The slide between abstraction and figuration—sliding again toward abstraction and away from my panel paintings, but I don't know whether this is a slide of my own volition of if someone subtly pushed me. My feelings about abstraction are complex; my feelings about figuration are also complex, but not as complex; I think it's fair to say that I like figuration in my own work better because they are pictures I love looking at once I am their audience and because I like telling stories, I am a storyteller. (The reason there is no verve in this writing is not because, as with yesterday, I am clipped with disappointment, it is because I have told you all of this before, I am repeating myself, so it is more rote than heart-driven.) I am (I have said it before) far more challenged by abstraction, and I dislike not being challenged in my work, and so for that reason, I will never turn abstraction away. But because there are no roadmaps in abstraction, at least for me (I need to find a better, nonlazy metaphor, "roadmap" is almost entirely inaccurate), and because by its nature there's no possibility of relying on anything identifiably known in order to either enter or remain with a painting (as its being painted), it's extremely mentally difficult work, like logic problems. Here is this particular logic problem, it is my logic problem of abstract painting (the act, not the result): Abstraction, according to my own rules, requires a total absence of visual signifiers—it must be pure abstraction. But in such an austere, figureless world, mark-making becomes all-powerful and the line asserts itself over the chaos and calls itself Something. In doing so, that Something at once becomes object, and then we are back in the world of objective painting. How, then, is abstraction even possible? That is what I am faced with when I am faced with what I am faced with today and every day in which abstraction knocks on my door to play, and I say, warily, "Yes, come in. Let's play." I have a feeling that the answer to this particular logic problem lies in making abstracted figurative work, that will probably—no! I had better say possibly—become the answer to my problem, once I reach it, and I think it's possible that with this new work, I will at least be reaching for it. I don't say that's a probability, only a possibility. There is no such thing as probability in painting, at least in the way it's used in the penultimate sentence of this paragraph, which happens, paradoxically, also to be the last sentence.