Sue Tilley after Lucian Freud (Art as Conversation)

Jane Horton, Sue Tilley portrait, 2022 ('exhausting')Sue Tilley came to fame as a model for the painter Lucian Freud (who died in 2011). She began posing for him in 1991, when she was also working as a full-time benefits supervisor at a London employment agency. Thus, for example, among the several large nude portraits of Tilley painted by Freud, two were named Benefits Supervisor Resting (1994)  and Benefits Supervisor Sleeping (1995).

In January 2022, Tilley modeled for an online drawing session hosted by Deryck Henley of the Scottish Borders Life Drawing Club. Rather than nude modeling, this was portrait modeling, and while Tilley modeled she also chatted, as she also did with Freud. (Indeed, in at least one of the several documentaries made about Freud, one gets the strong impression that, much as many other artists, he liked working with models for the conversation and sort of friendship as much as for the art-making.

One of the artist/illustrators drawing Tilley that January day was Jane Horton, an Englishwoman. As may be seen here, Horton, delightfully, surrounded her drawings of the model with quotations from the conversation.

Jane Horton, Sue Tilley portrait, 2022 ('raconteur')More of Horton’s work may be found at artyjaneh. Her long career includes an illustration degree with the Open College of the Arts. As RT Jane, she published a graphic memoir Trust my Father, which was shortlisted for an award from LDC Comics, a United Kingdom group devoted, inter alia, to celebrating and raising “the standards, expertise and representation of female-identifying graphic novelists.”

William Eaton, Editor, Zeteo

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