A Best Friend's Reflection

For a while now I have been thinking about acquiring art for the home. I recently got my wish, and I am currently in possession of some pieces which I got from my no doubt gifted friend. Yes, of course we treasure everything that comes from people we love: we collect it, we keep it, we stack it, we go back "to take another look", to connect with something significant or maybe not so, but still precious in its meaning and warmth. It is not necessarily artistic value that we covet, but the person and his or her/her place in our life.

When I first heard about Irina starting painting, I though it would be nice to have something of hers that personal, especially now that we live thousands miles apart. And then I saw her work.

Surprised-not really (quite frankly, she surprised the sh** out of me more times than I can count). This time she outdid herself. My sense is that so much of what she is about is now speaking on her behalf in her paintings: her smarts, her intelligence, her peculiar way of always looking at things beyond what they seem to be; and her pure joy of "being present" and being "there" above all. One can wonder how someone with no training, no time and opportunity to practice can produce art work of such quality, that it draws you back every time to review a detail, admire colors, and simply inhale this aura of serenity, light and hope that we all seek.

I do not know the answer to this question but I will tell you what: I put three of my favorite pieces on a sofa table next to each other, so in case there is a fire I can just grab them all at once.