Ibiza Woman #1

Oil & Acrylic on Canvas - 32" x 58" (?) – 1983 - Private Collection, Ibiza, Spain

I painted this before I had actually been to La Isla Blanca. If she were a real "Ibiza woman" she would of course be topless.

First painting I sold in Ibiza. I painted it the winter before in Madrid and lugged it with us when we went on our “final fling” through the Med - a guy, a gal, a dog, two pictures and no money. Actually we just had enough money to get back home after what we sadly thought was going to be a whirlwind tour of the Balearic islands. I admired Robert Graves (still alive at the time) and wanted to try and visit him on Mallorca but we never got there. We took the ferry from the old pier at Valencia (also still alive at the time) and the first island we hit was Ibiza.

We really loved our first view of Ibiza, rising tall and white from the sea mists of morning and already getting lively as we debarked at Puerto del Sol to get a cafe in the old city. We rented a jeep and went all over the island that day, found a hostel in a lemon grove for the night and by the time we had cafe next morning, bathed in fantastic yellow light reflecting from the groves, we had formulated a mad plan to scratch up some money and stay awhile.

I tossed my two paintings in the back of our jeep and drove around the island until we found an art gallery that looked good. It was called "El Mensajero" (The Messenger) and happened to be in Santa Eulalia, a town where a lot of British ex-pats lived. I went in and asked Jan the owner if she would take a look, brought the paintings in and she hung 'em right up on the wall - this one and another called "Moron Hat" which was a large laughing face with a goofy hat I don't have a photo of (wish I did, t'was one of my better pictures).

We wandered in next day and our new friend Jan announced that this painting had sold. "I sold your Great Woman!" she said with a beaming smile (English-style "great", meaning "large") "and in celebration, I'm inviting you both to lunch." She took us to one of those long, wonderful Mediterranean lunches under a grape arbor by the sea that starts as brunch and stretches in a stately manner til afternoon. By the time we got back to the gallery the other painting had sold as well – but even better, there was a message from the artist who was scheduled for the opening summer show about six weeks away, saying he couldn't possibly get the show done in time. Jan asked if I thought I could get a show together and I of course said “Hell, yeah!”

And inside I was thinking: "Man. this place is unreal!"

Jan paid us the next day. I have gotten bigger paychecks but I say without doubt, the neatly folded sheaf of Spanish pesetas I got for those pictures was the richest, finest and most satisfying money I ever held in my hand. A splendid time! I'll try to find some pix from those days and post them.

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