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All my siblings became artists. One's a novelist, my brother is a painter, my sister was a costume designer.
My forms are not abstractions of things in the real world. They're also not symbols. I would say that my job is to invent these forms and to put them together in a way that keeps your interest, to give the forms a quirky identity so you can engage with them, so you realize there's an inner intelligence or logic.
I'm not particularly interested in painting, per se. I'm interested in a painting that has that mysterious life to it. Anything that doesn't partake of that magic is halfway dead - it returns to its physical elements, it's just paint and canvas.
If you come every day or every month to my studio, you won't see that much change, but if you come once a year, you'll see big new categories opened up.
Most people draw from the mind, not the eye. They draw the idea of a table or a face, not what's in front of them. We don't actually see the line of the jaw as a line and we don't see an eye as a perfectly outlined almond shape.
The world of painting has nothing to do with the art world.
I think I was very lucky to have grown up with an artist's studio in the house. It was a kind of life that was possible. Yeah, it made it kind of harder because the standards were higher, but there was no pressure.
I've been playing piano my whole life, but I'd never tried to understand how compositions are made, really. Try to imagine if you'd loved paintings your whole life but had never painted one. My aspiration now is just to understand.
My uniform is sweatpants, so crusted over with dried paint that they're as hard as a table. I wear T-shirts that are also covered in paint, and Crocs.
When I have a creative block, I take walks. I like to see what shapes stick out - so many legs rushing by at once, it can seem abstract. I don't need to see great art to get stirred up. Music does that for me more easily.
I'm not such an artist type that I can't handle the real world. I read the financial pages, because most people don't talk about art.
It's not until the very last phase that you know how good the works are going to be.
Most days, I practice piano in the mornings and I spend the rest of the day painting.
My 20s were spent in a room, alone, mixing paints and figuring it all out.
Painting is something that requires a lot of time - it's not just one good idea out of art school.
So many paintings have hidden meanings or need wall texts, but my work is not in that category.
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Image of the Moment
Florence Scovel Shinn
John Singer Sargent
Willem de Kooning
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