Overestimating the sun and walking around in a thin trench coat being a “trendy Londoner” has caught me a cold. Just as well our dinner in Chinatown got cancelled, as I would not have tasted even the spiciest dish with my stuffy nose anyway. Have confined myself to my artist’s studio (read: the floor in my moldy, drafty and cramped student accommodation) to do some intensive final touches on the painting of Valerie I am submitting to the London National Portrait Gallery in 8 days (!), while listening to Dire Strait’s “Romeo and Juliet” approximately 60 times. My greatest concern is not that I won’t complete the painting, but whether or not the paint will dry in time. I am using oil paint which requires quite a few days to become dry to the touch, and several months to dry thoroughly enough for me to varnish it. Cross your fingers for me.

As that is said, I think it is amazing how I managed to not only get painting in my face and on my clothes, but on my teeth and in my nose! I sure am a real artist, and a disgusting one at that. (The following photos were taken before I was at my bluest stage, mind you. And yes, I know I have large, square front teeth – and yes, I have been called a hippo in the past).

And yes, as you might have guessed, the painting will be blue, untraditional and funky. And no, I am not painting Valerie as her Avatar-self for those of you who thought you had so brilliantly revealed my agenda. I won’t show it to you quite yet, as I prefer to keep a certain aura of elegant mystique around my artist persona. So far only Valerie has seen it in person, and Ewa and Henrik on photos. I just hope this blog post hasn’t made people expect that I am some new up and running Raphael, although I have been told I’m not too shabby at what I do. At least the model approves of the painting, and if it is good enough for her, then it is good enough for me. (And it bloody well be good enough for the London National Portrait Gallery, or else I will kick something for having spent all this time for nothing).

I am off to bed to rest off my illness, and I am looking forward to my regular breakfast with Valerie in the morning consisting of English breakfast tea, scrambled eggs, baked beans and cheese on toast.