As I write this, it is 9:26 a.m. on Saturday morning, January 29, 2011 and I just finished drawing and scanning the final illustration. I have completed my task. You and I have walked together, from the first page of Moby-Dick to the last. As I expected, I just don't know how to even begin to sort out how I am feeling. What surprises me the most is just how sad I feel. It's really, finally over. I am truly going to miss these characters. Queequeg and Ishmael. Starbuck and Ahab. Even Moby Dick himself. These characters have really become a part of my life, a part of my daily thoughts now, for well over a year. It will be sad not to think of them, not to see them as often as I have.
I am going to miss all of you too. I have enjoyed the comments and the emails and the sharing of thoughts and ideas more than you might ever know. It has really been a pleasure and, even more so, an honor to share this project with you all. You may not know it but every one of you who commented or wrote to me or talked to me about this project became a part of it. This is as much for you all as it is for me, and I have been a lucky man to be able to share this with you.
It will be a strange day today I think. I have to wash up some brushes and give my closet studio a long overdue cleaning and sweeping. Then it will be a pleasant dinner this evening with some good friends, to celebrate the end. Beyond that, I don't know.
This is not the end, not quite yet, for this blog though. There will probably not be daily or twice-daily updates any longer, but there will be many more posts. Updates on the publication of the book, hopefully a gallery show or two, a few more pieces of Moby-Dick inspired art (I've always wanted to a suite of four illustrations of the named whales from Chapter 45: The Affidavit. The whales are Timor Tom who is scarred like an iceberg, New Zealand Jack the terror of the cruisers, Morquan the King of Japan and Don Miguel the Chilian whale marked like an old tortoise), and lots and lots of details about me selling every single illustration from this thing. I do hope you'll continue to visit, to comment now and again, to drop me a line and say hello. It should be an interesting year.
For now though, I am going to let myself feel just a little proud of this. I've looked back often over all of these illustrations and while there are always some I like more than others, I am pleased with them all. I do think I've done something good here.
Thank you, everyone, for your kindness and your companionship. Godspeed.