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Letters to Domai


After two decades I find myself in a situation similar to one I was in at the age of eighteen, looking for a model.

Coming from a family of artists my decision not to make art my career was a disappointment, but I had a whole summer before college to paint and earn some extra money. Back then I could not afford to hire a model and I have never worked well from photographs so I would take my small sketchbook with me where ever I went. If I saw a beautiful young girl I would try to sketch her without her knowing while I decided if she was right for my style. Diners were the best places because the booths provided me some privacy.

One morning to my delight a stunning brunette sat at the booth on the other side of the aisle from me. Her features were exquisite and after her coffee arrived she began reading. Great!, she won't be looking around and will stay in one position for a time. I began drawing and it was if she just emerged from my pencil. In a few minutes I had her likeness perfected. I then imagined what she might look like nude and roughed in her breasts. I had made up my mind to approach her when before I could get up she stood and headed to the ladies room.

I began adding some detail and must have missed her exit since a voice came over my shoulder. "Everything is perfect except the size and shape of the nipples. If you're looking for a model I would like to sit for you. My name is Julie."

She was now seated across from me and looking into her eyes I almost couldn't speak. Somehow I managed to compose myself and found out that she was nineteen and hadn't found a job for the summer yet so we arranged to meet that afternoon. I raced to my uncle's studio and began prepping canvases.

Julie arrived on time and we began to work. We started by my sketching her in several different poses, then I picked the composition I liked and started working on the canvas. Her silken flesh tones seemed to leap together on the palette and the curves of her body flowed from my brushes. It was the first time in my life that art became magic.

Over the summer we sold almost forty paintings with her earning fifty percent of the sale price less framing. She made enough that she didn't have to get a job. I never asked her out though, since I didn't want to ruin the working relationship. After the summer we lost track of each other.

This January a friend of mine opened a new bar and she wanted a nude for it and she remembered a painting she had seen leaning against a wall in my house and asked if she could buy it. "That old thing?" I asked, "It's twenty years old you can have it."

That gift has been a hit and I now have several people that want one of my figures. I guess I'll have to get myself a small sketchbook and find a busy diner and hope for magic to happen again.


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