Art: Fire Walk With Me

Y’know how I said I wanted to paint something else Twin Peaks related in that other article I wrote? Well, this is it.

"When you see me again, it won't be me."

“When you see me again, it won’t be me.”

I’d been working on this piece for the better part of the afternoon before I’d decided to take a break.

I never trust my own judgment about any painting I’m working on if I’ve been staring at it for too long. I can’t. I tend to think things are finished that aren’t, or make huge mistakes in terms of composition, likeness, scale, and colour. I need to take a break once in a while to get some objectivity back. Recalibrate my visual taste-buds, as it were.

It was getting dark, and the storm outside was intensifying, so I decided to cook up some rice for dinner and watch an episode or two of Twin Peaks to switch gears a little without losing the road altogether. One or two shows became four or five (mixed in with a couple episodes of the X Files), and it was just about midnight when BOOM, the whole neighborhood went dark. A complete and instantaneous blackout.

In show terms, this happened just as Agent Cooper was shot in the doorway of his hotel room. For a moment, I thought it was just part of the show since the blackout corresponded so closely with the sound of the gunshot. It was one hell of a dramatic effect, let me tell you.

Slightly spooked, I grabbed my phone and used it to light my way to my bedroom. I was eager to call it a night before UFOs started landing outside, or Bob showed up in his Canadian tuxedo to snarl at me from behind the furniture.

The next morning the power was back on, but my computer wasn’t. I realized I’d left this painting half-finished on my screen, and wondered if I’d actually saved it or not. I was damn sure I had, but I’d lost hours of work to blackouts before, if not whole pieces.

According to photoshop, it wasn’t there.

I knew I’d saved it. I remember consciously doing so at the beginning of my break, but I couldn’t find any trace of it. It wasn’t just a set-back, my computer was telling me I’d lost it completely. After some frustrated animal noises and a string of expletives, I dug around a bit and found a copy that was about 20 minutes older than my last save and got back to work – finishing it all off in about an hour.

That’s an appropriately weird way for a painting like this to come into being, I thought. It was a hell of a lot longer break than I intended to take, too.

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