When I prep a large canvas for a painting with acrylics — or when I tack a blank sheet of Arches watercolor paper up — I welcome the nervous excitement of expressing myself with paint, charcoal, pastels, India ink, or maybe a mix of red dirt from the Berkeley hills. I do not find a large, white, gessoed canvas frightening — for me it is an opening into a part of me that needs to come out and be seen — it’s a deeply personal journey. I trust that process of expressive painting and am usually surprised at the results. I also am often frustrated and full of doubt.
I need to paint. I need it as much as I need to breathe. I am humbled and grateful I have found myself here — to wonder where all these colors, splatters, drips and scribbles come from.
And I want to express deep gratitude to Leigh Hyams and all I learned from her (or, perhaps I should more accurately say, all she pushed me into!). I stumbled into her painting workshops at Esalen on the California coast in 2008 and had no idea she would split me open like a watermelon. Thank you, Leigh.