Fitzie's Sky

Fitzie Sky 

  Mr. Fitzgerald made canopies custom for yachts throughout Narraganasett Bay. I did not know much more about him than that, except the local quahauggers and waterfront people called him 'Fitzie.' One day Fitzie wanted me to make a background skyscape for this model boat he had. The model was an Asian concept of a western square-rigger. Fitzie was very happy with my job, so the next time he found a model like this -- a much larger model, he asked me to paint a background for that as well. He had decided to move to Arizona, to a retirement community. And he would be taking this model with my backdrop as a reminder of the ocean upon which he had worked all his life.

  This was quite an honor for me, and it made me think. What does the sky look like to a man who is caught between two skies, two horizons? We talked about this a bit,and he said he wanted it to be bright. Bright, with lots of colors -- he kept coming back to that. I told him, "I know just what you mean." And I painted the scene above. "Whoa," said Fitzie, "that's bright !" He liked it, but he had bad news -- he had given me the wrong measurements, and it was a bit too large. "No problem" I assured him, and I cut off a section at the top. Now I have a piece of 'Fitzie Sky.'   I asked him to pose with the painting so that I would have a picture of him resting under his new sky, and so he sat next to the painting. Then I took this photo:

    This photo merged Fitzie with the sky and was the perfect end to my work.

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