Jeff Unawares
Oil on canvas, 9 x 12", Private Collection
In October of 1998, I made a series of weekend trips back home to paint en plein air with our longtime family friend and mentor, the honorable Jeff Eldredge.  On this particularly crisp day, we drove to the neighborhood farm, the Soule Homestead, we hopped over the little barbed wire fence and set up our easels.  While the idea was to paint the landscape, I decided to paint Jeff within it.  I included his characteristic painting garb, the red hankerchief and painting hat.  We were about 20 - 30 minutes into painting when he figured out what I was painting.  Because I think he was a little embarassed, he told me we should leave because it was becoming chilly.  We packed up our paints and drove the mile to my house to hang out with my husband and parents.  

Jeff and his wife, Berta, were an enormous help to our family after my mom passed away. Unfortunately, Jeff's life on this earth was too short as he passed away in December. Jeff had a unique sense of humor, one I would equate to Curly of Three Stooges.  Besides keeping everyone in stitches, he was generous with the giving of oil paints, brushes, painting advice, and even a handmade dowel to steady the hand while painting thin lines.  Because he meant so much to me and my family, I want to do what he did, help pay it forward.  A portion of my painting proceeds go the Polycystic Kidney Disease Foundation, the disease which took him away from us too soon.

Jeff Eldredge was an artist member of the American Society of Marine Artists and a Copley Artist of the Copley Society of Boston.

( PKD Foundation, PO Box 871847, Kansas City, MO 64187. 1-800-753-2873.  For more info: )