Wednesday, January 20, 2010


A dissertation present from Olivia, the ballerina in my Sharon Yavis painting leaps on sturdy legs, weighed by gravity to ground. She makes me smile and remember my writing, the Ballets Suedois and their ground-tied modern-dance ballets, and Olivia, whose deep voice, easy laughter, and warmth made her the delight of every party (most of which she threw).

The Suedois startled their staid Parisian audiences, even when those audience members numbered themselves among the avant-garde of the '20s art world. Equally startling to me is that Yavis is now considered a "folk artist." With a master's degree in art, she was anything but naive or untrained. I suppose some folks mistake the charm and whimsy of her fascination with Botero-like women for something primitive.

I revel in her boldness of color and shape and charm of line and design, just as I revel in the Swedish Ballet's bold commitment to experimentation and Olivia's bold commitment to joy in relationships.

Neither Sharon Yavis nor Olivia knows (and certainly neither Jean Borlin nor Rolf de Mare could possibly know) how much bold pleasure this graceful little charmer brings me every day.

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