Update: Sabrina and the Painting

There’s one COVID story I don’t think I’ve kept you posted about: what’s happening with “Portrait of a Baseball Player”, the painting that Sabrina did with me as her model?

It was supposed to be in Sabrina’s one-woman show at the gallery that ‘handles her’ back in June, but, well, y’all know where this is going. Art galleries aren’t exactly essential businesses, so the schedule at the Sabrina’s gallery got all fucked up. Sabrina’s show has been postponed twice and is now scheduled to open on October 20. That’s unless something else goes wrong.

I haven’t heard a whole lot from Sabrina since I finished sitting for her. She’s kept me in the loop about the show, and she’s told me that she definitely intends for “Portrait of a Baseball Player” to be in it, but she doesn’t text me a bunch of times every day like she’s my best friend or anything. Joyce suggested to me that it’s normal for artists to lose interest in their models after they’ve finished painting them. I reckon that makes sense.

She may not totally have lost interest in me, however. Sabrina told Jonas told Justen told Luke who told me that she’s considering doing a painting of me and Luke together. Justen likes the idea because it’ll give me, Luke and Sabrina something to do while the ‘grown-ups’ are playing bridge, but that’s mostly because he wants people to play bridge with and getting me and Sabrina up to Santa Barbara will get Joyce and Jonas up there too.

My first thought when Luke told me that Sabrina might want to paint us together was about how totally gayass it was gonna turn out. Look: y’all know I think Luke is awesome, I’m totally cool with his being gay, and I even thought it was funny that one time that those girls thought me and him had to be gay…

…but that was once.

The weird thing is that, when I told Keaton about it, he didn’t instantly say it sounded so gay he was gonna throw up. And I was convinced that was gonna be his reaction. Keaton’s never met Luke, although he’s seen a picture of Sabrina’s painting of him up at Justen’s. “He doesn’t look super gay,” he said. “And you yourself said that Sabrina didn’t make you look gay in the painting she did of you, right?”


“So it might be an interesting painting. Or are you just afraid that the second time around people aren’t gonna think that you’re hotter than Luke? Now that, bubba, would be fuckin gay.”

I gave him the two word answer. “I never said I was hotter than Luke. It was everyone who was at the unveiling that said ‘Portrait of a Baseball Player’ was hotter than Luke’s portrait.”

“Just don’t rule the idea out,” Keaton said. “You’ve got an important artist who likes painting you. The only time anyone ever used me as a model was one of my bored Dutch housewife clients…and I ain’t telling you the rest of that story.”

“You at least gotta tell me one thing: was a cowboy hat involved?”

Keaton just looked at me until I changed the subject.

In any case, a painting of me and Luke is a ways off. From the way Luke tells it, it was just an idea of Sabrina’s, and she may or may not come back to it. I doubt it’ll get discussed seriously until we all get to up to Santa Barbara again, and nobody’s got a clue when that’s gonna be. Justen was all ready to invite us up last month, but then COVID got super bad in California, so he’s put off the weekend party indefinitely again. Luke says Justen’s desperate for a game of bridge, and even taught him how to play a version for two people called ‘honeymoon bridge’ (ok…that made Keaton want to throw up when I told him lol.) But Luke’s just not cut out to be a bridge player…and he says his relationship with Justen’s way better because of it. He’s seen how Justen’s yelled at some of his partners when they fucked up: “one thing I learned early on with Justen was to stay clear of the bridge table.”

So…a trip back up to Santa Barbara is on hold and Sabrina’s show is rescheduled. But if nothing else goes wrong y’all will be able to get a shot at buying “Portrait of a Baseball Player” in two months. One thing has changed over the time I’ve been waiting for the show: I’m cool with the idea of someone buying the painting and having it hang in their house. That kinda creeped me out when Sabrina first asked me to sit for her, but I’m pretty much over it. So maybe there’s some good come out of the delay of the show. Nobody really helped me figure it out…it’s just that I got used to the idea that people would want the painting mostly because it was by Sabrina. Buying a photograph of me would be different…although I got used to the idea of my picture hanging in the salon in Hickory pretty quick. Ok, the free haircut helped there lol.

So I’ll keep y’all posted about the show and what happens. I’m actually pretty excited about finding out what’s gonna happen to the painting…and, yeah, I’m also real curious to know what the price is gonna be. Sabrina said they’re still working that out. Joyce has told me not to use the price of the painting as a sign of my ‘intrinsic value’, and I’m not… but, hey, wouldn’t you be curious to know what a painting of you by a major artist is going to sell for?

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