The more I look at paintings and learn about the people who make them the more in awe I get of the whole enterprise. This feeling has recently been intensified by reading The Man with a Blue Scarf, Martin Gayford's book about sitting with Lucian Freud for about a year while having his portrait done. Maybe it's the fact the Freud would seem to spend 15 minutes agonizing over every brushstroke, or the fact that he knew everybody in the UK art/culture pantheon, (no doubt helped by having a famous Grandpa) but I am coming to understand just how much subtlety goes into making a painting great. Probably true of any work of art. So maybe a lot of people can do 99% of the job, but making it into enduring, great art is all about getting the last 1% right.
Anyway it's a great read, almost as if we're sitting in on the sessions and the dinners that follow ourselves. Gayford's knowledge of art (unlike Lord's who had a similar relationship and book with Giacommetti) means the conversation really takes us into the mind of a great artist and how he thinks about what he's doing.
In last night's passage Freud went over to Kate Moss's house for her birthday party, where he hung out with Damien Hirst. Yeah, I'm jealous.