Painting is very concrete and material –not the flesh made word, but the vision or the sensibility made paint; the bird in the hand, not two in the bush. It is work primarily of the hands. We don’t think in abstractions but in clotted materiality; no matter how abstruse the vision its always incarnated in very real matter: assorted pigments, dirty paint rags, canvases, brushes, turpentine, jars, pots –sheer physical presences, things that need fussing over and being despised at times. If any of you have ever painted then you know how bleak the most beautiful colors can seem arranged on the palette, or how implacable and unforgiving is that rectangle, our canvas, so different from our thought and feeling. Our colors, our rectangle, however, like words, are everything and nothing. If we are painters, this is how we think, in and through these materials; they are are thoughts.
Rosemarie Beck, from a talk given at Connecticut Wesleyan University, May 1960.