The traditional 11th wedding anniversary gift is something made of steel. This year I was inspired to get Danielle a lovely steel wire professionally attached to a custom wooden frame over which was stretched a canvas surface which I had covered with a commissioned painting.

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Transitions, by Brian Raszka

The painting is called “Transitions” and was made by local artist Brian Raszka.

Danielle and I haven’t always paid a lot of attention to special occasions. We let birthdays slip by, we don’t make a big deal of Christmas, and almost never celebrate Arbor Day. But our anniversary is different. From year one when we had just moved to Nevada and spent our anniversary together camping for the first time in the remote and beautiful Indian Creek Valley of Central Nevada, we’ve made it a priority to make the day special.

This year Danielle planned a trip out to the Bay Area to see Andrew Bird at the Greek Theater in Berkeley and I planned a scheme to commission a painting.

I’d met Brian a couple of times at A2N2 events, but hadn’t really gotten to know him much. I have been following his blog though, and his recent Art of Nature Series resonated with me, and I knew Danielle would like it as well. So I invited Brian and his wife Deana over for dinner and a discovery mission so Brian could meet Danielle and be inspired by her for the commission.

It went well, and he emailed me in a few days to say he had an idea and ask if 40” x 16” would be acceptable. I said yes, and a few days later he let me know it would be dry soon and ready. Then I snuck around to find cash without going through the checking account. She still hasn’t figured out how I paid for it, so I won’t say…

I presented the painting on out trip to Berkeley, and Danielle loved it! The colors are subtle yet striking and the pattern evokes the bricks of our house, the cell structure of plants and the underground rumblings of the earth. To me it looks like it is either emerging or disappearing into the ether of the raised white texture background. It’s like there’s more there below the surface and you want to brush it away, or cover it up…

A marriage is like a good work of art, there is always more to it than is obvious, but it isn’t impenetrably mysterious. When I was a kid I used to spend a lot of time looking at the photographs and paintings my parents had in our house. You go into them and explore the images that aren’t obvious or intended. They are things that you live and grow with.

Andrew Bird at the Greek Theater

Andrew Bird at the Greek Theater

Our anniversary trip was great. We did some shopping for old Junk @ Ohmega Salvage and Urban Ore, bought some shoes at the Camper store, saw the Richard Avedon show @ SFMOMA, enjoyed the awesome music of Andrew Bird, had some great food and rode roller coasters for the first time in a long time!

Thanks Danielle!

-M