My sense of calling as a painter is tied irrevocably to my love of color, form, light, and maybe even especially of paint itself. Annie Dillard, the writer of Pilgrim at Tinker Creek, was once asked what was most important to becoming a writer. She replied without thinking that it was love of words. Interesting that she didn’t say love of meaning, or love of messages. Somehow it is the material, the matter, the thing-ness of things that must be loved into form. Absent a love of paint the painter would be little more than an illustrator of verbal ideas.
—Bruce Herman, quoted in Magnificat, the catalog for an exhibition of the artist’s works: Magnificat, Paintings on the Life of the Virgin Mary, and Woman; 2008.
Thinking about the role of seeing in the creation of form it seems that what the painter sees is seen through the lens of paint. Pablo Picasso, a great lover of paint, once said, “Painting is a blind man’s profession. He paints not what he sees, but what he feels, what he tells himself about what he has seen.”