My whole life I have been seduced by how one thought leads to another. It doesn't take much to set my mind racing off on a journey as I'm guided to a new awareness.
This morning I fixed myself a cup of hot chocolate with almond milk. I measured the milk into my mug before pouring it into the pan to heat. I added several tablespoons of organic "drinking chocolate" mix, wondering if the dissolved chocolate would add any volume to the liquid when I poured it back into my mug. I discovered that it didn't but this simple thought led me to uncover a connection outside the kitchen.
It occurred to me that mixing a dry ingredient into a fluid one resembles the addition of information into a supple mind. Our minds and hearts don't expand by volume with increasing knowledge or emotion but I believe they evolve by becoming deeper and richer like the chocolate transformed my plain milk.
From the time I was a child, books have been a great treasure to me. My first remembered favorite was Golden Books The Color Kittens. My newest additions to full shelves are Mary Ann Caws' Robert Motherwell, with Pen and Brush and Artists on Art edited by Dore Ashton. To read about why other artists do what they do continues to invigorate my own investigations. I find common threads even beyond books. Magazine photos, a lovely piece of music and the myriad sights on my hikes in the Carolina Mountains offer composition, emotion, texture, form and line to what flows onto my canvas and board.
When people ask me how I decide what to paint, I tell them that "everything goes into the pot." As an abstract painter, I uncover clues in my universe that find their way through me, like chocolate dissolved in milk, and arrive in layers of paint. I am "stirred" by the world around me, the books I read, and even sometimes by a tiny thought like the one I had this morning.