I should be feeling way more ecstatic with the artwork for Ned Kelly and the Green Sash finished. Instead, I feel like someone I just got to know intimately, passed on. What I’m left with is a mere interlude of paintings that cover his short life.
For the moment he’s preciously packed away in my studio drawer.
I await the signal, then he’ll depart, alone, across the Nullabor. Perhaps he’ll fittingly pass through Kelly country. He’d laugh his head off at that.
Living and breathing, yet not coming up for air. Locked in, from the inside of my studio to finish Ned Kelly and the Green Sash.
Painting a character like Ned Kelly, is a bit like cloning him.
I always knew I’d be anxious in bringing him back to life. Would I be sympathetic to his legendary fate. Would I mourn his short life.
While I create the art, I constantly think of Ned’s last words written in his cell the day before he was hung. “After the worst has been said against a man, he may, if he is heard, tell a story in his own rough way”. This is permission from Ned himself for authors and artists, but mostly for me, to paint his story in my own rough way.