I am truly as smitten as a kitten by the end results of this portrait. Aside from it being in a warm, cozy and scenic environment that I wouldn't mind "chilling" in, I'm satisfied with the artistic execution of it as well. The lighting, the detail to texture and material, the harmonious colors, the design--it all seems to work well. And I'm ALWAYS a sucker for moon glow!
But Les, what about the exquisite blonde bombshell within the art? Well, the testimonial I can give about Tanya is a favorable one. This British cupcake is all heart and joy. She's the kind of person whose friends you envy because you know they've got a warm, considerate, charming and funny friend in our sparkling Toil Girl. And having to work from a small stack of photos of Tanya with that million dollar smile is definitely not my idea of "work" at all. She's just a sincere and likable lady that I know would swing open her doors and welcome me with open arms into her lovely family's home if she knew I was anywhere in the U.K. I actually know this to be true as Tanya's extended such an invite to myself and my girlfriend numerous times.
Shall I allow tonight's lovely hostess to share a few words about how her art came to be? I think I shall.
Well, where do I start? I guess the beginning of my love affair with Les, which started about 5 years ago when I saw one of his paintings and quickly fell in love. The picture in question was "Carrie" (the angel) and I was transfixed by it! Unfortunately the copy I saw had no artist details on it, so I never knew who had made such a gorgeous work of art.
Fast forward to 2 years ago, when I stumbled across a painting, displaying a style which immediately reminded me of that picture I had seen some years before. And there in the corner was the elusive name "LES TOIL."
Of course, I did what any sane person would do....... I "Googled" him.
I could not conceal my delight and amazement when directed to the "Toil Girls" website. All those beautiful and curvy ladies, all painted so fantastically. I just KNEW I had to become one!
I showed my husband (incidentally, also called Les) all of the artwork and told him I needed to become a Toil Girl. And so the process began.
Being a 36-year-old wife and mother of beautiful twin daughters, I felt, as many larger ladies do, plain and un sexy. But here was my chance to see myself in a different light. I wanted to be glamorous, exotic and above all --sexy!!
So I contacted Les at that time to express my opinions and praises for his work and told him that ONE day, when finances would allow, I WOULD become one of his special girls. He so very kindly wrote back to me, and so our communications started.
When the day came that I could tell Les I was ready for him to paint me, I was SO excited. I couldn't wait to hear back from him and start deciding what I wanted to "be".
After many discussions with Les (and many, many photos sent), I couldn't wait to see what options he would come up with for me. But when I saw the rough sketches, I was torn! They were all so beautiful, how could I ever decide? I even took a poll of all my family and friends, getting their opinions on what they preferred.
After much deliberation, the winning option for me involved a background with water. I have always had an affinity with water --the feeling of being weightless and free--and so that swung the vote for me.
So, the exciting day arrived with a "PING!" as an email appeared with my portrait attached. I couldn't wait to open it, but even I was not prepared for my reaction to what I saw.
The sheer beauty of what Les had managed to capture BLEW me away! I started to shake and burst into tears. I could not believe that this beautiful sexy vixen staring at me from the computer screen was ME! The vibrant colours, the detail and elegance of the portrait amazed me! Les had managed to make all my dreams come true!
I called my husband and daughters over to see what Les had created and they were stunned by my painting. I had discussed the painting with my daughters, then aged 12, But I was a little nervous about their reaction to seeing "mum" like that. But they were so full of praise for me, and Les Toil.
All my artwork needed now was a suitable place to showcase it. So the transformation of my bedroom took place. One deep garnet "feature" wall with the rest of the room and furnishings pure white.
It was with great pride (and a huge smile) that I hung my beautiful portrait on its newly painted wall. Even now, after several months, I can't help but grin every time I see it and I give thanks for that day when I was first introduced to the the amazingly talented Les Toil.
A friend recently posted this quote on a social networking site: "There is nothing wrong with being a larger more curvaceous woman, Its just nature's way of saying 'OH MY GOD, you are so damn good, I had to make more of you!'"
And doesn't Les Toil show off nature's work at its best?
My, my, my, my gosh Tanya. I'm going to charge you for the reconstruction of my house as my ego will now need its own room. How can I even attempt to be humble after such grin-inducing words? Regardless, I'm just happy as a lark to know your portrait is keeping a smile on YOUR kisser. As I've always said, there's not many artists who don't want to bring a sense of glee and inspiration to everyone that views their work. Tanya, receiving your feedback--as well as the feedback from ALL of the women I've had the pleasure of creating work for--has given me enough satisfaction and pride to last a dozen lifetimes. I can never stop being thankful for the gifts of yours and everyone else's words.
Tanya, until we figure out a way to bottle up that wonderful Walt Disney smile of yours so we can put it on our window sills during drab gray days, please accept my transatlantic hug for being such a lovely model and a lovely lady