I always get a little thrill when I see any of my paintings on someone else’s walls, so I had a delightful reminder on Sunday, when we were in Charlottesville VA for her daughter’s wedding, that my niece Randi has two of my tango paintings hanging in her beautiful home. About eight years ago, Randi had admired the dancer in the Louboutin shoes in Close Encounter, and since she had a big birthday to celebrate, I sent it to her. She was so happy with it that she commissioned a second one to hang alongside it. Having painted Too Close For Comfort without the benefit of having the first one in my studio anymore to compare the colors and the application of paint, I was pretty pleased to see how well they work together. And I had totally forgotten that I had painted the edges in red!
It’s wonderful when people tell you how good your work is, but the biggest compliment an artist can get is a sale or a commission. I had the great good fortune to meet a lovely woman at a dinner party a year or so ago who admired the portraits I had done of our hosts. She took my card so she could look through my website, and I thought no more about it. But she did, and she chose to commission two of my tango paintings to be redone and hung as a diptych.
I’ve been painting dancers for fifteen years, starting with a tango series of five paintings that showed the various phases of the dance: the presentation, the flicks and kicks, and the surrender, all represented by the dancer’s legs alone. As my canvases got larger, the images grew to include torsos. This commission called for two 30” x 40” canvases, both with white backgrounds and colors that related to each other, so that Close Encounter and High Jinks could become It Takes Two to Tango.