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I love to paint. It’s like breathing, only better.

A painting is a possibility, a wave of color and light. Nowhere is that more true than with watercolor. It is my first and foremost choice of media precisely because it doesn’t just do what it’s told. There is a certain mischief in it. Watercolor allows me to be silly when I can be and serious when required. It lets God take a hand in things. I love the randomness.

Painting is a dance with many partners. Why do I relate to this model and not another? Is it her outer beauty or her inner fears? Perhaps it is both. We are in this painting together, after all, and so are you. You are lost in that young man’s eyes, see there? You are in every painting, your hope and your hanging on, your love and your joy, your sorrows, your fears. It’s all in there. What’s not to love?

Colors bring me the greatest joy. There must be dark and light and the design those two bring with them, but I revel in the colors. Red enlivens; I want to know everything about it. Green is the true lifeblood. Grays hold secrets almost seen; they give order to life.

Of course, there must be contrasts.  We must have the play of light against shadow, the warm against cool, the sorrow behind the smile.  Without contrasts, no statement is made.

Then comes emotion. We hunger for it. If there is no emotion in a painting, then what is the point? Working from the heart is like touching God and being touched gently in return...or maybe not so gently. Sometimes it’s like fire.  Often I don’t know I’m doing it until I stand back at the finish. There they are though: pathos and envy, summer-sweet memories, steadfast courage, love. I paint them all, knowingly or not, regardless of subject or genre.

The act of painting allows me to see things more clearly than I can in any other way. It has taught me that seeing involves much more than my eyes. Sometimes when things are really flowing, I feel a little bit of red...just...there. My arm wants it there, just like...so. The very best marks are those my heart makes without the help of my mind. That kind of thing happens more and more as I grow in my art.

The best part? It’s all a grand experiment. I am happier knowing that.

Website updated 2/18/13