There is one more painting I have of lovely Misha (starting here, cycle back to see earlier art of this beautiful woman) that I want to post. It seemed appropriate to do so with this rare beauty on this rare day of 29 February! It is the last portrait of her that I did and the last one I still have copies of, and, ironically, it should in a sense never have been. During one of our sessions when we were taking a break from my photographing of her for my standard reference material she sort of shook her head to get the stiffness out of her neck and get her hair fluffed out. It was just a wonderful opportunity, and I couldn’t resist snapping her. When she realized what I was doing she got a little embarrassed and said that I was wasting my film (this was before digital became [thankfully] all the rage). Frankly, I agreed with her! But later, going over the proofs, I thought I could combine some of them and make a great painting of her – bringing out not only her great physical beauty but a less formal, ‘fun’ side of her, something she tried to hide all too often, but it was definitely there. I don’t know how many starts of paintings of Misha I consigned to the garbage, but this was one of the ones that really worked out. Of all the ones I did over the several months when we worked together this is my favorite, not only for the way the undulant folds on her sweater pick up vertically the helter-skelter waves in her hair, but also for its expressing, in a way I really wanted to capture, the poised duality I saw in her of an essential secretiveness fighting, not always successfully, to prevent her charismatic playfulness from bursting forth. Just look at her face looking into you – the gorgeous eyes with the twinkle and the incipient smile on the lips, all seeming to say, “So, friend, what’s next for us?” We’ve lost touch, but I’ve never forgotten her, and to this day I now and then send her through the ether my warmest wishes and hopes that life happily is still bringing to her what she wants from it. She was a genuine beauté!