I agree with Lucian Freud…

Lucian Freud “I think half the point of painting a picture is that you don’t know what will happen. Perhaps if painters did know how it was going to turn out they wouldn’t bother actually to do it. Painting is rather like those recipes where you do all manner of elaborate things to a duck, and then end up putting it on one side and using only the skin.”
[excerpt from ‘Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud’ by Martin Gayford]

Lucian Freud

[photo: David Dawson]

It reminds me of a quote I picked up years ago about writing that has stuck with me. I copied it onto a Post-It note and stuck it on the whiteboard behind my computer.

‘If the chapter’s about what you think it’s about, it’s rubbish.’ 

I may paraphrase so apologies to whoever it was that first said it, but I think I’ve got the meaning about right. Part of the enjoyment of writing, for me, is creating characters then putting them into situations and seeing how they react. I do write a story plan, but it is constantly being revised as my characters take charge of their lives. If the story plan remains unchanged, it’s a sign that my characters are weak. It’s the process that’s the fascinating thing.

If you agree with Lucian Freud, perhaps you will agree with:-
Truman Capotelearn the rules then re-arrange them to suit yourself
Tracey Emintoday my studio is calling me. The paintings are all really happy and the paint wants to be used.
Tracy Chevalier – a good painting arrests you and demands something from you

Lucian Freud


‘Man with a Blue Scarf: On Sitting for a Portrait by Lucian Freud’ by Martin Gayford [UK: Thames and Hudson]

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
The key is not knowing what will happen: I agree with… Lucian Freud #art http://wp.me/p5gEM4-9J via @SandraDanby #amwriting


  1. […] the Artist coming to the The New TheatrePortrait of the ArtistLucian Freud on Dante Gabriel RossettiI agree with Lucian Freud who said… .recentcomments a{display:inline !important;padding:0 !important;margin:0 […]