Unveiling of 6’x4′ painting of Clyde by Nicholas Petrucci

The unveiling of Nicholas Petrucci’s painting of Clyde

We came to know Nicholas through his wife, Connie BransilverPetrucci. Connie is a well known photographer and has published several books. Her wonderful photographs of the orchids of Florida brought us a common interest and we became friends. Over the years, as we drew closer together, Nicholas began showing an interest in painting an image of Clyde.

Nicholas paints in the style of the Old Masters: Rembrandt and Caravaggio, a style nearly unique in contemporary art. “My interest in art has always been in the great masters. Rembrandt and Caravaggio are masters of light, of drama and of emotion. I try to capture those elements, and then give them a modern, contemporary twist.” Nicholas explained that “The portrait of Clyde Butcher comes from darkness into the light, a reference to the story of his moving to the Everglades and also a reference to his bringing lightness and understanding to an otherwise misunderstood and reviled environment: the swamps and wetlands of South Florida.”

When Nicholas was asked why he choose to paint Clyde his response was, “I took an immediate liking to Clyde, not only because he reminded me of Santa Claus, but also because I respect his work. I found him to be more than charming, and one of those fellows who is happy to extend a helping hand when needed.”

Last summer Nicholas brought his idea to Clyde and Clyde agreed. “Clyde and I met in the swamp to arrange a suitable site for his full length portrait,” notes Nicholas. “While we were discussing the light, Clyde happened to mention his other guest sleeping under the warm rays of the Florida sun not more than twenty feet from us. I remained composed only because I knew the gator would probably be satisfied with the slowest runner!”

When Clyde was asked how he felt about having someone paint a full sized portrait of him, his response was, “It’s a little scary. I know that Nicholas is an excellent painter, but I had no idea how he was going to portray me…I just had to trust him.”

The crowd gathers anxiously awaiting the unveiling

Nicholas getting ready to unveil the image of Clyde

The unveiling

There was a moment of silence when the curtain fell.
The image radiated the essence of Clyde to such a degree
that everyone was stunned.

Needless to say, Clyde was very much pleased!

Nicholas explaining aspects of the painting to Clyde

Clyde with the painting

Clyde and Nicholas

Nicholas and Clyde relaxing after the evening is over

It is always wonderful to be around creative people.Our life
pretty much centers around creative photographers,
so it was a joy and a unique experience to spend so much
time with a painter. The evening was a great success
and we are hoping to share the original
with you before it gets sold.

For more information on Nicholas Petrucci

photographs by
Niki Butcher and
Connie Bransilver: www.conniebransilver.com

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