I was recently selected to exhibit in this year’s 7th Annual Doctors Without Borders Art Benefit in Half Moon Bay. I’m told it was a difficult jurying process, so I’m very grateful to have been chosen.

After being accepted, I went into the conceptual phase of choosing images, thinking about the show’s theme, “Connections”, and sketching out some ideas. Then I ordered canvas and the real work began.

Painting is a journey. I begin with an idea of where I want to go, but sometimes the painting has a mind of its own and just takes off in its own direction. That’s what happened with this piece.

Originally, it was meant to be a highly realistic rose, but the colors just kept getting more and more intense, and the petals spiraled out across the canvas in abandon. I tried several times to bring it back to realism, but the painting insisted on being wild and untamed. I gave in…and succumbed to adding more and more intense colors.

After dropping the painting off to be hung, I thought it was all over, but today I got an email saying that I have been chosen to speak about my work at the opening “because of the high caliber of your work, statement, your presence, and [because] the way your work epitomizes the theme of Connections.”

So now another phase begins: brainstorming what to say in a week. I’m basically a shy person, so this is somewhat challenging, but as my friend Scott said, “Cordless mikes! Praise and admiration! Performance anxiety! God, you must be incredibly ambivalent about all this!”

Well, yes, sort of.

But my intention is to have fun and just show up as myself. What more is there to do?

[Painting: The Rose’s Dream. 24” x 12”. Oil on canvas.]