Pictured, left to right: CEO, Nick Roach with Fran Gammell-Roach stand with creator Evelyn Rhodes in front of Rhodes’ painting, Beavertail Morning in the TCC conference room.
Nick Roach, founder and CEO of The Chemical Company, decided to commission an artist to render a painting for the back wall of the conference room in his newly constructed state-of-the-art office facility on Southwest Avenue. He chose renowned Jamestown artist Evelyn Rhodes and contacted her to see if she would be interested in the project.
Rhodes asked if he had a specific subject in mind. “Yes,” Roach replied. “I’d like a painting of Beavertail. It’s one of my favorite places on the island.” Rhodes was interested, so she asked for the dimensions of the painting. Roach said, seven feet by twenty-eight inches. That sounded unusual, so Rhodes decided to go to his office and see for herself. The space was exactly as Roach described, a seven-foot by twenty-eight inch rectangle on a gray wall bordered in white.
Rhodes had painted and sketched scenes of Beavertail many times before from all angles, as have many other artists. Most paintings focus on the lighthouse and rocky shoreline, but Rhodes saw Beavertail as more than that. She wanted to create a painting from a new perspective, and she thought the unusual dimensions of this painting would give her that opportunity.
She ordered a custom made stretcher of white linen over wood that took a month to construct. Rhodes prepared the linen canvas with gesso and toned it with a burnt sienna wash so she wouldn’t be painting on white. She decided that the gray background of the wall created a natural frame, so she continued the painting around the edges and didn’t encumber the work with a conventional frame.
After visiting Beavertail at various times of the day, Rhodes thought the soft pastels of the morning clouds would enhance the colorful, complex ecology below. She was right. The painting captures Mother Nature, dressed in her Sunday best, in a spectacular display that is the essence of the Beavertail environment. Evelyn Rhodes oil on linen painting is aptly named—Beavertail Morning.