Back in my early twenties, one of my best friends was in art school. He’s very talented–always has been–and he asked if he could paint me for one of his projects. (Now, before this looks sordid, he was gay, and he wanted to paint me clothed.) It didn’t actually require very much from me. We set up, he took some pictures to work from, and he went home. I remember that he spent a long time on my nose… The things we remember!
Anyway, after he was graded, he ended up giving me the painting, and I just loved it! When I met and married Mr. Johns, we moved across the country with nothing more than could fit in our Honda Accord, so the painting didn’t come, and my parents kept it at their place in Toronto. (A three day drive away.)
Well, my parents recently moved to a new condo, and they hired a moving company. As tends to be the case, the men who were doing the heavy lifting were young guys–early twenties–and one of them saw that painting and fell in love. Now this particular, young, buff, mover reminded my mother a lot of Mr. Johns (who happens to be rather buff, too, if I do say so myself.)
He asked about the model, about the artist, and he kept coming back to it to look again. My mother wanted to keep the painting and put it in the bathroom (it was bathroom themed), but my father said he couldn’t do what a man needs to do in the bathroom while staring at a painting of his daughter, and I can sympathize with that. (And they were doing a considerable downsize, so didn’t have a lot of space to work with in the new place.) Anyway, after some debate, my mother asked the young man if he’d like the painting.
He was thrilled and snapped it up right away. Then my mom called me to tell me the story.
Me: Did you tell him the model is now pushing 40?
Mom: No… I didn’t want to ruin the magic for him. But I did say it was my daughter.
So now there is a painting of yours truly at about age 22 in the apartment of some young man, and that makes me chuckle a little bit. All the credit has to go to the artist, who really is very talented!
There is a small, vain part of me that is rather proud. I could catch an eye 17 years ago! 😉