Thessaly La Force: What was the original reception of the book when it first published in 1964?
Françoise Gilot: Well, I don’t remember. It was so long ago.
TLF: Do you have any thoughts on it today, looking at it after so many decades?
FG: No, I am living in the present, not in the past. Or in the future, I don’t know. I live day by day, and what is happening that day, the next day, is important to me — so I don’t care. I’m not somebody who cares very much about “this happened on such a day,” all that.
TLF: Of course.
FG: Also, painting is not something that — let’s say, if you are doing mathematics, you might be interested by the numbers, but in painting, you are not. In painting, you are interested by the relationship of colors to one another, or shapes, things like that, not at all a story of any kind.
TLF: Do you feel with painting there’s not so much a sense of narrative, or it’s more about, as you say, color or form?
FG: Painting is about painting.
TLF: But I’m not a painter.
FG: I know, but that’s very important. Because, so many people think you have to have a story going on. Sometimes, you can, but it’s not necessary.
TLF: Are you painting every day?
FG: Maybe I’m drawing, or maybe I’m looking outside, or I don’t know what.
TLF: How do you fill your days?
FG: Today, for me, painting is as natural as breathing. I usually breathe. I don’t stop breathing. It’s very easy. It’s not something out of a mysterious domain. For me, or for any painter, it’s something that happens every day. The ability to work with your hands, to tell about your feelings, that’s what it is. That’s the way it goes.