Boy, do I wish I knew where this painting is. It is one of my favorites, and all I have is this black and white photograph. When you look at this photo, you can still see what an amazing painting it is — one of Clark Hulings’ best, I think. It’s not a big painting (16 x 20″) , and it’s not complicated with lots of architectural elements, and people, and animals, and produce, and flowers, and, and, and….And yet, it is special. The technique is brilliant — just look at that chiaroscuro and texture all over the place, and the expression on the little girl’s face — and the subject is fascinating, especially because of the title.
Is she lost, or just doing her thing? Should we be worried about her, all alone on the street? Where are her parents? Where are her shoes? Does she own any? Was there an actual party, or is the party over because the balloon that was attached to that string in her hand has come undone and floated away? It’s classic Hulings – take a sweet, soft subject, and cause us to think so many things about it. He’s not making any decisions, or passing any judgments, he’s just putting it out there for us to decide for ourselves.
This painting was sold in 1975 out of the annual National Academy of Western Art Show at what was then the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City, OK. And this raises another point – what about this little girl is Western?
Do you know where this little girl is? If so, please tell me! I want to include a good image in my catalogue, and be able to list the provenance for this work.