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  1. Many of you who have been following the "who is" thread in the Master Forum will know that Virginia Parker, who played the fair maiden Robert saves in The Song Remains the Same, popped by to introduce herself to us die hard Zep fans. Many of you might also know that after her modeling career ended Virginia was a journalist for over 20 years and in 2001 became a fine art painter. When she introduced herself to us, Virginia provided links to her websites which display her artwork. I took the opportunity to visit the websites and was absolutely blown away by what I saw. Her artwork is absolutely stunning. I immediately contacted her and asked whether she would be interested in doing a commission for me. There was one catch. I wanted the commission to have a Zeppelin theme. My initial idea was for her to paint a portrait of herself as she looked in the film, but she advised that she is not really a portraitist and although she had done some portraiture in the past it was more experimental than anything else. She recommended that if I want to proceed, we do a still life of various objects relating to the film or Led Zeppelin in general. This sounded like a great idea to me. So we agreed to proceed. We decided that we would take an approach where the finished product would not scream Led Zeppelin, but would be dripping with hints and clues and obvious to those "in the know". Over the next few days and weeks she quizzed me about all things Zeppelin. She had me tell her why I became interested in the band and about what kept me interested. She also went out and reserved library books about the band and began reading everything she could find on the internet. By now I bet she could give many of you a run for your money in her knowledge of the band! She also set out to do as much research about me as possible, reading my posts on this site and later looking at my facebook page. I was and continue to be blown away by the amount of research and dedication Virginia has displayed throughout this project. As I confessed to Virginia, when I first contacted her, I really just wanted to have a painting done by the beautiful maiden from TSRTS. I liked her artwork and thought it would be a neat piece to own. Win/win. Very quickly in the process I forgot that Virginia was ever involved with the movie. As the idea morphed from a kitschy portrait (my suggestion) to a very personalized piece of art (her vision), it became irrelevant to me that Virginia had been in the film. I realized that she would have been the right person to paint this regardless. It was nice, however that she too had a personal connection to this painting given her appearence in the film. It was neat to get to watch her revisit her past as we planned out the painting. In fact, it was in looking for props for the painting that she (quite accidentally) discovered her receipt from the TSRTS film job which she posted in the “who is” thread. She ultimately came up with a list of items that would go in the still life and started to source them. "I think I have a lead on a sword" she told me, and she would scour eBay for other items. She asked for a copy of my O2 ticket stub and set out to find (and did find) a fur like that which Plant wore in the film (though I don't think the fur made the final cut). Also, in a nod to my original idea, she decided she would paint a small portrait of herself hanging in the background over top of the Knight of Swords Tarot card. She built a set (pictured below) and arranged and rearranged and rearranged the props taking photographs until they looked just right. Then she toned the canvas and gridded it and started drawing: Whole Canvas - Tarot card depicted to show size Closeup of her portrait and Knight of Swords Tarot card. Then the painting started: The picture above is where we are today. Virginia advises that things will slow down now as she starts to work on the more detailed items. She is hoping to have the painting complete by the end of the year. I will post updates here from time to time. This will give you all something to follow (now that the countdown is over) while you wait for Celebration Day to be released in theatres! PS: While Virginia usually listens to country music when she paints, for this painting she has been listening to Zep on shuffle! She has become a big fan of the BBC Sessions...
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