Miss Shannon Drakes of New York City already owned two tropical pictures that hung from her bedroom wall. They were reminders of her native Saint Vincent Island. One was a photo of a palm tree, and the other a painting of a rowboat. Yet she still had a wide empty wall she wanted to fill with reminiscence of Saint Vincent.
When Shannon was a girl, there was a large tree on the beach she played in and around. The tree grew out almost parallel to the ground over the sea. It hung there with its leaves touching the water. She also fondly remembered the brightly colored Victorian homes in her grandmother’s neighborhood on the island.
Shannon gave Reeve the measurements she wanted, and he found a canvas that precisely fit the space. He painted a scene invoking the grand, familiar tree, a bright Victorian house and the Saint Vincent landscape more vividly and passionately than Shannon could have dreamed.
Clients Sara and Nathaniel Almirall wanted to give their mother Kaki a commissioned painting for her birthday. The subject was a statue that their mother loved, which dwelled in her garden as a child. The stone statue is a little girl named Eva with a delightfully surprised expression on her face. Reeve painted a portrait of the statue surrounded by myrtle bushes the way they were in the gardens of Kaki's youth. She was thrilled with the nostalgic and historically significant gift.
Reeve met his next client, Kenneth Graham McNeil, in a Traverse City dog park. After Kenneth saw photos of Reeve’s Van Gogh-like paintings he immediately wanted one and also immediately knew the scene he wanted depicted. Kenneth described his vision of the “plunging cliffs” of Sleeping Bear Dunes, on Michigan’s east coast, with their view of the Manitou Islands.
Within a week, Reeve visited Sleeping Bear Dunes and took several reference photos of the cliffs with Manitou Islands in the distance. One photo caught a hawk circling in the sky. Kenneth liked it and wanted the hawk included in the painting. After seeing some of Reeve’s preliminary sketches for the painting, Kenneth decided the hawk in the distance should instead be… his fishing boat. Reeve eagerly embraced and met each change and suggestion Kenneth asked of him.