ON one end of the brick-walled room, a long rolling table holds scores of books, there to flip through for quick reference, inspiration: volumes on Vermeer and Bosch, "Movies of the Thirties," "R. Crumb Handbook," "Least Wanted: A Century of American Mugshots." Another table is a jumble of paint tubes and brushes. Within a long arm's reach of his work in progress are a set of steel baker's racks holding a stereo and piles of CDs -- Beethoven, Schubert, Bach. "I listen to classical music and the blues. My daughter Mercedes . . . knows anybody who ever was singing the blues." The rest of the shelves are taken up with audio books -- "Buddenbrooks," "Huck Finn," James Ellroy's "Suicide Hill." "There are all these things that I want to read, but I don't have the time. So this is fantastic," he explains, "because when you paint so realistic . . . you need to sometimes paint hour after hour, and so I found out that I can listen so intensely."