I never think about actual things when I'm painting. I'm not thinking, "I'm going to put a person here, a tree here and a bird there. " The beginning stage is always the sound. From that, slowly, stories come about based on what I'm reading or thinking at the time, but if I didn't have that sound I don't know what I would do.
Thinking, not for the first time, that life should come with a trapdoor. Just a little exit hatch you could disappear through when you´d utterly and completely mortified yourself. Or when you had spontaneous zit eruptions. “Good book?” he asked, taking it from her and reading the subtitle, “A Guide for Good Girls Who (Sometimes) Want to Be Bad,” out loud. But life did not come with a trapdoor.
This - where we are now - is where a culture gets to, when it has chosen, for many years, banality over intelligence, the literal over the immaterial or complex, materialism over spirituality. This is the result of many years of disrespecting the intellectual project - of a collective acceptance of the idea that thinking and reasoning and reading deeply in difficult text and being respectful of history are somehow "wimpy" or secondary.
Have you ever rightly considered what the mere ability to read means? That it is the key which admits us to the whole world of thought and fancy and imagination? to the company of saint and sage, of the wisest and the wittiest at their wisest and wittiest moment? That it enables us to see with the keenest eyes, hear with the finest ears, and listen to the sweetest voices of all time? More than that, it annihilates time and space for us.