A new year and with it new hope. Painting requires an alignment of the mind and heart, at least for me it does. I need to be able to step away from the pressures of expectation, self analysis and mind numbing chatter from the realm of criticism, and just remember that the source of the joy of painting only dares to come out of the shadow and into the light of being, when the voice of my critic is silenced. When the painting is in process, a different kind of critic can be welcomed into the studio, one that focuses entirely on the technique and content or "sound" of the work, not whether it is a valid piece. The last work, A Gentle Reminder was quite insightful, for this very reason. I have not really dared to paint for a long time because the critic was a big, loud, obnoxious presence that smugly chastised my every initial intent to start a painting. Then I did, and what I created was a "picture" of what was going on and how I needed to respond to the split that was making the creating of any work impossible. That's what I love about painting. Just when I think its a foreign language, a voice cuts through and translates the secret that exists beneath the conscious mind, the controlling mind and reveals the power of the subconscious mind. It is here that I can find the metaphors, the visual connections that with lines, colour and form make sense of what is at the heart of so much searching.