You keep on balancing and balancing and balancing until the picture wins, because then the subject's turned into the picture.
The only way an artist can communicate with the world at large is on the level of feeling.
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.
Passion lies between one mark and the next, and also within all of them.
I think words come between the spectator and the picture.
I am isolated as an artist, not as a person.
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.
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.
I never think that anything I do is courageous.
I think that words are often extraneous to what I do.
I'm vulnerable to criticism. Any artist is, because you work alone in your studio and, until recently, critics were the only way you'd get any feedback.
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.
A collection makes its own demands. Many artists have been collectors. I think of it rather as an illness. I felt it was using up too much energy.
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 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 find old copies of National Gallery catalogues, which are written in the dryest possible prose, infinitely soothing.
I dont think you can lightly paint a picture. Its an activity I take very seriously.
My language is what I use, and if I lost that, I wouldnt be able to say anything.
I am happy for people to talk about my pictures, but I wish devoutly that I was not expected to talk about them myself.
It takes a long time for the gleam in the eye to turn into something solid.
To be a painter now is to be part of a very small, endangered species.
My pictures really finish themselves.
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