Saturday, 31 October 2009

Walking thru Fire

Nude study in digital paint

Finally got round to finishing a nude I'd been planning to paint for a very long time, although by the time I'd finished I had diverged from what I had originally intended... but I think it still works. This piece was a long time coming... I've been having serious problems with my computer... then my health... then back to the PC...  and then my brother died.

Rysz's death was not unexpected (he did have MND after all) but it still came suddenly and as a shock. I had wanted him to see the painting and I was getting frustrated at not being able to finish it. Just as things started coming together (better health, new OS, new software) and I was finally able to start the work... I got the phone call that Rysz's health was declining fast.

A day earlier, Rysz had gone to hospital for a chest infection. The next day I was told that he was responding well and would be home the following day... but that the infection had taken its toll and shortened Rysz's life expectancy to just a few months. I thought I'd create the painting to cheer him up.

Just as I was about to begin, I got a second call... this time saying that Rysz had deteriorated and might not last the night. I stopped the painting and set off 'up North' to be with him.

It was late and the motorways were pretty clear. I was fretting that I might be late but my other half had her foot pressed firmly against the metal. We were doing well... until...

Ahead of us was a huge tarmac lorry heading up to the M6 roadworks when suddenly he lost control and went into the central partition, spilling its load across both sides of the motorway. This new 'wall' immediately began to harden (a very cold night) sticking the lorry and us on an impassible road.

We were stuck there for hours.

Tragically, by the time I got up to the hospital (3:30am), charging through the door, my brother had died just a few seconds earlier. I can't begin to tell you how I felt.

Anyway, this was 2 weeks ago and we buried Rysz on Wednesday (strangely, to the tune of 'Popeye the Sailor Man' from a phantom icecream van), and were re-united with his estranged son.

It's several days later, and I am back with the painting. Finally got it finished, and I'm sure that Rysz would've liked it. I hope so.

If you'd like to more about Rysz, check out his memorial website ( wher you can also contribute to the MND Association. Registered & Protected