discovered painting on a warm evening in a woods in northern California.
I was about seven years old. A group of painters had arranged their easels
randomly among the enormous oaks, sycamores and elms. As I approached, one
or two of them looked at me and smiled. No one spoke as I wandered about,
peering at their canvasses. I kept a respectful distance and made as little
noise as possible. The strange smells of turpentine and paint were exotic
and a little dizzying. These people were clearly passionate about their
work; meditative and completely engrossed. No need to talk...we were all
excitedly alert to every magical nuance of the quiet forest twilight. That
happened forty years ago but the exquisite focus those painters held is
a familiar state of mind for most painters. One of my greateset pleasures
in painting is the knowledge that this "spirit" connects painters
the world over and throughout the centuries. It connects us as interpreters
of what nature lets us see and feel.