This is a story of two halves. Bad part first.
The idea for this came into my head a couple of years back when I got the letter about my first check up scan.
I still feel like a bit of a faker telling people I had cancer, because I never felt sick, but chemo was pretty horrible. Having something pumped through a tube into your body, something so toxic the nurse has to wear a protective face mask. When I got to the end I was elated – “I survived!”
Then that letter came. Then I realised I wasn’t cured, I was only in remission. I would have to keep getting check ups for the rest of my life.
After that first one, the next couple became routine. My doctor’s receptionist told me I was getting the regular’s price. I even fell asleep lying in the hospital bed before one, and they had to wake me up to wheel me in. I keep passing, and the gaps between get longer.
But now I keep getting more nervous each time. I feel like it’s going to catch up one day, and the further I get from that chemo, the closer it gets to me. This image came to mind each time, but afterwards I’d try to forget it, draw something else.
This time I didn’t put it aside, and this is the good part.
There’s a crazy amount of experimentation in this picture, and new mediums have got me really excited again about drawing. I love drawing on Canson paper, working on a mid-tone background, but it always warped with too much “love”. In the past I even tried painting the back with canvas primer to stiffen it, then I recently discovered they now make a perfect board version.
Some of my new favourite markers had run out, and with no money to buy refills, I busted out a bottle of black ink and painted in the background. Because I didn’t like the scratchy texture of the pencil on recent drawings, I also layered on some white watercolour paint!
Now I’m champing at the bit for the next drawing. Bring it on.