Why do I paint?

So why do I paint? Why don’t I just take photographs? I do, in fact, take photographs, I take them by the dozens, by the hundreds, and I take them for lots of different reasons; I take them because something I see is so profoundly beautiful, I want to save it, to savor it, to remember more of it than my eye can possibly take in, in the moment. I also use the camera to be selective: when there is so much to look at, so many details to remember, my mind’s eye needs to reduce the playing field – it needs to zoom in, get close to what speaks to me. It could be the magnificent detail in the center of a flower where each tiny, tubular curl of a petal stands upright, waiting to unfold and unfurl in the sun. It could be the crusty surface of an old tree where the craggy gray bark hugs the trunk or curls away from it in bizarre, animated shapes. Or it could be the way sunlight dances off of water and creates liquid geometric designs on the curved underbelly of a sailboat. Or maybe it’s the rich, detailed stripes on a stone by the sea capturing thousands of years of the earth’s compression, then smoothed and rounded by the eternal tumble of sand and waves.

So why do I paint? Because it is in this process of seeing… of painting… of paying close attention to my world… that my own sense of wonder expands, my appreciation deepens, and in the sharing, my joy is multiplied.