Nothing is straightforward. Or rather, nothing is as straightforward as it might initially seem, particularly looking at a painting. Specifically, I took in paintings by Elizabeth Peyton[i] Joan Mitchell[ii], and Cecily Brown[iii] in New York, December 2008.[iv] These artists approach painting in different ways, especially with respect to gesture, representation and the figure. I was particularly interested in how their approaches to painting affected my approach to viewing their work. As a way to parse my experience I drew upon selected writings of the philosophers Immanuel Kant, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Gilles Deleuze[v].