When I finish a painting, it usually looks as surprising to me as to anyone else.
You keep on balancing and balancing and balancing until the picture wins, because then the subject's turned into the picture.
I am happy for people to talk about my pictures, but I wish devoutly that I was not expected to talk about them myself.
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.
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 am isolated as an artist, not as a person.
I don't think you can lightly paint a picture. It's an activity I take very seriously.
I look at my pictures, and I think, 'Well, how did I do that?'
I think words come between the spectator and the picture.
I want my pictures to be things. I want them to be made up of marks that are physically and individually self-sufficient.
I'm very envious of the few artists who are any good and still do portraits.
Matisse was very clear about saying that you have to blow your own trumpet and explain yourself, which I think has been slightly forgotten.
A painting is finished when the subject comes back, when what has caused the painting to be made comes back as an object.
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 once was interviewed and got so exasperated that I said, 'What do you want, a shopping list?' They kept asking, 'What's in this picture?'
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