In the final year of the 1980’s I had an epiphany. I ended a marriage, quit my job, and headed east out of Austin, Texas to tiny St Marks, Florida where I moved into a 2-room cabin older than the century.
My new home sat on a sparsely traveled sand road surrounded on 3 sides by thick woods and smack between 2 churches. Neither church was close enough to see but on Sundays I could listen to dueling gospel choirs sometimes until late in the day. The other days of the week I worked growing chemical free herbs in my gardens and greenhouse.
Winter nights were spent stoking the wood stove, during one of those nights I began to paint. I painted the long views across the salt marsh, the pattern of the light through the cabbage palm, the shadows and colors of the dead leaves on the ground. I painted the fish my neighbors shared with me, just pulled from the river, and the chickens in their yards.
I am eternally grateful to the people who surrounded me and offered me kindness during that time, and they still appear in my paintings. Eventually, I moved back to my home state of Alabama, to what has become another embracing community of resilient and wise neighbors.
I paint what I see, and what I hope to see. I see beautiful things that people do with each other, and for each other. These paintings come straight out of my heart and when I work on them I feel nothing but joy. I hope some of that feeling can find its way to you.
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