasion. The first time was more than a year ago. It’s also when I met Jean for the first time. She found me at “Cars and Caves” in Chanhassen, Minnesota. I had a light painting booth at the show that Saturday.
The weird thing is that I did not actually meet Jean that day. While I was talking to someone else, she picked up one of my light painting brochures. I returned home that afternoon to find a phone message from her. She was so excited to have her ’57 Vette light painted that we set it up for the following Wednesday evening!
That one amazing light painting has blossomed into several more stunning light paintings. It also leads to the acquisition of a 1958 C1 Corvette that I “discovered” for Jean at Barrett Jackson in Scottsdale, Arizona last winter. And most importantly, it has created a special friendship for Joannie and me.
A Pet Portrait of Chaos with Chaos
I met “Chaos”, the dog, at that first light painting encounter with “Chaos 2”, the car. Obviously, when you name your classic Corvette after one of your dogs, the little wow-wow has special meaning to you. Well, prior to light painting Chaos, the car, that night, I also took a few portraits of Jean with her double Chaos’. At the time, it never occurred to me to add Chaos, the dog, to the actual light painting of Chaos 2, the car.
The resulting “regular” portraits really turned out great! They are proudly displayed all together in a grouping in Jean’s wonderful “She Shed”.
Fast Forward – One Year
As I mentioned earlier, I “found” the 1958 C1 Corvette for Jean while at Barrett Jackson earlier this year. That’s a whole story in and of itself. But long story short, that wonderful classic car is now named after another of Jean’s adorable Shelties, “Rebel”.
I’ve had the opportunity to light paint (by bugging Jean a lot) that sweet car a couple of times now. In early September we were light painting Rebel 58 in front of her home and I suggested that we add Rebel, the dog, to the photograph. Jean was “all-in” on that idea!
She even had a blanket the matched the car beautifully, and in a matter of minutes, we had a new type of light painting category: light painted pet portraits!
Jean, and her friend Dale, got Rebel to look great in the shot (doggie treats were involved), and the resulting image is truly stunning! That would ultimately lead us to yet another wonderful light painting, but this time under entirely different circumstances.
A Portrait of Chaos
Jean and I text each other from time to time to check in with each other about how our businesses are doing during COVID-19. It’s been a tough year for both of us. Well, in a recent text, Jean let us know that Chaos had cancerous tumors on his liver and spleen. I didn’t know what to say to her other than “I’m very sorry”.
At first, I couldn’t decide if it would be “ok” to ask her about doing yet another light painting, this time of Chaos with Chaos 2 as we’d just done with Rebel. After a few minutes, I decided to ask her and hope that she wouldn’t be mad at me.
Her reply was “That would be awesome!” So I tossed out a few open dates for the following couple of weeks. Jean’s reply was “Sooner the better as prognosis is not great.”
Well, as luck would have it, I was going to light paint a couple of construction vehicles that night as a personal project. The van was all loaded and ready to go. So I replied that it was short notice, but I could be there that night. It turns out that I would be there setting up to light paint “Chaos with Chaos 2” about two hours later.
A Beautiful Light Painted Pet Portrait
We choose a simple location in her driveway with stunning fall colors as the backdrop for Chaos’ light painting. I got it all set up and Jean got the real star of the show for his portrait. You would never have known that there was anything wrong with him. He sat there, very well behaved, while I tweaked the lights and ran a few test shots. Once it was all ready, I captured some nice images of Chaos with Jean and then a few solo portraits of him too.
Then later on, after completing the photography of the back of the car, we decided to do a light painting of the front of the car too (why not, it was still early and everything was all set up)! I suggested that we add Chaos to that image as well. So we did. I will share that image with you once it is completed.
In Memory of Chaos
The following Sunday afternoon, just four days later, Chaos went to Heaven. Jean’s text made us both so sad. Jean was so grateful for the photo session and I was so happy that I had decided to ask her, and that I was able to do it on such short notice.
Life is so short, so hug your spouse, your, kids, and your pets. Thank you for reading our post and have a great day! – M&J