Friday, October 1, 2010

The Friday Evening Nudes

Frankly, I'm running out of steam to post The Friday Evening News on a regular basis. It was fun for awhile, but it appears in general that with 138 "followers" and several thousand visitors from several hundred countries, the comments have actually decreased.

I'm not a person who needs or even wants an adoring audience. In fact, I feel somewhat uncomfortable with the idea, even if I could pull it off! I'm rather private and I like it that way. I don't like to be the center of attention. At the same time, it's nice to get some validation for the work I put into this. It seems that  validation comes in the form of intrinsic rewards and the pleasure I get from the comments of a few friends in both the real and virtual worlds. The later being people who can see beyond the images and the few words I write and recognize that there is a person here worth getting to know. Once again, I thank the dozen or so regular and occasional blog friends who leave comments here. It means a lot to me and I don't want to disappoint you by discontinuing the Friday Evening News. As I said, though, it's gotten kind of old and I'm thinking of other new features that I can entertain you with!

As a last hurrah, I post for you this Friday, a nude of mammoth proportions. ;-) You may have seen her and felt disgust. Initially, I felt the same. But I kept wanting to go back to to see this painting because the artist's intent intrigued me. For me, it's the interest and curiosity in why that keeps my passion for art alive.

Benefits Supervisor Sleeping
Lucian Freud 
  b. 1922

When he paints, Freud talks, and he likes to go to a restaurant with the sitter after each session to carry on the rest of the article at

And while I'm at it, why not post a few more Freud nudes? I love his work.

"At the outset there is always a mystery. We cannot know what a painter brought to painting or what drew him to it."    - From Lawrence Gowing, "Lucian Freud" read the book review here

My work is purely autobiographical.. It is about myself and my surroundings. I work from people that interest me and that I care about, in rooms that I know.  ~   Lucian Freud

I paint people not because of what they are like, not exactly in spite of what they are like, but how they happen to be.    ~ Lucian Freud

I remember Francis Bacon would say that he felt he was giving art what he thought it previously lacked. With me, it's what Yeats called the fascination with what's difficult. I'm only trying to do what I can't do.    ~ Lucian Freud 

Peace, Love and All Groovy Things,
Pagan Sphinx


  1. I like the way he paints the surroundings of the nude; the couch, the bedding, the floors - all are very interesting. The obese woman is an odd subject for a nude painting, but she reminds me of my mother - who was very overweight and often napped on the couch (not in the nude, BTW!)

  2. reading your words above these fascinating paintings, i do understand and with blogging, i realize, for myself and i am sure for most, one must do what one feels a passion for and when the blog becomes a chore, well, it's time to switch it up...that's blogging rules according to linda ... and well, i guess the people, the thousands following, reading, subscribing and all the counters known to man cannot change one thing about that do what you want and whatever you offer, i certainly will appreciate it...always i truly love your offerings but life lately has been less than 'groovy' ... hoping things pick up around here, i am making a few changes and perhaps that is the bottom line behind it all...
    as for these paintings, they're great but i do love that first one...something very sweet about her to me, so almost normal, so oblivious, makes me wonder if it's a live model, memory, fantasy or what he was working from...i shall follow your link, you always have the best art posts....well, all your posts are pretty cool :) xoxox and wishing you the same in peace, love and all groovy things!! :)

  3. I find it easy to admire Freud for his technique but I'm not sure how much I like his art. Still, fascinating images.

    As for 'comments'. Personally, I comment whenever I feel there's even the smallest thing I can add. I do read/view most of your posts on all your blogs, though. I have been having similar doubts about the point of continuing with the whole blog thing. Just a little feedback every now and then can do wonders for the blogging spirit. I'm hoping you keep up the fine work.

  4. I am not familiar with this artist; he is certainly very skillful in his depiction of fabric and the human form. As for his choice of subjects, perhaps he sees the inner beauty of the individual and thus finds beauty in the outward form.
    As for comments, I recently added a counter and find far more visit than comment. Some may feel they have nothing to say or that their writing skills are poor. I am a terrible speller and often run my comments through word before copying them to the comment page. I agree, though, it's nice to get feedback.

  5. Re: 'counters' you think these things really work? Just wondering.

  6. I am by no means an art connoisseur and I enjoy paintings that are to do with nature more than of people. That's not to say I don't appreciate the artist who paints these nudes. Anyone who can transfer that kind of detail through a paintbrush has to be admired, and when I walk through an art gallery I am in awe. Correct me if I'm wrong but it seems to me that it is far more difficult to paint the human form accurately than it is to paint a landscape. But as I said, I am no connoisseur and probably ignorant of such things.

    Blogging is a wonderful outlet for me. It started off as a photographic journal for my son, family and friends. I didn't realize how many other people would be involved, the friends I would make has been a very welcome bonus. I get more comments when I join in a meme than when I write something a little more personal, and I am always reminding myself this is a journey for me also. I love discovering blogs like yours and even though I come and go, it's always an enjoyable visit when I do get here. I rarely go to a blog and don't leave a comment. The only times I have, have been when I've lost the Internet, or the phone goes, that kind of thing. Anyhow, enough of my blathering, have a happy Sunday.

  7. One thing I'd like to say before addressing comments individually is that six quality comments such as the ones above, mean more to me than twenty superficial ones. Thank you so much.

    Denise: I don't know a lot about art, even though I love it. To know a lot means to study and study and art appreciation and history is only a hobby for me; a passionate one. So I can't really answer your questions with authority. I would guess that figure drawing and painting, as well as portraits are more difficult than landscapes. I'm wishing Steve Emery would come by and sort it out, as he is an incredible artist who does both.

    I'm so glad to have your comment because I feel the same way about blogging. To see through someone else's lens (actual or figurative) has been one of the blessings of blogging for me. I can't get enough of knowing a moment of someone else's life that is so different from my own. To me that is what the human experience should be all about. When I see someone at the grocery store and they're picking out a melon, that's the moment I know them by. If I see a photo of a blogger's family or the hometown they're proud of - it gives me a more thorough and enjoyable moment to know them by. I love it. When I return to a blog again and again and each time find a defining moment or a set of words that explain a person's thinking, those moments add up and I begin to get a fuller picture. It's why I love blogging. Thank you again for your comment. It makes so much sense to me!

    Martha: yes, I think that Freud wants to see the very private side of individuals he knows well and because there is trust, he can capture that private essence in a very personal way. That's what I love about his work. Thank you so much for visiting here. I love what you have to say.

    Singing Bear: maybe "liking" an artist isn't really the point sometimes? It's almost like reading a book that you sense is significant but the subject matter is difficult or violent or unsettling. That does not make it a bad book or repulsive, right? I think that may be what you are trying to say?

    Linda: I'm encouraged by your words and I think I've decided to retire The Friday Evening Nudes. That doesn't mean there won't be nudes on the blog, though! :-D Thanks as always not only for your support but for your loving friendship, even if we have never met. Hugs.

  8. I am just beside myself. I composed a personal reply to each and every one of you and blogger sent me an error message when I tried to publish it and it's gone. gone. gone. Ugh.

    I will try again, but it's not going to be the same, as my heart was truly into what I was saying. :-(

  9. Here we go again:

    Denise: you've summed up well a lot of my own feelings about blogging. It's a privilege to come upon a moment on someone's blog post and see things through their lens - actual or figurative. It blows my mind that we can do this with strangers! It has such potential for helping people come together and see our sameness and differences. It's wonderful, really. Thank you so much for coming back here once in a while. I really like to read what you have to say.

  10. Linda: I already expressed some of what I wanted to say on Vulture Peak Muse. So I'd like to just thank you not only for support of the blogs, but for your loving friendship, even though we have never met. I feel close to you. hugs.

    Singing Bear: perhaps looking at a painter whose style you don't like could be like reading a book whose subject matter is difficult but you feel it's important that it was written. That's often how I feel about art that isn't "pretty" to look at. Some of it, of course, is pure trash! But who am I to say? I try not to make too many judgments. Thank you too for being a good mate ;-) - I'm picking up on your British-isms!

  11. Ok, so it looks like the original comment I tried to publish did come through after all. Oh, bloody hell with blogger!!!


    Have a good Sunday everyone!

  12. Hi!

    I suspect the paintings were portraits! The anatomical proportions are simply realistic. I think the beauty of the female body lies in its natural fold and stark freedom. And for the artist to see that and not to 'photoshop' it lies a great painter with the soul of a true artist! A lot of painters 'beautify' or to put it another way, deletes and edits what he see and capture with his medium.

    "A man who has taste enough to judge the products of fine art with the greatest correctness and refinement may still be glad to leave a room in which he finds those beauties...and to turn instead to the beautiful in nature, in order to find there, as it were, a voluptuousness for the mind in a train of thought that he can never fully unravel." - Immanuel Kant

  13. Lui: thank you for your comment! I like the way you put it - "the beauty of the female body lies in its natural fold and stark freedom. Yes!

    My blog header by Bougereau is an example of idealized beauty for which those Raphaelites and Pre-Raphaelites were known. While I like a lot of them, I've seen a few that irritate me. Like a Bourgereau I saw at SF MoMA where the woman is standing nude, holding something over her head and she has no body hair, anywhere! Like a Barbie doll or something...if a painter, even a Pre-Raphaelite is going to do that, they may as well figure a way to paint over the female genitalia. If I wanted to work up a sweat about it, I'd be insulted but it's not worth it! :-D

    Thanks again for stopping by.

  14. Kenju: it's interesting that this painting reminds you of your mother on the sofa. It's said that the subject, a woman whom Freud knew from work, fell asleep while she was modeling for him. :-) Thanks for your comment.

  15. darling, we've met, just not in the skin form... ;) smart ass that i am, just had to say it...much love and grooviness in the night. or at least rest your weary mind...


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