The first symptoms came early in the summer. I had been experimenting with oil paints for some days but started suffocating from a very strong allergic reaction to the solvent needed to create transparent layers. Brook didn’t have to explain too much about this new technique she called Glazing (the most difficult part for me being to understand the word “Glazing” that she had to repeat it fifty times, I’m almost sure she was talking about pastries and not painting – “Glaze like the icing? I don’t want to learn how to bake one of your stupid cupcakes Brooke, I want you to teach me how to paint!” –“But Charles, you dumb fuck, it’s the same word: “G.L.A.Z.I.N.G.”! ).
That said, I was a fast learner and she was a good teacher; this “glazing” thing not being that different from my technique for creating volume with pencils. But after one portrait of her three-year-old son Ruben I couldn’t stop coughing and I surrendered, too worried that I would lose a lung in the process.
Later that winter it was very cold in our country house. We couldn’t afford to refill the fuel for the heater and I slept through the new year’s eve festivities because of pneumonia. I came back to Paris knackered. A couple of weeks later another respiratory trouble started. Everybody was talking about a flu which started in China, maybe it was that. I don’t know. My lungs never really fully recovered from my oil painting practice anyway.
I wanted to offer you a very small token of my appreciation. Come and visit the digital land next to my virtual mansion. The place of an interactive game that will allow you to share experiences and contents with each other and, make memories.
But thanks to the never-ending lockdown, I had now discovered what is called Blender, a “free and open source 3D creation suite” (I was sold at “free”). A cute guy named The Blender Guru was providing ‘tutorials’ on Youtube – that’s what everybody was doing apparently – the most Art&Craft moment of humanity I suppose – and I followed step by step the scientific making of a 3D virtual doughnut (!) (Art meets bakery, once again. I was doomed). After a few weeks of this unusual Virtual Pastry Creation course, I decided for my own health and safety to go full digital for my Art. No more oil, no more solvent. Just some good old Unreal Engine (a distant cousin of Blender. They don’t talk to each other anymore apparently. Not on good terms, it is said).
By at the end of 2021, I had embraced fully, with opened arm, the Metaverse. So futuristic of me…