NEW BEDFORD - M-C Lamarre makes her living making monsters. Green ones. And she wants to put one in your home.
The New Bedford artist and devout Red Sox fan - there still are some of those - paints murals of the Green Monster, Fenway Park’s iconic left-field wall. From New Jersey to Washington state, from Nova Scotia to Florida, she has created replica Monsters in basements and bedrooms, in back yards and ballparks, at a dog hotel and on the broad side of a barn.
And as the park opens Friday for its 100th season, Lamarre is trying to complete a centennial quest of her own. She has painted 88 Monsters, each in meticulous detail, and she wants to make it an even 100 by the April 20 celebration of Fenway’s anniversary.
Lamarre paints for far-flung Red Sox fans who yearn for a piece of the park. She does it for families with children who cannot get to Fenway because of illness. She does it for money, sure, but her clients often say she does not charge nearly enough.
She does it for people who cannot get enough of Fenway, even if they are fed up with the team’s current malaise. She does it for the love of the park, and of the peculiar intricacies of its most prominent feature.
“If you’re a true Red Sox fan, you’ll understand,’’ Lamarre said, during a break from painting the 88th Monster in the function room at Oceans 18, a New Bedford indoor miniature golf course.
Lamarre, 38, has Sox fan bonafides. Boston’s shocking loss in Game 6 of the 1986 World Series was her biggest baseball disappointment; each time the team loses is her next biggest. She was at Fenway for Clay Buchholz’s no-hitter in 2007 and Jon Lester’s in 2008. She saw Jim Rice’s number 14 retired and has watched a game at Fenway with Babe Ruth’s daughter.
She is the Warhol of the Wall. All her murals depict the same contours and scoreboard. She tries to match the Fenway green - a color not available to the public - as closely as possible, adjusting the hue for the lighting where she is painting. She customizes the size and specifics to match the clients’ requests.
Many clients ask for a Monster that shows the score of a specific game. Usually, the opponents are the archrival New York Yankees. The 11-10 Sox defeat of the Yankees on July 24, 2004, in which catcher Jason Varitek shoved his glove in the face of arch-villain Alex Rodriguez, is particularly popular. Another good one is the 6-4 Sox win that sparked their improbable comeback against the Yankees in the 2004 American League Championship Series.
Suneer and Sejal Chander of Brookline had Lamarre paint a wall on the swing set in their backyard. It depicts the moment in the ninth inning of Game 4 just before Red Sox pinch runner Dave Roberts steals second base and sparks the come-from-behind victory. “It was the moment when the Curse was broken,’’ said Suneer Chander.
Lamarre has decided that for a mural to qualify for her quest, the scoreboard can be no smaller than 2 feet tall by 4 feet wide (these start at $250.) Her most expensive Monster cost $8,000; it decorates an 800-square-foot basement in New Canaan, Conn. She makes a living, but not enough to attend her best friend’s wedding in the Dominican Republic.
Lamarre’s nephew provided the inspiration to make Monsters in May 2004. Business started picking up a year later. Now people seek her out.
Andrew Belliveau, 15, of Lynn, found Lamarre online. His parents - also big fans - commissioned a Monster for his room, which Lamarre finished in March. The scoreboard features removable plates that allow him to keep score and update standings, but beneath them she painted the no-hitter tossed by Lester, who was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma in 2006.
“I’ve been sick for the past five years, and when Lester beat cancer it kind of gave me encouragement that I could beat my illness and come back someday,’’ said Andrew, who has battled a rare neurological disorder and now is fighting a digestive disorder.
Andrew, a second baseman, can still play ball.
Nicholas Dainiak, 8, of Bedford, N.H., cannot. He has Batten disease, a neurodegenerative condition that attacks all the functions of the body. It causes blindness, immobility, and eventually, death, said his father, Chris Dainiak. In 2010, when Nicholas was still able to play, Lamarre installed a Monster in the family’s basement. Now, Nicholas can still smile but can no longer feed himself.
“That wall, that basement, was a real big part of the enjoyment we have given him in his life,’’ said Dainiak, who founded Our Promise To Nicholas, a nonprofit that seeks to raise awareness about Batten disease and fund research for a cure. “We knew that he was not going to be able to grow up and play baseball and wanted him to have his own stadium.’’
Lamarre said the lives she has touched keeps her going. But not all those lives belong to Sox fans. In Nov. 2010, Lamarre painted a replica Monster for former Yankee Bucky Dent, whose home run over the real wall sank Sox hopes in 1978, at his baseball school in Delray Beach, Fla. She charged $2,750, plus airfare and lodging.
“I took advantage of the opportunity,’’ she said. “I should have charged him double.’’
Lamarre has orders for murals 89 and 90. She would prefer to paint the rest of her walls for the Boston faithful.
“I’m going to keep doing this as long as Sox fans want them,’’ she said. “I’d much rather paint a million of them than sit behind a desk.’’David Filipov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @davidfilipov.