A friend of mine said today that she hates abstract paintings. All I could do was chuckle. It’s so easy to hate something we don’t understand. For me, the whole world is abstract. I look around me and see pine branches against a blue sky. They are dark shapes against a light background. And the closer I look the more I just see shapes in relation to each other. I look at the undulating surface of water. If I photographed it, it would look like an abstract painting. This is what the world is made of. Have you ever laid on your back in the grass and looked at the clouds? The more you look, the more shapes you’ll see that remind you of something else. An elephant, whose trunk grows longer and longer as that wisp of cloud is carried by the currents of air up there… That’s how I look at my own abstract paintings. I can’t really see them when I have a brush in my hand and am applying paint to them. Oh I see them, but I’m seeing what they might become, not what they are. So I hang them on my bedroom wall, and look at them as I’m falling asleep. I look at them in low light. I see them when I wake up, not with the thought of what I can do to change them, but just see them as they are. That’s when I’m surprised by the creatures and objects hidden in the current of paint.