In June 2013, I finished a painting I had started while still living in Texas almost 10 years before. It’s my version of Gustav Klimt’s The Dancer. I had only painted the dancer’s face and torso in Texas, so the silk robe and background remained blank. I took up the painting again after being inspired by a Henri Matisse exhibit I attended at the Metropolitan Museum during spring break 2013, which coincided with beginning my meditation practice during that break. I was intrigued by Matisse’s idea of why paint something as it is seen in nature? Exactly! That’s why I chose to paint the tree branches and leaves in the teal, olive and bright green combination, now my go-to color combo for leaves and trees. The flowers in the bouquet were inspired by a washy floral greeting card I had purchased in the Tate British Museum gift store I visited in London early that summer. I found the branch and bird motif in a British Vogue and repeated it in her silk robe and the painting’s background in different colors and sizes. All of these components developed into a full, wild, every-inch-filled-with-color-and-pattern, layered, energetic painting quite different than I’d painted before.