Too close to the forest


I started working on the composition for "Friends" shortly after the passing of Matthew Perry. His sad death in late October of 2023 shocked fans around the world. While he had very well known battles with addictions, he seemed to have gotten his life together. A new book, countless interviews, and a recent Friends reunion, Perry appeared to have steered himself into a positive direction. He was found unresponsive in a hot tub at his home in Los Angeles on October 28th. He was only 54 years old. 

This project was a special request of one of my clients. I started it in the middle of our long displacement period while we were relying on the kindness of friends and family for places to live while our house was being built. My hope was that I would have been able to finish the project in time for Christmas, but something just didn't feel right.

I worked on it off and on for several months, adjusting this and adjusting that. It became that project that sat off to the side and sometimes found its way into photos of other paintings. The truth of it is that I spent more hours on "Friends" than on any other painting this year. I got too close to the forest to see the trees.

I had some hints that the painting was close to being done, as one of the workers doing the finishing work on our house saw it.

"Is that for sale?" he asked.

"No," I said. "Sorry. It is for a special client."

At some point, Heather took a good look at it and made a very good suggestion. She saw something that needed to be addressed that I had not noticed. I fixed that and eventually brought the painting along to show the client when dropping off a different project. 

"I need fresh eyes on this one," I said.

They were thrilled with it and gave me the confirmation that I needed to declare "Friends" complete.

Based on the response, it is abundantly clear that a whole generation of fans had a deep connection to the show, the characters and the actors who made it special, particularly the pairing of Chandler Bing (Matthew Perry) and Joey Tribbiani (Matt LeBlanc).
This was a commission project, but we are offering gallery canvas custom embellished prints in our web shop. Use the promo code FRIENDS50 to get $50 off at check out by clicking here.


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