Merry Christmas to me: The start of my very own art collection

I got way too spoiled this Christmas.
My greatest-ever boyfriend began my very own art collection by giving me this beautiful ballerina painting we saw together at the Providence Art Club a couple months ago. If you’ve read even one post on this blog you can probably already guess how perfect this painting is for my very first – bright and beautiful and with ballerinas. I’m so so excited to own a painting. It’s nailed into the frame and everything and right now it’s hanging on this paneled wall across from the kitchen table/my desk, so I can look at it all day.
It’s got such a dainty impressionistic feel to it, and of course I love that the main figure is blonde. Also it’s completely perfect that her friend is brunette because that’s my best friend Katherine. But most of all I love how the sunlight bleeds through the thin wooden slats of the door, and the warm tones run like released dams across the same floor that we dance on; our toes inside point shoes sloshing the sunlight across the floor and kicking it up into fireworks mid-air.
The painting is by Rhode Island artist Karen L. Murtha, and I tried to get in touch with her for this post, but couldn’t find her online anywhere (if you’re out there, Ms. Murtha, I have some questions for you!).

UPDATE APRIL 2013: Karen actually got in touch and loved this post! She gave me the following insight on this beautiful painting that’s still hanging on the wall right in front of me –

“that series of paintings started from a commission of a 12 year old ballet dancer whose family ended up buying 4 large paintings of her. ( appr. 2-3’x4′) I sketched her in loads of different dance poses and various ballet wear. and worked on some of the paintings from the sketches when they wanted changes. she was adorable! i’ve actually framed some of the sketches and had note cards printed from a few. I’ve sold and donated others from the group. it was a terrific experience! the providence art club paintings were the first time I made them so small, specifically for the little pictures members’ show. had to dial down the brushes, haha. but I thought they came sweet , very delicate. some of the others in the show were in repose and some were girls in a garden.
I love the figure and previously worked with a company for their weekly fashion illustrations. attended RISD for education but took all illustration courses, which later lead to many, many greeting cards and murals in homes and businesses.
all fun, fun opportunities!!
now I’ve been painting many scenes from traveling and still life subjects at the providence art club, but are planning to start working from a model again in a couple of weeks with a group of painters. can’t wait!”

I also really like the pretty light layer of shimmer around both the girls – especially their tutus, like the golden light is bouncing off skirts made of mirror. The shadows are also really long and elegant, cast across the floor beneath them which I think makes for a nice compositional balance.
It felt very different to own something like this, rather than a poster or a print (which I kind of accidentally collect at this point when I see something that deserves more remembrance than a little picture on my cell phone). The paint is thick on the canvas in some places, and I can see each independent streak every day, with all the tiny little grooves inside of them; both of the canvas underneath and the hair in the paintbrush that painted them.
And I can’t believe that I own it. I’ve always felt like art shouldn’t even be owned, but now that I have some it feels weirdly powerful, like getting one of those awesome gifts with endless possibilities because you know you’ll still be amazed by how great it is in a couple of months. My last great material thing was an iPad, but this painting in its perfect gold frame is a million times better.