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Illustration of a young man from the 1920s kneeling in front of a beautiful Flapper whispering sweet little nothings into her ear.
**click illustration to enlarge**
(watercolor illustration on paper, 11X14, 2007)

"Sweet little nothings"

I've always came up with stories behind the characters I paint. When I was six or seven the stories I imagined were quite simple e.g. Masha has a puppy, her mother works at a grocery store, Tania meets Tony, and they get married, etc, etc. Nowadays, I tend to add more plot twists to my stories and the couple in the "Sweet Little Nothings" encountered a few of those on their path to happiness.

You see, the man in the illustration is a wildly popular silent movie actor by the name of Grant Leary. I pictured the woman, Anna Dupont, as a writer for gossip newspaper who creates her pieces under a pseudonym Jaime Torres. The latest article she wrote about Leary didn't portray him in the best light. Justifiably outraged Leary decided to confront the writer. However, after a friend pointed out Miss Dupont as the real-life Jaime Torres Mr. Leary abandoned his plans and became very intrigued by this woman who possessed both good looks and a sharp tongue. Grant found all the articles that Anna ever wrote and the more he read the more interested in her he became, until one day he realized he was head over hills in love.

Habitually friendly and outgoing Grant became shy when it came to approaching Anna, so he came up with a strategy for winning her heart. He decided that a gradual approach would be less intimidating for both parties. Grant found out where Anna lived and bought a house next door. For several weeks he watched Anna reading in her garden. One day, after two Bourbons he got enough courage to go ahead with the first stage of his plan. He gently pushed his French Bulldog Laurie through an opening in the fence surrounding Anna's yard. Grant waited five minutes, walked around his house and started calling Laurie's name. Surely enough a few moments later Laurie started barking from Anna's yard. Grant came up to Anna's door and rang the door bell. When Anna opened the door he explained that his dog somehow got into her yard and asked her to retrieve Laurie.

Of course, Anna recognized Grant right away and they started talking. After several months of being acquainted Grant finally got enough courage to tell Anna about his feelings for her. He waited for the full moon to ascend into the night sky and got on his knees in front of his beloved. Grant took Anna's hand in his and told her that he loved her. She wanted to profess her love for him as well, but decided to wait a bit longer. She just enjoyed too much listening to Grant whispering sweet little nothings into her ear…

"The minute I heard my first love story I started looking for you, not knowing how blind that was. Lovers don't finally meet somewhere. They're in each other all along."
Jalal ad-Din Rumi

"The heart is forever making the head its fool."
François de la Rochefoucauld

"The passions are the most effective orators for persuading. They are a natural art that have infallible rules; and the simplest man with passion will be more persuasive than the most eloquent without it."
François de la Rochefoucauld