After being crushed that I couldn't have the original painting that I fell in love with, I decided to ask my brother's friend Avi, a very talented artist, if she would paint a reasonable facsimile of "I See a Queen." She quickly agreed.
But in the meantime, I happened to check Frank Morrison's site again and noticed, quite accidentally, that they were selling "I See a Queen!"
I quickly halted Avi in her tracks and ordered the painting -- for only $200. I couldn't believe my luck!
But when I got to the very end of the ordering, after hitting submit on all the credit card info. etc., the summary page of what I just ordered looked off to me. The thumbnail wasn't "I See a Queen," but "I See a Queen in Me." The picture was similar -- but not the same.
|This is "I See a Queen in Me."|
|This is a close-up of the girl in the original painting, "I See a Queen." See the difference?|
Mostly, I just didn't like it as much. And, frankly, it wasn't what I thought I was ordering!
So I called the studio and explained my dilemma. The helpful representative told me that there was no way I could have purchased "I See a Queen," because they were never, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever, ever selling that again. It was made for some (apparently special) person, and that person only. But the painting was so popular, she said, Frank Morrison had decided to do a similar painting, based on the original. Thus, "I See a Queen in Me."
That was fine. But I told her what I'd seen online. I didn't click on that little girl with the cheery green dress and the happy arms. I clicked on the girl with the attitude-arms and the thoughtful green dress. I know what I saw!
The rep went on the Internet and checked. Sure enough, the website was mistakenly showing the old painting, "I See a Queen" when it should have been showing the jauntier, jollier, new version. She was quite apologetic. Blamed it on the tech guys.
But she was very nice, and I was very nice, and together we came to a compromise.
She asked me to note what it was that I liked about the original. She said she'd take it to Frank and tell him what happened, and see if there was anything he could do to "improve" my purchase. I accepted that as a fine idea, and typed an email with my thoughts. She called a few days later and said Frank had my email and was holed away working on my painting.
"When you get this," she said, "make sure you get it insured. Because now yours is basically a one-of-a-kind. No one else's will be like this one."
I waited with great excitement, thinking Frank Morrison was going to imbue that painting with attitude and mood. I imagined akimbo arms and dusky colors.
This weekend, we got the painting in the mail. It is still very much "I See a Queen in Me." Our girl is still jolly. Her arms are not akimbo, like the Clair-like ones in "I See a Queen." The mood still has a bit too much jaunt for my tastes.
But! He did tone down the cartoonish-ness a bit. The tones are slightly less bright. The dreaded zig-zag part has been replaced by a nice, neat straight one. And Frank Morrison drew my baby girl's name -- inconspicuously -- in the white throw rug on the floor. That really touched me!
So instead of the cheaper version I originally purchased (of which the studio was selling 50), I now have the first of only 10 "remarques" of "I See a Queen in Me." (I had to look that word up. I know nothing about art.) And my remarque will be unlike any of the others!
Who knows if this painting will really be worth anything to anyone in 100 years, when Clair's great-granddaughter goes to have it appraised.
But it means so much to me right now.
Thank you, Frank Morrison. You've earned yourself a fan in me.