I had a long talk with him. We went into Mrs. Monmouth's library, which had low bookshelves all along the walls, and above them a Modigliani portrait, a Jackson Pollock twelve feet long, and a gorgeous Miro with a yellow background, that looked like an inscription from a Martian tomb. The fireplace had tiles made for Mrs. Monmouth by Picasso himself. Like certain expensive restaurants, just sitting there gave you the illusion of being wealthy yourself.
In the course of our talk, Askington mentioned that he spent part of each week studying. ``By yourself?'' I asked. ``No, I take classes with different people,'' he said. ``I don't think I've reached the point, yet, where I can say I know everything I ought to know about the craft. Besides, it's important to the way a painter thinks that he should move in a certain atmosphere, an atmosphere in which he may absorb the ideas of other masters, as Durer went to Italy to meet Bellini and Mantegna.''
He made a circle with his thumb and fingers. ``Painting isn't this big, you know. It doesn't embrace only the artist, alone before his easel. It is as large as all of art, interdependent, varied, multitudinous.'' He threw his arms wide, his face shining. ``The artist is like a fragment of a mosaic -- no, he is more than that, a virtuoso performer in some vast philharmonic. One of these days, I'm going to organize a gigantic exhibition that will span everything that's being painted these days, from extreme abstract expressionism to extreme photorealism, and then you'll be able to see at a glance how much artists have in common with each other. The eye is all, inward or outward. Ah, what a title for the exhibition: The Eye is All!''