Knowing a living artist, having been in a position to have him acquire a large American following, is a constant pleasure to me. One of my dear friends, Rebecca, who went to work at the David Findlay Gallery (on Madison Avenue, across from the Carlyle Hotel) went to work for “Pop”—Mr. Findlay—fresh from art school. We share our devotion for the artist and his paintings. I got hooked at age nineteen. “Love me, love my art!” It’s funny how that works. It makes no difference to me if someone doesn’t like my art, because I didn’t buy art to decorate a room; I began collecting his paintings because they made me happy. Fortunately, my two daughters and four grandchildren love my colorful art collection.
Did I ever mention to you that when my literary agent Carl was dying of cancer, he came to the cottage and selected two of Mühl’s paintings? He wanted them “for the duration.” Carl died in August 2013, in a room with two glorious Mühls. One of the reasons I hope to be fortunate enough to die at home is because of my passionate feeling about his exalted radiance as an artist. I’m living in love every day with Roger’s love of life.
He told me once he only painted when he was happy. The only two periods of time he couldn’t paint were when his stepson was missing and he later discovered he had been murdered in Africa, and when his wife Line died. Roger died three months later of a broken heart and massive stroke in April 2003.
Clearly, Roger lived an exuberantly happy life. He bounced with joy. I have such wonderful memories of our 40-plus years of friendship, and he left behind art that feeds my soul.
The moral of my story is to know what makes you happy. Our obligation is to be courageously true to ourselves. All caution to the wind when you know, deep down, what makes you happy. When you give yourself the tummy test, or perhaps you tingle with soul-bumps, trust yourself. Follow, follow, follow wherever that leads you.