Where has all the white paint gone?

Someone said at art school -I can’t remember who, that Lucian Freud bought all the stock of flake white paint left in the world. Was this another urban art myth, like never use black? Was it the secret stock of flake white paint that made his bodies voluptuous? I’ve only ever seen this painting of his in the flesh After Cezanne at Canberra NGA – the cut-off piece was more of a distraction to the quality of his surface.

I think all artists become obsessive about their palettes – I know I became so distressed when Archival discontinued their range of zinc white -I mixed, manipulated, mumbled obscenities and mutilated the last canister until nothing was left. I realised that life goes on, there is always another white, another way. Perhaps sadly, Lucien had exhausted his stocks of flake white at 88. At some point we all stop painting despite our stash. Cheers Lucien Freud.

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