The first letter in a new series penned by our mercurial illustration lover.

Dear Henry,
You’d be forgiven for thinking me mad, writing you a letter like this having never met. Still, you’ve been part of me for what feels like a lifetime. I first fell for you via Marathon, an illustration for I know not what, of four exuberant characters racing I know not where. Its rich palette of yellows lured me in from a distance, flickering across the laptop screen of a colleague I can barely remember, in a room that is empty and meaningless now. Everything but you seemed in that instant to fall away.

In the moments after that first encounter I became lost in the detail of the scenein daylight reverie I ran with those four figures for infinite afternoons, snaking through the undergrowth, breathless with exertion, the warm light of late summer dancing across our faces as we plunged headlong into the thickening brush. I played the mystery limb emerging top left, coming up unseen behind the rest of the pack.

In quieter moments I have allowed myself the luxury of patiently awaiting your return to the quiet, tidy treehouse you once drew to grace a calendara homestead we share somewhere in the recesses of my subconscious mind, where I recline, typing this letter while you sit, back to me, creating a new scene for us both to enjoy. What rugged landscapes are you conjuring with your pencil and brush?

For years now I’ve watched you grow, certain that one day our paths would cross and I would dazzle you with observations on the depth of what you commit to paper. But all in vain.

The truth is I feel light-headed and foolish in your presence—or at least in the presence of the beauty that you make—giddy from the rush of color and deft suggestion of movement your hands create; invigorated by the promise of what unknown pleasures exist beyond the borders of the page.

I tell you this now expecting no reward. It is enough for me that you understand the extent to which your fair hand has touched my heart.

Yours always,
James

Henry McCausland, cancer support calendar
Henry McCausland, Marathon