Fred Mason is a portrait artist in Greenwich and has painted members of families here and throughout the U.S. He also teaches a class at the Greenwich Art Society. He served for many years as the chair of the Ushers Committee, and he continues to greet us all with a smile and a kind word.
When did you start attending services at Round Hill Community Church and what brought you here?
Twenty-two years ago my daughter Randi was pregnant with my first grandchild and she suggested that I go to church with her. I liked the minister, the music, and the people, so I’m still here!
Why is the Sunday service important to you?
Because the service is a time of reflection, and on occasion, an inspiration in my work.
You have very generously painted and donated three portraits of former ministers, along with one of Minister of Music Christopher Kabala, to the Church. Can you explain the process?
The initial step for me is getting to know and understand the subject — not only their physical appearance, but also their personality — and then trying to capture that essence in oil on canvas.
You have met so many well-known people as a result of painting for them or knowing them through your connections with artists. Do you have any favorite stories about any of them?
I have two! The first was "Mr. C" Willam Christensen, Founder of the San Francisco Ballet, and the Ballet Master of Ballet West in Salt Lake City. The portrait was unveiled at the black tie opening night of The Nutcracker. And the second was a portrait of Col. Robin Olds, Commander of the 8th Tactical Fighter Wing in Ubon, Thailand. I flew with him in the back seat of an F-4 Phantom jet on a bombing raid over North Vietnam. A rather terrifying experience for me, but I got to know him really well!
Do you see a connection between your creative work and the process of becoming a more faithful person?
Absolutely. In 2007, I feel God saved me from an abdominal aortic aneurism, and I thank Him every day for being alive. I am a true believer!
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