It is not solipsism that causes an artist to remain inward with her work, keeping it within the walls of the space in which it is made, it is not solipsism but a necessary culling and containment of energies, a protectiveness and a recognition of the fragility of the creative process which those who do not spend their life under its rule cannot possibly understand. The making of paintings is combat. What happens on the canvas is a battle—it is not picture-making, it is war. It is war whose battlefield is the head. To quiet that critical voice that says, "What you do is worthless; what you do is meaningless; what you do is unoriginal; what you do is bad," to quiet that Medean voice long enough to let the painting happen, that is a battle of colossal scale, and it is not always winnable, and the small victories along the way—a good painting here, a good painting there—are only skirmishes, they are not true victories, and even true victory is not true victory, for it is never lasting victory. So if the battle has been fought, or is in the midst of being fought, and if the voice has been silenced temporarily, long enough for the artist to make work she believes in and is passionate about, then it is not solipsism that causes her to want to protect what is, perforce, nascent work (she is not, after all, showing old work) against the eroding offhand comments of those whose criticisms seem as valid to the artist as if they were the word of law, for surely they mimic her fiercest enemy, the Word of Law itself, her inner voice that says, "You suck!", it is not, as I say, solipsism, it is self-preservation.