So this is me. Or, more precisely (ceci n’est pas un pipe), this is a portrait of me, drawn by the London, Ontario artist Alan Dayton. Alan Dayton has been working on a series of portraits of Canadian writers, and other creative types, and he approached me a few weeks ago to ask if I’d like to be included. (You can see another in the series, Rebecca Rosenblum, at Rose Coloured.)
This is the latest strange development in a series of strange developments that have developed since November 23 of last year, when the manuscript I’d been tinkering with for far longer than anyone would consider healthy won the Metcalfe-Rooke Award. Strange days, indeed: who woulda thunk anyone would do a portrait of me? For purposes other than police identification?
The portrait itself is surprising. We rarely get to see ourselves as seen by others, in ways that go beyond the mere fact that the part in your hair isn’t actually on the same side that you see in the mirror. I first thought of “Like a Rolling Stone” (you never turned around to see the frowns on the jugglers and the clowns), and then of “Desolation Row,” with its chain of strange images and personalities. But the background is based on the cover of The Doors album Strange Days. It’s uncannily perceptive, I think … but I’m not going into all that.
Anyway, now I’m on the hook to write a short piece on the whole experience. I’m still trying to figure that out.