Now I will switch back to the present day, although because of the nature of the format of this thing, you will not know that I have spent a couple days in the past, unless you are reading along, and I know you are not. I do not like making process paintings anymore! I find them tedious in the execution—the fascination I once held for them has drained away—and largely unappealing in the outcome. When I say “process painting,” in a sense, I really mean “abstract.” That is because my process paintings are almost exclusively abstract. So do I mean to say I find abstraction tedious and unappealing? I think so, yes! I am speaking from the point of the view of the maker of paintings, not the viewer—there is so much abstract work by others that I love (and envy), I am not talking about abstraction in general, only in the specific—specifically, my abstract work. I am clearly not an abstract painter! I will tell you this, too: When I make abstract paintings that are not process-oriented, they fail utterly, they are flat-on-their face failures. I feel that this is an admission of, well, failure. Where once I thought I had found my own language of abstraction, I now feel that I have a form of aphasia, the kind that has me unable to recall or recognize that language. To see it on the canvas is to see an ugly polyglot. Figuration, on the other hand, is more than just a language, it is the very alphabet of being. I think it was nicer in the days when I fought hard for abstraction, when I believed there was something worthwhile in the fight for it because I believed concurrently in my ability to arrive at an abstraction wholly my own and entirely interesting. I was not wrong to think so, and I believe I did arrive at something that was both my own and interesting. But now, as I say, I find the process tedious and the results boring. There is no fight, that is probably why; it is more rote than battlesome. This of course means that the abstraction I drove for was ultimately a dead end or, to stay with my metaphor, a dead language. It did not grow out of itself, it did not bear an organic succession of paintings that expanded on the original concepts—it just was, and then it died. That is how it feels. I have an abstract painting on the easel now (I am still sort of drawn to the work conceptually, it is only in the execution and, as I say, the outcome that I dislike it), and I must slog along with it today, and probably tomorrow, et cetera, it is an enervated process I neither enjoy nor believe in anymore. Meanwhile I have new figurative work that lights up my studio and beckons the eye to the everythingness of being. And yet, to take away the counterbalance of abstraction, this would ultimately bore me too. I cannot live by figuration alone. I am not an abstract painter. You see my problem.