Portrait of the veteran as a young man – Marco Island artist depicts combat vets in series of paintings

Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent (2)
Malenda Trick in her studio in Old Marco. An exhibit of 20 of her portraits of local combat veterans, as they appeared while serving in the military, will go on display at Iberia Bank just before Veterans' Day.

Photo by LANCE SHEARER // Buy this photo

Lance Shearer/Eagle Correspondent (2) Malenda Trick in her studio in Old Marco. An exhibit of 20 of her portraits of local combat veterans, as they appeared while serving in the military, will go on display at Iberia Bank just before Veterans' Day.

— Malendra Trick wanted to do something to honor our veterans. Specifically, the combat veterans of the Second World War, members of the “greatest generation,” who are now in old age, if still living, and will soon be only a memory.

So she decided to do what she does best – paint.

“I’ve been watching these World War II documentaries, and I woke up in the early morning hours one day and knew what I needed to do,” said Trick, sitting in her studio above the Shops of Old Marco. Trick is a painter, with an international clientele and a wide-ranging output, from landscapes and still lifes, to designs for licensed products such as handbags, puzzles and Lenox figurines, to nudes and portraits of many prominent Americans.

For what they are calling the Veterans Portrait Project, Trick is painting 20 individual portraits of local combat veterans. They will be displayed on Marco Island at Iberia Bank, starting with a reception on Sunday, November 10, the day before Veterans’ Day. After hanging at the bank for about a week, the exhibit will move to the Iberia Bank branch in Naples.

While the veterans depicted in Malenda Trick’s paintings are by and large veterans of the type that might be described as “grizzled” – these are mostly WWII vets – she did not paint them as they appear today. The oil paintings, many in black and white or sepia-toned, depict them as they appeared in their service years. The men in the paintings are young and in uniform, hearkening back to the days of Glenn Miller, “Loose Lips Sink Ships,” and a country united, not divided, by a war that everyone could believe in and get behind.

After the exhibit makes its rounds, Trick is giving them to the subjects. Clark Shaw, her husband, attorney and business manager, said that Trick’s canvases sell for up to $6,000 in larger sizes. He estimated the value of each portrait at $2,000.

“Malenda came to me for help putting the project together,” said Keith Dameron, vice president and branch manager of Iberia Bank on Marco. “She said, ‘I don’t know any veterans, and I don’t know how to put this together.’ Malenda specified combat vets, and said it doesn’t matter which war. I have a bias toward the World War II vets. We’re losing hundreds of them each day.”

With help from Lee Rubenstein of the VFW, Dameron compiled a list of veterans to use as subjects for the paintings.

“We have some true heroes,” he said. “Peter Thomas landed in Normandy on D-Day in the first wave. Bedford Biles was a paratrooper in the same invasion. It’s nice to show the World War II vets we really appreciate what they did.” Wayne Smith, said Dameron, was another veteran of Operation Overlord, the June 6, 1944 invasion of Nazi-controlled France.

One more recent veteran being painted is former Marco Island police chief Thom Carr, who served as a helicopter pilot in Vietnam. Another subject of Trick’s brush is Earl Hodges, who owned a chain of local funeral homes and gave his name, along with a major endowment, to Hodges University. Unfortunately, Thomas Howard, the first in the group to be portrayed, and who Trick counts as an inspiration for the entire project, did not live to see it come to fruition.

Hodges University and the Naples Backyard History group have also expressed interest in hosting a showing. But the unveiling will come at Iberia Bank on the corner of Elkcam Circle and Bald Eagle Drive, on Nov. 10. There will be a reception for the subjects, their friends and families, from 4:30 to 6 p.m., followed by a public reception with refreshments from 6 to 9 p.m.

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Comments » 9

RayPray writes:

in response to GorchFock:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

"President Barack Obama the GREAT will ever do crap like this again."

100% true!

What Malendra should consider executing is a portrait showing the Great OBAMA as he personally wrung Osama bin Laden's neck, while in the background Navy Seals held his jacket and oohed and aahed in appreciation of the Oval Office biceps on display.

Among island art lovers, there should be a big demand for such an image!

marco97 writes:

Malenda is a very talented artist, some of her paintings look like photos. If you are ever in old Marco check out her store.

jnmclain writes:

Great recognition of our Veterans! Thank you Veterans for your service and thank you Malenda for reminding us!

blogsmog writes:

in response to jnmclain:

Great recognition of our Veterans! Thank you Veterans for your service and thank you Malenda for reminding us!

Dead on! Takes atrue socialist like klaus studdbaker to belittle anything to do with American pride...Klaus..America kicked ur a&$ in WW 1 and WW II you are an inferior war machine.. thank God! genocide dont cut it in America the greatest nation on earth.

RayPray writes:

in response to blogsmog:

Dead on! Takes atrue socialist like klaus studdbaker to belittle anything to do with American pride...Klaus..America kicked ur a&$ in WW 1 and WW II you are an inferior war machine.. thank God! genocide dont cut it in America the greatest nation on earth.

"America kicked ur a&$ in WW 1 and WW II"

>>> I dare you to go to Britain or Russia and repeat that.

"you are an inferior war machine"

>>> Nobody disagrees that Axis armies were way superior especially during retreat operations from 1944-45.

"America the greatest nation on earth."

>>> If America is truly the greatest nation on earth, why then would it choose to be lead by a sorry pair of grifters like the Great OBAMA & Kinnock Biden?

>>> Why is half the population languishing on Food Stamps, permanent unemployment, fake disability?

>>> Why were trillion$ wasted on losing worthless wars like Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan?

>>> Why are 80% of the people you run into even dumber than yourself?

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Des Moines Register endorses Romney

First Republican endorsement in 40 years.

"Going down" Obama?

By NBC’s Alex Moe

SABINA, OH -- For the first time in four decades, Iowa’s influential newspaper endorsed a Republican candidate for president as The Des Moines Register announced Saturday night its support of Gov. Mitt Romney in the November election.

The Register, in an editorial that will run in Sunday’s paper, asks voters to give Romney "a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America."

In 2008, the Register endorsed Barack Obama. The last Republican to win the support of the paper was Richard Nixon in 1972.

“Barack Obama rocketed to the presidency from relative obscurity with a theme of hope and change. A different reality has marked his presidency. His record on the economy the past four years does not suggest he would lead in the direction the nation must go in the next four years,” the editorial posted on the Register’s website said.

“Voters should give Mitt Romney a chance to correct the nation’s fiscal course and to implode the partisan gridlock that has shackled Washington and the rest of America — with the understanding that he would face the same assessment in four years if he does not succeed,” the editorial piece ended.

The announcement from Iowa’s largest newspaper comes just days after President Obama had an off-the-record then turned on-the-record conversation with the publisher and editor of the Register that prompted an op-ed from the paper about the condition of the interview.

Romney travels to Davenport, Iowa, on Monday for a rally. His running mate, Paul Ryan, is also expected to head back to the Hawkeye State within the next nine days leading up to the election.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Obama is going down faster than Hitler on April 30th. 1945.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Obama is going down faster than The Third Reich in April 1945.

No_more_cyber_bullying (Inactive) writes:

Klaus,

Please do not attempt to keep up with things your beady mind can not handle.

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