I often use found objects, and I often allude in my work to great artists that inspire me. Given that nothing in Nature is wasted or superfluous, Art can only aspire to imitate such economy. I mean of course directness and economy of means and the adherence to the resulting and deceptively simple precept that in Art anything that is not essential is unnecessary. Which does not mean we must have starved art, or art without humor, irony, or even darkness. But, just as a great comedian achieves his goal succinctly and with perfect timing that often appears to be improvised, the humor or irony in great art is the result of practice, not accident or coincidence.
One of my favorite quotations has to do with everything being grist for the mill; another one (that sounds like a conundrum) is that nothing comes from nothing. In other words, if you’re an artist, be careful who you admire.
And one last bumper sticker phrase in my notebook: Learn (or at least be aware of) the rules before you break them.