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Three Graces: The Dare
Beauty and the Beach

Three Graces: The Dare

Three Graces: The Dare
Paul Gavin, Oil on linen, 20 x 16, 2007

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Three Graces: The Dare

Paul Gavin Fine Art Three girls jump with an ocean wave. They move as if dancing. It is an ongoing "Beach Ballet," and wile seemingly a simple act seen every sunny day at the shore, these girls are actually bringing to life characters of ancient mythology.

"Graces" or "Charities" are the goddesses of charm, beauty, nature, human creativity and fertility. They have been represented in mythology and art as far back as 1500 BC Greece, through the Roman Empire and the Renaissance into modern times. Most often as a group of 3, the "Graces" have been named "Splendor," "Mirth" and "Good Cheer," and the serendipitous and jubilant reactions of the three girls in this painting beautifully express these qualities.

The painting's original title was to be "Three Graces." While I was painting this piece most observers immediately noticed and remarked that the girls were topless. I explained that bathing suit straps are delicate details added at the very end of the painting, and to that almost every one smiled and said, "Don't paint them in. Leave them off!"

Then one viewer of the nearly completed piece told me it reminded her of a weekend with two college girlfriends at her family's beach house. With a smile she related how they all "dared" each other to enter the water together "sans top" which they did and this story "tops off" this painting's "aptly suited" title as the three girls are so attired: "Three Graces: The Dare."

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