For years, I have been watching students bring their beloved items into painting class for a still-life set-up: raggedy stuffed bears, well-worn baseball caps, small boxes and brightly-colored what-evers. I must admit that sometimes I actually wonder why anyone would want to paint the thing. We are often defined by our possessions and collections, the things that help us to define the "self". It is different for everyone. I see students putting flowers in cherished vases, when I prefer painting flowers laying table-flat, without being contained. All a matter of personal preference. Painting what we love offers to us the quality of commitment in the creating, the inability to give up.