Inspiration is for amateurs. — Chuck Close Old objects and the personal memories associated with them inspire most of my paintings. I'm content to call it nostalgia. Like weight-gain, nostalgia is an affliction of the aged and can rapidly get out of hand. I especially loathe the kind that...

All painting is accident. — Francis Bacon My small oil painting Nutella came about almost by itself and almost instantly—or at least it felt that way, coming on the heels as it did of a much larger painting entitled Yoo Hoo.  Nutella took less than two hours to paint;...

The question is not what you look at, but what you see. — Henry David Thoreau This week I had to print my Artist Statement for an exhibition and wondered whether it was up to date. I'd put a lot of work into it last year (as did...

I'm pleased to announce the release of my first e-book, Paint Licks. Paint Licks gathers insights by 30 painters, living and dead, into the whys and hows of painting. Download your free copy now. Share it with a friend. And let me know if you enjoy it....

With the aid of my trusty spatula, I am attempting to paint only in planes. I'm taking my lead from Cape Cod School founder Charles Hawthorne, whose wisdom is captured in Dover's diminutive Hawthorne on Painting. Hawthorne asked painters to "forget drawing" and "see color planes." By encouraging painters...

  Influence is not influence. It's simply someone's idea going through my new mind. — Jean-Michel Basquiat Robert Rauschenberg once told art historian Dorothy Seckler it was okay to swipe from another painter because "one can use another man's art as material without it representing a lack of...

Attention is the beginning of devotion. — Mary Oliver Oil paint was made for depicting flesh. — Willem DeKooning Compared to, say, watching a fireworks display, painting is a decidedly jumbled way of perceiving. Watching fireworks is just that—watching. Eyeballing a show, a spectacle, a rebus (from the Latin non...

It is better to be fervent in spirit, even if one accordingly makes more mistakes, than narrow-minded and overly cautious. — Vincent Van Gogh It's juvenile to think so, but a fortune cookie has provided my new mantra. I paint for the most part alla prima in oil,...

Humanity is not produced by the way our eyes are implanted in us. — Maurice Merleau-Ponty Writing in The New Yorker this week, art critic Peter Schjeldahl says of Cezanne, "He revolutionized visual art, changing a practice of rendering illusions to one of aggregating marks that cohere...

A painter should not paint what he sees, but what will be seen. — Paul Valéry Every painter—even realists—spends years training to "abstract" scenes; to cease to see only objects and begin to see only lines, shapes, contours, and shadows. Ceasing to see only objects is not an...