scraping, wiping, pushing,
dragging, digging, mounding,
scratching, layering, smoothing,
poking, waving, flattening,
pulling, patting, smooshing,
spreading, scumbling, pasting,
thickening, thinning, jabbing,
staining, congealing, tacking,
smearing, coloring, washing,
depicting, representing, drawing,
spraying, collecting, pulling apart,
stroking, gouging, polishing.
It is the movements of the body, the hands, the head, the eyes, the arms, and the legs.
It is wiping dirt from a child’s face, it is digging a fingernail into a crack.
It is never writing, except when it almost certainly is.
It is figuring out that substances are ideas, and ideas require a substance.
There are moods involved as well, tied up in the action of gestures – nervous, focused, compulsive, and smooth.
It is ‘Good strokes.’ as DeKooning offered to Guston.
It is a conversation with a material. Dirt and oil. Talking from the painter’s mind, to her/his hands, to the canvas, the eye of the viewer.
It is an act of freezing the very liquid of our thoughts so they can get on to being on their own.