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    There are so many ways in which being an artist is lonely, here is one of those ways: In the past, I made paintings, I know I have said this before, but in the past, I made paintings that people liked and responded to. I was very happy with these paintings, and I was also very happy that people liked them! It was rewarding! Because before I made paintings, I wrote poems and plays, and there are not many people in this world who are keen to read either poems or plays, and so I did not have a giant sense that people found the work I did meaningful or likeable. I think people would sooner pour syrup in their hair than read a poem. And people simply do not read plays, they will say they do not know how to read plays, they will not read plays. But then I began painting, and people liked my paintings, they enjoyed looking at them, I got lots of people to look at them, they were easy and enjoyable to look at, these were representational paintings, mostly of people and animals, the animals I liked to paint were rabbits and dogs and deer and coyotes and foxes, those sorts. But now I have turned away from representational painting, it is a strong swerve I couldn't halt, I think, even if I wanted to, I do not know why I was compelled to turn away from doing what I did well, although I do know I had gotten bored, and I do know also that I have been breaking down the way I paint for almost a year now, I have been working very hard to destroy it, it has been crazy-making and extremely difficult, but I do not think it is sabotage that caused me to do this, I think, at least I am hoping, it is growth and vision. But most people are sorry I have done it, and there are those who have urged me to go back to painting how (and what) I painted before. But I will not go back, and now I am making paintings that are something like poems, people do not seem to be terribly interested in reading them, for there is more effort involved than the effort it takes to look at a pink deer. I say I think it is growth and the urge to grow rather than sabotage that has brought me to this place, but what if I am wrong? What if it is only sabotage, and I am a contrarian of gargantuan proportions? (I am.) What if I have set myself on the wrong path and I have thrown away the shoes that would return me to my former path? Well, I ask myself the questions, but I'm unconcerned about the answers, because I don't t want to go back, I do not need to find those shoes, I believe there is unity in my work and a strong connection between what I did formerly and what I am doing now. But now it is lonely again, now I am alone with my work again. People really like pink deer.