I am currently reading a book about Lucien Freud titled Eyes Wide Open by Phoebe Hoban. I have always had an affinity for the work of Freud. His work, his good work, is direct. When I am painting a portrait there is a very odd environment created between the sitter and artist. When I am out painting a plein air piece I feel like I am singing in shower. There is an atmosphere of abandon that my ear-buds give me. But, when I am in front of a human being observing them in very minute detail it is hard to avoid the social situation.
But, I always reach a point in painting a subject when I am so focused and in harmony with the task at hand that I could not give a shit what they think of me. In those moments I am a dervish of brushstrokes and movement. I remember this moment when I was painting Lindsay. I had been painting the features of her face and repainting them. The left side of her face in shadows made it difficult to see well. Suddenly, I realized the social situation I was in. How long I had been in that place of actuation I can’t say. Freud had his models sit for so long. I wonder how long he was able to spend in that state of focused painting. When I look at his work I am jealous of the time he must have spent their in that other state of being.