I have been stricken down with a cold the like I’ve not experienced since the winter of whenever-it-was-I-last-got-a-bad-cold, I’ve spent more time in bed feeling sorry for myself the last two weeks than I care to imagine. I don’t usually do ill, I like to work out, do things like yoga and cardio that help keep the immune system working quite adequately. Unfortunately I damaged my ankle back in the summer and my doctor has forbidden me to do anything more than gentle exercise until February. This is not music to my ears. I have been endeavouring to do as much tai chi as my ankle can take and fit in the kind of yoga that doesn’t involve my legs (it doesn’t leave much) but apparently it isn’t enough. And here I am, sickly and sniffling.

But, I can stay away from my laptop no longer, and as such I find myself in the mood to blog and share a bit of a creation with you.

This brings me, not so neatly, to the subject today, unfinished business. My art pads and hard drives are littered with half-baked ideas, pictures abandoned half-way through and masterpieces never quite mastered. My offering is one such creation lovingly laboured over until something new and shiny took my attentions and guided them elsewhere.

When I was planning the design of my fancy new living room last summer I was in the mood to have a large painting hanging above my television to give some interest when the box was off. A project was in the infant stages that I was concocting with a chum who had introduced me to the rather brilliant joy of watching The Invisible Man, the ill-fated series from 2000 staring Vincent Ventresca and Paul-Ben Victor. Our project was to make something to celebrate the show and our love for it. My idea (being a painter by trade it seemed like a logical choice) was to do a painting, and a big one at that.

But what to paint? How about lead character Darien Fawkes half invisible, with yet more of him turning silver thanks to the quicksilver gland in his head that gave him his particular skill? Or maybe Darien with red eyes thanks to quicksilver madness – if you don’t know what I’m on about look up the show and see what you’ve missed. What about Darien and Bobby the show’s heroes in a suitably heroic pose? I ended up just looking at pictures, watching endless episodes searching for inspiration. What I found was a moody picture of Ventresca from his I-Man days and the idea struck, my huge painting would be of Darien looking moodily out the canvas with his eyes hinting at the madness within. Somewhere along the line my picture lost the madness in the eyes and became a black and white portrait of Darien, the only colour being his brown irises because, damnit, it was too good a picture to ruin by splashing red all over it. After all, without context he just looked downright strange with red eyes.

I spent two months, on and off, recreating the picture on my computer, drawing every shadow and line in intricate detail so when it was enlarged it wouldn’t be a blurry mess. Then one day I had my new living room and the telly was there and I was sat staring at the wall and realising just how big this painting was going to end up. I suddenly found great interest in some new project that simply had to have my attention.

I never did finish the preparations for the painting, Darien is half-drawn. In truth I got so close to finishing that I have just his neck and part of his arm to finish. How close I was! But, that was just the beginning, two plus months of computer work was just the beginning, how many months would it take to paint the damn thing? Too many I fear since I don’t have anywhere to keep such a huge canvas. So, poor Darien got shelved and I have no picture over my telly.

How could I leave the story at this point without sharing the picture at least in part with you. And that is what I intend to do. Maybe one day it will be finished and I will do something with it, maybe a smaller canvas will be ordered? My favourite part of the drawing is the eyes, and of course, they’re the most important part of an image that is all about that particular part of the face. So I will share with you one of the eyes, the original image I took it from and the result of my laborious time spent with my Wacom’s pen.

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