Before that day, painting had always been a simple act of control for me: look, visualize, and transfer that barn, that face, that flower. With my mind and hand I described what, or who, or how I saw. But on that summer afternoon something happened—a strange new heat ran down and over the edges of my canvas—and it was then that I knew, for the first time, that something was askew, ajar.
There was the color, for one thing: Strontian yellow, Cinnabar green, Vermilion, and Cadmium orange. Colors that abused my brush, bending and caking the bristles with their thickness, they were so bright. Color leaking out of the silver Holbein tubes with their tight caps, colors I had never before even broken the seals on. I couldn’t seem to stop myself; I was squeezing the oil paint directly onto the canvas—no mixing or blending with turpentine at all, just straight pure color. I was using my brush as I once might have used my fingers.
–Linda Gray Sexton, Points of Light: A Novel