All Flame, oil and acrylic on canvas, 20 x 20 inches, 2017

I will continue painting because it connects me to the world. When I paint, I am a part of something bigger than myself, a whole lineage of painters and artists and the current community of artists who explored and continue to explore what it means to be human through their work.

Looking at art builds empathy. When we look at a painting, we are standing where a painter—another person—stood before us. We are confronted with what they saw when they painted, seeing what they saw through our own eyes. We find stories in paintings and relate to those stories through our own experiences. When we look at art we connect to other people we may never meet.

When I paint shapes and their edges bleed into each other, I am reminded of the truth of what it means to be human. Walls fall away. We are all more similar than we are different. We are connected by our experience as human beings.

When we look at art, we are drawn into a realm that transcends us. We are reminded about what is real and what matters most. Because my experience outdoors fuels me as a human being and as an artist, painting is a reminder to go outside and BE, to look around myself and be appreciative.

So I will keep painting. I’ll keep waking early and staying up too late, puttering around in the studio pushing paint, and trying to make some sense of things with my colors.

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