Models & muses (from Dec 2010)

I have had some lovely good models… very good.  They’ve had an interest in Art and have gracefully given of their time for very little return.  I can’t afford to pay much and so promise them commission on any works sold with which they collaborated.  Not that they’re going to get rich on that.  But then a time comes when they discover domestic bliss and suddenly some other man takes their time and can offer much more.  Offer more in the sense of an attractive place to be and an attractive person to be with.  If I was a Lucian Freud with that sort of clout (and money) perhaps I’d be more assertive more attractive, but I’m not.  So I get a good model, keep them for a year o

r two, then lose them to domesticity.  The allure of a working studio with no running water, of getting there, and of dressing up (or down) and talking about projects and poses palls, and the steam and the whisky and the cigarettes (or whatever) no longer attract and they drift away to new experiences.  I can’t blame them. 


Portrait of Shan, Oil on board 45.5×30.5cm

So with the exception of the mercurial Shan, who remains wonderfully faithful, I’m currently searching for some engaging woman with time, interest and a passion for getting beneath the skin of the human condition and turning this quest into paint and canvas with a life of its own.  Yes, it’s just like being a parent: the whole of the process of conceiving a work of art, giving birth to it with all its pangs and labour and hopefully rearing it through to maturity – all this compressed from 2 decades into 2 weeks. One helluva thing. Is that why we paint landscapes and still lifes too?  Because they’re there and don’t up and disappear just when you’re getting to know them and getting somewhere

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