…I didn't want to work on another novel, so while I was up there in Boston, why, they said, "well, we think you should do a book about your paintings," and that's how A Picture Gallery came about. …those people in Little, Brown and Company, they never lost a nickel and I had never asked for an advance on anything I had written. They had made money on Tom Lea's stuff. I was persona grata around on Beacon Hill there and I said, "well, if we do this book, let's really pour it on just right. I want to write text that is simply an explanation of when and why I did my paintings, why I did these things in visual terms rather than trying to write prose." So I got the text for A Picture Gallery together, and I got the photographs of the work that I thought ought to go into the book. I did that all myself. I put in the little foreword in A Picture Gallery that my work is my autobiography and my autobiography is my work, which I think is true.
Anyway, we did the book A Picture Gallery, and that seemed to kind of complete my turn in the road toward painting.
Tom Lea talking to Adair Margo in Tom Lea, An Oral History, El Paso: Texas Western Press, 1995, pps. 121 – 122.