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Question 8: How do you approach the creation of a new work? Do you have a specific method or way of initiating the process?
I work in series. In creating series, some painters first imagine the work and then go out and create it; for my part I work more instinctively. I’m not looking for a subject. I want the subject to be imperative, brought about by my work, simple work: applying paint to a surface. I had marvelled at the work of some Japanese Zen artists who first spent an inordinate amount of time just looking at the surface on which they worked, then in an almost instinctive surge, took up their brush and traced something onto the surface, as if it arose straight from the human soul. I was fascinated by the energy that was issuing from these people and I practiced this attitude towards my own creative work, placing myself in front of a blank canvas, with paints and all the materials at hand. Then I allow an energy to run through me before working on the painting. It can take an hour, or two days: time, I feel, is of no consequence. With this energy transferred onto the surface through the paint, at the end of a series resulting from this kind of work, there is an object that emerges, like the image of the Afghani women walking to the sea, an object takes over the painting through the energy coming out of me, and that is transmitted to the canvas. And then, intellectually, I structure this idea into a series of paintings. While the idea was generated from the subconscious or instinct, I have come to know it and I want to process it as an artist, I want the artist to address this particular idea, and organize it. In general this is how I work on all my paintings.