starting a new piece is like finding yourself locked in a trunk and only knowing that there’s an outside, but not yet seeing it. scratching around, you find hand holds, find that you’re actually on the side of a mountain and you have vertigo. the handholds change as you examine them, looking for certainty, turn into caves, finally. and, on the cave’s walls are old scratchings of images: messages from your ancestors, random notices, water markings, showing you how to open up your small gestures, instead, into the world of animals and their curious teeth and yawns of boredom. that’s when the work becomes really hard, because that’s when you first confront the audience, the reality that the painting must have life for the viewer. you have to remember that you yourself are the viewer, that you’re painting something so you’ll have something to see. there’s not enough to see as it is; the world needs more nature, not less. you become ‘nature’.
what happens to me when i feel that people think i’m entertainment, think my painting is a joke? think i talk too much some times, that i’m too this or that — intense or obsessed… what i am is very isolated, and i need people to put as much consciousness into my work as i put in theirs. but, who are my friends? people who think i’m good entertainment but think i should just lighten-up? and, i don’t really want to post my paintings anymore, because, why?… because people just don’t seem to know what a painting is for? but, what is a painting for…? a painting exists in nature just as a leaf exists in nature — you look at a leaf to find the secrets of nature. but in your vanity you look at a painting to see what you’re supposed to see when you look at one — to show everyone you like ‘paintings’, to see a fucking sunset that looks so stupid next to a real sunset — that is, one which makes its own light… and, to see the ha-ha/boo-hoo/wow-wow picture minnie mouse has on her encino hills wall.
the painting is a picture of the artist, is a raw picture of nature and should be talked with, not snacked on. so, all i can figure is that my stuff is just cheese puffs for people who think painting should be roast beef. that’s my beef today.