David Abbott


When I complete a painting that feels real - I think afterwards that I have found a way - a road. And my mind races on - painting pictures in my head. Infinite possibilities. What a delusion this is. All the possibilities - oh, at last I know. These are mere notions - proven to be so when you start painting again. They all tumble down when paint is put on. And again you must learn that there is no road -no way - all you possess is the luck to learn to see each time- freshly. Newly.

No good to paint in the head - what happens is what happens when you put the paint down - you can only hope that you are alert - ready - to see. What joy it is for paint to become a thing - a being. Believe in this miracle - it is your only hope. To will this transformation is not possible. Only a slow maturation can prepare the hand and eye to become quicker than ever. Ideas about art don't matter. They collapse anyway in front of the painting.
Phillip Guston, November 23, 1978, from I Paint What I Want to See

May 21, 2022

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