This was a big commission for a client and unfortunately took me a long, long time.
It was so big that I had to put the canvas together at HIS house.
I had done the sketches whilst in hospital after going spectacularly and pathetically mad for a little while – here’s the image i drew before i painted it -
and here’s the sketch i did for the clouds and water and stuff to go behind that
i was really ill then (look at some more o’ more profile n work if u want to know what i mean.)
One of the few memories that remain from that year is from when i first arrived at his house to start work, and he wasn’t home. His girlfriend was, but my shakes and anxiety were so extreme I couldn’t talk (i wasn’t expecting anyone to be home that’s fer sure.)
i remember her. Not her name, but…. when i knocked on the door, after she figured out what i was doing there and led me to the back to set up – i was trying to thank her and i just couldn’t make the words, any of them. i just stuttered and because i am such a
because i am such a fucking freak
cuz of that and starting to choke back tears (that is the masculine real-man side of paul everyone hears about who is able to grow a beard and fire a gun and fix a tow-truck simultaneously. )
i remember this sluice of warm colour flooding her blue eyes and the glowing pink of her palm in the sunlight and i
i remember the softness of her skin as she cupped my cheek and i got tears on her tiny hands and probably lots of snot and
I had not known her for 5 minutes and had not been able to speak one word and i was so distressed and she said she touched my face and whispered
‘hey. hey! it’s alright! it’s alright.’
and pulled me to her and wrapped her arms across my shoulders and said
‘shh. sh. it’s ok.’
though i had never met her and i was this weird crazy mute crying and covered in paint and she didn’t really know who i was she looked at me and into my eyes and into me i think and she wasn’t afraid and she stroked my hair.
- an act of kindness writ huge on my heart. The painting came into existence because of those soft murmurs and i couldn’t drink the tea she made me nor the wine she offered but i came back every day that i could until the painting was finished, until it was done and beautiful-ish though i was so sick i couldn’t do it like i wanted to and – and… it’s because of her, whose name i have never known, that the smallest simple acts of kindness will always make me cry. this memory is one of the so very few from that year not annihilated by the shock treatment that i had that kept me alive i think though of course i don’t know if it was that cuz i cant remember much else…
i will carry what it felt like for her to help me and the mass in my chest and forever and always, and i am fiercely glad that i remember this event this one
this one still
out of all of the 14 months vanished and burned by the treatments.
i hope that i was eventually, some other time, able to tell her that what she did breathed into me enough will to keep alive for just that little while. but i have no idea, someone told me or i put together that they broke up or she moved out so perhaps i never saw her again.
I will always love her for what she did.
whoever she is.
even if rick (guy who paid for it) got the painting, it should have been her.