My paintings initiate from something I’ve seen, lately the urban landscapes of Berlin. Light, space, color, and form convene in such a way that interests and inspires me. I take a picture, and if possible, make a quick sketch, jotting down notes, hoping that later I’ll still find it interesting to work from, and that I’ll be able to maintain that initial excitement. A lot goes on in my head, not exactly in the form of coherent thoughts, but more like a nervous absorption with this new problem to solve. Painting involves decision making; making choices about what to leave in or remove, and being able to pursue them with conviction. When it goes well, the hours slip by unnoticed, and a feeling of positive nervous energy marks my days. (Yes, it can be that strong – in the form of anxiety in the morning before painting, and excitement in the evening after a good day.) It helps to have several paintings going at once so that when one gets to a dead end there is another one there to keep me occupied and hopeful. I work methodically, building the image from the surface up, putting down light washes of color and line before committing to heavier paint. From larger shapes to smaller, I question how much detail to show and where. I straighten sharp edges and modify curves, darken or lighten a tone, and step away to see the painting in its entirety. I work wet on wet, wipe away thin washes, spread thicker paint on with a knife, and let it sit in between sessions, checking in as the paint dries and goes from slippery wet to sticky, to tacky. I love the physicality of the paint but remind myself not to fall in love with a particular brush mark if it doesn’t help the image. I strive to let the paint breathe in a way, allowing accidents to happen. A sense of movement comes from a strong composition, but also from how the paint is applied. Over time, from repeated looking and practice, a sensitivity to colors and their relationships grows in me, and with this, evoking temperature becomes an additional challenge. Sometimes the voices of former professors pop up in my head and I imagine them gathered in a circle behind me, discussing the painting objectively. It can be helpful or distracting, depending on what is said, such as after reading an interview with Alex Katz I kept hearing him say “no noodling!”