Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Art and beauty

Well, gang --

Today's another weigh in day, and I'm hoping you're having great success. I regained some ground, meaning I think I lost a pound again, which is all kinds of awesome. Only 7 lbs left to go... in 21 days or so. That would come out to a pound every three days if I'm to meet my goal, which strikes me as a tad unrealistic, but a girl can dream, can't she??

Eleanore is making ominous noises about who's gaining, who's losing, and who's standing to WIN THE BIG BUCKS. So far, only one person is close to meeting their goal, but then of course we still have three weeks, so there's hope. Don't give up yet, guys. Persistence will get you everywhere.

Which reminds me of another story, naturellement. A couple of you were asking me, after one of my last installments, about whether I'd ever had my own portrait painted.

But of course! It's not just "if", but "how many times??" Too many to count, if you want an honest answer. I've been photographed, painted in oils, done in acrylics, rendered in watercolor, and I've modeled for life drawing classes for years, over my lifetime. And you know what THAT means!

But a couple of years ago, I decided that I wasn't getting any younger, and so perhaps drawing a veil over my fleshy bits might be more appropriate than the alternative. Thus, in 2005 I closed out my long career as a naked muse. My friend Francey painted one last nude of me in oils, lying tastefully on an oriental rug with a hookah, some Turkish cigarettes, a book, a bouquet of opium poppies, and a bottle of champagne, and that was to be the last of it. Sort of Baudelaire's Fleurs du Mal meets Manet's Olympia. That phase of my life was to be over. Probably a good thing in some ways, because artists' studios in England are notoriously underheated and one's goosebumps are up instantly. It all makes for a kind of bluish skin tone that's not particularly flattering, truth to be told.

Anyway, sadly for the world, and for all those who appreciate beauty, and really all artists everywhere, my fabulous form would no longer be in the public eye. It was time to call it a day.

And yet. One day I was strolling along the shore near Cape Town in South Africa, and what should I come across but this:

I heard a loud voice shouting at me.

Goeiemore, skattebol. Kan ek verf jou portret? (Good morning, sweetheart, can I paint your portrait?)

Well, that would be your typical Afrikaans-speaking South African. Full of themselves, overconfident, bordering on rude.

I replied, Nie, man. Nie tensy jy betaal my. (No, man. Not unless you pay me!)

Is jy seker? (Are you sure?)

Ja, seker! (Yes, I'm sure)

And then this stepped out from behind the easel.

Obviously, I stripped myself bare the very next instant. Persistence really does get one almost everywhere, as this lucky young man learned.

Good wishes for strong wills and much persistence to you all!

xx e


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