Beginning when I was seven, I became a tree climber. I felt most deeply held when I was precariously balanced in the branches of a birch, pine, cedar, walnut, filbert, quince or apple tree. Up in the canopy, smelling the bark, glimpsing the sky and earth through fluttering leaves and poised against the pull of gravity, I sensed that I was part of something intimate, vast, beautiful and unpredictable. I felt like I'd been claimed by something much greater than me, mapped into a wild belonging. The colors and patterns of the floral world populated my youthful drawings and paintings as naturally as breathing. As a lifelong painter, seeing, like painting, has always been relational and situational, altering not only what I see, but also how I see myself. In my image-making process with paint and other materials, I make and unmake patterns to find an essential relational rightness. Basic forms and marks trade places in grids or panels to map a new kind of sense of the world, of me, of us.

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