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What I love most about painting is observing a subject so intensely that everyday associations melt away and it becomes something unfamiliar—like repeating a word over and over until it loses meaning and becomes just a sound. The experience of painting common subjects reveals just how unknowable they truly are. The more I look, the more mysterious the world becomes: we are on an alien world enveloped by other life.
I think of my paintings as part of the Vanitas tradition, a genre meant to remind viewers of the fleeting nature of life, wealth, relationships, and understanding. That may sound maudlin, but the acknowledgment of impermanence allows me to more richly appreciate my present experience.