“What’s Next?” 6×6 oil on canvas Buy Now

Sometimes I picture this older, more experienced version of myself sitting at a coffee shop with a friend, and, between sips of my cappuccino, casually saying something like, “remember when I used to paint all those birds?”

It’s not that I’m in a hurry to be over this subject or wish it would stop inviting me in, time and time again. It’s just that I know, like all things, it has the potential to run its course.

I’m not so much worried about it as curious– what will my paintings look like in ten years? What will tomorrow’s look like? There is so much to love about painting, but the wonder, the surprises, the mystery and adventure is probably what I love most. And I can say that even as I paint my 456,234th little bird.

One of the main points of Art and Fear (which I’ve just completed) is that we have to learn not how to paint but how to paint our paintings. We are the only ones who can do that–

“We tell the stories we have to tell, stories of things that draw us in– and why should any of us have more than a handful of those? The only work really worth doing– the only work you can do convincingly– is the work that focuses on the things you care about. To not focus on those issues is to deny the constants in your life.”

I don’t know where I’m headed but I know it’s very much like that children’s song about “going on a bear hunt.” You can’t go over it, can’t go under it, can’t go around it.” Instead you have you have to go “through it,” and, I think I’d add, enjoy it along the way.