In painting, I find that I distrust design, that anything too designy feels cheap and unearned, although I often admire it in other paintings not my own, especially polka-dotted borders. It is only a standard I uphold for myself, not for others. I do not care for signifiers as well, chairs and wall things such as windows and the like, I sometimes admit trees and flowers and horizon lines, I do not have any problem with horizon lines, I find them exciting, the way they alter the meaning of the picture in such subtle, mysterious ways. It would be more accurate to say that I do not like interior signifiers, I rarely place my figures within walls, they are almost exclusively lone figures in an empty landscape, I do not think it is loneliness that I am painting but vast aloneness and perhaps oneness or unity (self-sufficiency?) and a kind of monumentality that that implies—lately, a monumentality. Clothes are signifiers, but I often clothe my figures, I do not always paint nudes. I like making striped clothes, and stripes are pretty designy, but I like them anyway, in fact it might be said, I love stripes, most especially striped socks, though it's been a long while since I've painted socks, since I have not been painting the figure, and only recently, having returned to the figure, I am only painting the torso, not even the head. The trouble with signifiers is that everything that is not abstract is a signifier (forgive me, I did not go to art school, I do not know if I am using the term with strict correctness, but I am using it loosely well enough, I think, for you to know what I am talking about), so I cannot be steadfast against them, I cannot not paint signifiers unless I were to become a purely abstract painter, and even then, I would imagine that the paint itself would become the signifier, and so the only way not to paint signifiers would be to cease painting altogether, and were I to do that, I think I would die. So I keep my small clutch of signifiers, and I am happy with them, but sometimes I struggle with the idea that perhaps I ought to use more—really make a picture—but I always seem to rear away from what I consider to be unnecessary elements, quite a lot like design but not design, and if I have gone ahead and painted them, I quickly obliterate them with heavy strokes of paint, and then the painting is on its way to ruin, for I am not a gentle destroyer of things I think are cheap and unearned that have come from my own hand. But things that are not cheap and unearned come at a cost, or they do not come at all, and I would say that is a concise description of the twin realities of my work, that all my efforts come at a cost, for only painting counts, or they do not come at all, for only painting counts, and that, after all, is what this paragraph was driving for, I didn't know it when I began it, and that is the magic of writing, where all the words, once put together, signify the thoughts one didn't even know one had, and one is better defined (to oneself) than when one began.