The great artists who left our world in 2011


Watching the BBC News this morning, they showed a programme listing all the famous people who passed over in 2011, however the only artist i.e. painter, they mentioned was Lucien Freud.  In 2011 there were  a number of notable passings in the art world which should not be forgotten.

The California Minimalist John McCracken (b. 1934), died aged 76 years

One of the Beaux Arts quartet Jack Smith (b. 1928), died aged 82 years

Conceptual  and Land Art artist Dennis Oppenheim (b. 1938), died aged 83 years

Abstract Expressionist  John Hoyland (b. 1934), died aged 76 years

Sculptor Stephen De Staebler (b. 1933), died aged 78 years

Surrealist painter and novelist, Leonora Carrington, died aged 94 years

Colour Field Abstract Expressionist  Helen Frankenthaler (b. 1928), died aged 83 years

Pop Art artist Richard Hamilton (b. 1922), died aged 89 years

Sculptor John Chamberlain (b. 1927), died aged 84 years

Realist artist Claudio Bravo (b. 1937), died aged 74 years

A very sad loss for me personally was the departure of the legendary Cy Twombly  (b. 1928), died aged 83 years, whose work I love,

and of course, not forgetting the very sad departure of Lucian Freud (b. 1922), died aged 88 years, best known for his thickly painted portraits of the contemporary nude and the best painting of The Queen ever painted.

There may be more, less well known artists to add to the list, but each and everyone will have contributed in their own creative way to the most amazing of all artistic genres – the visual arts, and with all the artists listed above living well into their 70’s or 80’s (even 90’s) it can only prove that art really is good for you!  R.I.P


How to be an Artist !


  • Stay loose                         
  • Learn to watch snails
  • Plant impossible gardens
  • Invite someone dangerous to tea
  • Make little signs that say ‘yes’ and post them all over your house
  • Make lists, lists and more lists
  • Make friends with freedom and uncertainty
  • Don’t be scared to be you
  • Look forward to your dreams
  • Cry during movies
  • Swing as high as you can on a swing (by moonlight even)
  • Cultivate moods
  • Do it ‘for love’ and do everything ‘with love’
  • Take lots of naps – for thinking and dreaming
  • Give money away. Do it NOW. The money will follow
  • Believe in magic and imagine you are magic
  • Laugh a lot and giggle with children
  • Celebrate every gorgeous moment
  • Take moonbaths
  • Read and draw (or doodle) every day
  • Listen to old people
  • Open up. Dive in. Be free.
  • Bless yourself as you are blessed
  • Drive away fear
  • Entertain your inner child
  • Get wet – especially in the rain
  • Hug trees
  • Write love letters
  • Talk to yourself
  • SING (especially by yourself)
  • Believe the impossible is possible
  • Care about everything you do
In my studio
In my studio