As a culture we struggle to balance the stresses in our lives. We struggle between choosing inactive activities that allow us to hibernate and turn off our brains, and choosing hobbies that will enrich our lives. I’ve been painting secluded, vacant, zombie-like figures who have relaxed in their habits until they have lost time. They have anesthetized themselves and become jaundiced, so lacking muscle tone that they hang over their chairs. Slowly these figures are rousing and becoming ornery like striped pirates waking up on the wrong side of the bed. They are more alert, and as a result, more grumpy. It’s well worth some pouting and furrowed brows to be certain that we don’t sleepwalk through our lives. Now it’s Zombies vs. Pirates: line up, shake hands, good game. (If I were you, I’d put my money on the pirates.) The most a painter can do is paint the things they know. What I know is that if it were not for the act of painting, I would be lost to the worlds I paint.