Michael Dirk Risch

IT IS IMPORTANT never to forget how crazy painting is. People who buy paintings, or who write about them, tend to think painting begins in the cosmopolitan world of museums and art galleries, and that its meanings are explored in departments of art history. But painting is born in a smelly studio, where the painter works in isolation, for hours and even years on end. In order to produce the beautiful framed picture, the artist had to spend time shut up with oils and solvents, staring at glass or wooden surfaces in turn. Painting is peculiar in that respect. Writers and composers are much closer to the finished product: their words or notes appear instantly and cleanly on the page-there is no struggle forming the letters A,B,C, or writing a dotted 1/2 note or an 1/8 note-but painters have to work in a morass of stubborn substances.

James Elkins, "What Painting Is", pg 147