I did this painting to prove a point. Baseball star Carlos Baerga gave a benefit for the Cleveland Public Theatre at his home in Westlake, Ohio. It was a clash of sports and culture and it was a huge success. All his teammates attended the event as well as many other celebrities, sports fans and theatre guests. CPT provided the entertainment and managed the event.

           Kurana was one of the entertainers (that's her stage name). She performs traditional Greek dances and also teaches the art which most people unfamiliar with its nuances call "belly dancing". To say that Kurana was stunning was an understatement -she was hipnotic (especially in a place full with over one hundred jocks... that's one hundred jocks with more then a few beers).

           Later I joined a group with Carlos and several of the Latin players having an animated discussion trying to determine Kurana's most alluring features (it's a Latino thing). Being "the artist" they turned to me. I told them -"None of the ones you mentioned." This elicited a cry of replies and counter arguments so I told them I would prove it to them.

           I had befriended Kurana (I'm the sensitive type) and during a dinner-date I mentioned the incident and asked her to pose for me. A month later I had proved my point: Kurana's most alluring feature are her incredible eyes. Her gaze is more sensual and erotic than a line-up of Playboy centrefolds. Everyone agreed with me after looking at the painting.

           The painting is very simple, a close-up of Kurana holding a veil just below her eyes. But that is the deceiving part. By lowering her veil she has invited the viewer for a more intimate view. Her provocative gaze has been accentuated by a strong light that makes her eyes sparkle. Eyes for me are like luminous jewels; the portals that initially connect two individuals into intimate awareness.

           The colours are balanced, the image under the veil is defused but crisp and sharp-focus above it. It was painted in artist's oils over a masonite panel (this is my preferred medium for small paintings). What I have included in the painting is enough to tell a lot about the subject. Her coiffure is oiled and arranged to perfection; her makeup is flawless; the person behind the veil is like a dream from the Arabian Nights. It can tell many tales.

           Kurana owns this painting. She once told me about the trouble she had to go through to get it back from a boyfriend who wanted to keep it. I enjoyed doing the work. Perhaps this is the best part of being an artist -you get to encounter the sirens of your dreams in real life.


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