My paintings start out as rough thumbnails I draw in a sketchbook I carry around. For instance, this is the thumbnail for the painting of Claudia that I'm working on:
So where did this get drawn? Well, I can't usually get anything productive done at home, owing to a temperamental disorder of some sort, and I pretty much don't design paintings in the studio - I only paint there. So I need to sit someplace that I don't rent and control when I'm drawing these thumbnails. This raises a practical issue - where can you go and doodle a bunch of naked women and not cause trouble? Starbucks and Barnes&Noble are right out.
I have discovered a room. This room is above a deli somewhere in lower Manhattan. It is supposed to be used for Internet station rentals and eating food bought at the deli. But it is usually hot and dim in the room, and there is a horrible low-frequency vibration from the over-amped heating system. Also, it smells slightly of turned food. Hardly anyone knows the room exists, and people who do know of it don't seem to like it. I discovered it by accident myself. It's usually empty. This makes it perfect:
An empty public room to oneself on a high-traffic street in one of the most crowded cities I know, for the price of a box of apple juice. I'm not going to tell you where it is, because it's my room, and I want to keep it that way.
This is kind of a cutesy story that also illustrates something which may not have occurred to you, but which I feel duty-bound to point out. On this blog, I am excited to tell you about ideas I've had about art (and by art, of course I mean cognitive psychology, physics, and math). I am also covering a lot of the practical territory involved in actually making art. But there are some things I can't tell you. Art, after all, involves people, and politicking, and so forth. I have a lot of interesting thoughts about a lot of interesting topics, which it would simply be career-suicidal to share.
So please don't conclude that this blog is a complete coverage of its theme, especially if you are a working artist yourself. If you're an artist, you'll probably encounter some phenomena which seem curiously absent here. I'm not so much luckier or saintlier than you that I don't have to deal with those things. I do, and it's not so pretty, but that's part of the job. All I can say is that I try to deal with them from my usual position of doing my best to figure out the decent thing to do. This seems to work for me - I think it will work for you. I apologize that some of my observations remain hidden.