The only way an artist can communicate with the world at large is on the level of feeling.
You keep on balancing and balancing and balancing until the picture wins, because then the subject's turned into the picture.
I am isolated as an artist, not as a person.
When I finish a painting, it usually looks as surprising to me as to anyone else.
I want my pictures to be things. I want them to be made up of marks that are physically and individually self-sufficient.
I think words come between the spectator and the picture.
Passion lies between one mark and the next, and also within all of them.
A lot of people... are afraid of pictures which have visible emotions in them. They feel calmer in front of pictures which are placid.
The picture surface recedes just as much in the 20th century as it did in the 15th. The techniques of making pictures have hardly changed.
I dont think you can lightly paint a picture. Its an activity I take very seriously.
A painting is finished when the subject comes back, when what has caused the painting to be made comes back as an object.
Collecting has been my great extravagance. It's a way of being. I collect for the same reason that I eat too much-I'm one of nature's shoppers.
To be a painter now is to be part of a very small, endangered species.
I look at my pictures, and I think, 'Well, how did I do that?
My friends tend to be writers. I think writers and painters are really all the same-we just sit in our rooms.
My pictures really finish themselves.
I never think that anything I do is courageous.
I find old copies of National Gallery catalogues, which are written in the dryest possible prose, infinitely soothing.
It is simply impossible to control a large painting with the edge in the same way that you can control a small one.
I don't look at the work of my contemporaries very much; I tend to look at pictures by dead artists. It's much easier to get near their paintings.
I'm very envious of the few artists who are any good and still do portraits.
Eventually, a collection ceases to be a personal indulgence and assumes its own identity. In fact, it becomes a thing in its own right - rather like Frankenstein's monster.
It takes a long time for the gleam in the eye to turn into something solid.
I think that words are often extraneous to what I do.
I don't really have a historical overview of my work at all. I'm not an art historian. I don't see that there's this period and that period.
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