What He Simply Tries to Do

Two self-portraits by Frank Auerbach painted during the pandemic. Photograph: Frank Auerbach.

“In his view, painting and drawing are exactly the same difficulty and take roughly as long as each other.”

(William Feaver, art critic and one of Auerbach’s regular sitters)

Asked whether he has learned something new about his face, [Auerbach] said he has never thought in verbal, emotional or psychological terms about his subjects as that “undermines what one is doing.”

I’m simply trying to use the subject to make an image of my impression of it.”

(Frank Auerbach)

Auerbach’s commentary on his practice strikes me as state-of-the-art language concerning what picture making can be about.

(Dalya Alberge, “Frank Auerbach: how artist drew himself for Covid ‘plague years’ drawings,” theguardian.com, 9-18-22)

(c) 2022 JMN — EthicalDative. All rights reserved

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day. I like to read and memorize poetry.
This entry was posted in Commentary, Quotations and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to What He Simply Tries to Do

  1. Brilliant. There’s a lot that one discovers about one’s self in a self-portrait. Much more than in a mirror…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes I agree – a perceptive comment about picture-making.

    Liked by 1 person

    • JMN says:

      Thank you, Sue. I relish a certain down-to-earth flavor from artists’ talk about their work, if they say anything at all. The work should speak for itself in most cases, shouldn’t it! But I do enjoy the comments that you append to the pictures you post. They are always aptly descriptive, well phrased and unobtrusive.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Thank you, Jim. It’s so pleasant having these long-distance conversations with you! I do try to think quite a lot about what I do with my paintings and hope it has some effect on them. Regards. Sue

        Liked by 1 person

      • JMN says:

        Your kind comment has lain appreciated and unacknowledged too long, Sue. A good dialog is a rare find and a bonus pleasure of the blogging. Our exchanges in comments and the thoughtful context you provide for your art are invigorating for me. Greetings from here! — Jim

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Elaine says:

    As always, I have no idea what you are talking about. (Smiley Face)

    Liked by 1 person

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