"There is great importance in successfully becoming human, in striving to fully understand others, ourselves, and God. The process is difficult and filled with awkward discoveries and happy encounters, dreadful sorrow, and unmitigated joy sometimes several at once. I believe art should facilitate this journey, rather than simply decorate it, or worse, distract us from it. It should remind us of what we have forgotten, illuminate what we know, or teach us new things. Through art we can come to feel and understand and love more completely- we become more human. The artists I admire, obscure, famous or anonymous, have contributed to my humanity through their whimsy, their devotion, their tragedy, their bliss, or their quiescence. I seek to be such an artist. As nearly as I can trace, my paintings emerge from living with people and from affection for the processes I use to make pictures. Although my skills of observation and craft are good, there is a fundamental element that makes a picture succeed that is outside of my control. It is a gift of grace every time it occurs and is as surprising to me as it is to any viewer taken by an image. This element eludes me every time I try to control it. I firmly believe that when a painting succeeds, I have not created it, but rather participated in it. I paint because I love, and because I love to paint. The better I become at both, the more readily accessed and identified is this grace, and the better will be my contribution."