You Will Miss Me When I Burn (2022)

It is finished. A painting started in reaction to the news of Mark Lanegan’s death which coincided with my reading of Burning Man: The Ascent of D.H. Lawrence. Both were maverick figures, somewhat adrift within their times, who never stopped making art right up to the point where their bodies gave out on them. Their spirits blazed brightly though, right to the end, and that fire carries through in the work they left behind. Lawrence’s symbol was the phoenix rising from the ashes, and in my imagination that’s what I was painting. Yes, it’s a goshawk, not some mythical bird, but when I was a kid they were mythic, in that they had persecuted into extinction decades before. Thanks to some falconers making strategic releases of captive-bred birds, they began to slowly reintroduce themselves across the British mainland and while still a rare sight, there are documented pockets of healthy populations in several areas. So, to me, this is Lawrence’s phoenix, risen from the ashes of man’s folly, infernal eye blazing, carrying the fire into the future. And it’s a symbolic of Lanegan’s uncompromising attitude, a man who stared into the abyss and never flinched, until the abyss had to look away, realising it had finally met its match. The title comes from a song Lanegan recorded with Soulsavers, one of his finest moments, and a fitting elegy for his own departure from this heathen earth.

Here’s how the painting progressed from beginning to end:

26 Feb 2022

27 Feb 2022

09 March 2022

11 March 2022

21 March 2022

25 March 2022

27 March 2022

02 Apr 2022

10 April 2022

17 April 2022

You Will Miss Me When I Burn (2022)

Soulsavers with Mark Lanegan – You Will Miss Me When I Burn

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