In Medias Res

Sketchbook Pro Drawing

Back in 2017, I had a dream that my late horse Arnie was shot by three men in front of me. It happened in a field in the middle of nowhere. I had to flee but not without taking a part of him with me, so once the assailants left, I chopped Arnie’s head off, put it in a sack and brought it along. It was pretty much a hitchhiking journey and after a few days, the sack which was all soggy, started moving. Then Arnie’s head started talking to me, and after a week it turned into a complete spectral equine skeleton that only I could see.

There was no better companion to have than Arnie in an adventure, and as an added bonus we could have actual ‘human’ conversations now. By that time + a little encouragement, I was also convinced that the Jungian shadow self needed to go on a rampage. So we did.

The victims were selected in a justified, non-gratuitous manner. My favorite scene was using a nail gun to rivet someone’s ear onto a wall just like the surface of an old fighter plane. Then we just left her there in an uncomfortable position where she couldn’t really sit or stand for a very long time.

I woke up and found this all very indulgent….. and amusing. So much so that I intended to turn the whole thing into a graphic novel. The storyboarding was fun, but I slowly lost momentum while working on the cover. There was also this increasing realization that excessive empirical violence was not my medium. Arguably, the scariest things are those that are either implied, or matters that don’t necessarily reach the physical realm. Gore has little sophistication, and it can be abused to draw the wrong kind of attention.

I came across this drawing again while looking for some other files last week. Critiquing my own work comes easily, but since there are also things to like, I decided to finally finish the cover at least.

And appropriately, the title I gave my graphic novel back in 2017 is “In Medias Res” or “In the midst of things”, something that very much describes the state of my life at this point in time. With Arnie not being in this dimension anymore, having other unfinished paintings for the Neosphoros series, amassing sketches and notes, and finding the time to paint and draw it all, a few conclusions (like the completion of this piece) are certainly welcome.

Detail on the lettering.

I like how along with the scuff marks, the “liquid” looks very organic. It’s also a good reason to include a close up of a very “familiar” looking pant leg, which exemplifies the phenomenon that occurs when light and shadow subdivide. “As Above, So Below” does not apply.

And finally, how this artwork fits into the Neosphoros series is uncanny. Sometimes there is no better way to figure out who you are than to take a wrong turn.