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I paint for the joy it. The first strokes on a blank canvas are the start of an adventure. There is a thrill somewhere near the start when you contemplate that this next work may be the best anyone has ever made. A few more strokes and you separate yourself from the constraints of what you already know. Soon after, you hit your stride, surrendering yourself to the present moment, where nothing matters but what your mind sees and your hands produce. Every detail is critical and every nuance is fascinating. In what seems like moments, you are exhausted! You realize that hours have passed. The rest of the world reappears and you feel acutely alive. But if you are forced to explain where you’ve been, everything contradicts everything else.
Perhaps art is as simple as sharing. I share a sense of being with the subjects of my artworks. I bond with other people when they set up their easels next to mine. And I love that we are all lifted by the tide of inspiration when we teach each other something new.
Heather Barros is entering her 30th year as Director of Art Collaborations!, an independent art school in Princeton.