Friday, June 14, 2013

Lorraine Fox: "The attempt is what it's all about, the end result becomes meaningless."

In the Winter 1967 issue of Famous Artists magazine, Lorraine Fox, who had recently joined the Guiding Faculty of the Famous Artists School, was interviewed about her career as a professional illustrator. Here in Part 3 of the interview Fox talks about her relationship with husband and fellow illustrator, Bernie D'Andrea and living the life of an artist...

Famous Artists magazine: How do you cope with housekeeping and, at the same time, work so hard at painting and commercial illustration and teach as well?


Lorraine Fox: The work interferes a great deal with my home life and my social life. I haven't had a vacation in two years. I work all the time, even weekends.


I have very little time for closet cleaning. Gracie Allen once said that after she retired she would finally straighten her drawers and clean the closets. I feel that way. I have a cleaning woman once a week but the rest we do ourselves. I happen to have a unique husband. He helps a great deal. He's willing to to do more but I don't want him to do things like the dishes. He's a magnificent cook because he comes from Italian background. His father cooked and he learned how and he's very good.


But that bothers me. It takes too much of his time. When we both have deadlines and he's pressed and I'm pressed, we sometimes don't eat until eleven at night.


FA: Does it help, living with another artist? Do you feel freer, more productive?

Fox: At this point in my life I couldn't live with anybody except an artist or someone like my husband. I don't think anybody except another artist would tolerate me.


You get older and you decide, "My God, the time is closing in and if I'm ever going to do anything I'd better start. The small scratch I make is so meaningless, at least I can try to do more."


It gives me a reason for being an artist. It is a never-ending search.


I am far from being the kind of draftsman I would like to be. The struggle is what keeps you alive - the struggle is important, not the end result. The end result becomes meaningless.


The attempt is what it's all about. The hope that maybe it can become better.

* Many thanks to Matt Dicke for providing the scans of the Lorraine Fox interview pages from the Winter 1967 issue of Famous Artists magazine being presented this week. Thanks to Heritage Auctions for allowing me to use scans from their archives.


  1. Wow. That's a very profound final installment. I wonder if she ever slowed down and cleaned closets?

  2. Unfortunately, Joss, she never got the chance. Lorraine Fox died of cancer in in 1976. She was just 54 years old.