One of the saddest mistakes a painter makes (this painter makes) is to overwork a passage that is already good, that is already finished and will not be improved by continued work. I have made that mistake, I made it yesterday, and it brings sadness to my heart to look on it. Today I will have to fix that mistake, but I cannot expunge it. Nothing in painting ever gets expunged. Things get buried and blurred, but nothing ever goes away. That is the remarkable thing about paintings, they bear their life, they carry the full history of themselves within themselves, which is what we as humans do too (and what writing does not do). I am comprised of a lot of mistakes! They are all within me, as are the things I got right along the way. These histories will only go away when my body perishes—and even then, perhaps not, perhaps not! When a painting is finished, it appears to be the thing it is meant to be. A successful painting will appear inevitable. But peel away the surface, and you will find how rickety the idea of inevitability really is, it is hung on flimsy scaffolding! Underneath a painting's inevitable-seeming surface are structures going every which way, thrown together incompatibly, a riotous criss-crossing of ill-conceived brushstrokes and extemporaneous passages of paint. Painting is trickery and painters are tricksters. Today I will take a pot of paint, I do not know whether this pot will contain red paint or black paint or blue paint or green paint—I will know it when my hand reaches for it—I do not know the specifics of what I will do, but I will take a pot of paint, I will take a brush, I do not know how big, and I will put that brush into the pot of paint, and I will make some instinct-driven, blind, broad strokes that will, if all goes well, turn my overworking into an inevitable penultimate phase of an inevitable result, and in this way, I will trick you into thinking I knew all along what I was doing and that never for a moment did I have sadness in my heart.