Bad things come in groups- farewell to some modern masters

This has been the year for losing iconic artists. These things come in threes, and I hope we have done our dash. M.F.Husain, Cy Twombly and now Lucien Freud. Two of these artists I have discussed on this blog, one at length. That doesn’t mean I don’t admire Twombly’s work, just that it didn’t fit into my niche. Edit: I started this post last week, since then we have also lost Margaret Olley. I guess the rule of threes leaves something to be desired.

These artists have taught us all about solidarity, about production and about being a truly great artist. Here is what I have learned from these greats:

1. Paint, paint and paint some more.
All three artists were extremely prolific. They did not get to the level of success they had without painting constantly and diligently.
2. Paint what you want to paint.
Each one received ridicule and derision at some point for their works, technique or subject matter. They rose above it. Nothing was more important than the art.
3. if you don’t like your situation, change it.
Move, change your allegiance, don’t wait for change to happen- be the catalyst for change.
4. Respect your peers.
Respect other artists, pose for them, inspire them as they inspire you and don’t fear giving back.
5. Know the rules- then break them.
Once you know the rules, you know what you should, and should not do. You know how to bend them and even how to break them. If you don’t know the rules, you risk breaking them in the wrong way. There’s so wrong it’s right and so wrong it’s wrong- the difference is knowing the rules.

These work for all careers, not just for artists. The art world is lesser for these losses.

2 thoughts on “Bad things come in groups- farewell to some modern masters

  1. I couldn’t agree more. Being an artist means being disciplined. You have to work at your craft continually. Like Lee Trevino aid with regard to his golf, “the more I practice, the luckier I get”, with the artist the more you commit yourself and work the more likely the “muse” will strike. The only other thing I would add is to surround yourself with other creatives and doers, and ignore or dismiss the negative people.

    • Very true Mr Furi! There is a lot of negativity these days and it’s easy to drown in the shoulds and can’ts. A lot of people do their jobs, they don’t submerse themselves in a career they love so I think there is sometimes a resentment towards people who do. People are scared to take that leap. It’s easy to aim for mediocrity, it’s much much harder to shoot for the big one. You’re exactly right, the more you work at something, the easier and better it gets. And even more fun!

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