Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

The twenty crucial minutes

with one comment

Philip Guston

There are twenty crucial minutes in the evolution of each of my paintings. The closer I get to that time—those twenty minutes—the more intensely subjective I become—but the more objective, too. Your eye gets sharper; you become continuously more and more critical.

There is no measure I can hold on to except this scant half-hour of making.

One of the great mysteries about the past is that such masters as Mantegna were able to sustain this emotion for a year…

I have a studio in the country—in the woods—but my paintings look more real to me than what is outdoors. You walk outside; the rocks are inert; even the clouds are inert. It makes me feel a little better. But I do have a faith that it is possible to make a living thing, not a diagram of what I have been thinking: to posit with paint something living, something that changes every day.

Philip Guston, “Faith, Hope, and Impossibility”

Written by nevalalee

August 26, 2016 at 7:30 am

One Response

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  1. And then after all that, my wife comes along, looks hard at my handcraft and says ‘can I say some thing?’

    Douglas Wallis

    August 26, 2016 at 12:42 pm


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