In New Mexico this past summer, we visited our friends Mary and Gary, who moved there from California several years ago. Mary is a painter, a surrealist, who's developed a body of work featuring human-esque or hybrid human-animal forms floating through space. I fell in love with several of the pieces in her studio.
Shortly after we got home, my husband -- who, you might recall, got me good last Christmas -- started secret negotiations with Mary to buy one of her paintings. About a month ago he presented me with a detailed printout of their scheming. (Whatever did we do before email? Clandestine phone calls would have been so much harder to conceal.) It was all there -- the clever but ultimately futile effort to induce me to look at the new work on Mary's web site -- which I did -- and articulate my exact desires -- which, to their apparent consternation, I didn't -- as well as the practical details of dimension and of price.
The only item they couldn't pin down without my buy-in (my husband is a very wise man) was... which painting. So I got to pick, and I believe that Jerry was absolutely sincere in his assertion that his first choice had been the same. It's called The Swimmer. She arrived on Friday, after some in-transit shipment-tracing angst, and we got her uncrated and installed yesterday morning.
We're both thrilled to have one of Mary's paintings in our home. Every time I walk into the living room and glance at that wall, I smile. She looks absolutely perfect in that spot. Yes, I've seen the slogan on t-shirts and posters: "Good art doesn't have to match the sofa." But sometimes it does, and I count that as a bonus.