I am quite literal and concrete when I start a painting. I paint families living in houses and neighborhoods like my own. If I run out of inspiration, I go for a walk around the small village where I live and usually see something or run into a neighbor who tells me a story that inspires me.
I try to paint life in a small town as thoroughly and honestly as I can. We live with our families, protected from the elements in houses built on the bones of the past. The family dog gets skunked. Crows eat the garbage. The children play strange and sometimes dangerous games. All the while, I just keep painting, and as I paint I start to believe that these mundane details are fraught with mystery and meaning. What does it mean when the weeds in the garden refuse to be pulled? Is it a bad omen if a bird smashes itself into a closed window? Why do my children think that they can fly? Why is my daughter the only one in the neighborhood who wants to be Darth Vader for Halloween? I know that when it is all put together it means something, and if I can just paint all of it maybe someday I'll understand it.