“The brushstroke is not simply a record. It is a unit of experience: calibrated, targeted, cogitated, yet pulsing, vexing, responding to its neighbours like a rhythm or a beat. The building of the painting is both planned and extemporized. The sensations are in sync.”
— Alex Danchev, writing about Cézanne
(in “Cézanne: A Life”, page 340; quoted in “A Writer of Our Time: The Life and Work of John Berger” by Joshua Sperling, p144)
If this feels like too much to assign to a single brushstroke, think about how we learn to use a brush, how it moves from feeling unfamiliar to controlled, yet simultaneously a moment’s distraction or shake can take the paint where we don’t want it.