I recently spent a Friday with my friends, Tina and Amy just doodling at the dining room table. I like the sound of "doodling" because it doesn't have all the expectations of "sketching", making it a much freer and creative time. Being the secretive artist for so many years, this was a BIG deal to me. It was refreshing and inspiring to talk about art with people as interested in the process as I am. We made wrong handed sketches of Tommasina, another friend and model for the day. Then we cracked open the books and magazines for more subject matter. Amy worked on a bowl of fruit, while Tina and I mused over drawing and mixed media books. Tina went home to spend the next day working on a beautiful mixed media piece that she hopes to convert to her ceramic art. Her excitement sent me back to the studio. For months a torn canvas with a pencil drawing of the US map had been propped in a corner. I brought it out, patched it up with canvas paper and tissue, painted over it and left it for a few more days. I didn't know what I was going to do with it, but knew it couldn't be forced. My handy dandy sketchbook helped birth the fish you see here. It's totally different than anything I've ever painted, but am pleased with the process. It's easy to feel pressured and pegged into a certain style, so this was a release for me. Thanks, art buddies for everything.