I met icon-makers during my youth in the country. I remember that an icon-maker before starting to paint, or a maker of wooden crosses before starting to carve, would fast for a few weeks in a row. They prayed continually that their icons and crosses would be beautiful. Before it is begun, the creation of any artist needs a pre-established orphic atmosphere. Today painters work with a beefsteak and a bottle of wine by their side. The sculptor holds a chisel in one hand and a glass in the other. The vapors of alcohol and rich food come out of the artist’s mouth and pores like the fetid emanations of a horrible corpse. This kind of thing is no longer pure art; it is art governed by the earthly forces of alcohol and over eating. […]
One day, in Switzerland, in front of a beautiful mountain there was the most beautiful of cows, and she was contemplating me in ecstasy. I said to myself, “I must be someone if even this cow admires me.” I came closer; she wasn’t looking at me, and she was relieving herself. That tells you what you need to know about fame.
Both of these statements were taken from: Roger Lipsey, An Art of Our Own: The Spiritual in Twentieth Century Art, (Boston: Shambhala, 1989), pgs. 228 and 229, respectively.