McCleary remarks: "I will have the model come and pose for drawings and sometimes a photograph. The models return many times and pose in sets I build in the studio... It can take up to nine months to finish a painting. I usually work on four or five painting simultaneously. I work two to three hours a day with the model and continue to work on the paintings alone. There are usually two or three models posing throughout the week." He adds: "I want to keep a prudent distance from the model. The people I paint are always people I have respect for. I have to have some sort of connection to them... For me, painting is just working. It requires a lot of time alone, which I enjoy."