Here's one of those unbelievable-but-true stories that internet communication occasionally, or maybe frequently (what do I know?) engenders.
Out of the blue cybersphere I got
an email the other day from someone whose name I recognised
though I had only met him once in 1981 for an hour or so
while I was painting his portrait at the house of a friend.
In his email (he found me via my website) he reminded me
of the portrait and wondered if I'd ever finished it.
Of course I remembered and I replied,
confessing that not only did I not finish the portrait but
when I ran out of canvas some years later, I...um... painted
over it. I also remembered that I had taken a snapshot of
both sitter and work in progress.
Immediately I found the
rather blurred and discoloured photo, scanned it, enlarged
it, and kicked myself repeatedly: the painting had been
a good start, a promising portrait, and it was a stupid fool
idiot thing to destroy it in order to recycle the
canvas. Economy and indigence are no excuse.
I apologised to Rennie
Walker (he was the sitter) and in a
sudden burst of contrite energy, assisted by
Photoshop, I extracted his portrait from the snapshot
and started working on it with virtual brushes on
my graphic tablet. When in the wee hours of the morning (as
is my wont) I was satisfied with the result, I sent
it to Rennie along with a scan of the original photo. Below
you can see both.
My thanks to that giant
multi-faceted internettish god who makes such
unexpected serendipitousness possible to have re-introduced me to
the extremely talented Rennie, whose websites,
poetic and professional,
you must definitely visit.