Presenceby David R. Darrow
11" x 14" (27.9cm x 35.6cm)
Oil on Belgian Linen Panel
SOLD
Collection of Delilah Smith,
Oldsmar, FL – USA

About This Painting

“She’s a ballet dancer,” my old friend suddenly pointed out. My lady friend, who has been in dance from childhood through most of her adult life, was out with me for breakfast one sunny Sunday morning at the harbor in Oceanside, CA. Erika was walking nearby with her mother.

From a short distance I was caught by something about her face. I haven’t been around dance enough to pick up what my friend did, but she told me she just knew it “because of the way she carries herself.”

I set down my fork and got up. “Let’s go find out if she is. I’d like to paint her anyway.” She has a long neck, lean frame, muscular arms and a gentle but focused, pretty face. At that moment, her hair was pulled back tight and put up in a bun.

Erika, 14 at the time, and her mother were delightful people to talk to and verified that Erika was indeed a dancer — a serious dancer, traveling the world with well-known companies. They told us that they were on vacation from their hometown in Florida and, fortunately for me, agreed to come by my studio the next day.

There is something that sets one dancer out from the rest, even though they may have similar training, athletic ability, grace and strength. What set her apart was what my old dancer-friend saw, and what I wanted to capture.

Presence. ◙