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July 2, 2006

Recently I began a series of seven paintings with the theme of "Cowboys and Belly Dancers" which is a result of many things, not least that I have been a regular attendee to the Tuesday night Belly Dance Club at the Mine Shaft Tavern in Madrid, New Mexico.

 It may seem obvious why a man would go to belly dance events and to some degree the obvious is true with me. The dancers are both beautiful and good at their craft of tantalization in the ancient dance. But there is more to it.

Initially I went one night because my good friend Glen Neff knew I was depressed, and he thought a little bit of visual stimulation would cheer me up.  He  was right. Not only was I cheered up, I fell head and heels in love with one of the most beautiful women I have ever had the pleasure to know. Yes, she was a belly dancer.

Our romance lasted for 8 months, then she simply disappeared out of my life, the same way she had entered, a vision there then gone.

Out of that experience, I have returned many times to the Tuesday night event, at first because I hoped she would reappear some day, but of course she never has. But in the process, I began to appreciate the incredible beauty of not only the other dancers, but the dance itself. What also I saw was the oddest venue one could imagine--Belly Dancers in a wild west bar out in the middle of nowhere.

The result of my experience was an urge to reproduce in some way, the juxtaposition of the beauty and the beast, in a way I hope not documented before.


Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

And this was the woman

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

Work in Progress

All of these paintings are in progress.  They measure 34 inches wide by 48 inches high. They will be finished by Saturday, July 8, when they go on a one day exhibition along with two other artists at 525 Agua Fria, in Santa Fe, from 9 AM to 5 PM