It doesn't take a genius to understand that the more relationships one has, the more complex life is. Likewise with painting. The more subjects in the painting, the more complex it is, and the harder it is to achieve the gestalt, the higher order. It is indeed tempting to render all of the subjects at hand in all of their glorious detail. But I am a reductionist. I am trying to distill what is given to me into its absolute essence, that which I can savor and remember. In "Kallie and Elmo", the given is the relationship of a young girl and her puppy. I have come to the conclusion that the relationship of the two must be a higher priority than either Kallie or the puppy individually. (i.e. the taste of the souffle being greater than the sum of all of the ingredients) It definitely takes some restraint. I have some very bad still life paintings from the summer where each artist participant was asked to contribute one thing to the still life painting. The result: cacophony. You know what they say about experience? You know it's a mistake when you recognize it as such....... the second time around. I remember this painting in particular at is was one of the rare ones that seemed to paint itself.....that hardly ever happens. I am certain that Kallie is a beautiful young woman now.