The Herald, 22x18, oil on linen, 2017.

When creating an image I never have a solid idea. Rather I find a location that inspires me, take along some props (maybe), and start shooting.

Later in my studio I sift through hundreds of images and choose the ones my spirit responds to...usually it’s a compilation of images. What story they will tell is only revealed later during the painting process or even upon completion of the work.

I think it’s fascinating that while my mind is responsible for the “engineering” component of the painting, it is my spirit that allows the painting to tell its story, and that something deep inside me, something that appeals to my psyche, knows the story before my mind does. It’s like a riddle I get to solve and the answer can only be revealed by working the brush against the canvas.

When I was pregnant with Willow (but did not know it yet) I remember walking our dog, Yeti, along the airport road in Gunnison and wondering why in the world I had butterflies in my stomach. This went on all day. I would find out just days later that I was, indeed, pregnant.

I always tell Willow that it was her beautiful spirit making itself known to me in utero.

The painting: Here is Willow, a beautiful, & magical spirit (who flits about like a butterfly herself) with one of those butterflies that heralded her arrival. They continue to invisibly flit around her, imbuing her spirit with light, laughter, & lightness. Or perhaps this is an annunciation of sorts, and this Herald Butterfly bestows something of magic upon this child, because children truly are the stuff that magic is made of.

With so much darkness in our world we need more magic, beauty, & light. Let this butterfly remind you to spread your light through playfulness and wonderment in the magic all around us...with the eyes of a child.