Julie and the Monkey

November 2009

For my second anniversary, my husband Bob surprised me with an oil painting…a portrait of myself.

This painting is based on two photographs. Mainly, it is based on a photo taken of me, by Bob in May 2005 at an old-time music party near Charlottesville. The other photo that was used in the painting was taken by Lynda Folwick in her backyard in August 2007. It’s a much better head shot of me than the one in the original photo, and Bob had the good sense to combine the two in his composition.

In the photograph that Bob took, we have just arrived at the party, and I’m so happy to be there. I’m smiling at him as he gets up from sharing a beer with me to take my picture. That’s his beer and bottle cap in the foreground, together with mine. The toy gorilla is named Moogie. When he senses motion, he starts singing and dancing to “Great Balls of Fire.” The irises in the vase came from my garden, and I brought them along to brighten up my camp site.

When I first saw the photo, I told Bob that if he ever painted a portrait of me, I would like it if it would be based on this photo. I didn’t know until the day he presented it to me on our anniversary this year that he had any intention of honoring my request.

I love this painting because it captures the feelings of joy and exuberance I experience when I am at an old-time music festival. I hope that whenever I look at it, it will remind me of how I feel when I’m at my happiest. I also love this painting because it reminds me that I’m married to a talented artist who understands and accepts and loves me.

For the artist’s statement about the painting, please go to Bob’s website: http://www.bobcantor.com/paintings/Gallery2/images/Julie.shtm