It is that time of year: heat and dust, heaviness of leaf as well as the air itself. I am at work on some more paintings of the red ash tree in my garden . Simple stuff really without recourse to the concerns of painting now as in Jed Perl's piece ( The Perils of Painting Now ) in The New York Review of Books which I was alerted to by the painter Sharon Knettle. After a long hard look this morning I wondered ( aloud as I am always talking to myself) if I was now too close to the subject to extract what I needed to make a painting which had in fact some integrity and that elusive authenticity. I am a figurative painter if I am anything: however that should not stand in the way of the painted surface and that transformation and connection between what is seen and what is made. I am not trying to represent what I look at, which is why I worry at becoming too close to doing that, but I am using the act of looking to extract something that can be in the mix that becomes the painting. Braque was well able to take the studio space that he experienced and transform it in the process of painting.