To me, painting is a balancing act of all of the design principles that make up our visual language. The notion of feng shui interests me a great deal in that "negative space" is a cherished goal, one that considers "what is to be", as well as "what is". It seems to me that we Westerners like to control many things, even our paintings....that is the Yang, the masculine. My paintings make me happiest when I am able to relinquish a bit of that control and allow one stroke to lead to the next, etc. That is the Yin, the feminine, an openness. My goal is to use a bit of both for an overall feeling of harmony. My daughter-in-law is a children's clothing designer for The Tea Collection, a collection that is inspirational due to its multicultural flavor. She just returned from a trip to Japan, and we were treated with a slide show of photographs that she had taken. A calm fell over me while I watched the show. When is the last time I really took the time to savor a cup of tea and a few slices of orange? "Japan Tea" was inspired by a vintage tray made of paper mache, highly lacquered and, of course, made in Japan.