This acrylic painting by Gary Dodd was made for his wife on their 40th wedding anniversary.

ASHLAND If homemade gifts are more meaningful, Gary Dodd created a present for his wife that is the pinnacle of all gifts.

Dodd created a painting full of details of good times with his wife, Faith (Rankin), as his gift to her on their 40th wedding anniversary, which was Aug. 30.

“The painting was my gift to her, along with copies of the originals of the paintings commemorating the grandchildren’s birth," Dodd said.

The acrylic painting includes a quote from Disney’s remake of “Cinderella,” which Dodd said is his wife's favorite quote: “Have courage and be kind.” It also features beach signs, which represent some of their favorite trips.

“I took the picture of the boat in Aruba. Did a little research on the Dutch language and changed the name of the boat to ‘Anniversary’ and the license to ‘YEARS — 40’ in Dutch,” Dodd said. “The pelican was standing on the side of the boat with his beak open as if her were the captain of the boat. Had a lot of fun painting the Plumeria blossom and the dolphin.”

Mrs. Dodd decided to hang the 3-foot-by-1-foot painting in the kitchen.

Dodd’s history of painting dates to 1972, when he created a large painting of Elton John’s “Yellow Brick Road” album cover for friend Max Moore.

“I did not paint again until 1977, when I did a painting of a deer for my mother and dad,” he said.

Much of his painting has been inspired by his travels.

“I did an oil painting of the Anne of Green Gable house from a picture I took of the house on Prince Edward Island on a 12-year anniversary trip. This was a Christmas gift to Faith in 1996,” he said, adding for their 20th anniversary, he painted the Portland Head Light in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, which now hangs in their house.

While Dodd spent some of his formative years in the Tri-State, he and his wife now live in Brentwood, Tennessee.

“The Lord continues to bless me in ways I do not deserve,” Dodd said. “So grateful for a loving wife, a dedicated Christian and soulmate.”

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