Even though I consider art-making to be extremely hard work, it is exciting all the while. The excitement of it all is what keeps me looking forward to my next project. At the present time, there are at least 5 paintings in my head waiting to unfold. For me, excitement is at its apex when I am trying something new, some combination of materials or some technique that has not yet been tried. "Before the Dance" was painted, for the most part, from a model during our Akron Art Walk. Later, at home, I was thinking about the preparation of a dancer and the mental "play" that occurs in the dancer's mind before performing. I started to scrape through the layers of paint, simulating, for me, the spins, twirls, and dance steps of a seasoned dancer. Wow.....my adrenaline was flowing! Next time, I will paint an underpainting of a complementary hue, so that the scrape-throughs will reveal the bottom layer more clearly. Maybe I will like the more dramatic effect. Maybe sublime is better. Who knows? Will that be vanilla or rum raisin? Excitement involves a trip into the unknown.