There are always new books to read after Christmas, This one came from my sister, it is beautiful to hold, printed on beautiful bookwhite paper and a joy to read.
I need to savour it, I am prone to gobbling - here I must enjoy.
Gayford sits for LF while the portrait is painted, He records as a journal the experience and the conversations and after the regular evening sitting they would take supper at nearby restaurants so that LF could eat and continue to observe Gayford.
At 81 LF is still working on three sitters a day, morning, afternoon and evening, like a dancer he moves - mixing, looking and working. In the afternoon he is working at some stables painting the hind quarters if a skewbald mare and often gets chilled, but at six is ready to start again. Continuity is all important, observation continuous and intense.
Anecdotes abound. He and His wife visited Picasso, Picasso painted sun's and faces on his wife's fingernails - she nurtured them as long as possible but they eventually wore away!
How to approach colour, food and rooms. Why Leonardo is a bad painter. How Francis Bacon used to mix paint on his forearm till an allergy prevented him.
"the picture in order to move us must never merely remind us of life, it must acquire a life of its own, precisely in order to reflect life" LF