It is imperative for me to relate to a model before I can put my heart into a painting. This man posed on a bench with popcorn for the pigeons. There was so much about this person that I could relate to.....the story very personal and also quite sad...........but there it is. For me, painting involves growing as a person, as well as growing as a painter. His struggle is mine. Inclusion as opposed to exclusion. I decided not to put him into a scene..........no trees, bushes, plants, clouds, etc. I felt that the solitary figure would carry more power this way. To deny sorrow is to deny soulfulness. There he is in the rain.........no birds in sight.... I am there as well.