I try to tell my students not to listen to music while they are painting. They might be making terribly expressive paintings, or quiet paintings, but they’ve got this music pounding in their ear. I ask them what they are listening to, and it has nothing to do with what they are working on. I tell them they should listen to the sound of the brush. I’m sure Rembrandt did. Imagining the noise of a Rembrandt is a total explanation of what it is. The noise is the explanation for the paintings. He didn’t have chamber music playing in the background. He had the noise of the painting, the noise of the brush. If you look at a Goya, you see these wonderful things. He knew how to kiss the surface, in the most sensuous way. And it’s all to do with sound.
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