I work like a laborer
on a farm or in a vineyard.
I work like a gardener.
I start from something dead,
arriving at a world. And when I add a title,
it comes even more alive.
The picture should be fecund.
It must bring a world to birth.
For me an object is a living thing.
This cigarette and matchbox
bear a secret life much more intense
than that of certain human beings.
When I see a tree, its impact
is like someone breathing, someone speaking.
A tree is something human.
What interests me above all else
is tree calligraphy,
and I mean leaf by leaf and branch by branch,
blade by blade of grass.
I wash my hands with care before I touch
the instruments of work.
To me they’re sacred objects.
Throughout the time I’m working on a canvas
I can feel love coming on.
Poetry and painting are created
in the same way you make love:
exchanging blood, embracing totally,
no caution and no thought of
I throw down the gauntlet,
A picture should make sparks
like the beauty of a woman or a poem.
It must radiate; it must be like those stones
that Pyrenean shepherds use to light their pipes.
A painting rises from the brush
as poems rise from words.
Meaning comes, but later.
You can look upon a picture for a second
and think about it all your life.
From the words of Joan Miró
Linda Frye Burnham 2011