I’ve been sitting for Lucian for around 10 years now; I visit him every morning, so it’s part of my life. It’s a different sense of timing to anything else I do. The stillness is very therapeutic although you can’t shut off completely. You have to be alive to the position you’re in and to Lucian’s connection with you. You do sit very still. He might want you to move an inch or two, or slightly adjust your fingers. You have to be in tune with Lucian. He’s good company to be with. It’s a very gradual progress – over the months the painting grows.
Lucian was friends with many of the sitters in our exhibition. He has always taken trouble to put his sitters at ease. From the start, he would find people who could be sympathetic to him – and he to them. He has always enjoyed the company of painters and poets. They share a stillness, I suppose. Lucian has a great knowledge of poetry. His memory of words is remarkable; he can recite out loud great verses. In a way, poetry is the closest you can get to painting: distilling the essence of something to get as concentrated an idea as possible.
more from The Guardian here.
A slide show of early Freud portraits here.