I know there's a romance associated with being a painter, but let me tell you something about the other part of it. Sometimes it is like brick laying. I don't mean sometimes so much as most of the time. Most of the time it is a lot like brick laying, or mason work, or any number of jobs that involve the sequence-oriented work of building something. Step by boring step. And that's to say nothing of the work that goes into preparing canvasses, et cetera. I'm telling you this because I started a new painting a couple days ago, and yesterday, as I was at the easel applying a necessary layer of paint to it, I thought to myself—well, I don't remember what I thought, but the idea was, Boy, this is boring, and it's the greater portion of what I do, and with every painting, I know I have to do it, and I do it anyway. I eagerly set out as though it were the most exciting thing I'll ever do, lay this brick upon this brick upon this brick upon this brick upon this brick. It will be days before I get to the romantic part, the part of wild-armed flourishes and deliberate fuck-ups that are meant to kill the lesser painting in the blind hope that a greater one exists in the reparation of those fuck-ups—sometimes wholesale expunging of giant passages, anything to reach a better painting than a mediocre one. There is romance in this part because it's untamed and intuitive, because it is quite literally at times a dance, because it brings misery and elation, each chasing the other in turn, and because it requires fearlessness and the willingness to destroy even as one creates. It's even more romantic (to the outsider) if you have to grab onto a bottle in order to endure it. I do not. In fact, I can't imagine facing the demon of painting without my full clear faculties. We are not warriors when we are drunk! Painting is war! Except when it's not, when it's brick-laying, which is most of the time.