20140429_194031By Paco Garcia Jaen

For someone who likes to say nice things about people, I am finding very hard to write this. And I have a lot of nice things to say about Wayne England. I just wish I had said them 24 hours ago. Or longer ago. Just sooner than now.

Wayne England passed away this weekend at his home in England. His wife and two children survive him.

I have been collecting Wayne’s paintings for a decade. I still remember the first of his paintings I bought in eBay. I spent more than one hour looking at it. Admiring the incredible detail and glorious craftsmanship. I was truly in awe.

Eventually I mustered the guts to send him a friendship request here in Facebook a few years ago. I was quite anxious. Why would one of my favourite artists, a man admired, and now I know loved, by many accept my request? I am no one.

And yet he did. And I followed his posts, and his comments and his work. And he was kind, witty, generous, charming and a great man.

And he had great taste in music. Fantastic taste in music.

Just over a year ago I got his message from him:

“Hi Paco i have some Paizo Ghoul original artwork gifts for you sir…your posts always fill me with happiness..intrige..slack jawed amazement, anger…sadness the whole damned gambit so i would like to send some stuff your way that may have the same effect on you…your friend..Wayne”

I just can’t describe how happy I felt that day. Not because he was going to send me the artwork; eventually he didn’t. He just wasn’t able and I never reminded him. The offer was more than enough for me.

Wayne was exceptional. At more levels I can describe and it is my enormous regret I never got to meet him in person. Not that that makes me feel any less close to him, but I never got to say all these things to him to his face.

I am going to miss him. Even from this distance and from this little contact, I will miss him.

I can’t wait to have some money so I can buy the frames I need and have the semi-permanent exhibit of his work at La Base Secreta Cafe so my teary eyes can tell people what an incredible man and artist he was.

Please, if you want to say something nice to someone, to anyone; if someone means anything to you, don’t let another day go by without telling them. Don’t risk that another day will go by and you won’t be able to.