Have you moved recently? If you have, you may have gotten caught up pouring through boxes of memories (“I’m packing, dear!”) and reliving wonderful moments and mementos from your past. That’s what happened to me, recently, when I came across the cover of our first Huff Harrington Art Show, in 2005, before we opened the gallery.
I was mesmerized and fell in love with this painting all over again by Lorraine Christie, the precious Little Dancer tha sold instantly off the cover of our brochure. And that got me wandering down memory lane, looking at some of Lorraine’s dancers over time, each one gracious, gorgeous, beautifully painted and exquisitely lit. Who knew that the Lorraine Christie who has become world recognized for her romantic scenes with orange umbrellas can also paint and capture dancers like, or even more beautifully than (don’t shoot me, Dr. Rhies, my college art history thesis advisor) … Degas!
These paintings are all sold of course, but I thought it would be fun to relive a retrospective of some of our favorite dancers from Lorraine Christie, over the last ten years that we have been lucky enough to know her.
I asked Lorraine what motivated her to paint ballet dancers over time, and she said, with her characteristic, self-deprecating humor, “Well I was a failed dancer, of course!” It’s hard to imagine this lovely, intelligent and multi-talented woman as a “failure” at anything. But if indeed the pas-de-deux did not play to her strengths, at least she had the good sense to use all those ballet lessons to produce a different form of artistic beauty. And for this, we thank those overly critical, Northern Irish ballet teachers!
I loved this trip down memory lane, dancing with Lorraine, and reliving all the wonderful emotions we share when we receive a painting that we love. I can’t wait for this to happen again, when we start to hang the new work for Lorraine Christie’s solo show, in early November. There is nothing more exciting for gallery owners than to visit an artist’s studio, see what’s in the plans for a show, look at it in its earliest stages and then gasp with excitement when the work is finally unveiled.
This time, though, I hope I’ll have learned my lesson well. Because along with the wonderful nostalgia of revisiting memory lane comes the regret of the one that got away. For me it’s this painting by Lorraine Christie. Appropriately called “I Wish” (and you can imagine all the little double ententes that this beautiful title evokes), this is the original painting that “I wish” I owned.
All of us art lovers have an I Wish original painting from our past. Please tell us yours! And did you learn your lesson well? Not to sound like an art dealer or anything, but when you love it, you should buy it. Take it from me! There’s a world of difference between “I wish I owned it” and “I own I wish!”
PS To make sure you’re on our invitation list for the Lorraine Christie solo show on November 14th at Huff Harrington Fine Art, just sign up right here: